Analysis articles

The Red split

With the Soviet Union having broken up and China still going strong, it is time we examined – a century after the Russian revolution and more than a quarter century after the Soviet collapse – why the two communist giants went different ways and whether there were inherent differences between the two. To elucidate, can […]

Bombastic Trump blunders into the Middle Kingdom

Donald Trump is off to China this week and in typical style, he’s blundering his way into the country with all the grace of a bull in a china shop. While most guests bring flowers, the US president brings complaints – especially of the trade variety. He warmed up for the tour by calling the […]

This is not just about Catalonia. This is about democracy itself

Catalonia is right now the only territory in the European Union (EU) that has been denied the supreme law that its citizens have voted for; the parliament that its citizens elected; the president that this parliament elected; and the government that this president appointed in the exercise of his powers. Acting in an arbitrary, undemocratic, […]

Trump trip is an opportunity to ease US-China trade irritants

US President Donald Trump’s first state visit to China is supposed to be a historic opportunity for both countries to tackle problems that bedevil bilateral ties. The visit is also seen as a chance to deepen long-term trust and cooperation between the world’s two largest economies. In addition to security issues, trade and economic cooperation […]

The heartbreaking stupidity of America’s gun laws

Another year, another church. Another month, another mass killing. Another day, another political shrug about gun massacres across the United States. There is still some shock left in this uniquely American series of mass killings. And with that shock, maybe a small glimmer of hope that the silent majority of Americans might demand something more […]

America’s wars are spreading more chaos in Africa

The Indonesian military killed as many as one million suspected Communists in the mid-1960s, paving the path for a dictator, Suharto, who ruled the country for more than three decades. Newly declassified documents from the United States embassy in Jakarta reveal an extraordinary degree of American complicity in what remains one of the Cold War’s […]

Renewed Asia alliance works to curb China’s regional ambitions

US President Donald Trump is touring Asia at a moment when the region’s security situation is practically white-hot. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, recognizing that the world’s “center of gravity is shifting to the heart of the Indo-Pacific,” called on the region’s democratic powers to pursue “greater engagement and cooperation.” They – including Trump’s […]

Race heats up for zones of influence in Syria

As the anti-Daesh fight nears an end, the race for zones of influence is flaring up among the big foreign stakeholders, Russia, Iran, the US and Turkey. The rivalry between the US and Russia is translated into action by racing to re-take the oil-rich provinces from Daesh. The Kurd-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), equipped and […]

Military alliance looks to the Far East

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato), outlined the alliance’s policy toward the Asia-Pacific region during a five-day trip to Japan and South Korea that concluded last Thursday. The main task of Nato is the protection of allied territories. However, according to Stoltenberg, the “geography of danger has shifted.” Global […]

Negligent Western diplomacy encourages Putin to expand and prosper

Donald Trump rose to power upon promises of abandoning foreign entanglements and putting “America First.” One state in particular is aggressively capitalizing on introverted Western nations becoming less focused on events beyond their borders. That state is Vladimir Putin’s Russia – using oil wealth to flex its diplomatic and military muscles. Opportunistic Russian diplomacy played […]

Considering better options in the energy policy

According to a press report, the government of Bangladesh (GOB) is drafting a new energy policy. The Adviser in charge of Energy, Power and Mineral Resources, told a workshop meeting on energy reporting that the government is now engaged in completing at the earliest a comprehensive energy policy for the country. This is, no doubt, […]

Europe celebrates ‘oppressed’ cultures but demonises Catalonians

There are two wildly contradictory conceptions of Europe that manage to co-exist in current political fashion. The first, of which we hear much, is of the continent’s quite recent incarnation as an enlightened over-arching organisation: a liberal confederation of member states which transcends the old evils of nationalism and enmity, and actively repudiates its imperial […]

Uzbekistan paves way for Central Asia business reforms

The 15th edition of the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report, which surveys tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, lawyers and accountants for on-the-ground insight into commercial and regulatory conditions across a dozen categories, showed Uzbekistan as one of the top 10 reformers over the past year among the 190 countries tracked. The favorable publicity for Uzbekistan […]

Saudi crown prince is a force for moderation, unlike Tehran

This week, Iran’s state-owned media hailed the regime for supposedly being a constructive player in the region and creating hope for the younger generation. Tehran claims that President Hassan Rouhani, with the blessing of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – who has long seen himself as leader of the Muslim world – is the force of […]

Mueller probe and the heart of darkness

While the biggest news of the day is the indictments [United States Justice Department special counsel] Robert Mueller has handed down against US President Donald Trump’s former aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, he has also released a plea bargain with a minor figure in the Russia scandal by the name of George Papadopoulos. And […]

America is divided and (surprise!) it’s not all Trump’s fault

Polling data from the Pew Research Center this month confirmed what many Americans already believed; the political divides between them are widening and intensifying. On 10 political values issues that Pew has surveyed since 1994 – including views on immigration, racial discrimination and the role of government in helping those in need – the most […]

Amid fuss over Diwali fireworks ban, air pollution plagues India

Social media lit up like a fireworks display soon after the Indian Supreme Court on October 9 temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in Delhi-National Capital Region. The ruling led to ambiguity and confusion. Intriguingly, a few celebrities opined that bursting firecrackers on the eve of Diwali […]

Why Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel is now in peril

If for the last 23 years, peace between Jordan and Israel was described as “cold”, it is now definitely in the freezer! Relations have been tested since both countries signed a historic peace treaty in 1994; the killing by a Jordanian soldier of seven Israeli schoolgirls in March 1997 in Baquora in the Jordan Valley, […]

Asia-Pacific trade at the epicenter of 4th reactionary wave

Perversity, futility and jeopardy: These three words mark the historical roots of the current geopolitical turbulence surrounding the international liberal order in decline. In 1991 the late political economist Albert O Hirschman published The Rhetoric of Reaction to map the three waves of anti-liberal ideas that have shaped both conservative and progressive politics of intransigence […]

Saudi Economy 2.0 versus OPEC 2.0

Saudi Arabia this week unveiled its ambitious plan to use its sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), to move the economy away from oil. The plan is the start of what the government coined as the Saudi Economy 2.0. Themes such as digitalization, urban development, investments in smart technology and clean energy are […]

Time for Vietnam to lop zeros off its currency

The Vietnamese dong is one of the highest-denominated currencies in the world. At the time of writing 1 US dollar was equal to 22,728 dong. It takes US$44 to become a dong millionaire. The only official currency that is higher is Iran’s, where $1 is equal to around 34,000 rial. The highest unofficial currency is […]

Before we confront Iran, expose its secrets

We all understand Iran, a regime seeking control and influence, but in fact we do not genuinely know it. For the Iranian regime, the end justifies the means, whether it be through selling cigarettes, counterfeit money, drug trafficking, money laundering, collecting and channeling the Khums religious tax for military purposes, establishing complex networks of companies […]

Raqqa has fallen, but terror is here to stay

On the same day that Raqqa fell, the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, gave a set of interviews in which he said Britain faced the most severe terrorist threat that he has seen in over three decades working in the intelligence agencies. This contrast highlights the degree to which the risks facing the UK have […]

Iran and this dog’s dinner of diplomatic deception

Trump violates the international treaty! “Trump tears up pact signed by world powers!” These were some of the headlines when US President Donald Trump’s refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the “nuclear deal.” Some in the Western media said would complicate the task of curbing North Korea as Pyongyang might conclude that reaching any deal […]

Why globalization is needed more than ever

As indicated in a previous article and my new book, Developed Nations and the Economic Impact of Globalization, the world needs globalization now more than at any time in its history. Developed economies require access to external markets to climb out of the economic hole the 2007 financial crisis and policy mistakes have dug. The […]