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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America favours strategic coercion over Pyongyang

by Rashmee

Posted on April 20, 2017 / The National


Is Donald Trump trying to “out-North Korea the North Koreans” at this moment of high tension with Pyongyang? The question is worth asking after veteran US ambassador Christopher Hill, who served in South Korea, came up with the explanation for the Trump administration’s strategy. All the signs point that way. The administration appears to be … Continue reading “America favours strategic coercion over Pyongyang”

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Look Down Under for clues to the New World Dis-Order in this age of President Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on April 16, 2017


Here’s the effect Donald Trump is having on the new world order. Disparate countries are speaking up in unheard-of ways. Many are saying unbelievably undiplomatic things (a la Mr Trump). Almost no one is disavowing nuclear options, sometimes for real. Australia, for example, recently walked away from United Nations talks that seek to ban and … Continue reading “Look Down Under for clues to the New World Dis-Order in this age of President Trump”

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What on earth was Trump’s son-in-law doing in Iraq? Indians once had a term for this

by Rashmee

Posted on April 4, 2017


No one knows why Jared Kushner made his weekend dash to Iraq but one can imagine. Mr Kushner, is President Trump’s Mini-Me, his senior advisor on almost everything, and the man who must find the right solutions to just about every Gordian knot that matters to Americans. Okay, so what was he doing in Iraq? … Continue reading “What on earth was Trump’s son-in-law doing in Iraq? Indians once had a term for this”

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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