Will a peace-for-justice trade-off be viable in Afghanistan?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 10, 2017 / The National


He may not have meant for it to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s death, but Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani recently spoke about peace in reference to a conflict inspired by the exploits of the iconic guerrilla leader. Mr Ghani told the BBC that there were lessons for Afghanistan in the Colombia peace … Continue reading “Will a peace-for-justice trade-off be viable in Afghanistan?”

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Donald Trump’s ‘path forward’ in Afghanistan is a rebrand not a step ahead

by Rashmee

Posted on August 23, 2017 / The National


No one knew exactly what to expect from Donald Trump’s “path forward” address on Afghanistan on Monday night. It was billed for prime time television in the US and Mr Trump’s defence secretary, a retired general, heightened anticipation by admitting the president “wants to be the one to announce it to the American people”. Mr … Continue reading “Donald Trump’s ‘path forward’ in Afghanistan is a rebrand not a step ahead”

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A row of Gazebos on US Embassy Kabul compound. Camoflage uniforms that are anything but

by Rashmee

Posted on June 22, 2017


Anyone – American or not – who has considered the US war in Afghanistan would have the vague suspicion that it’s a profligate affair. And if, like me, you’ve actually seen some of the operation close up – ie from the US Embassy in Kabul – you know that it’s immoderate. I still remember walking … Continue reading “A row of Gazebos on US Embassy Kabul compound. Camoflage uniforms that are anything but”

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Is US facing its Vietnam moment in Afghanistan?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 21, 2017 / The National


Nearly every week brings bad news from Afghanistan for the United States. Its troops suffer “insider” attacks by men in Afghan army uniform. The Taliban steadily takes more territory and promises to wait out the “invaders”. US defence secretary James Mattis is forced to admit “we are not winning in Afghanistan right now”. But then … Continue reading “Is US facing its Vietnam moment in Afghanistan?”

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MENA’s poor showing on Global Peace Index is hardly surprising

by Rashmee

Posted on June 18, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Even before the crisis over Qatar and the attack by a white American man who opposed US President Donald Trump’s politics, it was clear the Middle East and North America were in a dangerously febrile state. The turmoil in those regions is not comparable in any way except for its deeply destabilising potential. Strangely enough, … Continue reading “MENA’s poor showing on Global Peace Index is hardly surprising”

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‘Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh’. The slogan America’s Sikhs might want to take from the UK

by Rashmee

Posted on May 3, 2017


“Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh”. I remembered the quavering slogan on a T-shirt worn by a young man on the London Tube in the days after the 7/7 bomb attacks, when I read of American Sikhs’ new publicity campaign. That T-shirt was a desperate and innovative way to reassure jumpy Londoners that darker-skinned people with … Continue reading “‘Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh’. The slogan America’s Sikhs might want to take from the UK”

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Mother of All Bombs reminds the world of Mother of American Failures in Afghanistan

by Rashmee

Posted on April 19, 2017


Donald Trump may not have intended this particular effect but the Mother of All Bombs, the 22,000-pound GBU-43 dropped on Afghanistan, has reminded people of America’s failure. Sixteen years on, thousands of deaths, trillions of dollars later, the US is still fighting the Afghan war. But who and what is it fighting? And for whom … Continue reading “Mother of All Bombs reminds the world of Mother of American Failures in Afghanistan”

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‘They brought it on themselves didn’t they?’ How Trumps’ war on Muslims is working

by Rashmee

Posted on February 4, 2017


“They brought it on themselves, didn’t they?” people say, in sorrowful response – these are good, honest folks in America, Britain and elsewhere – to news that US president Donald Trump had banned all refugees’ entry and that of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. I heard people I know well say this. Then I heard it … Continue reading “‘They brought it on themselves didn’t they?’ How Trumps’ war on Muslims is working”

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Remember the Obama-Hope poster? Too much world enthusiasm for a US president can be a problem

by Rashmee

Posted on November 5, 2016


I was amused to read a new poll on how the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) would vote if it had the right to vote on US Election Day, November 8. The poll, conducted by the Saudi daily Arab News and British pollster YouGov found that nearly half the respondents would abstain. Forty-seven per … Continue reading “Remember the Obama-Hope poster? Too much world enthusiasm for a US president can be a problem”

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Is Kunduz the beginning of the end for Afghanistan?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 6, 2016 / The National


Friday is the 15th anniversary of the United States’ and United Kingdom’s Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and it is a suitable, if sombre vantage point from which to consider America and Nato’s longest war. What did the blood and treasure of nearly two dozen countries buy Afghanistan and the world? This is a grim … Continue reading “Is Kunduz the beginning of the end for Afghanistan?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US