[Syafruddin Arsyad] After four years of war, many wonder what actually caused the parties to enter into a conflict that both sides are now finding hard to end.
[Bahauddin Foizee] Iran's IRGC had carried out the genocide and ethnic cleansing in Syria with the help from Assad’s army and Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. In Iraq, the IRGC had carried out the campaign with the help of sectarian elements in Iraqi army, Iran-backed militias and Hezbollah.
[John Bruton] Trump Administration's Middle East policy is increasing the risk of unintended conflict between the US forces and Iranian forces & loyal militias. The policy is also making a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict impossible and a one-state solution more inevitable.
[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.
[Dr. Manoj Kumar Mishra] While the intervening powers have palpably shown enough resolve in removing despotic regimes like the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam of Iraq or in keeping Assad Regime in Syria, they failed to provide any stable alternatives which could bring about normalcy and political and social stability.
[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.
[Muhammad Zulifikar Rakhmat] China’s expanding role in the Gulf during recent years has prompted much analysis, from both inside and outside the PRC. While these studies have enriched our understanding to a certain extent, they often fail to provide a sufficiently nuanced interpretation. A more comprehensive approach is necessary. The existing literature on China-GCC relations frequently … Continue reading Understanding the Chinese Approach to Gulf Affairs
When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24—jumping the gun by more than a year—the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of his opponents, dismissed 140,000 from their jobs, jailed a presidential candidate, and launched an … Continue reading Turkey’s President: Short Term Victory, Long Term Trouble