For this week at least Vladimir Putin must be feeling quite smug.

After getting some serious snubbing from Barack Obama, including the first cancellation of a bilateral summit between US and Russian leaders in 50 years, US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Geneva trying to bridge the gap between himself and his Russian counterpart on a UN resolution over Syria. Seems like the Cold War all over. Read more

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Almost everyone opposes nuclear weapons even though there is a strong case for saying they have helped keep the peace in many periods, like the Cold War and even between India and Pakistan. Read more

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By the standard of the Nonaligned Movement, the recently-concluded summit in Tehran was relatively exciting. The United Nations chief, Ban Ki-moon, severely criticized the host country, Iran. The latter’s boss, Ayatollah Khamenei, verbally abused the UN in return. The new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, inveigled against the Syrian government, triggering a walkout by the latter’s delegation. Read more

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The Indian National Security Advisor, Shiv Shankar Menon, made a few brief remarks about India’s nuclear weapons programme at the Indian Council for World Affairs on 21 August. Read more

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On Indian independence day this year, the Times of India distributed a facscimile of its 15 August 1947 edition. On the newspaper’s second page was a short essay article predicting the future defence relationship between India and Pakistan. Read more

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The Shangri-La Dialogue celebrated its 10th anniversary by trying to talk about China without mentioning it directly by name. Read more

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Some stray thoughts about Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden al Qahtani (the family name that his family never used.) Read more

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The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and now South Africa) are beginning to make their mark on the global scene. Read more

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There has been some mild excitement, in a nice academic sort of way, about the recent declassification of two letters Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to US President John F. Kennedy asking that squadrons of the US Air Force be committed to defending India against the Chinese military in 1962. Read more

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