Shanghai is about as distant a place to have an academic conference on West Asia (Middle East for non-Asians). But with the United States suddenly unnerving many of its allies in the Persian Gulf – at least the Sunni ones. Also the Arab Spring happened, the Islamic State came out of nowhere and the third revolution to shake up the region was fracking. Read more
The decision of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to carry out airstrikes against Sunni militant groups in Libya on their own, without informing the United States or anyone else, is final confirmation that West Asia is now being driven by a whole host of independent players.
India is probably more dependent on the West Asia and North Africa region than any other part of the world, especially that big chunk of WANA that is around the Persian Gulf. And it is one of the regions which the Indian strategic community struggles to get its head around. Read more
The Syrian civil war is now a microcosm of everything that is wrong with West Asia. It’s about Shia versus Sunni, Persian versus Gulf Arab, Israel versus Syria, United States versus Russia and China, al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood, and so on. Read more
Several days ago I was a guest of the Institute of International Strategic Studies at its 2012 geoeconomics conference. Geoeconomics, as its name implies, is the study of political economy that has strategic consequences. And there could not be a more apt place for this than Bahrain, the home of the IISS’s outpost in the Middle East. Read more
There is a curious divide between the popular Indian view of the relationship between New Delhi and Tehran — and how it is perceived within official circles in New Delhi. Read more
I’m coming to the view that the best way to judge a nation’s response to the new Arab political order is whether it preferred the status quo or not. The status quoits nations are not ideologically similar. Iran and Israel, India and Saudi Arabia – on this they are all on the same side. Read more
Indian refineries which import crude from Iran are running around in circles. With the third week of July over, Tehran has not intimated whether crude will be sent in August. Read more
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just gave a speech on US foreign policy and the world at large at the Council for Foreign Relations. Read more
The nuclear safety summit showed that no one is really interested in foreign policy leadership right now.
Barack Obama’s nuclear safety summit was about a topic that, like Mom and apple pie, no one can really be against. But it was remarkably thin on actual accomplishment.