Europe looks to a new US president who knows what comes of ‘wrong patriotism’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 30, 2021


This, the second weekend since Joe Biden got to the White House, is a good moment to understand the depths of Europe’s dismay over his predecessor’s destructive and dangerous four-year presidency. Long story short, it’s basically a mixture of trepidation and hope that America, Europe and the world turns the page on Trumpism’s gleeful and … Continue reading “Europe looks to a new US president who knows what comes of ‘wrong patriotism’”

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Hungary to get a new university – from China. Here’s why it matters and doesn’t

by Rashmee

Posted on October 27, 2020


Axios said “this isn’t news exactly” because it’s a development from December 2019, but I think it’s probably better described as a development that’s still newsy even though 10 months old. Fudan University, from Shanghai, China, is planning to open a campus in Budapest, Hungary, by 2024. The context is worth noting. In 2018, Hungary’s prime minister … Continue reading “Hungary to get a new university – from China. Here’s why it matters and doesn’t”

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With the pandemic as priority, countries will have to hold off on defence spending

by Rashmee

Posted on April 21, 2020 / The National


Predictions, as the American baseball player Yogi Berra once said, are hard, especially about the future. And forecasts are especially perilous in the midst of a global pandemic. But the coronavirus crisis is indisputably changing our view of what is important. Could it take a pandemic to redefine the idea of what constitutes national security? … Continue reading “With the pandemic as priority, countries will have to hold off on defence spending”

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Erdorgan waves his refugees trump card in Europe’s face

by Rashmee

Posted on February 28, 2020


Today (Friday, Feb. 28), Turkey’s president Erdogan has been speaking to US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron about the situation in Syria. The sub-text of any conversation with the Europeans is: Or else. Or else, we’ll release the refugees we hold into Europe. Mr Erdogan’s party, the Justice … Continue reading “Erdorgan waves his refugees trump card in Europe’s face”

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Mr Trump’s proposed NATOME will be in the Middle East. That’s as ludicrous as the acronym

by Rashmee

Posted on February 14, 2020


It’s hard to see the rationale for Donald Trump’s call on the NATO alliance to increase its involvement in the Middle East.  He’s dreamt up a name for the mission – NATOME (NATO plus the initials of Middle East) – but beyond, there’s no clarity on anything very much. NATO is primarily focused on collective … Continue reading “Mr Trump’s proposed NATOME will be in the Middle East. That’s as ludicrous as the acronym”

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Nato is not threatened by Macron’s call for strategic clarity but by the values gap with Turkey

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2020


I’m with Peter Ricketts on NATO. The man who served as the UK’s permanent representative  to the defense alliance from 2003 to 06, has said (paywall) that Emmanuel Macron’s doubts deserve a sensible and measured response. That is entirely true. Instead of rebukes from Donald Trump and Angela Merkel, Mr Macron’s attempt to force attention … Continue reading “Nato is not threatened by Macron’s call for strategic clarity but by the values gap with Turkey”

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NATO’s survival strategy is a bit like Madonna’s

by Rashmee

Posted on April 4, 2019


Today, April 4, is the big birthday of a great big organisation. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is 70 years old and as with anything old – people, things, institutions – its relevance is being questioned. But despite US President Donald Trump’s scepticism about NATO, the organisation is in pretty good health. It’s soon to … Continue reading “NATO’s survival strategy is a bit like Madonna’s”

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Just how wide is the Atlantic?

by Rashmee

Posted on March 18, 2019


The Atlantic is the second largest of the world’s oceans. At 106,460,000 square kilometres, it covers roughly 20 per cent of the earth’s surface. Right now, it seems wider than ever before. The old world – Europe – and the new – America – are at odds, unable to see points of compromise and, more to the point, even … Continue reading “Just how wide is the Atlantic?”

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America in the Middle East in 2019

by Rashmee

Posted on January 4, 2019


There is every chance America’s half-in half-out posture in the Middle East will create massive confusion this year. As of December 31, Donald Trump’s America was positioned as follows: ** It is scheduled to withdraw troops from Syria, but not any time quick. After a year-end lunch with President Trump at the White House, Republican … Continue reading “America in the Middle East in 2019”

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Forget Trump for a minute. What was Turkey’s Erdogan up to at NATO summit?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 19, 2018


All the attention before, during and after the NATO summit has been focused on Donald Trump and the US attitude to the 29-country military alliance. There’s been little notice taken of Turkey, which has the second largest standing military force in NATO, after the US Armed Forces, recently re-elected Recep Tayyip Erdogan and elevated him to the … Continue reading “Forget Trump for a minute. What was Turkey’s Erdogan up to at NATO summit?”

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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