The removal of 11 top ministers in the Riyadh government last week by the young crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, is a geopolitical upheaval, the implications are serious. Domestically, the kingdom is seeking to liberalise its conservative society and move away from oil-dependency – evident from the expected listing of its crown jewel Aramco. For India, which imports oil largely from West Asia, instability could cause a spike in prices, leaving less for its ambitious reforms. Globally, there is now space for new alignments – in the Great Power plays, in the Shia-Sunni rivalry, and in the war on terrorism.
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Prince Salman’s accession to the throne after the death of Saudi King Abdullah on 23 January 2015 has been a game changer, both domestically and in West Asian politics. Within days, he sidelined rivals within the House of Saud, and took on Iran with a confrontational policy. But two years later, the results of his new strategy disappoint
Today ISIS is the gravest international security threat. To defeat ISIS, the world should pay heed to India’s experience of the need to isolate state sponsors of terrorism. Ultimately, only when Saudi Arabia acknowledges the danger to its own survival from past policies of alleged support to extremist groups, can it be a reliable partner in the fight against ISIS.
The announcement in June of a Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran has to be seen in the context of the strategic dimensions of India’s relations with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, and the U.S. And it has far-reaching implications for India’s policy towards West Asia
Obama’s strategy to target the IS in Syria within the framework of a U.S.-led international coalition has met with a tepid response. There are reports that the U.S may offer India a non-NATO ally status during Modi’s upcoming visit in a bid to seek greater support – a gesture that India will do well to disregard.
The rise of the militant ISIS will alter the stability and future of all West Asian countries, and can impact India in multiple ways. India must re-evaluate its West Asia policy, and address the safety of its nationals in Iraq, the security of its oil supplies, and the fallout on South Asia of this resurgence of strife
The India-Japan alliance needs to be viewed through a prism broader than that of "containing" China, and by treating the Indian and Pacific oceans as a single entity. Such an alliance has the potential to strengthen the geopolitical security of India and Japan, along with that of all their allies and associates
The recent UNSC Resolution, which mandates the complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, demonstrates that after more than a year, a degree of international agreement on the Syrian issue has been possible. In the evolving situation, Russia will now emerge as a major player
Can the world aspire to a future where the use of force is not seen as leadership? Can the U.S. and former colonial powers like France and UK, think differently and reject the use of force as first resort? Can China and India craft alternatives?
Today, the role Wahabbism plays in geopolitics poses a severe security risk not just to the West but also to the Muslim world. The West needs to rethink its strategy of promoting Wahabbi International, and realise that Wahabbism cannot be a moderated geopolitical asset