In my previous assessment, I outlined why Indo-US ties are party agnostic and how the days of bellicosity of the Nixon and Kissinger and President Bill Clinton’s first term with Robin Raphel, the first Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, are relics of the Cold War era.

2021 marks a seminal year for India since it is celebrating thirty years of economic reforms. The last three decades have also reset the special friendship between Washington and Delhi. Not only did India move away from a perceived bonhomie with Moscow, but as the Indian economy liberalised, it…


Biden like Trump, shares some of the concerns about Beijing, a position held across the aisle with Beijing’s belligerence. However, the belief was that Biden unlike Trump would adopt a “small yard, high-fence approach” meaning that it wouldn’t have the open bellicosity of vitriol against the communist party leadership or trade wars, but there would be a cautious approach, especially on dealing with technology.

Given the emphasis on the Indo-Pacific and Quad to contain China, it remains to be seen if the Biden administration has missed the forest for the trees in leaving a vacuum in Afghanistan that China, Russia…


The Olympic Games is the epitome of a global village, a sense of communal bonhomie, bringing together eclectic mix of individuals from every nation in a display of triumph, endurance, passion while cherishing the ideals of sportsmanship, compassion and camaraderie.

The symbols speak for themselves with the Olympic Torch representing ‘peace, unity and friendship’, and the symbol of the five rings representing the five continents.

Yet with regard to the Tokyo games, the Olympics hasn’t entirely mitigated geopolitical tensions; it has inadvertently presented it on a grandiose spectacle.

Power Equations

From the inaugural games in 1896 in Athens to 1936…


Fire and water are juxtaposed in the phraseology of elements, but Robert Kaplan’s book Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific alludes to how a large water body is now a simmering cauldron. If modern-day geopolitical advantages are said to be shaped by three things, trade, natural resources, and supply chains, then all those three aspects are epitomized by who controls the South China Sea.

In terms of natural resources, the South China Sea has 11 billion barrels of oil, around 190 trillion feet of natural gas, 40 percent of global liquified natural gas…


Both Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire on May 21. Many see it as the calm before the storm, or ‘hot peace’, to quote former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. Peace in the Holy Land seems ephemeral. Israel often blames Hamas militants for starting the provocation, but that seems to be a symptom and not the cause.

To elucidate, let me begin with this example.

Not many would have heard the town Nogales. In fact there are two towns with the same name. The two Nogales are identical: both towns have a Spanish-speaking…


AKSHOBH GIRIDHARADAS

Introduction

After 11 September 2001, when a group of militants associated with the Al-Qaeda staged coordinated attacks on the United States (US) and killed almost 3,000, Osama bin Laden became the world’s most wanted man. In the following years, US forces tried but failed to hunt for him across Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was almost a decade later when they found him, living in a compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, some 120 km north of the capital, Islamabad. In the early hours of 2 May 2011, US forces raided the compound and killed Bin Laden, and…


US President Joe Biden

India is seen as the pharmaceutical capital of the world. A few months back, in February, India was leveraging its scientific know-how in pharmaceutical manufacturing and distributing vaccines to close to 100 countries, many of them in the Global South. This initiative was dubbed ‘Vaccine Maitri’ (vaccine friendship), and was fulfilling its COVAX obligations, commercial sales and vaccine grants. For a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government often accused of being nationalist, this was very globalist.

India in May tells a different story. On May 1, there was a clarion call for help as its vaccine altruism soon manifested into other…


(Image Source: Reuters)

Summers in Washington DC are sultry, scolding and heated both for the weather and for the discourse emanating from think-tanks, academia and the embassies.

One such summer day in DC, an unnamed diplomat, at an unnamed event, unequivocally stated that India is not a strategic counterweight to China. India is one-fifth of China’s economy, and the only geopolitical power that can compete with China would be the United States.

Where does this kerfuffle originate from?

The robust partnership between New Delhi and Washington rests on the pillars of strategic partnership on defence and the union of foreign policy goals such…

Akshobh Giridharadas

A journalist by profession. He writes about business & finance, geopolitics, sports & tech news. He is a TEDx & Toastmasters speaker. Follow him @Akshobh

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