Salman Rafi Sheikh
20.04.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

As I recently wrote, US-China ties, following Biden’s recent call to Xi, are unlikely to see any major improvement and progress from what has been a tit-for-tat trade war for the past several years. In fact, the recent visit of the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has done more than anything else to prove the fact that the US-China ties, regardless of who occupies the White House, will continue to be shaped by great power competition…

13.04.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

On the 2nd of April, US President Joe Biden had an almost two-hour-long phone call with China’s Xi Jinping, where both leaders discussed the future of US-China ties and issues that underpin it. A bone of contention was restrictions on the transfer of US technologies to China. While Biden argued that restrictions were meant to protect US “national security”, Xi pointed out that restrictions were hurting China’s smooth growth. But despite this clash, a key outcome of the phone call was Washington’s announcement that the US Treasury Secretary…

09.04.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

Last week, Washington’s decision to abstain from voting allowed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to pass the resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. This would be remembered as one of those rare occasions where the US did not use its veto power to protect Israel. More importantly, the Israeli prime minister’s office termed the US decision to not veto the resolution as a “clear retreat” from Washington’s previous uncritical commitment to protecting Israel…

05.04.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

In the past two decades (2001-2023) since the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 people in New York, US wars, both direct and indirect, have caused more than 4 million deaths worldwide. Without mincing words, this is a deadly scenario, where Washington has relied on war as its preferred means of executing foreign policy. Its unabated support for Israel and its continuing supply of weapons to Ukraine are yet another reminder of Washington’s frequent reliance on direct and indirect wars to accomplish its goals…

29.03.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

Europe is in a state of desperation; the continent is losing in Ukraine despite the ‘mighty’ strength of NATO; and European leaders are now vowing for a ‘stronger’ response, including via sending their own forces to combat Russian military forces in Ukraine. Will this decision, if it is ultimately taken, bring any meaningful change to Ukraine’s slow fall is, however, a moot question. What makes it a moot question is the scale of Ukraine’s fall and the depletion of Western stockpiles of weapons and ammunition that it is already finding hard to refill…

26.03.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

With more than 30,000 Palestinians, including thousands of children, dead in Israel’s genocidal war on Palestine in Gaza since October 2023, Israel is still far from achieving its key strategic objective, i.e., to completely eliminate Hamas. Hamas, first of all, is not simply an entity that can be bombed out of existence; Hamas is an idea with deep penetration into Palestinian society. The idea it represents – which also led it to launch its October 7 attacks – is that a violent struggle…

21.03.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

With Russia able to withstand – and virtually defeat – the combined military strength of NATO in Ukraine, its foreign policy and its diplomatic outreach to the rest of the world is bound to gain not only confidence but also become a lot more assertive than it was during the first year of this conflict when Washington launched its so-called “isolate Russia” project. Translating its military gains in Ukraine, Moscow, for instance, recently hosted Palestinian factions to unify the…

15.03.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

Following French President Macron’s remarks about sending NATO troops to Ukraine to fight Russia, shadows of a wider conflict in Europe are looming large. If that happens, it will be a conflict triggered by Washington’s obsession with expanding NATO to include Ukraine and the subsequent inability of the combined NATO forces to defeat Russia and/or beat it into negotiations – a failure that is now reinforcing European states’ fear of Russian dominance (another Washington narrative) in Europe…

11.03.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

The US President, Joe Biden’s political future, hangs in the balance. Even though his physicians recently declared him fit, his supporters don’t see him fit enough. A recent poll done in the US shows that a majority of the people who voted for Biden in 2020 now believe that he is too old to be an effective president. This means that many of his voters are already in the advanced stages of thinking about shifting their voters towards Trump. But Biden’s age is not only the source of his worry…

04.03.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

If war is politics by other means, Washington’s ongoing wars in the Middle East and Eastern Europe are meant to buttress its global influence on the one hand and undermine its competitors on the other. But the question is: how is this politics by other means working out for Washington? Not so good. Russia’s recent military victories in Ukraine and China’s expansive inroads into the Middle East alongside the growing anti-Americanism in the region (due to Washington’s support for Israel and its inability to prevent a genocide of the Palestinians) indicate an overall…

29.02.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

Biden’s flowed foreign policy, i.e., its support for Ukraine and Israel’s genocidal war on Palestine, and Trump’s populism have seemingly combined into a force that might bring the former president to the White House. The possibility is no longer distant. As some latest data shows, Biden is already trailing Trump in terms of popularity. Several key states, including Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan have already swung to Trump, which means that Trump could ultimately end up winning with 277 votes…

25.02.2024 Salman Rafi Sheikh

After a two-year respite, Washington seems to be coming ‘back’ to Afghanistan to primarily sabotage China’s inroads. In the second week of February, China received Afghanistan’s ambassador to China, signalling Beijing’s willingness to recognise the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. In late 2023, China also became the first country to appoint an ambassador to Afghanistan. These developments come against the backdrop of the success of the Taliban in ensuring that anti-China terror groups, i.e., the Islamic State – Khorasan (IS-K) and…