How will Joe Biden deal with the foreign policy ‘hinge’?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 3, 2020


Henry Kissinger called America’s indecision between its values and its interests the “hinge”. Rightly so. Opinion has swung this way and that. America’s foreign policy “hinge” has always been a testy issue and four years of Donald Trump haven’t settled the matter. Not with Mr Trump’s America Firstism rejected in last month’s election. Joe Biden … Continue reading “How will Joe Biden deal with the foreign policy ‘hinge’?”

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Gumbo diplomacy vs Swagger

by Rashmee

Posted on December 1, 2020


In May 2018, US diplomacy was supposed to be all about “swagger”. That was the boast of Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s new secretary of state. (Click here, here, here and here for previous blogs about how that “swagger” went.) Thirty months later, one of America’s most seasoned diplomats, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for UN envoy, … Continue reading “Gumbo diplomacy vs Swagger”

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The ‘e’ word in Biden’s cabinet isn’t elite so much as experienced

by Rashmee

Posted on November 30, 2020


Someone recently wrote about how “elite” has become an insult when applied to politics. It’s true. Populist nationalists have magicked the term “political elite” into a hideously entitled bunch of very well-networked people with old school ties or at least tiaras from the same sort of high school prom. Or something equivalent to that in … Continue reading “The ‘e’ word in Biden’s cabinet isn’t elite so much as experienced”

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The silence was blissful…until Trump spoke on Thanksgiving

by Rashmee

Posted on November 27, 2020


The weekend of the November 3 US election brought the world a new and pleasurable experience, despite the pandemic: the sound of silence from the Trump White House. Donald Trump, decisively defeated by Joe Biden (who swung Georgia and reclaimed the mid-West and Pennsylvania), was out of sight – of the nation and the world. … Continue reading “The silence was blissful…until Trump spoke on Thanksgiving”

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10 reasons to feel grateful this Thanksgiving

by Rashmee

Posted on November 25, 2020 / The National


Despite these testing times, American Thanksgiving (November 26) may be a useful moment to take stock. What should we, as a planet, give thanks for in a year that threw up the depressing new word “doomscrolling”? It is true that 2020 has felt like a particularly bad year. It was roiled by two spreading crises, … Continue reading “10 reasons to feel grateful this Thanksgiving”

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Will there be a great American transition?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 24, 2020


On Monday night, 20 days after US election day, Donald Trump finally acknowledged the limits of sloganeering. He finally admitted that inconvenient facts can’t be wished away as so much “fake news”. He tweeted that he was okay with the General Services Administration beginning its grudging move towards the presidential transition to Joe Biden. For, … Continue reading “Will there be a great American transition?”

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Bolsonaro sheds crocodile tears for Trump. Don’t cry for him, Brazil

by Rashmee

Posted on November 23, 2020


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s public truculence about dealing with a new US president who is not Donald Trump raises a pertinent question: What did Mr Trump ever do for Brazil? Peter Hakim has an excellent blog on US-Brazil relations, which underlines the showy nature of the relationship between Mr Trump and Mr Bolsonaro and the … Continue reading “Bolsonaro sheds crocodile tears for Trump. Don’t cry for him, Brazil”

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Can the WTO hit the reset button on global trade?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 18, 2020 / The National


While the world’s eyes were fixed on the US presidential election, another consequential, if less thrilling contest was happening elsewhere, with significant ramifications for global trade. The World Trade Organisation is trying to appoint its new head, a decision that was supposed to be wrapped up in low-key style in the week of the American … Continue reading “Can the WTO hit the reset button on global trade?”

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Georgia on our collective, climate-conscious mind

by Rashmee

Posted on November 16, 2020


President Joe Biden will be in office, come one-minute past noon on January 20. The US will, that very day, rejoin the Paris climate pact. Good. But what happens next? How does the US, the second biggest carbon emitter in the world, become consistently climate conscious, by federal order, no matter who’s in the White … Continue reading “Georgia on our collective, climate-conscious mind”

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What would you say if you saw this US president’s behaviour in another country?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 14, 2020


The New York Times’s David Leonhardt put it most succinctly of all. Quoting political scientist Brendan Nyhan, he laid out the best way to consider events underway in the United States: what would you say if you saw it in another country? Okay, so let’s have a go at that, today, one week after Pennsylvania … Continue reading “What would you say if you saw this US president’s behaviour in another country?”

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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