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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 (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


 

Opportunity in the Arctic: Defrosting Russia and America's Chilly Relationship

While the Arctic might not seem like a priority for many Americans, it should not be overlooked as an important region for salvaging the U.S.-Russian relationship.  

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 13.01.2015


 

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


 

Business as usual. Russia remains a key strategic partner for India

President Vladimir Putin's visit has served an important purpose at this juncture, that of underlining politically that Russia remains a key strategic partner for India. With perceived stagnation in India-Russia ties, improving India-US ties and a sharp deterioration in US-Russia relations, for us it was opportune to signal this internationally.

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 16.12.2014


 

Modi, Putin and the World Order (I)

A handful of people in Delhi would know that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a secret plan to take the Chinese President Xi Jinping who visited India in September to see his native town of Vadnagar in Gujarat, an ancient settlement with a history that goes back to 2500 B.C... But Modi’s secret plan was also a reflection of his distilled worldview, rich in political symbolism, insofar as it flagged his devotion to the ‘Asian century’... The following remarks by Modi conveyed his unreserved support of Russia – and Putin’s decisive leadership of his country, in particular – and, indeed, this has been articulated against the backdrop of the Cold-War like trends in world politics and the concerted Western strategies to ‘isolate’ Russia... «President Putin and I agreed that this is a challenging moment in the world. Our partnership and the strong sensitivity that we have always had for each other’s interests will be a source of strength to both countries…»

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 16.12.2014




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Finian CUNNINGHAM

Brussels’ New Russia Sanctions Fuel for Eventual EU Bonfire

...Moreover, the leftwing Syriza government has denounced EU sanctions against Russia as baseless and has openly welcomed fraternal relations with president Vladimir Putin and Moscow. The inauguration of Alexi Tsipras as Greek prime minister also this week marks the election of the first EU government that is explicitly anti-austerity and vowing to repudiate the authority of Brussels. The European Council, led by former Polish president Donald Tusk, decided to extend travel bans and asset freezes on a list of Russia officials allegedly over the violence in Ukraine...

31.01.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
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