July 28, 2017
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Tapping nectar
MAY-JUNE 2017: Russia is fast tracking a Chinese proposal to pump water from Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and carry it across two borders to help alleviate water shortages which seem to be a problem solver but some Russian environmentalists have started opposing this plan.
Succumbing to wish
MAY-JUNE 2017: China is in full flow in Cambodia and every footprint of foreign looks what the Chinese government would like to see. China has pushed US, Japan and Singapore and Taiwan as Cambodia’s prime investors. It is all China but there is a simmering crisis fast emerging as per IMF data Cambodia could very soon be a defaulter under the burden of Chinese debt which has got high interest rates and go bankrupt like Greece.
Combing down
MAY-JUNE 2017: After 2 August 1990, once Iraq had overrun its hapless former ally, Iraqi naval patrol boats were able to slip out of Umm Qasr and down the coast between Kuwait and Bubiyan Island. Iraq quickly secured the naval bases at Al Ahmadi, south of Kuwait City, and Shuwaikh, capturing most of the Kuwaiti Navy intact.
Lingering shadows
MARCH-APRIL 2017: Lenins theory that imperialism is driven by capitalist surpluses seems to hold true for China’s adventure into the Western region and Central Asian nations where China plans Belt and Road Initiative and dozens of bilateral economic projects in coming years.
Growing threat
MARCH-APRIL 2017: The rise of ISIS and Al Qaeda in the whole of MENA region and other parts of Africa will witness a grappling surge in their activities as the competition for aligning new members and young recruits are taking place in a war footing manner.
Alternate option
MARCH-APRIL 2017: The world is in search of a real global currency which should be acceptable to all parties and run global economic prospects smoothly for another 100 years at least. The idea of Euro has failed but now leaving a hole in the entire international monetary system.
Dealing by proxy
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017: Missiles and nuclear war fighting were the flavors of January of the new year. China has launched a nuclear blitzkrieg against India’s attempts to catch up with Chinese nuclear capabilities by successfully enhancing the range of its Agni series of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads deeper into the Chinese heartland with each successive version.
No identity
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017: The issue of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar is making headlines for quite some time but it is dangerously brewing a deadly cocktail in which outside intervention is becoming more likely and an armed militia could soon be formed to take revenge.
Brides for utopia
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017: Perhaps Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the most powerful, ruthless, horrific and well-funded terrorist group in recent history but it is able to attract the imagination of a section of Western women who are ready to fight with them and falling prey to their recruitment drive.
Great hopes
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2016: The surprising victory of Donald Trump as the next US President elect, defying all expert predictions, has sent the whole world into shock. While some people and world leaders have displayed their surprise and called Trump’s election as a disaster for the West, few segment has cheered his win and are looking forward to his leadership.
Safe haven
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2016: South East Asia is fast becoming a potential threat to the world commerce due to rising incidents of sea piracy. In past few years the region has witnessed an increase in the pirate attacks near Strait of Malacca and South China Sea.
Shifting axis
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2016: In view of escalating tension in Yemen, the Gulf of Aden is witnessing a strong surge of rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia and if not timely intervened then it may lead to a naval blockade against Iran in near future.
New avenues
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2016: Though ISIS is rapidly losing the grounds in Syria and Iraq, but it is not at all losing the war. Interestingly, the weakening of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is something that increases the risk of a major terrorist attack in other parts of the world. It is well-known that when a terrorist group is defeated on its own turf, it retaliates by carrying out a series of deadly attacks abroad.
Power projection
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2016: With both its conventional as well as nuclear powered submarine production lines well on stream India will have to decide what percentage of the entire Indian Navy fleet will have to be either diesel electric/air-independent propulsion and which types of surface vessels will have to be converted to nuclear propulsion. This factor will dictate the extent of its regional footprint and hence its power-projection capability.
Selling dreams
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2016: China is in Africa for economic reasons. China is home to more than 19 percent of the world’s population but only six percent of the world’s land area. More than 500 million Chinese live on less than $2.50 a day. The country must remain on a high growth trajectory in order to raise these people to middle-income status. An annual growth rate of seven percent, considered a bare minimum by China, requires enormous quantities of raw materials, including from abroad.
Power struggle
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2016: Nigeria based Boko Haram terror group has split into two factions, one loyal to Abubakar Shekau and the other to Abu Musab al-Barnawi, appointed by Boko Haram’s ally, the Islamic State. In 2015, rumours started spreading that Shekau had been killed or replaced after he failed to make a verified video appearance for the past year. Following the new appointment, Shekau, released an audio message in Arabic and Hausa accusing al-Barnawi of trying to stage a coup against him.
Dividing line
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2016: The violent clash between border forces of Afghanistan and Pakistan at Torkham crossing may appear to have ended, but it reflects a deep rooted disconnect between these two South Asian neighbors. Though the clashes in Torkham were triggered by the construction of a border post by Pakistan on its side, the border tensions are a symptom of a larger bilateral problem which if not tackled timely may have big and irreparable consequences.
Smart move
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2016: The joint Sino-Pak military patrol in north Jammu and Kashmir is essentially a method of formalizing an annexation of the Gilgit-Baltistan segment of Jammu and Kashmir into a joint ownership arrangement. It has to be read with the rigging of the elections in that portion of the former princely State and the pre-positioning of several thousand Chinese personnel of the People’s Liberation Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for laying the foundations of the road-rail-pipeline Economic Corridor from Xinjiang to Gwadar in strife-torn Balochistan.
Expanding footprints
JULY-AUGUST 2016: The recent surge of terrorist strikes, in Orlando, Jordan, Lebanon, Istanbul, Baghdad, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and now southern France is a sign of ISIS’s desperation to reassert its relevance, in the face of its string of losses on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq.
Need to comply
JULY-AUGUST 2016: China has got biggest shock to its emerging global superpower image and faced international embarrassment when the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled recently that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea and that it
New dimensions
JULY-AUGUST 2016: In order to strengthen India’s economic linkages, PM Modi recently travelled to four African nations, a direct indication of India’s shifting policy towards Africa and projecting itself as a trusted strategic partner of the continent.
Digital war
MAY-JUNE 2016: Though some reports from western countries are trying to portray that ISIS is losing its foothold but the reality draws a completely different picture. ISIS has grown tremendously since its beginnings as a spinoff group from al-Qaida, generating revenue from each territory it has conquered.
Deepening crisis
MAY-JUNE 2016: A series of events has jolted Chinas economy and rattled markets around the world. Early this year the Chinese stock market shed nearly a fifth of its value. Now the fresh data from China has confirmed its economy is continuing to lose steam. China’s slowing growth has been dragging the global economy as Beijing hopes for a shift towards services and consumption in its domestic market.
Clear stand
MAY-JUNE 2016: As the churning in South China Sea gradually develops into a face to face rivalry between the big powers, India will soon have to take a call on the pressures being applied to come out openly whether they want to align with the big powers.
Striking a balance
MARCH-APRIL 2016:Time changes everything. In diplomacy change comes more faster and unexpected than in any other segment of statecraft. Saudi Arabia and Israel are getting good friends in recent time which is aimed at tackling rising Iran and its influence in the region which can be harmful to both the nations as they perceive Iran as a strong rival.
Pushing for control
MARCH-APRIL 2016: If materialized, the creation of large-scale militias could plunge the country back into civil war, undo achievements in establishing conventional national forces, and divide the country into several fiefdoms controlled by militia commanders.
Show of strength
MARCH-APRIL 2016: The International maritime fleet review, held on the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Vishakhapatnam in February, showcased India’s naval might, represented by aircraft carriers and frontline warships, not only to all those who participated in  the review, but to those also who were observing the review from open sources.
Eluding solution
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2016: Recognizing the gravity of the deepening crisis in the South China Sea, the world's leading western powers have recently begun to speak out.
Promising venture
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2016: The 16th India-Russia summit in Moscow cleared the path for a few more joint projects in defence sector. This helped Russia make an emphatic comeback as India’s trusted and strategic partner.
Mounting tension
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015: Maritime sovereignty disputes in the region, particularly in the South China Sea, have been a source of tension and a destabilizing factor in the Asia-Pacific region. To translate the vision of “a peaceful and prosperous Community” into reality, ASEAN needs to address internal differences and garner a collective power of unity that pushes for a peaceful and durable solution to the South China Sea issue, such as setting up mechanisms to maintain maritime order and stability, prevent tensions and avoid escalation into armed conflicts.
Boosting ties
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015: India-Russia defence relations are set to receive a boost during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Moscow in the third week of December. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has done the ground work during his early November visit to Moscow during which he discussed issues ranging from the lease of second nuclear submarine to Fifth Generation Fighter aircraft and manufacture of weapon systems and platforms in India. Lot of contentious issues, like the maintenance problems of Su-30MKI and Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, will also be on the menu during Putin-Modi meeting.
Exploring potential
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015: The Sultanate of Oman is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and is well-known for its open market policies and an investor-friendly regime. Owing to its strategic location of being in the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the country has enjoyed a historical significance in global maritime trade since the ancient times.
Growing differences
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2015: Two nuclear neighbors in South Asia continue to draw world’s attention for their constant badmouthing towards each other. After the famous Ufa agreement in Russia on 10th July this year the Pakistani side backtracked on their promises to initiate talks on agreed parameters. India claimed victory on Ufa statement and Pakistan retaliated by upping the ante on the K word and India insisted, the National Security Advisor level talks must be held on the issue of terror first, as agreed in Ufa.
Renewed approach
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2015: The Malabar-2015 has created fresh ripples in the already rough sea of the Indian Ocean. After a gap of eight years, India will be hosting another multilateral naval exercise of three nations with USA and Japan. All the members of the origina
Lacking consensus
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2015: After nearly a decade of political struggle, the land-locked South Asian nation of Nepal recently passed a constitution. Nepal has adopted a new constitution aimed at bolstering its transformation to a peaceful democracy after decades of political instability and a long civil war.
Fleeing horses
JULY-AUGUST 2015: Chinas experiment with the creation of millionaire clubs is coming to a full circle but it leaves behind a dirty culture that will take decades for new generation of Chinese to clean and establish rule of law which can bring China back to a civilized state.
Bolstering presence
JULY-AUGUST 2015: Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a whirlwind tour to Central Asia on the way to attending the BRICS and SCO summits in Russia in the second week of July. Though the visit cannot be termed as a game changer, Prime Minister Modi was able to convey the Central Asian leaders that India has revived its interest in Central Asia and has made sincere moves.
Deepening ties
JULY-AUGUST 2015: Yet another trilateral grouping has emerged along with India, US, Japan and US, Japan and Australia. The latest and third trilateral comprising India, Japan and Australia are part of the same quadrilateral India, US, Japan and Australia, which prematurely died in the womb in 2007.
Separate identity
JULY-AUGUST 2015: Uighurs are waging a war of different kind to which many Chinese politicians and strategists are unknown but Beijing’s strategy to apply a carrot and stick policy may give instant result but it might lose out in the future once the steam is over.
Muddy water
MAY-JUNE 2015: Chinas islands reclamation initiative in South China Sea could spark a war like situation and it might draw silent powers in the region to get involved by rendering ASEAN as useless and a mute spectator. ASEANs long slogan of resolving South China Sea dispute in ASEAN way has no taker today and the group is just a talking shop in which
Flawed approach
MAY-JUNE 2015: While the regional countries are grappling hard to stabilize Afghanistan, President Abdul Ghani chooses to obediently toe the Pakistani line and even walks all out to soothe Pakistani concerns unmindful of the realities in his own country.
Cautious steps
MAY-JUNE 2015: Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much hyped recent visit to China was not expected to deliver any unexpected outcome on boundary related issues, Modi certainly was able to drive home his point that boundary question remains the most important unresolved issue between the two Asian giants, which is hindering the further growth in bilateral relations .
Strong partnership
MAY-JUNE 2015: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act East diplomacy was in full play during his recent visit to Seoul, South Korea. Though the two countries enjoy warm friendly relations since decades and the South Korean economic engagement with India has become so deep rooted that Korean companies have become household names in India, the two countries have only recently begun to realize the strategic potentials of partnership.
Yellow peril
MAR-APRIL 2015: Russian nationalists often comment that the Chinese are expanding into Russian territory of Far East not with tanks or troops but with suitcases. The Russian Far East territory, long disputed between the two powers, could cast a gloom about any bonhomie between Russia and China.
Unending crisis
MAR-APRIL 2015: Nepal is a tiny nation traumatized by its bloody past, uneasy present and uncertain future. Six prime ministers and two elections later, Nepal is nowhere near the end of the process of drafting its long-awaited Constitution due to profound political differences among its political class. As long as new constitution does
Renewed interests
MAR-APRIL 2015: As the geopolitics is picking up in Afghanistan in the post US troop withdrawal, India has taken a renewed position to develop Iran’s Chabahar port which can provide Afghanistan an alternate access to the sea. Indian move has come at a time when Iran is also looking for a second port option which can serve as a unique deep sea port located at the crossroads of global trade, commerce and energy routes.
Filling vacuum
MAR-APRIL 2015: Earlier China had acquired the support and participation of these two and other island nations in the Indian Ocean for the Maritime Silk Road project. These raised the concern levels in the Indian security establishment as these can give a permanent presence to the Chinese security personnel in the Indian forecourt. China has been contesting India’s natural claim for dominance in the Indian Ocean by saying that Indian Ocean is not India’s Ocean.
Common goal
MAR-APRIL 2015: A week after castigating India for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh in late February, China talked of preparing hard for the success of his visit to Beijing and other Chinese city in mid May this year. China thus speaks in two languages while talking of relations with India and try to cajole it to join Chinese schemes and projects like the One Belt One Road and the Maritime Silk Road etc while simultaneously asking India to leave the resolution of the contentious issues to the next generation. China had earlier raised eyebrows after India announced the tango of its newly revised ‘Act East’ policy with the US Rebalancing Asia policy.
Tackling dragon
JAN-FEB 2015: The Obama-Modi meeting before Indian Republic Day in New Delhi resulted in unprecedented three joint statements, rare in bilateral relations especially between two powerful democracies described as having estranged relations during most of the six and half decades after India gained independence.
Endless wait
JAN-FEB 2015: Several countries across the world are making tremendous efforts to overcome their energy shortage. In the South Asian region, Pakistan and India are the two major energy consumers and they are getting increasingly dependent on imported oil and natural gas.
Paradigm shift
JAN-FEB 2015: Post-Peshawar terror attack, many Pakistani commentators have claimed that both civilian and army leadership are on the same page as the long-maintained distinction between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban has been wiped out.
Unfolding rivalry
JAN-FEB 2015: World is moving towards the geo-energy era which would completely change the world power scenario and would reconfigure its inter-state relations. The energy security and resource potential would be the key to rejuvenate mutual relations and create conflict in the times to come.
Recasting ties
DECEMBER 2014: Since Myanmar is realizing that an increased dependence on China may harm its long term interests in future, there is a growing bonhomie between India and Myanmar to fill the gap which some experts view as an attempt of Yangon to recast the ties with Beijing.
Fresh approach
DECEMBER 2014: A new world order is being created that may significantly change the old equations and alliances between West and Iran on one side and relations between Shia-Sunni regimes of the Middle East on the other hand.
Looming challenges
DECEMBER 2014: Water is going to be a high precious product for next century which can match with the rank of what today hydrocarbon products mean to most people across the world. It is going to be a scarce and rare commodity as it rules life.
Reviving alliance
DECEMBER 2014: The year 2014 has seen the rise of Narendra Modi on world geo-political scene and his getting closer to the allies of USA, which will culminate in the visit of President Barack Obama next year as the Chief Guest for the Indian Republic Day on 26th January.
Double game
NOVEMBER 2014: When the United States began regular drone surveillance flights from the Republic of Chad over the Lake Chad Basin, the aim was ostensibly in support of the goal of the BringBackOurGirls campaign. But the humanitarian goal of finding the Chibok girls has since proved a convenient smokescreen to pursue larger interests of a more strategic nature
Declining power
NOVEMBER 2014: Japanese economy is still faltering in a new way which is causing lot of concern that whether Japan will ever be able to come out of this crisis and regain its place as world second largest economy. The tragic story is its currency Yen is losing its stem and it is deliberate as the government wants to keep Yen at a low height to boost sluggish economic recovery.
Mapping future
NOVEMBER 2014: German politician Martin Schulz who is now President of European Parliament and is visualizing a united Europe which can stand on its own without external support, is pushing for reforms in politics and security cooperation.
Watching carefully
NOVEMBER 2014: The ISIS is now calculating a new game plan as how it can spread its presence in a credible manner to attract hundreds of thousands recruits for its battle from the Arabian Peninsula and African region, mainly in North and West Africa.
Doubtful intentions
OCTOBER 2014: Even though the Chinese soldiers were forced to make a retreat in Chumar after the high level diplomatic and political pressure and the activation of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, it will not improve the sentiments in bilateral relations in near future.
Unable to handle
OCTOBER 2014: The ongoing protest in Hong Kong has shown that China has not learned its lessons from the past, particularly from the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989. The rigidness and hard line approach could be the biggest stumbling block for China in finding a peaceful
Uncertain victory
OCTOBER 2014: Recent gains by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and the well-publicized executions of captured journalists and aid workers have once again drawn US military assets and personnel into a civil war. While Iraq remains familiar terrain for both the political elite
Building trust
OCTOBER 2014: It was natural for two natural allies to climb within a short span of ten months from the lowest ebb of relations during diplomat Devyani Khobragade issue last December to its peak of Obama-Modi bonhomie in September 2014.
Space integration
OCTOBER 2014: In a major policy decision aimed at reaching out to the neighbours, Indian Government has decided to offer the services of Gagan (GPS- aided Geo Augmented Navigation) system designed to support the civil aviation traffic over the Indian skies and
Underground wall
SEPTEMBER 2014: China is secretly modernizing its nuclear weapons largely stored underground beneath mountains of Hunan range as the military sees potentiality of tactical use of nuclear weapons in future warfare since the neighbors are becoming increasingly defiant.
Grabbing opportunity
SEPTEMBER 2014: Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI), if implemented in true spirit, will add a new dimension to India-US defence relations as it has the potentials of turning the buyer seller relationship into co-producer and co-developer of weapons systems.
Discreet ties
SEPTEMBER 2014: Qatar has been branded all over Arabian Peninsula as a country that secretly supports many fundamentalist and terror outfits operating in the region and elsewhere as a matter of state policy to buy peace in exchange of money.
Building hopes
SEPTEMBER 2014: Notwithstanding the tremendous strides made by Japan in the frontiers areas of scientific research and cutting edge futuristic technology, the island nation is yet to leave its imprint on the multi billion dollar global market for launching satellites of various categories on commercial terms.
Setting a trap
AUGUST 2014: A resurgent India is finding itself in an extremely enviable position as big powers from China to Japan to US are trying to court India and making advances unprecedented in India’s international relations. With Narendra Modi taking over as the Prime Minister in May 2014, India’s magnetic strength has increased a lot.
Sagging relations
AUGUST 2014: When protesters against a copper mine in central Myanmar recently took two Chinese contractors hostage, the incident sparked reports about growing anti-China sentiment in a country long reliant on investment from its giant neighbor.
Divided house
AUGUST 2014: The mid-July Sixth Summit of BRICS in Fortaleza has come out with some concrete results on economic front. Certainly, BRICS has moved beyond the rhetoric of cooperation, unity and mutual respect by taking a firm decision of setting up a BRICS New Development Bank, a move of far reaching significance
Lacking will
JULY 2014: Throughout history, Nigeria has been exposed to ethno religious violence and political discontent and has recently seen an escalation in associated violence threatening its sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace and stability.
Regional solidarity
JULY 2014: Recent years have witnessed renewed tensions over disputed territories in the South China Sea. In response to Chinas encroaching military maneuvers - and the country’s (purported) designation of the whole area as part of its
Time to act
JULY 2014: The Indo-Pak situation is very much as it was when Narendra Modi’s icon Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The past year has been replete with shootings along the Line of Control and infiltrations.
Fresh avenues
JULY 2014: Though the Shinzo Abe government was little saddened over Modi’s postponement of Tokyo visit to late August, which was earlier scheduled for the first week of July, Japan would still be his first major bilateral visit, which would be preceded by his first multilateral engagement in Brazil, where he is scheduled to meet the Chinese President Xi Jin Ping in mid July.
Shared prosperity
JULY 2014: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modis first foreign visit to Bhutan is a great indication that the tiny neighborhood of India will enjoy high priority under Modi’s leadership in the coming years, which was somehow neglected under the UPA rule in the past.
Power equation
JULY 2014: Beijing may tout its continued military buildup as part of its peaceful rise or peaceful development, but reactions outside of China have been anything but sanguine. There is genuine concern throughout the Asia and the Pacific Rim that this expansion of military power is a prelude to a more aggressively assertive China-and one that is prepared to use its growing armed might to press its national interests and back up its various geopolitical claims.
Emerging conflicts
JUNE 2014: One can excuse India for not sending its official representative to the famous Shangri-La Dialogue, held annually in the last week of May in Singapore, as the new Indian government had just taken birth and it would have required time for the new foreign policy managers to frame a stand on any issue likely to emerge during the Conference.
Unrealistic claim
JUNE 2014: In April 2010, Chinese Rear Admiral Zhang Huachen, then-deputy commander of the East Sea Fleet of the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), declared: We are going from coastal defence to far sea defence. With the expansion of the countrys naval strategy of the countrys economic interests, the navy wants to better protect the country’s transportation routes and the safety of our major seal lane.This statement symbolized China’s departure from Deng Xiaoping’s dictum Hide brightness, cherish obscurity in its maritime strategy.
Surprise move
JUNE 2014: China’s recent standoff with Vietnam over the placement of a large flotilla of oil rigs in the latter’s EEZ in South China Sea may create fresh round of tension and could seriously undermine the ASEAN unity in the long run if the group fails to take appropriate steps in an urgent manner.
Lacking will
MAY 2014: Realizing the importance of regional groupings and forums, which are increasingly evolving as strategic groupings of much influence, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) has also decided
Bringing stability
MAY 2014: With the change of Indian leadership after a decade, the international community is closely observing the strategic orientation of the new government. Congratulatory messages are flowing to the new Prime Minister from all corners
Crossing fingers
MAY 2014: While Afghanistan is moving towards some degree of uncertainty in view of no clear winner, the recent elections could in the long run bring a much needed change to infuse fresh blood into the system which has been paralyzed for some years.
Political thrust
MAY 2014: The relations between Myanmar and China that flourished during the days of Military Junta regime in Myanmar have become strained with the suspension of Myitsone dam.
Securing interest
MAY 2014: Now that the P5+1 countries have struck an interim nuclear deal with Iran which has limitedly eased off sanctions against it, India feels relieved from the frustrated pressure of Western sanctions that had disabled India and Iran
Talk trap
MAY 2014: Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s recent comments in Mumbai on the possibility of a resolution of the Siachen issue once talks resume makes one wonder why he is so optimistic
Fresh approach
APRIL 2014: Even though Nigeria is an extremely resilient nation, having survived successive military coups, a civil war, religious extremism and ethnic crisis, its fight to eradicate the ongoing insurgency led by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram is creating an unprecedented challenge for the country.
Expanding horizons
APRIL 2014: Though the third NSA level meeting of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives has not attracted much media attention unlike the similar meetings between India, Japan and USA, but this has the potential of silently expanding India’s footprint in the Indian Ocean.
Strong alliance
APRIL 2014: The Manmohan Singh government has presented it as a fait accompli for the next Indian government to go ahead with the decision of inviting Japan in the revived multilateral Malabar naval exercise, a decision of far reaching strategic significance.
Conflicting interests
APRIL 2014: Hopes galore after the new government in Nepal finally saw the light of day which had been delayed for long due to squabbling and in-fighting among the political parties. As the new coalition government faces the daunting task of providing the country
False hopes
MARCH 2014: With the acceptance of formal invite from Pakistan, it appeared that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would have visited Pakistan this month. It was supposed to be his final major diplomatic endeavor as Prime Minister.
Tough rivalry
MARCH 2014: Much has been said lately about the China-Japan rivalry spreading to the continent of Africa. Perhaps, this is logically so. Japan’s growing interest in Africa as a lucrative market for economic ties and energy security
Bleak future
MARCH 2014: Thailand’s anti-government unrest has taken an increasingly ugly, more violent turn with children killed or injured, their tiny bodies maimed and turned lifeless by shrapnel or gunshots.
Common goal
FEBRUARY 2014: After coining the term 'BRIC' in 2001, denoting Brazil, Russia, India and China as potential powerhouses of the world economy who later grouped
Consolidating act
FEBRUARY 2014: Both China and India are two of the fastest growing economies attracting a tremendous amount of global attention. Since the past decade pulsating
Political war
FEBRUARY 2014: The scenes on the streets of Bangladesh that the world has been witnessing in the previous months depict the mood of a pseudo-democratic nation
Committed alliance
FEBRUARY 2014: Amidst rising tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, the visit of the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe
Regional hegemony
FEBRUARY 2014: China's rise in the past decades has been extraordinary. It has grown to become an economic powerhouse and a military giant. But, as the
Restoring faith
FEBRUARY 2014: That the new Maldivian President Yameen Abdul Gayoom chose to make his first official visit abroad to New Delhi in the very first week of the year 2014 was enough indication that he wants to mend fences with India and restore the
Deepening roots
JANUARY 2014: A recently captured document written by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) reveals an unusual degree of self-reflection regarding the terrorist group’s short-lived control over parts of southern Yemen. Having retreated to historic safe havens in the interior following
Changing equations
JANUARY 2014: Iran’s relationship with the West and particularly with the USA has remained convoluted and under pressure for decades. Since 2003, what has kept Iran forcefully isolated from the world by way of trade embargos and sanctions by the Western powers is the Iranian
Bright opportunity
JANUARY 2014: At a time when Myanmar is experiencing an unprecedented transformation, the ASEAN countries have agreed to let it take on the leadership of the bloc as its Chairman for the year 2014. After decades of military rule, isolation and existence, Myanmar’s leadership has initiated a series of political, economic and administrative reforms
Finding solace
JANUARY 2014: Bidur Thapa remembers the day six years ago when he came to Nepal as a refugee from Bhutan. He struggled to understand the culture and language of his new land as most Bhutanese are unfamiliar with Nepalese way of life.
Escalating tension
JANUARY 2014: Last year the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of National Defence announced the creation of the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) which faced lot of criticism and got reactions from all over the world.
Vulnerable future
JANUARY 2014: Amid sharp confusion in South Sudan as ethnic fighting escalated and the army warned of a mobilizing fighting force called the ‘White Army’ that is allied with one of the main protagonists in the week long old conflict, the situation is fast escalating into a war despite best efforts to stop hostility.
Incompetent handling
DECEMBER 2013: Though  the newly elected President Abdulla Yameen Gayoom has assured Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of giving priority to relations
Political recovery
DECEMBER 2013: Though there are serious protests by Maoists on alleged irregularities in the recent election in Nepal, the centrist Nepali Congress party won the most
Floating enemies
DECEMBER 2013: Since the global attention is turning towards Africa and its resource rich regions, the number of pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean region and Gulf
Power projection
DECEMBER 2013: The much awaited commissioning of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and its handing over to the Indian Navy as an Indian warship is all set to boost the Indian
Power game
NOVEMBER 2013: At a time when the region of South-East Asia is engulfed in geopolitical instability and economic sluggishness, the recent APEC and ASEAN summits were crucial platform for the concerned countries to discuss opportunities for economic cooperation and resolve the ongoing territorial disputes which threaten the peace and security of the region.
Failed approach
NOVEMBER 2013: The recent political logjam in Maldives, deliberately orchestrated by the present regime of President Mohamed Waheed has exposed India’s inability to manage Maldivian political crisis. Concerned over the developments, India had engaged extensively with various leaders of Maldives over last year and half.
Another gimmick
NOVEMBER 2013: The Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) signed during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to China is expected to revive the bonhomie between Indian and Chinese armed forces to the level of previous decade but it does
Glorifying slavery
NOVEMBER 2013: No matter how eloquently a justification for the existence of an organization like Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is presented, its vagueness and futility cannot be underestimated. No one has a clear idea, except Britain, why such a grouping exists and what it exactly promotes.
Coveted pearl
NOVEMBER 2013: Since maritime issues have dominated China's future war strategy, Beijing is currently reviewing its 'String of Pearls'doctrine to acquire a new base in South Pacific which will easily surpass Strait of Malacca to reach Indian Ocean.
Traditional partners
NOVEMBER 2013: During the 21st October 14th  annual summit in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke of the historical bonhomie in bilateral defence cooperation and talked about the significance of  this  in the privileged strategic partnership. 
Competing interest
OCTOBER 2013: Central Africa, the region of the Great Lakes, which encompasses Rwanda, DR Congo, Uganda and Burundi, has for long been engulfed in instability. Its violent history continues to shape the complex regional dynamics, and
Mutual benefit
OCTOBER 2013: With an eye on India's US$ 100 Billion defence market over the next decade, the US administration has made a smart move to enter into an understanding with Indian defence establishment on joint development and production
Balancing game
OCTOBER 2013: A landlocked country, Nepal is sandwiched between Asia's two giant economies-India and China. Although it struggles with constant economic shortcomings, it is currently engulfed in a state of political transition. The country is now beginning to embrace multiparty politics and democracy. While it experiences
Willful act
OCTOBER 2013: China, which is known to have border and territorial disputes with almost all its neighbors, is keen to adopt direct or indirect means to disturb the stability in India, its biggest rival in the region. In view of the current Sino-Indian relations, China considers the North-east more important than other parts of India.
Unchecked entrants
OCTOBER 2013: For India's North East states, the alarming issue is the uninterrupted illegal intrusion of Bangladeshis into Indian Territory tampering the demographic composition of the region and that lead to social tensions and confrontations over certain diverse aspects.
Delayed justice
SEPTEMBER 2013: The trials in Bangladesh for the war crimes committed during the country's liberation war of 1971 have brought Bangladesh back to a crossroads, exposing the underlying tensions in the country. Deadly violence erupted on the streets as the controversial International Crimes Tribunal sentenced the country’s top Islamist leaders and wartime head of the Jamaat-e-Islami to life sentences and imprisonment.
Connecting hope
SEPTEMBER 2013: Manmohan Singh's wish, to be able to have breakfast in Amritsar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul, may finally see the light of day now that Nawaz Sharif is re-elected as Pakistan’s leader. Back in 1999, as Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif initiated an ambitious process of planning a super-express highway that would connect Afghanistan and India through Pakistan.
Maintaining balance
SEPTEMBER 2013: The resumption on Palestine-Israel peace talks in late July 2013 after four year interregnum at the behest of US has evoked positive response from India, which is indicative of India’s deep interest in the early resolution of the conflict.
Strong grip
SEPTEMBER 2013: The recent developments in Cambodian politics signal a troubled future for the country’s already volatile political legacy. Although the recent national elections declared yet another victory for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian National Party (CNP), that has maintained its grip on power for two decades, there seems to be a break in the status-quo as the result has been challenged by the return of Cambodia’s veteran politician Sam Rainsy, head of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP).
Failed intervention
SEPTEMBER 2013: Mali is becoming Africa’s Afghanistan as Islamic terrorists find it easy to operate and get cheap recruits to carry out the conflict in a manner which is unknown to most professional militaries who go by traditional rules of engagements in a combat situation.
Bolstering foothold
AUGUST 2013: Maldives and Sri Lanka, eyed by China and other world military powers because of their significant geopolitical locations, have entered into a trilateral cooperation with India on Maritime Security of far reaching importance. China has adopted Sri Lanka as one of the gems in its String of Pearls strategy to mark its strong
Trust deficit
AUGUST 2013: Seven years after the last Indian defence minister visited China, A K Antony landed in Beijing in the first week of July 2013 with a welcoming discordant voice from one of the retired Chinese Generals who warned India not to provoke problems at the LAC.
First move
AUGUST 2013: Bhutan is finally awakening from its long, tranquil sleep and slowly facing the realities of geo-strategic politics and international relations. Squished in the middle of the two Asian giants- India and China, the tiny, peace-loving nation is slowly embracing democracy and diplomacy.
Continued unrest
AUGUST 2013: What began as a movement devoid of any structure and fueled mainly by long standing anger and frustration of the people has transformed itself into a larger question of society-state relations in the Arab World. The Arab Spring, which started as a revolt against the decades’ long tyranny of autocratic rulers and
Playground of pirates
JULY 2013: Incidents of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden have posed a significant strategic challenge for the security of global trade. Despite a reduction in rampant pirate attacks in the ‘pirate-alley’ last year, the challenge is far from over. Piracy will remain a recurrent problem till the root cause of the problem is not tackled.
Connecting links
JULY 2013: The balance of power is consistently pivoting toward Asia as it enhances trade with the rest of the world. In the meantime, in Asia, there is an emerging trend of multi-modal connectivity projects, cutting through country boundaries to boost economic as well as strategic ties.
Smart move
JULY 2013: The US Secretary of State John Kerry brought with him a very high powered delegation for strategic talks with India held on 24th June, 2013, which included the US Pacific Commander Admiral Samuel J Locklear who stayed back in New Delhi to discuss the future game plan for the Asia Pacific with the Indian tri-service Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne.
Tilting balance
JULY 2013: With China significantly bolstering its navy and the US shifting its focus to the Asia Pacific region, both the powers seem to be on collision course. Since the region is rich in oil and gas and extremely crucial for global trade, Chinese policy to up the ante in the maritime area has compelled the US to give moral support on territorial disputes to its allies in the region by strengthening and relocating its forces.
Strengthening grip
JULY 2013: China has further strengthened its strategic grip over Sri Lanka, as the President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his May end visit to Beijing, his sixth after the elimination of LTTE leaders and hardcore cadres, sealed fresh agreements to deepen Chinese involvement not only in training Sri Lankan defence forces and
CoC needed
JULY 2013: The ASEAN meeting in Brunei has ended with a joint communiqué which promises that ASEAN and China will work more closely to find an amicable solution to South China Sea dispute after Beijing agreed that it is ready to look into the drafting of a Code of Conduct.
New orientation
JULY 2013: At a time when the US Defence Secretary Chuck Hegel was elaborating the Pivot to Asia policy renamed as Rebalancing Asia, during the Shangri- la dialogue in Singapore in the first week of June, the Indian defence minister A K Antony was visiting those countries prominently included by the US in its rebalancing Asia strategy.
Cajoling act
JULY 2013: As Maldives prepares for Presidential election in September, a fierce debate is going on in the Maldivian political circles about the US offer to sign a Status of Forces Agreement. With the US focusing its strategy towards
Timely steps
JULY 2013: Many countries including India are facing the constant threats of terrorist infiltration via sea route. The real time monitoring of the thousands of vessels, big and tiny, are posing a big challenge to the security managers.
Countering hegemony
JULY 2013: It does not need a rocket scientist to understand the game that China and Pakistan are playing on the roof of the world. Its first impact is intended to be regional domination leading towards a bi-polar world. Should India stand by and watch it happen?
Bridging gap
JULY 2013: After the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai and the feverish efforts launched to close the gaps in the maritime security infrastructure, India has come a long way in ensuring that another such attack from the sea will be more difficult to execute.
Tackling predators
JUNE 2013: Piracy in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, has become a destabilizing force in the region. The seas, as Global Commons, allow for nations to exercise community rights of peaceful use of the seas. The seas form a complex legal environment of flag state, port state and coastal state jurisdiction. With most
Strategic alliance
JUNE 2013: India-Japan strategic partnership can only be sustained on a long term basis on the solid foundation of deep economic engagement, for which Japan has provided enough fertilizer to nurture the relationship. Along with the promise to conclude the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement by the end of the year, other mega
Searching for oasis
JUNE 2013: The area covered by the Persian Gulf and Northern Africa is the most water stressed region in the world. Being dry and arid, the area has limited natural resources of water and renewable water resources.  Roughly, the water resources here amount to three river basins-Tigris-Euphrates, Nile and the Jordan River Basin,
Rising fast
JUNE 2013: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is one of the fastest growing terrorist organisations in the world. Not only has this group been able to recruit members from all over the northern African region-but it is also one of the wealthiest terrorists groups in Africa. With regards to becoming one of the most successful terrorists groups, the question can
New gimmick
JUNE 2013: Whether the visit of the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang will result in a new chapter or simply add a new page in Sino Indian relations only time will tell, but it can be said without doubt that his visit has sown the seeds of a new chapter which will flower only if India plays its cards well.
Groping in dark
JUNE 2013: The attack at Boston marathon that caught everyone’s attention on April 15 has raised many unanswered questions. The main questions of who could be behind the attack and why have ended up giving unsatisfying answers and created several conspiracy theories.
Emerging axis
JUNE 2013: Amidst the race to lure nations in its camp in the fast changing geopolitical equations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  charted a path breaking visit to Japan, sending strong signals to China, whose leaders were obviously perturbed by the developing proximity between India and Japan.