A ‘lean back’ chair for President Obama

by Rashmee

Posted on January 30, 2013


You’ve got to hand it to foreign policy wonks. They’re able to mint new doctrines and phrases despite the decided challenges of having familiar, well-worn world issues to work with. Iraq, Afghanistan, al Qaeda, Mali, Libya. The new is but a re-run of the old. So John Arquilla, professor of defense analysis at the U.S. … Continue reading “A ‘lean back’ chair for President Obama”

Read More

Could a pirate ever become poster boy for US government?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 29, 2013


Foreign Policy’s daily Situation Report offers a droll story that illustrates the growing respect for communications rules among those who routinely break the law.  “Piracy has plummeted off the coast of Somalia,” it reports, extrapolating from the decision of a pirate called “Big Mouth” to quit the business.  “Big Mouth” famously held a press conference … Continue reading “Could a pirate ever become poster boy for US government?”

Read More

Aung San Suu Kyi’s iPod playlist? Not really

by Rashmee

Posted on January 27, 2013


It says something about Aung San Suu Kyi’s restraint and self-effacement that she personally picked just one of the eight musical tracks she was allowed to choose for the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Desert Island Discs’. In a sense then, this was not really a hypothetical playlist from Suu Kyi’s hypothetical iPod. (Does she have an … Continue reading “Aung San Suu Kyi’s iPod playlist? Not really”

Read More

India, China, Bhutan: Himalayan Trio’s Strategic Shimmy

by Rashmee

Posted on January 26, 2013


A busy, mind-bender of a week for the Bhutanese King.Or is it? Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck meets India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon on Monday, January 28 and Indian Army Chief Bikram Singh later that day. The only issue for discussion is China’s new desire to have diplomatic relations with its tiny neighbour. After decades … Continue reading “India, China, Bhutan: Himalayan Trio’s Strategic Shimmy”

Read More

Drones and UN peacekeeping?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 16, 2013


The excellent Baobab offers prescient insight into the way things might change in the United Nation’s “vast and unwieldy peacekeeping  operations”. UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, it seems, has asked the Security Council to approve the use of drones over eastern Congo. International opinion, as always, is mixed with the Chinese and Russians reluctant and Rwanda … Continue reading “Drones and UN peacekeeping?”

Read More

Why should Latvia say Hindu prayers?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 9, 2013


The strangest, most self-righteous email in a long time has to be the one about the Latvian parliament denying a request to begin the day with Hindu prayer. Why should it, one might justifiably ask? Latvia’s main religion is Christianity. But such common sense seems to be beyond “Hindu statesman” Rajan Zed. He sent the … Continue reading “Why should Latvia say Hindu prayers?”

Read More

Pakistan Needs A Malala Effect From Education To Sex

by Rashmee

Posted on January 4, 2013


Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot at by the Taliban in October, was discharged from hospital in Birmingham, England just hours before I discussed Pakistan’s desperate need for a “Malala effect” with a journalist from Peshawar. And this extends from education to a healthier view of sex Syed Irfan Ashraf writes for Dawn … Continue reading “Pakistan Needs A Malala Effect From Education To Sex”

Read More

Don’t ask where best to be born but where best to live?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 2, 2013


One cannot but be struck by title of The Economist blog “Where to be born in 2013”. In a calculation that “links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys to objective determinants of the quality of life” across 80 countries, The Economist Intelligence Unit has come up with an entirely subjective list that enshrines Switzerland at … Continue reading “Don’t ask where best to be born but where best to live?”

Read More

India: Still waiting for the sexual revolution

by Rashmee

Posted on December 21, 2012


The brutal gangrape in Delhi of a 23-year-old woman has set off a particularly vicious fury, a public call for vengeance, a hang-them cry that might be right out of 18th century France in the throes of the Revolution. Most Indians seem outraged by the tragedy in a way that seems to suggest a surprised … Continue reading “India: Still waiting for the sexual revolution”

Read More

Can’t ban guns? Tax ammo through the roof

by Rashmee

Posted on December 20, 2012


If you can’t ban guns, at least raise taxes on ammunition. By 100 per cent or even 500 per cent. The US would be a safer place and the gun lobby would have less reason to be up in arms. Excuse the pun. But the whole idea of taxing ammunition has an excellent pedigree. Back … Continue reading “Can’t ban guns? Tax ammo through the roof”

Read More

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