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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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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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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A president met his political rival to end post-election instability. Guess where

by Rashmee

Posted on November 12, 2020


Many days after a contentious presidential election, the incumbent leader of a big economy finally meets his main political rival, thereby ending a bitter stand-off that could fuel protracted instability. It happened. Not in America, folks. That was Ivory Coast. President Alassane Ouattara met Henri Konan Bedie, an 86-year-old former president, for talks on ending … Continue reading “A president met his political rival to end post-election instability. Guess where”

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On the world stage, men and women leaders are merely players. They have their exits and entrances

by Rashmee

Posted on November 11, 2020


Many are offering a grim roundup of the disappointment being felt by some leaders and governments because Donald Trump won’t have a second term in the White House. (Click here and here for some examples of the type of commentary I’m talking about.) To which the right response is three-pronged and as follows: First, let’s … Continue reading “On the world stage, men and women leaders are merely players. They have their exits and entrances”

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Who are the women driving Joe Biden’s success?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 9, 2020 / The National


Whatever happens next as Joe Biden prepares to govern America come January 20, his defeat of an incumbent president has one unique and extraordinary element: it was enabled by women. Four women, in fact. In no particular order, they are as follows: Mr Biden’s running mate Kamala Devi Harris; Georgia Democratic Party voting rights activist … Continue reading “Who are the women driving Joe Biden’s success?”

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The Republican vote turned out for the party. It was Trump that voters fired

by Rashmee

Posted on November 7, 2020


Four days on from US election day, here’s where it stands. Republicans hold 48 senate seats; so do the Democrats. The two remaining seats in Georgia will go into a run-off on January 5 because the leading candidates’ vote shares dropped below 50 per cent. In the House of Representatives the Democrats hold 213 seats … Continue reading “The Republican vote turned out for the party. It was Trump that voters fired”

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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