obama second term_0 Courtesy: U.S. Navy
10 November 2012

The second term

U.S. President Barack Obama will certainly have the benefit of continuity in his second term, but he has a range of impending crises to address immediately - be it to avert the so-called fiscal cliff before the end of the year when automatic cuts kick in or plan for the military drawdown from Afghanistan.

afghanistan route 606 Courtesy: Isafmedia/Flickr
25 October 2012

Afghanistan: Strategic depth to strategic peace

As the NATO troops prepare to pull out of Afghanistan in 2014, India is already positioned to take on a larger, pro-active role, which can radically alter the balance of power in South Asia. However, what will determine the future of security in the region, is how India and Afghanistan deal with Pakistan.

UNGA piece Courtesy: Patrick Gruban/WikimediaCommons
5 October 2012

UN General Assembly, partial attention

Is a focus on a nuclear Iran in international forums such as the UN General Assembly necessary and appropriate? At a time when other crises – including Syria and Palestine – require the world’s undivided attention, this inordinate focus raises major concerns.

Courtesy: FREEDOM HOUSE2/FLICKR
24 August 2012

Syria: What next?

With the Free Syrian Army being supplied aid by the West and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the endgame for the Syrian regime has begun. Does Assad's exit guarantee the replacement of autocracy with democracy? What implications will it have on regional politics?

morsi_0 Courtesy: gr33ndata/Flickr
9 August 2012

Islamism and democracy

The involvement of Islamists in democratic movements is usually dismissed as a mere ruse to attain political power. However, evidence suggests that people in Muslim-majority democracies support Islamist groups which challenge a dishonest government, rather than those who seek to establish Islamic autocracy.

Neelam on Syria Courtesy: FreedomHouse2/Flickr
6 July 2012

The unique tragedy of Syria

Simultaneous efforts to resolve the problem in Syria remain stymied even as more and more high level meetings and consultations take place. The more countries treat the situation as a proxy for political differences, the more it creates the conditions for a wider conflagration with an unpredictable outcome.

tightrope india us Courtesy: The White House
13 June 2012

Iran tests India’s policy

Apart from bilateral ties, also at play at the India-U.S. Strategic dialogue is the difficult triangulation in India’s relations with the U.S. and Iran. It does not serve India to get enmeshed in the U.S-Iran confrontation. Instead, the relationship must develop on the basis of realpolitik and mutual interest.

iran talks Courtesy: IAEA Imagebank/Flickr
8 June 2012

All to play for in Moscow

Ahead of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Moscow, the West seems confident that sanctions will induce Iran to settle on its uranium enrichment. But rather than arriving at a negotiated settlement by applying the principle of reciprocity, the West may look to anaesthetize oil markets.

Myanmar Sanctions Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Htoo Tay Zar
1 May 2012

Sanctions on Myanmar: Have they worked?

The West is quick to claim that their sanctions against Myanmar have forced the government to implement political and economic reforms in the country. However, such bans do not usually achieve their stated purpose of forcing regimes to change their behavior.

bahrain piece neelam Courtesy: LGEPR
24 April 2012

The Bahrain formula

With turmoil in the Middle East, a drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iran-Israel-U.S. conflict, the international community has paid little attention to the democracy of a small group of people - the Bahrainis. More worrisome, however, is that politics now responds to the elite.