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CWA # 181, 1 November 2019

Middle East
Syria: Who wants what?

  GP Team

Nidhi Dalal, Rashmi Ramesh, Sukanya Bali, Harini Madhusudan, Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh and Parikshith Pradeep

 

What does Turkey want in Syria?

Turkey has launched a military assault against the Kurdish population in Northern Syria. A marginal ethnic group concentrated in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, the Kurds were instrumental in the war against ISIS led by the Syria led coalition forces and the US.

The Turkish assault has followed the US decision to withdraw from the coalition leaving the Kurds to face the opposing Turkish forces. Fighter jets and tanks have bombarded the region in the Syrian part of Kurdish territory in an operation deemed to be a war against terrorism and ‘terrorists’. The move has been condemned across the globe and Turkey has launched the assault at a critical juncture in the ongoing conflict.

Turkey has long viewed the Kurdish separatist movement as violent acts of terror in its soil especially after the Kurdish-terrorist launched attacks in Ankara and Istanbul. The toppling of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the subsequent instability under the government of Bashar al-Assad has given the much-needed space to the Kurds to gain a degree of self-government. This has increased the scepticism and concern of the Turkish government against the Turkish Kurds in its territory. In addition, alleged cross border links between the Kurds have made Turkey weary of opposition and repression against its government.

Violent attempts by the military to thwart dissent among its 20 million Kurdish population in the Eastern Anatolia and South-eastern Anatolia region have been widely reported by various human rights agencies. . An attack against the Syrian Kurds would now send a strong message to the Turkish Kurds closer to home off Turkey’s iron fist actions. Turkey also aims to create a ‘safe zone’ in the region so as to push the concentration of the Kurdish opposition in the least amount of territory and possibly out of its sovereign boundaries.

Another goal that Turkey aims to achieve is to increase its role as a key actor in the Middle East. With countries such as the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia playing a decisive role in the region, Turkey aims to achieve a strong position and say in the decisions played amongst these actors. Most importantly, the assault against the Kurds would drive a political message back to EU who has resisted the entry of Turkey into the bloc and have seen Turkey merely as a buffer containing the conflict within the region and not spiralling to its borders. Well aware of this strategic role, Turkey has launched the attack at a time when it aims for a more substantial role in the trade policies with the EU.

Where does Syria stand?

On 9 October, Turkey launched the Operation Peace Spring in the Kurdish controlled northern Syria, soon after the United States announced a withdrawal from the area. President Erdogan termed the offensive as a counter-terrorist operation, aimed at cleansing the Turkey-Syrian border off militants. Ankara aims to weed out these militant who has converted the northern Syria into a launching pad for carrying out terrorist attacks in the Turkish territory. The creation of the safe zone by Turkey would invariably foresee the return of the Syrian refugees to their homeland.

What does the Assad regime want?

The Syrian government has condemned Turkey for carrying out operations inside its territory. However, Assad’s forces came to the limelight only when Russia negotiated an agreement between the Syrian Kurds and the regime. The agreement secured the movement of the Syrian army into the northern borders, the first time since 2012. Assad’s forces were diverted elsewhere for fighting the rebels and as a result, the area was virtually under the control of the Kurds. According to the latest reports, Syria’s army has moved into the north-eastern towns, which could result in a confrontation with the Turkish forces.

The strategic agreement between Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) and the Syrian government is a major boost for Assad’s regime. The agreement has naturally made the SDF weak and dependent on the Syrian Army and Russia. Pro-Syrian citizens were seen celebrating the army’s entry into the northeastern towns after more than seven years. Certainly, the withdrawal of the United States comes as a huge relief for Assad. The government would want to push Turkey out of Syrian territory and handle the issues between Kurds and the regime internally.

Where do the Syrian Kurds stand?

The Kurdish forces along with the United States fought the Islamic State in Syria and defeated the Caliphate. With the Syrian government’s focus on the civil war, Kurds were successful in controlling the northern and northeastern portions of the country.

The Syrian Kurds now stand against Turkey, who views them as terrorists instrumental for instability in the region. The United States’ withdrawal has ensured that they become more vulnerable to Turkey’s actions. Russia, on the other hand, has made swift moves and has emerged as a major player in the region. By negotiating the strategic agreement, with one stroke, it has turned its foe SDF, as its friend. As a result, SDF stands more vulnerable to the Syrian regime and Russia. Mazloum Abdi, SDF’s commander-in-chief saw no option with the Kurds but to align with Russia and Assad. He blamed the United States for abandoning the Kurds to the Turkish assault. In the current situation, aligning with them will hopefully prevent a possible Kurdish genocide.

Operation Peace Spring has sent a larger message to the Kurds across Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran that Kurdistan will not come into existence. Kurds in Turkey already face backlash and Ankara is now targeting the Syrian Kurds. This has weakened the community in Iraq and Iran. The regional forces that do not want a Kurdistan to have grown stronger will continue to remain so.

For Kurds, a fight against all odds

The 9 October cross border military offensive on the Kurds or the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) have been seen as a betrayal by the US who has now stepped away from its fight against ISIS on the ground.. The Operation Peace Springs’ in Syria is aimed at creating a ‘safe zone’ for the Syrian refugees would not only control the Kurdish autonomy but also create a possible escape route for the thousands of ISIS prisoners.

In the Middle East, the Kurdish population is over 30 million and is spread across five different states namely Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, and Iran. Presently,  the Kurds are minorities in their respective countries with minimal political representation and armed groups of its own to fight for  their autonomous land.

Across history, the promises made to the ethnic Kurds remain unfulfilled. Being a minority, demanding self-determination, the Kurds have endured persecution and humiliation at the hands of several governments. A classic case would be the plight of Kurds under Saddam Hussein that drew much international attention.

The Kurds has allied with and supported US operations in the Middle East. In the 2003 Iraq invasion, the Kurds in Iraq supported the US and since 2014 the Kurdish fighters fought alongside them and forces of Iraq and Syria to defeat the ISIS. American backed, YPG and SDF, primarily Kurdish, lost over 11,000 men in their fight to get back territories from ISIS and have now established self-rule with a federal structure in territories recaptured by them.

The SDF, YGP, PKK and Peshmerga forces led by Kurds had played a major role in defeating the ISISTurkey identifies PKK, an armed Kurdish militia in south Turkey, as a terrorist outfit and YPG in Syria as an extension of it.

Not surprising, the presence of Kurdish militias along its border with Syria is deemed a threat by Turkey. Turkish government intends to create a ‘safe buffer zone’ between Syria and Turkey, evidently to weaken the Kurdish militias and prevent Kurdish-separatist movements across borders from gaining strength. The presence of American troops had so far deterred offensive moves by Turkey, but the abrupt withdrawal of US forces has caught the Kurds off guard.

Gains made by Kurds over the years by fighting ISIS would now be overturned as they are left isolated by their allies. The territorial gains could become an independent Kurdistan at some later point, would now be quelled in the Turkish offensive. Torture, war crimes and extortion of Kurds are clearly possibilities. Kurdish would need both military and diplomatic support of the United States to hold their positions, in case they will be annihilated. Recently, it was reported that the Kurds have brokered a deal with Syria to fight the Turks. However this is likely to be a fragile deal considering the different strategic priorities of the parties.

The Kurdish movement being a separatist movement is not likely to find strategic partners in the region. They would need support from powers outside the Middle East. Further, it is important to understand that the ISIS ideology and sleeper cells are still widespread in the region. The Kurdish fighters, who know the terrain and culture of the region, will be needed to prevent the recapitulation of ISIS.

For Russia, it is the mess left behind

Russia has played the role of a major balancer in the Syrian conflict. It has invested its resources into its Syrian intervention. In the past, Moscow has demanded the withdrawal of the US forces and now that it is finally happening, Russia sees the value of its assets in Syria diminished. Quarrels within the NATO have always been a boon to Russia. However, Erdogan’s unilateral decision of invading Syria has put Russia in a tough spot. Only recently, Russia offered Su35 Fighters as a substitute for the cancelled US F35 program. Russia is left with an option to see how to try and exploit this confusion in the Middle-East, leaving them enough space for a bitter discord.

Russia does not have sufficient resources to invest on a post-war reconstruction of the region. The public opinion within Russia is not for the continued intervention in Syria but politically Russia seeks to retain its influence in Syria. It has attempted to transform Syria, in cooperation with Turkey and Iran, infamously called the Astana Format. Hence, what is seen as a gain for Assad is not necessarily a gain for Russia. Turkey will not accept Kurdish representation and Iran will insist on an “Islamic Republic” model of negotiation; or the absence of Russia.

Though the presently stalled operation of Turkey will not manage to establish a Turkey-occupied ‘autonomous zone,’ this aggression has altered the multi-party balance in the Northern Syria. Russia’s main goals in Syria for the past two years have been to try and eliminate the rebel control over the Idlib province which is close to the Russian Khmeimim airbase. The Syrian army deployed along this contested border with Turkey will not be able to gather sufficient forces despite the airstrikes from Russia, to conquer Idlib. Russia has a limited number of special forces.

The Kurds see Trump's withdrawal as a betrayal. In his desire to end America’s involvement in the “endless wars” the White House has unleashed chaos in the region. The 120-hour ceasefire is set to give an advantage to Ankara, it has already got what it sought: the occupation of swathes of land along its border that would strategically separate a Kurdish enclave in Syria for Kurds where PKK terrorists for decades have waged a war against Ankara. Russia and Iran have been staunch allies of the Syrian government and in-a-way Moscow has filled the void of the US troops by deploying its military to act as a buffer, while the newly formed alliance between the Syrian government forces and the Syrian Kurdish forces moved north.

Russia is logically portrayed as the party that benefits the most from this scramble. But Russia may have also placed itself in a corner. There are very little strategic and political gains for Russia in this situation and the obligations that it is held against are huge. However, it is important to see what comes out of the ceasefire deal. The truth remains, that Turkey’s aggression has in a way helped Damascus restore its control over Syria.

For Trump, Syria is too far

On 16 October, US President Donald Trump decided to pull off from Syria deeming that the tensions weren’t the US’ problem. This came just before a Turkish offensive took place in the US-stationed area. The act has not just shattered an on-setting peace in the region but has questioned Trump’s decision. He has been blamed for abandoning the Kurdish forces who have been a strong aide towards Washington’s fight to curb the Islamic State (IS).

With Trump’s America First policy intact, he has yet again proven to be impulsive. Much of his most trusted Republican allies have expressed strong concern over the decision as it stands against US’s policies and democratic morale. In addition, Trump was reportedly seen to be largely unconcerned about a five-years-long ally being put at gun point by the Turkish forces. While the State Department shoved the possibility of convincing Turkey over the invasion, the move has been justified as part of the initiative to bring back Americans fighting the “endless wars” home. This becomes part of the plan to reduce defense expenditure in order to manage America’s ongoing economic crisis. Much could have been contained if the US had a lucid strategy to withdraw troops without pushing the political situation into an extended turmoil.

At this point, there have also been contemplations pertaining to the possibility of other Western allies in particular NATO members taking up the USA withdrawn position. Though, the possibility remains, it is important to note that none of the allies have the military might to enter into once US-dominated domain and now taken over by a substantially powerful Russia. Moreover, for the longest-time, USA and its NATO counterparts had only been affirmative towards loyal moral support with no military to whom they identified as legitimate rebels. Now, it is not in their faintest of national interest to support a war-torn territory. It is significant that no power less than the US can handle the situation alongside Russia.

On the other hand, Washington’s warning followed by the imposition of sanctions on trade and tariffs against Turkey is being criticized to be too ineffective. This comes after the Trump administration’s recent strategy of maximum economic pressure has been proving wrong in most of the international scenarios including Iran and North Korea. Besides, there is also pressure for a complete suspension of Turkey from NATO. There is heightened fear associated with this as any action from Turkey in the disputed territory might lead to the reemergence of the ISIS and further deem US’ sudden withdrawal as a grave mistake of catastrophic proportion.  

For Iraq, it is the Kurds conundrum

A large number of Syrian Kurds are moving to Northern Iraq which hosts a sizeable Kurdish population. Erdogan’s ‘Operation Peace Spring’, the Turkish military intervention in Northern Syria has placed Iraq at the receiving end of the Syrian Kurds. This is a direct consequence of Ankara’s offensive in Syria which aims to create a buffer zone for the Syrian refugees stationed in Turkey.

First, Iraq prefers to retain the pre-US stance on Kurds rather than invite more conflict. Unfortunately, Turkey’s actions have led to the escape of ISIS prisoners held by the Kurdish forces in Syria. It is unsettling for Baghdad as these factions may move into Iraqi borders causing local unrest and generate fresh problems potentially reversing the victories witnessed in Mosul. The withdrawal of the US support to the Kurdish forces and Turkey’s arbitrary actions could once again shape the presence of ISIS along the Syrian-Iraqi borders.

Second, Iraq’s attempt to contain political relations with the autonomous region of Kurds has been jittery. While the Peshmerga, the security establishment from Iraq’s autonomous Kurd region, along with the Iraqi army has been successful in fighting ISIS, the former’s demand for an independent Kurdish nation hasn’t materialized. The mobilization of Kurds in Northern Iraq may lead to domestic political uprisings. Undesired by the Iraqi leadership, Baghdad may not welcome any more support from Kurdish forces in their already existing Kurdish population.

Third, the movement of Kurds to the Northern Border could weaken Iraq’s quest for better ties with Turkey. Erdogan’s vow for filtered borders could add to the mounting problem of refugees in Iraq, allowing a way for open borders with Syria in the western front. One could also speculate the rise of military actions on the North-western Turkish Border, considering the history of Turkish military attacks on Kurdish settlements in Iraq. Ankara’s isolationist policy towards the minority community could be at the cost of bilateral cooperation with Iraq. Further, Turkey’s actions may push its Kurdish population off Iraqi borders.

While the Kurds could draw multiple possibilities from this development, it is unlikely for governments to share similar views. Turkey's experiments and Kurdish engagements have brewed a vacuum of uncertainty bringing into fore new narratives in this region.

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The World this Week
February 2020 | CWA # 216

GP Team

Seven weeks after Coronavirus, The Left Turn in Ireland Elections, Pakistan's balancing act with Malaysia and Turkey, and a US deal with the Taliban

read more
Conflict Weekly 04
February 2020 | CWA # 215

IPRI Team

Sri Lanka drops Tamil anthem, Assam looks for a new census for the indigenous Muslim population, Bangladesh faces a Rohingya boat tragedy and Israel witnesses resurgence of violence post-Trump deal

read more
The World this Week
February 2020 | CWA # 214

GP Team

The Senate acquits Trump in the US; and the Coronavirus impacts Southeast Asia more

read more
Conflict Weekly 03
February 2020 | CWA # 213

IPRI Team

Continuing Violence in Afghanistan, Bodo Peace Accord in Northeast India, Attack on the anti-CAA protesters in Delhi, and Trump's Middle East Peace Plan

read more
The World this Week
February 2020 | CWA # 212

GP Team

Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan, WHO's emergency declaration on the Coronavirus, Europe’s soft strategy towards Huawei, and BREXIT finally

read more
Conflict Weekly 02
January 2020 | CWA # 211

IPRI Team

Bangladesh and ICJ's Rohingya Verdict, Taliban and Afghan Peace, Surrenders in India's Northeast, New government in Lebanon and the Berlin summit on Libya

read more
The World this Week
January 2020 | CWA # 210

GP Team

World Economic Forum, Wuhan Coronavirus, China-Myanmar MoUs, and a new government in Lebanon

read more
2019 Review
January 2020 | CWA # 209

Boa Wang

China in 2019: 70th Anniversary, Rise of Domestic Animation and the Commercialization of 5G 

read more
The Middle East in 2020
January 2020 | CWA # 208

Vivek Mishra

After Soleimani assassination: Options for the US 

read more
The Middle East in 2020
January 2020 | CWA # 207

Sukanya Bali

Iran, Iraq and the US: Who wants what?

read more
Myanmar in 2020
January 2020 | CWA # 206

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Old problems to persist with no solutions in the near term

read more
The Himalayan Triangle
January 2020 | CWA # 205

Aashiyana Adhikari

Indian and Chinese investments in Nepal: Managing asymmetry

read more
Conflict Weekly #01
January 2020 | CWA # 204

IPRI Team

Taliban's ceasefire offer, Quetta Suicide attack, Supreme court verdict on J&K, the Brus Agreement in Tripura, Nile River Agreement, Tehran Protests, Syrians meet in Berlin, and the Honduran Caravans in Mexico

read more
The World this Week
January 2020 | CWA # 203

GP Team

Xi Jinping in Myanmar, US-China trade deal, Putin's new amendments in Russia, Taiwan Elections and the US efforts to fund 5G alternatives

read more
The World this Week
January 2020 | CWA # 202

GP Team

Iran's lowkey response to the killing of Gen Soleimani, Iraq's resolution against the US troops and Iran's request to India to mediate

read more
The World this Week
January 2020 | CWA # 201

GP Team

US-Iran Tensions in the Middle East, 6G in China, Fires in Australia, and a New Nuclear declaration in North Korea

read more
GP Column: Blue Economy
January 2020 | CWA # 200

Shailesh Nayak | Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)

Blue Economy and India: An Introduction

read more
The World This Year
December 2019 | CWA # 199

Lakshmi V Menon

The Middle East in 2019: Domestic Protests, Bilateral Conflicts and Regional Tensions

read more
The World This Year
December 2019 | CWA # 198

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

North Africa in 2019: A year of protests, with some positive results

read more
The World This Year
December 2019 | CWA # 197

Sukanya Bali

Hong Kong in 2019: China's New Achilles Heel

read more
The World This Year
December 2019 | CWA # 196

Harini Madhusudan

The US-China Trade Dispute in 2019: Towards a thaw in 2020?

read more
The World This Year
December 2019 | CWA # 195

Parikshith Pradeep

The US in 2019: Trump rollsout a template for a global American retreat

read more
The World This Year
December 2019 | CWA # 194

Sourina Bej

Europe in 2019: Hard Brexit for the UK, Systemic Struggle for the EU

read more
The World This Year
December 2019 | CWA # 193

Rashmi Ramesh

Climate Change in 2019: Active Civil Society, Hesitant State

read more
The World this Week
December 2019 | CWA # 192

GP Team

Impeachment in the US, Brexit Vote in the UK, an Islamic Summit in Malaysia and a Death Sentence in Pakistan

read more
The World this Week
December 2019 | CWA # 191

GP Team

Sui Kyi at the ICJ, Boris Johnson as the new British PM, Greta Thunberg as TIME's person, and none to speak at the COP 25

read more
The World this Week
December 2019 | CWA # 190

GP Team

NATO at 70, Protests in Iran, COP 25 in Madrid

read more
The World this Week
November 2019 | CWA # 189

GP Team

Protests in Iran and Attacks in London

read more
The World this Week
November 2019 | CWA # 188

GP Team

Elections in Sri Lanka and Protests in Georgia, Chile & Czech

read more
The World this Week
November 2019 | CWA # 187

GP Team

The Crisis in Bolivia, the BRICS Summit in Brazil, and renewed violence in Israel & Hong Kong

read more
The World this Week
November 2019 | CWA # 186

GP Team

US-China Tariffs, Beijing's support for Carrie Lam, India's RCEP exit, Iran's nuclear enrichment, and Russia's new Arctic endeavours

read more
The NIAS Arctic Series
November 2019 | CWA # 185

Rashmi Ramesh

The Arctic Littorals: Iceland and Greenland

read more
The NIAS Arctic Series
November 2019 | CWA # 184

Harini Madhusudan

The Polar Silk Route: China's ambitious search in the Arctic

read more
The NIAS Arctic Series
November 2019 | CWA # 183

Parikshith Pradeep

The Scientific Imbalance: Is technology rightly being invested in the Arctic?

read more
The World this Week
November 2019 | CWA # 182

GP Team

Protests in Lebanon, ISIS post-Baghdadi, UK Elections, Afghan QCG meet in Moscow and human trafficking across Europe

read more
China
November 2019 | CWA # 180

Harini Madhusudan

Violence in Hong Kong: Will the protests end?

read more
Europe
November 2019 | CWA # 179

Rashmi Ramesh

Is Catalonia Spain’s Hong Kong?

read more
United Kingdom
October 2019 | CWA # 178

Sourina Bej

As the Brexit deadline nears: Three Implications of Boris Johnson’s Election Call

read more
The NIAS Arctic Series
October 2019 | CWA # 177

D. Suba Chandran

Why an Arctic foray is essential for India

read more
The Arctic Series
October 2019 | CWA # 176

Parikshith Pradeep

Russia's Polar Military Edge

read more
Latin America on fire
October 2019 | CWA # 175

Nidhi Dalal

Protests rock Chile, Bolivia and Haiti

read more
The World this Week
October 2019 | CWA # 174

GP Team

The new Turkey-Russia axis in the Middle East, Trump Impeachment inquiry, Protests in Latin America and the Oil spill in Brazil

read more
The World this Week
October 2019 | CWA # 173

GP Team

Turkey's Syrian Offensive, Spain's Catalonia Crisis, a new Brexit Deal and an increasing divide in Hong Kong

read more
The World this Week
October 2019 | CWA # 172

GP Team

Turkey-Syria border tensions, Modi-Xi summit, Ecuador Protests and the Impeachment Inquiry against Trump

read more
Myanmar
October 2019 | CWA # 171

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Will prosecuting Suu Kyi resolve the Rohingya problem?

read more
India and Bangladesh
October 2019 | CWA # 170

Sourina Bej

Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi: Multiple Deals, No Takeaways

read more
The UN Climate Action Summit 2019
October 2019 | CWA # 169

Lakshman Chakravarthy N & Rashmi Ramesh

Climate Change: Four Actors, No Action

read more
Review
October 2019 | CWA # 168

Sukanya Bali

Brexit: Preparing for the Worst Case

read more
The World this Week
October 2019 | CWA # 167

GP Team

70 years Celebrations in China, Tipping Point in Hong Kong, a Brexit Roadmap, Protests in Iraq, and Khashoggi's death anniversary

read more
The World this Week
September 2019 | CWA # 166

GP Team

Afghan Elections, UNGA Meetings, Climate Change Summit, Impeachment inquiry against Trump, US-Japan Trade agreement and the Brexit troubles in UK Parliament

read more
The World this Week
September 2019 | CWA # 165

GP Team

Elections in Israel, Violence in Afghanistan, Drone Attacks in Saudi Arabia, and the Climate Change Protests

read more
The World this Week
September 2019 | CWA # 164

GP Team

Netanyahu’s plan to annex West Bank, Suspension of the British Parliament, Trump’s Bolton troubles, Hong Kong's new Anthem, Conditions for Rohingya Return, Erdogan’s threat on Syrian Refugees, and the Forest Fires in Indonesia

read more
Science, Technology and International Relations
September 2019 | CWA # 162

Lakshman Chakravarthy N

5G: A Primer

read more
Climate Change
September 2019 | CWA # 161

Rashmi Ramesh

From Okjökull to OK: Death of a Glacier in Iceland

read more
United Kingdom
September 2019 | CWA # 160

Sukanya Bali

Challenges before Boris Johnson

read more
The World this Week
August 2019 | CWA # 159

GP Team

G7 Summit, Suspension of the British Parliament, Growing Warmth in Russia-Turkey relations, Italy's new Coalition and Google-Huawei differences

read more
The World this Week
August 2019 | CWA # 158

GP Team

Global uproar on Amazon fires, Trump's Greenland bid, EU differences over Brexit and backstop, Italy's new political crisis, the sale of US F-16s to Taiwan and a new PM in Sudan

read more
China
August 2019 | CWA # 157

Parikshith Pradeep

The Hong Kong Protests: Who wants what

read more
China
August 2019 | CWA # 156

Harini Madhusudan

The Hong Kong Protests: Re-defining mass mobilization

read more
Southeast Asia
August 2019 | CWA # 155

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

ASEAN Outlook on the Indo Pacific: Worth all the Hype?

read more
The World this Week
August 2019 | CWA # 154

GP Team

North Korea's New Threats, Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Presidential Candidate, Failure at the Pacific Islands Meet, UNSC on J&K, and Israel's ban on the US Congresswomen

read more
The World this Week
August 2019 | CWA # 153

GP Team

J&K Special Status, Afghan Violence, Beijing's Hong Kong Warning, North Korea's Cyber Theft, EU's New Satellite and Yuan Devaluation

read more
The World this Week
August 2019 | CWA # 152

GP Team

New US Tariffs on China, Japan-South Korea Trade Tension, Burqa Ban in the Netherlands, INF Treaty's End and North Korean Missile Tests

read more
The World this Week
July 2019 | CWA # 151

GP Team

New PM in UK, Iran-UK Tensions in the Gulf, Muller's Testimony, Trump-Imran Meeting, New Protests in Hong Kong and Russia-China Air Exercises

read more
Nepal and India
July 2019 | CWA # 150

Mahesh Bhatta

Monsoons first, Floods next and the Blame Games follow

read more
The World this Week
July 2019 | CWA # 149

GP Team

US ban on Myanmar Generals, Kulbhushan Yadav Verdict, Trump's Saudi Arms Deal, Sudan Power Sharing, US-Turkey tensions and Pakistan's reopening of its Airspace

read more
India's Northeast
July 2019 | CWA # 148

Titsala Sangtam

Counting Citizens: Manipur charts its own NRC

read more
G-20 Summit
July 2019 | CWA # 147

Vivek Mishra

Can Hedging be India’s Strategy?

read more
The World this Week
July 2019 | CWA # 146

GP Team

UAE pullout from Yemen, Doha dialogue on Afghanistan, Continuing protests in Hong Kong and S-400 Russian missiles in Turkey

read more
Iran, US and the Nuclear Deal
July 2019 | CWA # 145

Lakshmi V Menon

Amidst the US-Iran standoff, Saudi Arabia should be cautious

read more
G-20 Summit
July 2019 | CWA # 144

Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh Iyer

For Russia, it was big power projection

read more
G-20 Summit
July 2019 | CWA # 143

Harini Madhusudan

For China, it was trade and a temporary truce

read more
The World This Week
July 2019 | CWA # 142

GP Team

Trump in DMZ, Hong Kong Protests, Violence in Libya, Agreement in Sudan, Taliban's Dual Strategy and Hafiz Saeed Charged

read more
G-20 Summit
July 2019 | CWA # 141

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

For Japan, it was commerce and climate change

read more
G-20 Summit
July 2019 | CWA # 140

Sourina Bej

For the US, it was trade, tariff and talks

read more
The World This Week
June 2019 | CWA # 139

GP Team

G20 Summit, Pompeo's India Visit, Hong Kong Protests, US-Iran Tensions, ASEAN Summit & the Bahrain Summit on the Middle East

read more
Middle East
June 2019 | CWA # 138

Mahath Mangal

Iran, US and the Nuclear Deal: Will Russia remain neutral?

read more
Middle East
June 2019 | CWA # 137

Titsala Sangtam

Iran, US and the Nuclear deal: Europe in the middle?

read more
The World this Week
June 2019 | CWA # 136

GP Team

Rising US-Iran Tensions, Xi Jinping's North Korea Visit, Continuing Protests in Hong Kong, Untimely Death of Morsi and the Triple Suicide Attacks in Nigeria

read more
India & Sri Lanka
June 2019 | CWA # 135

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Modi's Colombo Visit: Four issues to watch

read more
Global Politics
June 2019 | CWA # 134

Sourina Bej

From Moscow to Manila: Attack on Journalists, Public Protests and Culture of Impunity 

read more
China
June 2019 | CWA # 133

Harini Madhusudan

Thirty years after Tiananmen:  What remains in the popular memory and what doesn’t

read more
The World this Week
June 2019 | CWA # 132

GP Team

Attacks in Oman Gulf, Protests in Hong Kong, Military Crackdown in Sudan, Modi's Visit to Male and Colombo, Abe's Peace Mission in Iran and the SCO Summit

read more
The BRI Summit 2019
June 2019 | CWA # 131

Raakhavee Ramesh

Higher than the Himalayas: Pakistan and China

read more
The BRI Summit 2019
June 2019 | CWA # 130

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

Across the Himalayas: Nepal and China

read more
Global Politics
June 2019 | CWA # 129

Mahath Mangal

The Russian Resurgence: Is the US supremacy waning?

read more
Mass Surveillance and Individual Freedom
June 2019 | CWA # 127

Mahath Mangal

San Francisco wants to ban, Kashgar wants to expand

read more
Julian Assange
June 2019 | CWA # 126

Jerin George

Espionage or Investigative Journalism? 

read more
Russia-Japan
June 2019 | CWA # 125

Titsala Sangtam

Beyond the Kuril Island Dispute: Tensions between Moscow and Tokyo

read more
The World this Week
June 2019 | CWA # 124

GP Team

EU Parliament elections, Chinese VP receives Nishan-e-Pakistan, Trump-Abe summit, Mueller's new statement on Trump & Israel’s new elections

read more
Global Politics
May 2019 | CWA # 123

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

The Huawei Controversy: Five things you need to know

read more
Middle East
May 2019 | CWA # 122

Mahath Mangal

Why the world needs to look at Yemen

read more
India External
May 2019 | CWA # 121

Sourina Bej

Modi's Foreign Policy 2.0: A Response to C Raja Mohan

read more
The BRI Summit 2019
May 2019 | CWA # 120

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

The Central Asia Connector

read more
The BRI Summit 2019
May 2019 | CWA # 119

Harini Madhusudan

An Under-represented East Asia

read more
The BRI Summit 2019
May 2019 | CWA # 118

Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh Iyer

Africa Embraces the Belt and Road

read more
The BRI Summit 2019
May 2019 | CWA # 117

Sourina Bej

It’s Europe vs EU on China

read more
Africa
May 2019 | CWA # 116

Abigail Miriam Fernandez

Sudan: Between Democracy and another military rule

read more
The World this Week
May 2019 | CWA # 115

GP Team

American Troops to Middle East, Resignation of Theresa May, Climate Change Protests, Threats to Peace in Columbia and Post Elections Violence in Indonesia

read more
The World this Week
May 2019 | CWA # 114

GP Team

Diplomatic Outreaches of the US and Iran , China’s Tariff Retaliations, Tensions in the Middle East and Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka

read more
The World this Week
May 2019 | CWA # 113

GP Team

Gaza Violence, China-US Trade Negotiations, North Korean Missile Tests, Iran’s Partial Withdrawal and Mueller Report

read more
The World this Week
May 2019 | CWA # 112

GP Team

Masood Azhar Ban, Venezuela Crisis, Huawei in UK & the Sri Lankan Bombers

read more
The World this Week
April 2019 | CWA # 111

GP Team

Elections in Spain, BRI Summit 2.0, Kim's Russia visit and Terror attacks in Sri Lanka

read more
The World this Week
April 2019 | CWA # 110

GP Team

Indonesian Elections, North Korea's New Weapon Test, Trump's Yemen Veto, Venezuela Crisis and Climate Change Protests

read more
The World this Week
April 2019 | CWA # 109

GP Team

Coup in Sudan, Protests in Algeria & Libya, and another Brexit Extension

read more
Christchurch Massacre
April 2019 | CWA # 108

Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh Iyer

Responses and Inspiring Lessons

read more
The World this Week
April 2019 | CWA # 107

GP Team

Brexit Deadlock, Crises in Sudan & Algeria and the Elections in Maldives

read more
The World this Week
April 2019 | CWA # 106

GP Team

US-China Trade Talks, Mueller Report, Gaza Anniversary and Thailand Elections

read more
Southast Asia
March 2019 | CWA # 105

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Thailand: Between Elections and Instability

read more
Global Politics
March 2019 | CWA # 104

Ryan Mitra

Malaysia, China and the BRI: The Delicate Hedging

read more
China
March 2019 | CWA # 103

Sourina Bej

Two Sessions in 2019: Four Takeaways

read more
Middle East
March 2019 | CWA # 102

Lakshmi V Menon

The End of ISIS Caliphate?

read more
The World This Week
March 2019 | CWA # 101

GP Team

Brexit and the EU; BRI and Italy; Muller's Report; Trump, Golan Heights and Israel; and New Zealand's response to Christchurch

read more
The World this Week
March 2019 | CWA # 100

GP Team

The New Zealand Massacre, The JeM discussion in the UN, The Brexit rejection, US-Taliban peace talks and Climate protests

read more
Trump-Kim Summit & Regional Stakes
March 2019 | CWA # 99

Harini Madhusudan

For China, its a sigh of relief

read more
Trump-Kim Summit & Regional Stakes
March 2019 | CWA # 98

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

For Vietnam, its a big deal

read more
Trump-Kim Summit & Regional Stakes
March 2019 | CWA # 97

Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh Iyer

For Japan, No Deal is Good Deal

read more
Trump-Kim Summit & Regional Stakes
March 2019 | CWA # 96

Sourina Bej

For South Korea, a costly disappointment

read more
Trump-Kim Summit
March 2019 | CWA # 94

Harini Madhusudan

No deal is better, but isn't it bad?

read more
Myanmar
March 2019 | CWA # 92

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

The Other Conflict in Rakhine State

read more
The World This Week
March 2019 | CWA # 91

GP Team

India in OIC, India-Pakistan and Trump-Kim Summit

read more
The World This Week
February 2019 | CWA # 90

GP Team

Doha Dialogue with the Taliban, Saudi Arabia in Asia and the Crisis in Venezuela

read more
The World this Week
February 2019 | CWA # 89

GP Team

US Emergency, Nord Stream-2 and Indo-Pak tensions

read more
West Asia
February 2019 | CWA # 88

Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh Iyer

Yemen: Will Sa'nna fall?

read more
China and Islam
February 2019 | CWA # 87

Harini Madhusudan

Sinicizing the Minorities

read more
The World this Week
February 2019 | CWA # 86

GP Team

US, South Korea and Thailand

read more
Middle East
February 2019 | CWA # 85

Lakshmi V Menon

The Qatar Blockade: Eighteen Months Later

read more
The World This Week
February 2019 | CWA # 84

GP Team

Yemen, Venezuela and US-China

read more
Terrorism
January 2019 | CWA # 82

Sourina Bej

Maghreb: What makes al Shahab Resilient?

read more
Global Politics
January 2019 | CWA # 81

Harini Madhusudan

US-China Trade War: No Clear Winners

read more
United States
January 2019 | CWA # 80

Abhishrut Singh

Trump’s Shutdown: Five Things to Know

read more
The World this Week
January 2019 | CWA # 79

GP Team

Between a Terror attack in Nairobi and a Political Disaster in UK

read more
United States
January 2019 | CWA # 78

Kriti

Afghanistan: Why Trump’s decision to withdraw will create more instability

read more
United States
January 2019 | CWA # 77

Komal Tiwary

Syria: Why Trump’s decision to withdraw is a right one but at a wrong time

read more
Global Politics
January 2019 | CWA # 76

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Myanmar: Will 2019 be better for the Rohingya?

read more
The World this Week
January 2019 | CWA # 75

GP Team

Kim-Xi Meet, US Shutdown & US-China Trade Talks

read more
South Asia
January 2019 | CWA # 74

D. Suba Chandran

Bangladesh: The Burden of Electoral History

read more
Global Politics
January 2019 | CWA # 73

Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh Iyer

US and China: Between Confrontation and Competition

read more
The World this Week
January 2019 | CWA # 72

GP Team

Trump's Shutdown, Bangladesh Elections and China's Lunar Probe

read more
South Asia Monthly Brief (Nov 2018)
December 2018 | CWA # 71

Mahesh Bhatta | Centre for South Asian Studies, Kathmandu

Nepal

read more
South Asia Monthly Brief (Nov 2018)
December 2018 | CWA # 70

Nasima Khatoon | Research Associate, ISSSP, NIAS

The Maldives

read more
South Asia Monthly Brief (Nov 2018)
December 2018 | CWA # 69

Harini Madhusudan | Research Associate, ISSSP, NIAS

India

read more
South Asia Monthly Brief (Nov 2018)
December 2018 | CWA # 68

Sourina Bej | Research Associate, ISSSP, NIAS

Bangladesh

read more
South Asia Monthly Brief (Nov 2018)
December 2018 | CWA # 67

Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh Iyer | Research Associate, ISSSP, NIAS

Afghanistan

read more
East Asia
November 2018 | CWA # 66

Harini Madhusudan

China and Japan: Renewing relations at the right time

read more
United States
November 2018 | CWA # 65

Ryan Mitra

The INF Treaty: Towards a new Security Dilemma

read more
United States
November 2018 | CWA # 64

Sourina Bej

The INF Treaty: US withdraws to balance China?

read more
Middle East
October 2018 | CWA # 63

Harini Madhusudan

The Khashoggi Killing: Unanswered Questions

read more
Pakistan
October 2018 | CWA # 62

Divyabharathi E

The Economic Crisis and the Saudi Investments: What are the Fallouts?

read more
The Middle East
October 2018 | CWA # 61

Lakshmi V Menon

US and Israel: Trump's Deal of the Century

read more
South Asia
October 2018 | CWA # 60

Nasima Khatoon

The New Maldives: Advantage India?

read more
United States
September 2018 | CWA # 59

Harini Madhusudhan

To NAFTA or Not: Trump, Mexico and Canada

read more
Southeast Asia
September 2018 | CWA # 58

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Malaysia’s China Moment: The Mahathir Gamble

read more
India External
September 2018 | CWA # 57

Sourina Bej

BIMSTEC: A Bay of Good Hope?

read more
India External
September 2018 | CWA # 56

Ryan Mitra

India between the US and Iran: The Art of Balancing Two States

read more
United Kingdom
September 2018 | CWA # 55

Hely Desai

Two Years of Brexit: The Reverse-Domino Effect

read more
GP Debate
September 2018 | CWA # 54

Young Scholars Debate

India, Imran Khan and Indo-Pak Relations

read more
United Kingdom
August 2018 | CWA # 53

Siddhatti Mehta

Does Brexit mean Brexit?

read more
China
August 2018 | CWA # 52

Oishee Majumdar

Factsheet: China’s Investments in Africa

read more
Europe-Russia
August 2018 | CWA # 51

Sourina Bej

Post Trump-Putin Summit: How significant is the Russia threat to Europe?

read more
Myanmar
August 2018 | CWA # 50

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

The 8888 Uprising: Thirty Years Later

read more
US-China
August 2018 | CWA # 49

Harini Madhusudhan

The Tariff War: 'Stick of Hegemony' vs Vital Interests

read more
Global Politics
July 2018 | CWA # 48

Druta Bhatt

FactSheet: Shangri La Dialogue 2018

read more
United States
July 2018 | CWA # 47

Rahul Arockiaraj

Immigrants as the “Other”: The Social and Economic Factors in the US

read more
United States
July 2018 | CWA # 46

Divyabharathi E

Is Trump-Putin Summit a setback for the US?

read more
India External
July 2018 | CWA # 45

Apoorva Sudhakar

India and Bangladesh: The Long Haul

read more
Global Politics
July 2018 | CWA # 44

Divyabharathi E

Quad as an alternative to the BRI: Three Main Challenges

read more
South Asia
July 2018 | CWA # 43

Oishee Majumdar

FactSheet: India-Bangladesh Relations

read more
United States
July 2018 | CWA # 42

D. Suba Chandran

Trump meets Putin; will it cost NATO?

read more
United States
July 2018 | CWA # 41

Sourina Bej

Trump and the NATO: One Block, Different Views

read more
United States
July 2018 | CWA # 40

Rahul Arockiaraj

Zero Tolerance on Illegal Immigration: Explaining Trump’s strategy and the American Spirit

read more
United States
June 2018 | CWA # 39

Gayan Gowramma KC

Now, the United States withdraws from the UNHRC

read more
Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 38

Druta Bhatt

Electoral Rise of the Right: From Trump to Brexit

read more
China
June 2018 | CWA # 37

Siddhatti Mehta

Will China be able to sustain its Dominance?

read more
South Asia
June 2018 | CWA # 36

Miti Shah

Is religion redefining nationalism?: The Case of Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka

read more
South Asia
June 2018 | CWA # 35

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Myanmar: Why won't they do anything for the Rohingya?

read more
United States
June 2018 | CWA # 34

Harini Madhusudan

The Idea of an US Space Force: Strategic Calculations

read more
South Asia
June 2018 | CWA # 33

Apoorva Sudhakar

Afghan Peace: Reality or Illusion?

read more
United States
June 2018 | CWA # 32

Hely Desai

Looking beyond Trump: Is the US declining?

read more
Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 31

Manushi Kapadia

Is China using its soft power to become superpower?

read more
Middle East
June 2018 | CWA # 30

Lakshmi. V. Menon

Middle East: Has Russia chosen Israel over Iran?

read more
India External
June 2018 | CWA # 29

Divyabharathi E

India and Seychelles: Is the Assumption Deal a Game Changer in the Indian Ocean?

read more
Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 28

Miti Shah

G7: Why Trump wants Russia in?

read more
Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 27

Hely Desai

FactSheet: G7 Summit

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East Asia
June 2018 | CWA # 26

Siddhatti Mehta

The Panmunjom Declaration: “Tip of the Iceberg”

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Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 25

Druta Bhatt

Iran N-Deal and the Trans-Atlantic Divide

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Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 24

Manushi Kapadia

US and China: Towards a Trade War

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West Asia
June 2018 | CWA # 23

Miti Shah

Palestine: US triggers new tensions

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Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 22

Divyabharathi E

The "Indo-Pacific Command": What's in the name?

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Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 21

Harini Madhusudan

Trump’s Tariff Strategy: Targetting Adversaries and Allies

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East Asia
June 2018 | CWA # 20

Hely Desai

Trump-Kim Summit: Three Likely Outcomes

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West Asia
June 2018 | CWA # 19

Apoorva Sudhakar

The Lebanon Pawn: Will it change after elections?

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West Asia
June 2018 | CWA # 18

Lakshmi V Menon

Israel, the Game Changer?

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Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 17

Samreen Wani

Deciphering Turkey's External Push

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Global Politics
June 2018 | CWA # 16

Divyabharathi E

China and Russia: The New Alignments

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India External
May 2018 | CWA # 15

Ann Maria Shibu

Can India afford to lose Maldives to China?

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Global Politics
May 2018 | CWA # 14

Dhruv Ashok

Why Maldives is important to China?

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Global Politics
May 2018 | CWA # 13

Lakshmi V Menon

ISIS and the Yazidi victims: Why the World should stand up?

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Global Politics
May 2018 | CWA # 12

Harini Madhusudan

US- China Tariff Face-off : Five questions

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India External
May 2018 | CWA # 11

Jamyang Dolma

Why is Free Tibet important for India

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Global Politics
May 2018 | CWA # 10

Divyabharathi E

Arctic: The Strategic Significance

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Global Politics
May 2018 | CWA # 9

Lakshmi V Menon

Do we need the Quad?

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Global Politics
May 2018 | CWA # 8

Samreen Wani

Why Trump’s Iran exit is a big mistake?

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East Asia
May 2018 | CWA # 7

Jamyang Dolma

Inter Korean Summit: Will it work?

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India-Nepal
May 2018 | CWA # 6

Shalini E

What prevents India and Nepal from moving forward?

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India-Sri Lanka
May 2018 | CWA # 5

Dhruv Ashok

The Fishermen Issue between India and Sri Lanka

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Bangladesh
May 2018 | CWA # 4

Apoorva Sudhakar

Bangladesh's Economy: Decoding a Success Story

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Water Conflicts
May 2018 | CWA # 3

Ann Maria Shibu

Why India should not pull out of the Indus water treaty?

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India
May 2018 | CWA # 2

Samreen Wani

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: India’s underutilised asset?

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India External
May 2018 | CWA # 1

Divyabharathi E

Quad and India's Strategic Dilemma

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