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Nikolai BOBKIN

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Will Moscow and Riyadh Get Closer?

...With King Salman becoming the head of state Saudi Arabia has entered a period of transformation. There is ground to believe the Kingdom will review its foreign policy priorities, including the relations with Russia. Until recently the bilateral relationship had been stable. The both sides had strived to keep up the balance in the region. But the Kingdom is an ally of the United States. It spoiled the things. This factor negatively affects the bilateral relationship...  

Nikolai BOBKIN | 30.05.2015


 

Afghan Insurgency Spreading North

Afghanistan comes to the fore of Central Asian agenda. The situation has greatly exacerbated in the northern Afghan provinces... Until recently it had been widely believed that the central authorities in Kabul were fighting the Taliban. Now a third belligerent emerged. Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, has said that the presence of Daesh, or the Islamic State, is growing. According to him, the group plans to seize control of Central Asia and then move to Russia. The efforts to fight the Islamic State in Afghanistan are not enough to counter the threat...

Nikolai BOBKIN | 28.05.2015


 

War in Afghanistan Comes Close to Tajikistan Border

...The civil war in Afghanistan has approached the Tajikistan border. The fighting takes place in Imam Sahib District where the Taliban holds its position on the shore of Panj River... The fighting is moving from south to north. The Taliban forces control about 80% of Badakhshan province located near the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region in eastern Tajikistan... Evidently all the Washington’s assurances about the stabilization of the situation in the country are groundless. The mission set 14 years ago before the US forces were deployed in Afghanistan has not been accomplished. No matter that, the operation Enduring Freedom has served as justification for bringing US troops near the borders of the Community of Independent States...

Nikolai BOBKIN | 19.05.2015


 

Obama Meets Arab Allies at Camp David to Address Middle East Security

...The White House continues to call Iran a state sponsoring terrorism, supporting the Syrian regime and violating human rights etc. Obama says the sanctions will be in force even if a nuclear deal is reached in case Iran does not change its reckless behavior. The US Middle East policy appears to be increasingly illogical and dangerous, including not Iran only but Israel as well... The progress on nuclear talks could become a factor of regional stabilization but the policy of Obama administration may turn it into a source of future conflicts.

Nikolai BOBKIN | 19.05.2015


 

First Month of War in Yemen

...Saudi Arabia cannot defeat the Houthis without having boots on the ground. The Saudi allies are not chomping at the bit for deploying ground forces in Yemen. Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates have no capability to conduct large-scale ground operations. A couple of battalions would not be enough. The first month of war in Yemen showed that these states have no wish to get further embroiled in the Yemeni conflict under the banner of Saudi Kingdom. Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan continue to watch the situation creep. They are in no rush to start a direct confrontation with Iran.

Nikolai BOBKIN | 28.04.2015


 

Ground Phase of Operation to Establish Control over Yemen Starts on Saudi Soil

...Saudi Arabia's King Salman on April 21 ordered the Saudi Arabian National Guard, widely regarded as the kingdom's best equipped military ground force, to take part in Riyadh's campaign against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen... The National Guard is a separate military structure run by its own ministry. It will be responsible for control of border and Shia-populated areas. This is especially important because the Saudis started the ground phase of the operation on their own soil. Saudi Shiites have demonstrated to protest the intervention by Sunni regimes into Yemeni conflict...

Nikolai BOBKIN | 25.04.2015


 

US Responds to Escalation of Conflict in Yemen

The US expands its involvement into the events in Yemen... The USS Theodore Roosevelt - along with her escort ship, the USS Normandy, a guided-missile cruiser - left the Persian Gulf on April 19 route for the Arabian Sea, to help enforce the blockade. The ships will join the naval force including seven warships and three auxiliary vessels deployed in the Arabian Sea, the Aden Gulf and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. Formally the mission is to ensure the vital shipping lanes in the region remain open and safe... The real purpose of naval blockade is to deny Iranian ships access to Yemeni ports and deprive the insurgent Houthis of aid coming from Iran...

Nikolai BOBKIN | 22.04.2015


 

Bahrain Risks to Follow Yemen

...The Crown Prince of Bahrain, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, blasted U.S. foreign policy in an interview and warned that its «schizophrenia» will lead the Arab world to ally with Russia. Using unusually hostile language, al-Khalifa said American policy is «transient and reactive», and «America seems to suffer from schizophrenia when it deals with the Arab world. He said the US foreign policy depends on forthcoming election in two years and there is no long-term policy. He expressed doubts that that Arab states could rely on the West. Bahrain does not trust Obama and strives to get US Congress backing...

Nikolai BOBKIN | 21.04.2015


 

Iran, USA and Russia after Lausanne

Those who have recently said they expect a rapprochement between the United States and Iran will probably be frustrated. The founder of the Republic of Iran ayatollah Khomeini warned that the day American hypocrites will support the Islamic revolution the country may declare a period of mourning. The Iran’s supreme spiritual leader ayatollah Khamenei believes that Iran may change its tactics but the fundamental principles of the 1979 revolution must be left intact. Tehran shows no intent to get close to the United States...

Nikolai BOBKIN | 10.04.2015


 

Saudi Arabia May Stop Being US Major Regional Ally

Riyadh is dissatisfied with the United States’ Middle East policy. The US stand on Iran’s nuclear program and the looming normalization of relations between Washington and Tehran are the main apples of discord. Iran is the main Saudi Arabia’s rival for influence in the Persian Gulf and the whole Middle East. The kingdom is the leading US satellite in the Arab world. All of a sudden it faces the possibility of losing its position... With a settlement reached on nuclear program and sanctions lifted, Iran may become a more attractive partner in the eyes of Americans.

Nikolai BOBKIN | 08.04.2015




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR

India’s passage through Central Asian steppes needs rethink

The steppes of Central Asia give away their secrets only grudgingly. The deserving ones have to convincingly show their capacity for persistence and tenacity – and, of course, sheer audacity. That was how Genghis Khan succeeded in conquering Bukhara...

04.07.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
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