[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.
[Cynthia M. Lardner] Russian President Vladimir Putin tries to legitimize his disregard of the ‘rule of law’ by claiming that all former territories dating back to the Byzantine Era and native Russian speakers must be protected by “Mother Russia”. However, the reality is: these territories give Russia access to warm water ports necessary to ship its oil and weapons.
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