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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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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Syria’s woes go much beyond the civil war. There’s geography and connectedness too

by Rashmee

Posted on December 4, 2019


News that the Syrian pound had hit a record low ($1=920 LS) was a reminder of how futile it is for any one country to wall itself off from the world because geography will find you. In Syria’s case, neighbouring Lebanon’s financial and political crisis is the reason for the sharp drop in its currency’s … Continue reading “Syria’s woes go much beyond the civil war. There’s geography and connectedness too”

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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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India’s internet gag in Kashmir has completed 105 days

by Rashmee

Posted on November 18, 2019


India’s internet gag completed 105 days on Sunday, November 17. The Wire’s Mudasir Ahmed reported the milestone – if 105 days can be called a milestone, being neither a nice round number, nor particularly memorable. But the report came in the context of a different sort of milestone – Kashmir’s local government departments were restive. … Continue reading “India’s internet gag in Kashmir has completed 105 days”

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Did you know? The #Syria that’s not in the news

by Rashmee

Posted on November 14, 2019


For a short time, Syria had faded somewhat from the news agenda. That was either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you see it. But now it’s back and it’s time to consider a few interesting points about Syria from British Arabist Diana Darke’s book, ‘The Merchant of Syria: A History of Survival’. … Continue reading “Did you know? The #Syria that’s not in the news”

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In Syria, history is repeating itself

by Rashmee

Posted on October 27, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


What will be deemed normal in the Turkish-annexed part of Syria is likely to be just as arbitrary as in Russified Crimea. In Syria, other people’s history from lands near and far is repeating itself — not as farce but as a parody. Developments in Syria in 2019 are an ironic imitation of Iraq in … Continue reading “In Syria, history is repeating itself”

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Trump has threatened sanctions on Turkey if it goes too far but he hasn’t defined too far

by Rashmee

Posted on October 12, 2019


Turkey continues to push into Kurdish territory in Syria and the global criticism is rather confusing. Especially from the Trump administration – it gave Turkey the green light in the first place but now threatens sanctions if it goes too far. Neither Donald Trump nor his secretary of state, the oleaginous Mike Pompeo, have defined how far … Continue reading “Trump has threatened sanctions on Turkey if it goes too far but he hasn’t defined too far”

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The whole world should worry about Trump’s decision on the Golan Heights

by Rashmee

Posted on March 27, 2019


Israel’s prime minister Benajmin Netanyahu has put Donald Trump’s March 25 proclamation on the Golan Heights in perspective. “Everyone says you can’t hold an occupied territory, but this proves you can. If occupied in a defensive war, then it’s ours.” There you go. It’s exactly what everyone has lamented. As Quartz recently said, Mr Trump’s unilateral decision to … Continue reading “The whole world should worry about Trump’s decision on the Golan Heights”

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Surely it should be the Russians who now care enough to prevent ISIS colonising Syrian space

by Rashmee

Posted on February 9, 2019


Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria has set off much caterwauling about the potentially destabilizing vacuum he’s creating and the risk that ISIS will fill it. Multiple options are being explored by the Americans, according to The Washington Post. There is talk of a “safe” zone in Syria along the Turkish … Continue reading “Surely it should be the Russians who now care enough to prevent ISIS colonising Syrian space”

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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