Pakistani General Raheel Sharif walked into a hornet’s nest when he stepped off a private jet in Riyadh two weeks ago to take command of a Saudi-led, 41-nation military alliance. Things have gone from bad to worse since.
Turkey’s parliament is this week fast tracking the dispatch of up to 3,000 troops to Qatar, home to the country’s military base in the Middle East. Certain to stiffen Qatar’s resolve to resist Saudi and UAE-led pressure to force it to change policies, the Turkish move comes amid hints that the kingdom and its allies may seek to undermine the rule of Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
US President Donald Trump left Israel on Tuesday afternoon, 23 May 2017, after a visit lasting just 28 hours. In the words of the leader in the Jerusalem Post the next morning, “his major contribution to the peace process so far has been his successful resuscitation of non-cynical discourse on the prospects of peace. But the truly hard work has barely begun.”
“With the election of a right-wing populist president strongly appealing to racist, xenophobic, and misogynist elements in society, it is hardly surprising that anti-Semitism episodes flared up right after Donald Trump was elected in 2016.”
A leaked long-term plan for China’s massive $56 billion investment in Pakistan projects the goals of the Beijing’s One Belt, One Road initiative as a ploy for economic domination, the creation of surveillance states, and allowing China to shape media landscapes.
US President Donald Trump has one attribute that his greatest friends and most impassioned enemies are agreed on – he is a great deal-maker. Deal-making has been the key to his business success, which has been considerable. And way back in the 1980s he co-authored “The Art of the Deal” which reached number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, and stayed there for 13 weeks.
Forced to acknowledge that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement it concluded two years ago with the world’s major powers, US President Donald J. Trump appears to be groping for ways to provoke Iran to back out of the deal. If successful, Mr. Trump could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East at a time that a Chinese agreement to build a drone manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia could initiate a similar drone race that threatens to take hostilities in the region to a whole new, more dangerous level.
Remarks at conference on Regional Cooperation Initiatives in the Asia-Pacific and the Emergence of New Eurasian Geopolitics, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. One thing last week’s US air strikes in Syria highlight is the fact that the sands are continuously shifting as regional and world powers jockey for position in a future Eurasian world order. The strikes raise questions that go far beyond potential greater US involvement in the Syrian conflict. The answer to those questions will likely impact the role America may play in Eurasia and the Asia Pacific.
In a conference for the launch of a supplementary study programme for a group of Syrian scholarship holders at the University of Konstanz, Wolfgang Seibel, a professor of Political and Administrative Science at the University of Konstanz, presented a keynote on important historical facts of Middle East politics over the 20th century and Germany’s resurrection from rubbles after the Second World War, highlighting the role of leadership, institution building and the privileges, responsibilities and obligations come along with them.
What is the greatest difference between the cold-war order and the 21st-century global order? A cold war joke offers a good hint. An East German school teacher asks little Fritz: “Fritzchen, why are you always speaking of our Soviet brothers? It’s ‘Soviet friends’.” Fritz responds: “Well, you can pick your friends.” Back then, they had no freedom to choose, but still enjoyed a form of stability through comradeship or alliances in a bipolar balance of power. Now, we can make choices, but these choices do not guarantee any degree of strategic stability. Globalisation has injected a sense of fluidity, uncertainty,…