Kimchi diplomacy: how national cuisine brings more than just food to the table

by Rashmee

Posted on December 23, 2019 / The National


As the season of festivities and end-of-year feasting approaches, here is a question worth asking: which countries feed the world? By that I mean: which countries provide the food that reaches restaurant tables abroad? In other words, whose food might you and your family and friends be eating if you go out for a meal? … Continue reading “Kimchi diplomacy: how national cuisine brings more than just food to the table”

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It’s going to be a year of ‘conscious uncoupling’

by Rashmee

Posted on December 22, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


All bets are off on what lies ahead in 2020 but it probably won’t be a sober and well-judged 3M strategy on the part of the West. As 2019 hastens to an end, its defining patterns are clear.  The year was marked by two rancorous relationships: between China and the United States and between Turkey … Continue reading “It’s going to be a year of ‘conscious uncoupling’”

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Why a reset on capitalism is a good idea

by Rashmee

Posted on December 10, 2019 / The National


It has been 130 years since Andrew Carnegie wrote The Gospel of Wealth, an essay that is still considered a foundational document in the field of philanthropy. Now comes a new one, from Ford Foundation president Darren Walker. It is called From Generosity to Justice and urges philanthropists to work on the root causes rather … Continue reading “Why a reset on capitalism is a good idea”

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Russia has fair-weather friends and allies in the Middle East

by Rashmee

Posted on November 30, 2019


Former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami recently attempted to set everyone right on a crucial question: Is Russia the Middle East’s new hegemon? His answer was somewhat surprising. Russia is not the region’s new hegemon, he concluded. Never forget that its economy is the size of South Korea’s and its military capabilities significantly less that … Continue reading “Russia has fair-weather friends and allies in the Middle East”

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Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading

by Rashmee

Posted on November 26, 2019 / The National


Tomorrow, European officials will vote to confirm the new European Commission. If all goes well, the executive arm of the European bloc will begin its five-year term by the end of the week, just a few days before Nato’s 70th anniversary summit in London. The sequence of events throws into relief three key policy challenges … Continue reading “Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading”

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Is democracy really dying a slow, agonising death?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 25, 2019


It’s fashionable these days for commentators to lament the lingering death of democracy. It’s being strangled long and slow, so the narrative goes. How? By neutering democratic checks and balances – a judicious distance between governing party and the state. By packing the courts or preventing them from exercising judicial independence. By preventing the opposition … Continue reading “Is democracy really dying a slow, agonising death?”

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US foreign policy has bipolar disorder

by Rashmee

Posted on November 24, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


In validating the transgression of international law, the Trump administration is dismantling a crucial pillar of an order based on rights, both as an aspiration and a hope. US foreign policy has bipolar disorder. It swings wildly between low and high moods. This is why US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo can say that Israeli … Continue reading “US foreign policy has bipolar disorder”

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It really wasn’t Trump’s bin Laden moment

by Rashmee

Posted on November 1, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Dana Shell Smith, deputy assistant secretary of state for international media engagement at the time of bin Laden’s death, expressed concern about Trump’s celebratory tone. Donald Trump’s October 27 announcement that US forces had killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reprised Barack Obama’s May 2, 2011, statement that Osama bin Laden was dead but … Continue reading “It really wasn’t Trump’s bin Laden moment”

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‘Mr Swagger’ on Day 30 of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on October 24, 2019


Mike Pompeo is still at the US State Department and is still His Master’s Voice. Just about. That’s despite his growing role in the Ukraine controversy and the sense that he serves Donald Trump as enabler and lackey rather than as a foreign policy professional. Why should we expect it to be any different? Mr Pompeo … Continue reading “‘Mr Swagger’ on Day 30 of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump”

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Can a middle power like Canada ever presume to sustain the world order?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 16, 2019


“We’re fading…we lost our UN Security Council seat,” the Canadian diplomat said. He looked mournful. We were talking in the early part of this decade and Canada  had recently (2010) lost its bid for a non-permanent seat on the UNSC.  (For the record, Ottawa lost out to Lisbon and Berlin.) Fast forward to 2019 and … Continue reading “Can a middle power like Canada ever presume to sustain the world order?”

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