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Author Archive | M K Bhadrakumar

Turkey Cools Down Tempers over Syria

As Monday dawned, Turkey kept its fingers crossed in keen anticipation of the nationwide address by President Bashar al-Assad on the situation in Syria.  Ankara sent an open message ahead of Assad’s speech that if he failed to announce reforms even in a third attempt, he would “miss a big chance” to preserve power. Turkey […]

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Turkey’s Not-So-Subtle Shift on Syria

An old story from Istanbul in the Ottoman era mentions a Turkish imam who killed a Christian and confessed the crime, whereupon he was advised by the judge to talk things over with the mufti who told him privately that a good Muslim never admitted felony against infidels and he should simply recant his confession.  […]

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Russia’s U-Turn

Russia went to the Group of Eight (G-8) summit meeting at Deauville as an inveterate critic of the “unilateralist” Western intervention in Libya, but came away from the seaside French resort as a mediator between the West and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  The United States scored a big diplomatic victory in getting Moscow to work […]

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Syria, Libya, and Russia’s Retreat from “Reset”

The last thing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did before departing for France to attend this week’s Group of Eight summit meeting in Deauville was place a call to Damascus. Prima facie, one may think the call made sense, since, as Reuters reported, “Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests” is going to be high on the agenda […]

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India Needs Course Correction on Iran

The agreement between Iran, Turkey and Brazil for a swap deal on the stockpile of Tehran’s nuclear fuel sets the stage for a diplomatic pirouette of high significance for regional security.  The paradigm shift affects Indian interests. The Barack Obama administration has hastily debunked the Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal, which was announced in Tehran on Monday, and […]

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An AfPak Star over Central Asia

United States AfPak special representative Richard Holbrooke enjoys a fabulous reputation, no matter the current prospects of the Afghan war.  The Eurasian space knew him as a potential Nobel winner who evicted Russia from the Balkans.  The world at large expects him to take over if and when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton steps down […]

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Obama Plays Medvedev against Putin and Iran

“Medvedev-watching” graduated from pure science to applied science during the four-day visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to New York and Pittsburgh last week. The Western perception that the famous Prime Minister Vladimir Putin-Medvedev “tandem” in Moscow would inevitably transform and the Russian president would incrementally create his own power center in the Kremlin received […]

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The End of Chimerica?

Like the star gazers who last week watched the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, diplomatic observers had a field day watching the penumbra of big power politics involving the United States, Russia and China, which constitutes one of the crucial phenomena of 21st-century world politics. It all began with United States Vice […]

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