Trump Doctrine is not reverse evolution but gene mutation

by Rashmee

Posted on June 14, 2018


  Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece on Donald Trump’s foreign policy doctrine is probably the most dispiriting piece I’ve read in years. It enshrines the fall to a point one can hardly imagine for America’s diplomats, decent people that I know and love and am proud to call my friends. Of course the Trumpian doctrine described to Mr … Continue reading “Trump Doctrine is not reverse evolution but gene mutation”

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Summitry is best captured in satire - if only so much of it wasn’t so achingly accurate

by Rashmee

Posted on June 12, 2018 / The National


Sometimes summitry is best captured in satire. Ahead of today’s Singapore meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, there was dulcet mood music and nakedly transparent attempts by two volatile, very alpha male leaders to court each other. And then there was the grouchy summit in Canada of the G7 advanced economies. Mr Trump got … Continue reading “Summitry is best captured in satire - if only so much of it wasn’t so achingly accurate”

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Fashion diplomacy and the perils of overzealous style statements

by Rashmee

Posted on February 27, 2018 / The National


Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has been mocked at home and abroad for his cosplay take on diplomacy during a recent tour of India, which illustrates the perils of overzealous political style statements that seek to outrun political reality. For a whole week, the entire Trudeau family was photographed in a range of colourful, luxurious, … Continue reading “Fashion diplomacy and the perils of overzealous style statements”

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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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The Rohingyas are the new Palestinians, says Foreign Policy. Is that true for US Muslims?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 27, 2017


Last week, I asked ‘Are the Rohingyas the New Palestinians?’ This week, Foreign Policy says they are. Definitively. The piece, by Dr Craig Considine of the Sociology Department at Rice University, notes that the plight of the Rohingya is a rare moment of global unity for Muslim countries. Dr Considine is writing a book titled … Continue reading “The Rohingyas are the new Palestinians, says Foreign Policy. Is that true for US Muslims?”

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The so-called ‘democracy recession’ doesn’t mean that system is dying

by Rashmee

Posted on August 28, 2017


For those like me who occasionally despair about the state of democracy, Condoleeza Rice has news. Democracy is in fine fettle, she says, or words to that effect. Occasional hiccups matter little in the long term. Just look at the American experience and all will be clear. Ms Rice makes these assertions in her new … Continue reading “The so-called ‘democracy recession’ doesn’t mean that system is dying”

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Are President Trump’s people serious about the Twitter offensive in the Korean theatre?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 11, 2017


One does not have to be a stuffy foreign policywallah to find the Trump administration’s attitude to horrific potential wars and nuclear issues decidedly casual. Consider the following remarks from Sebastian Gorka, the tough-talking, Islamophobic, white nationalist foreign policy advisor to the US president, when asked about Sino-American relations. How can the US persuading China … Continue reading “Are President Trump’s people serious about the Twitter offensive in the Korean theatre?”

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Move over the American Dream. Le rêve français anyone ?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 25, 2017


It’s anyone’s guess how seriously to take these sort of annual rankings but they often put into figures something we only vaguely felt to be true. The “Soft Power 30″ report, released on July 18, puts the US at #3. France is #1 in terms of soft power, it says, and the UK is #2. So it’s not … Continue reading “Move over the American Dream. Le rêve français anyone ?”

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Did Emmanuel Macron try to copy Justin Trudeau with his carefully balanced cabinet?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 20, 2017


There were echoes of Canada’s prime minister in the cabinet announced by France’s new president Emmanuel Macron. Both have paid a lot of attention to the symbolic worth of their picks. For Mr Macron, it was about gender equality and career vs rookie politicians. He also had to balance right vs left in the cabinet. … Continue reading “Did Emmanuel Macron try to copy Justin Trudeau with his carefully balanced cabinet?”

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Recep the Resolute, Turkey’s new sultan

by Rashmee

Posted on April 23, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Orhan Pamuk, Nobel literature laureate and one of the greatest contempo­rary chroniclers of Istanbul, once asked if the city’s takeover by the Muslim Ottomans represented conquest or decline. Opinions on the historical events of 1453 are divided, Pamuk mused, by whether you’re standing in the east or the west of the city. In western Istanbul, … Continue reading “Recep the Resolute, Turkey’s new sultan”

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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