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Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR

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Obama Hustles Modi, Did He Succeed?

...Indeed, the US objective has always been to recruit India in its containment strategy against China... However, the moment Obama and the spin doctors in his entourage took off for home, Indian officials scrambled to do fire-fighting, distancing themselves from their «strategic misinterpretation» of the joint strategic vision statement. According to them, Modi made it clear to Obama that India’s independent foreign policies would not allow any «third power» (read US) to forge a common front against China...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 30.01.2015


 

Obama Prefers Arabia to Taj Mahal (II)

...The US desperately needs Saudi cooperation to address the crisis in Yemen... Today, however much he may respect Brzezinski as a guide and mentor on contemporary world politics («Grand Chessboard»), for Obama himself politically, the crisis in Yemen has the potential to snowball into a showdown with the Republican-dominated Congress and derail the US’ talks with Iran and wreck his entire Middle East agenda...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 28.01.2015


 

Obama Prefers Arabia to Taj Mahal (I)

Just hours before the US president Barack Obama took off from Washington for his three-day state visit to India beginning on Sunday, he ordered to simply chop off a poignant slice of his tour itinerary – a memorable visit to the Taj Mahal... Obama decided that he also urgently needed to be in Saudi Arabia and, therefore, once the transactional part of his India visit was over, he would head straight for Riyadh... Clearly, Obama intends to engage first hand at the very earliest the new Saudi leadership under King Salman. A criticality arises, since King Salman who is in the late seventies is known to be suffering from Alzheimer’s, and according to the Wall Street Journal, US officials do not consider him to be a strong or healthy ruler in his own right, which inevitably raises the possibility of others in the royal family coming to the forecourt in a matter of time...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 27.01.2015


 

The Lankan Transition Resets Indian Ocean Politics (II)

...The Anglo-American sponsorship of the ‘regime change’ in Sri Lanka means that the West is no longer a discontented party looking in but has become an active player... But the key question in regional politics will be: How far do the Anglo-American interests and Indian interests converge over Sri Lankan developments?.. No doubt, Britain’s recent return to the ‘east of Suez’ (following the establishment of a military base in Bahrain) prompts London to regain its traditional influence over the political elites in Colombo... For the US, of course, Sri Lanka is situated between Diego Garcia and the Malacca Straits; it straddles the sea-lanes of the Indian Ocean through which China conducts the bulk of its foreign trade (including imports of oil)...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 14.01.2015


 

The Lankan transition resets Indian Ocean politics (I)

The defeat of the incumbent Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential election on Thursday was neither completely unexpected nor was inevitable, as the narrow victory of his opponent Maithripala Sirisena testifies. But its significance is nonetheless far-reaching. What happened may not have the look of a classic ‘regime change’ – ‘color revolution’ as in Georgia or a coup as in Ukraine... No doubt, the new government will reset the compass of national and regional policies and its impact will be felt far and wide, since Sri Lanka happens to be one of the most coveted real estates in the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean. For the United States, Sri Lanka figures as a potential ‘lynchpin’ in its rebalance strategy in Asia; for Britain, its return to the east of Suez demands reclaiming the mentorship of the political elites in Colombo; for China, it is a vital hub in its Maritime Silk Road strategy; while, for India, that island falls within what it regards as its ‘sphere of influence’...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 12.01.2015


 

2014: Two Events that Shook the World

The year 2014 has been a sensational year. It is the year that some hasten to bookmark as the year World War III began unobtrusively, stealthily, inexorably – involving as-yet indeterminate contestants. The tumultuous arrival of the Islamic Caliphate spearheaded by the Islamic State, the outbreak of the Ebola virus, kidnapping of 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram – the year has had its fair share of blood-curdling events. It has been the year that the US economy showed credible signs of recovery, but in which the US also admitted defeat in a half-century old campaign to bring the Cuban revolution down on its knees... However, it is two major international developments that form a cluster by itself because of their profound impact on the future trajectory of world order. They are: the crisis in Ukraine and the emergence of China as the world’s largest economy...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 31.12.2014


 

A Clean Break is Needed (III)

...Without doubt, the Peshawar school attack is a defining moment. Pakistan cannot afford to carry on as before. Perhaps, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could be given the benefit of doubt when he insists that Pakistan will no more differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban. In immediate terms, Sharif’s handling of the Indian demand for continued detention of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, operations commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba who was a key operative in masterminding the Mumbai terrorist strike in November 2008, becomes a test case...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 25.12.2014


 

A Clean Break is Needed (II)

At first sight, the Afghan-Pakistani differences and disputes pose the single biggest negative feature of the regional security scenario in South Asia. However, that will be to underestimate the potency of the dark clouds gathering on the horizon of India-Pakistan relationship.  While the Afghan-Pakistan problem is easily definable, that is not the case with the unfinished business of the Partition involving India and Pakistan in 1947 where politics mixes with religion, national identity and a huge backlog of blood-soaked history...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 24.12.2014


 

A Clean Break is Needed (I)

The ghastly attack on an army school in Peshawar last Tuesday appears to be a topping point, finally, in Pakistan’s existential struggle with terrorism. Will the Pakistani leadership rise to the challenge? An equally daunting challenge awaits the policymakers in New Delhi. How does the Indian leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi respond to the watershed event of last week in Peshawar?..

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 22.12.2014


 

Modi, Putin and the World Order (II)

...Modi is not bogged down in ideology when it comes to India’s relations with the world community. He views the world order almost exclusively through the prism of India’s interests... Modi cannot be unaware of the ground rules of predatory capitalism. His cautious remarks to the media in Putin’s presence suggest that while he may not take recourse to a path of strategic defiance, on the other hand, he seems acutely conscious that abject surrender would only set the stage for further demands and the ultimate outcome would be detrimental to his government’s nationalist agenda and the protective system it promotes for India’s economic and cultural independence...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 19.12.2014




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR

Obama Hustles Modi, Did He Succeed?

...Indeed, the US objective has always been to recruit India in its containment strategy against China... However, the moment Obama and the spin doctors in his entourage took off for home, Indian officials scrambled to do fire-fighting, distancing themselves from their «strategic misinterpretation» of the joint strategic vision statement. According to them, Modi made it clear to Obama that India’s independent foreign policies would not allow any «third power» (read US) to forge a common front against China...

30.01.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
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