Middle East

Trump Giving Up Middle East to Foes

[Manish Rai] The US leadership has to understand that it is facing constantly major challenges in the region from its foes and that containing these foes requires high-level attention and the commitment of significant military, economic and diplomatic resources rather than a gradual exit from the region.

Syria, Hezbollah’s Next Lebanon

[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.

War against ISIS: Does the Battlefield Success Alone Count?

[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.

Cooperation between Assad and Kurds in Syria

[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.

Iran on the Verge of Total Revolution

[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.

Houthis: Iran’s New Hezbolla in Making

[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.

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