November 23, 2017


A Very Abrahamic Feast

These days, the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims are celebrating the four day long Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice.” While many aspects of the feast, such as gatherings with family and friends, will probably sound very familiar to other religions, a particular practice that gives the feast its name can look a bit scary: The sacrifice of animals, often ... Read More »

The Many Roads to Kabul

  A few years ago, Pakistan made an extraordinary proposal to Afghanistan regarding the extraction and marketing of Afghan mineral wealth which is, according to the United States Geological Survey, worth around $1 trillion. It suggested that an Afghan, Pakistani and Chinese consortium be established to undertake this activity. It was a serious and thought out proposal for it was ... Read More »

Afghanistan, TTP and the Silk Road

For all intents and purposes, Pakistan is now entering the third phase of the war against extremists. The first phase was the Musharraf era, followed by Kayani-Zardari timeframe, and now Nawaz Sharif and the next army chief, will own the third and crucial stage of this struggle. Nawaz Sharif started his tenure focusing on the economy. However, the ground reality ... Read More »

Emerging Senate Deal May Slightly Change Obamacare

As Congressional negotiators put the final touches on a deal to avert national default and re-open the federal government, lawmakers are considering two small changes to the Affordable Care Act: an income verification system for individuals and families receiving subsides and a one-year delay in the law’s “reinsurance tax,” a little-known provision designed to spread risk among health care insurers ... Read More »

The New Threat to Turkey’s Security

Turkey lives in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the world. As such it has always has special security needs. Ankara’s regional foreign policy was traditionally based on treading cautiously and engaging in balancing acts in order to accommodate this delicate geopolitical situation. The overriding aim was always to ensure that one did not import the seemingly interminable troubles of ... Read More »

Enforcing or Negotiating Peace in Pakistan

We love the Afghan Taliban — the slayers of arrogant global superpowers — but not so much their brothers-in-arms in Pakistan, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Is there a method to our madness that only the khaki-inspired ‘strategic’ mindset is capable of comprehending? We have over 40,000 citizens and probably another 5,000 or so security personnel dead. We hear emphatic demands ... Read More »

Why Saudis Are Not in Harmony With US Over Egypt?

In a fractious, rife-with-conflicts Middle East, nothing is spared; worship houses are attacked and sport clubs, schools and markets have become unsafe with continued upticks in violence. Now, attention is focused on the Syrian dilemma, which has been colored in a sectarian hue: Sunni-Shiite/Alawi conflict. Another invisible fray is also taking place in that region, but it is so very ... Read More »

China and Latin America: Connected and Competing

The Global Rise of China The rise of China has stolen more headlines than any other global issue these days, stirring up questions about what China’s growing prominence really means, and how – more than why – it affects the world. While the rise of previous global powers took decades, if not centuries, China’s rise has been spectacularly fast and ... Read More »

Nobel Peace Prize Choice is Off The Mark

The Nobel Peace committee has failed to read the legend of Malala Yousafzai for what it’s worth. While it would be well-nigh impossible to fully configure her potential, the nearest anyone came to immortalizing her universal avatar was a banner in Nepal that read: “Every child’s sister, every parent’s daughter”. While this may be an emotional call even if well ... Read More »

India’s Central Asia Ambitions Outfoxed by China and Russia

At present, Moscow has essentially shut India out from Kyrgyzstan after sending the first installments of a new US$1 billion military aid package to the country. This follows the strategic setback that India suffered in 2010 when it lost use of the Tajikistan Ayni airbase to Russia. And in the two larger, energy-rich nations of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, New Delhi ... Read More »