[Manish Rai] With its permanent presence in Syria, Hezbollah wants to deliver the message that the borders have collapsed and that there are new rules of engagement, to the detriment of the Sunni countries as well as Israel.
[Manish Rai] The ethnic and sectarian imbalance within the Afghan national military creates misunderstanding and mistrust among different ethnic and sectarian groups towards the army, making it look like a foreign force.
[Manish Rai] The Damascus negotiations [between Assad and Kurds] are more realistically an attempt to test the waters and we should not have any high hopes from these initial talks. The negotiations will be long and arduous process, as the Assad regime is very centralized. keeping the country united and stable requires decentralization by way of delegating the powers at the local level. In multi-ethnic countries like Nigeria and India, this kind of model has arguably helped to hold these countries together.
[Manish Rai] Iranian currency, Rial, has lost 40% value since May when Donald Trump pulled out of Iran deal and announced sanctions. Now Rial is one of the most worthless currency on earth. What’s more, Iran is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years, leaving electricity output from hydropower plants at a bare minimum. Capital outflow surpassed the inflow. Last year, Iran had a capital account deficit of $11 billion and unemployment is above 11%. All these numbers indicate that Iran’s economy has become fragile and is quickly moving into a death spiral.
[Manish Rai] Iran is transferring the know-how in ballistic missiles to Yemenis. Iran is also using Yemen as a testing ground for its missiles. The greater Iranian support to Houthis is not surprising. What's surprising is that the Houthis, who claim they are fighting to liberate Yemen (in name of Yemeni nationalism), have blindly chosen to take orders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, even when these orders completely contradict their agenda.
[Manish Rai] Khalifa Haftar, a veteran general and strongman in Libya has recently returned to his stronghold and headquarter in the eastern city of Benghazi following an extended absence, including reported treatment in Paris hospital for a stroke. General Haftar has been part of the Libyan political scene for more than four decades, shifting from … Continue reading Hard to Replace Khalifa Haftar in Libya
[Manish Rai] Qud force, which is the Iranian regime’s primary foreign action arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist organizations and extremist groups across the region and around the world, is clearly an obstacle for the process of peacemaking and stabilization in the Middle East.