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  • Kurds sole ‘boots on ground’ against Islamic State

    Bitter last ditch battles are being fought by Kurdish men and women, including boys and girls barely out of their teens, against the Daesh. Some feel that to succeed, Washington must cooperate with the Syrian Kurds (YPG) as Kurdish fighters alone have proved willing and capable of taking on the Daesh.

    October 09, 2014

    Syria: A Grand Settlement?

    It is painfully clear that no serious attempt is being made to resolve the Syrian crisis. There seems to be a certain fatigue in the international community combined with a belief that it is beyond human ingenuity to bring an end to the crisis; the world has to learn to live with it.

    May 26, 2014

    Interventionism and Human Security

    The conflict in Syria is inexorably turning into a quagmire as more entities get dragged into the sludge. From a hands-off policy to one of humanitarian support, the West has progressed to arming rebels, while Russia has shown that it is determined not to let down its ally by continuing arms shipments to the Assad regime.

    January 2014

    The Geneva Conference on Syria: What Will It Deliver?

    The UN is convening a conference on Syria in Montreux from January 22 with 30 odd states including India attending the meet. While the US is standing in the way of Iran’s participation, Russia has stated clearly that Iran’s absence will prevent the conference from delivering the intended results.

    January 20, 2014

    Chemical and Biological Weapons in Egypt and Libya

    Egypt has for long possessed chemical weapons (CW) and biological weapons (BW), and was unable to make much progress in the nuclear weapons (NW) domain, at least as yet, Qaddafi's Libya on the other hand produced CW, developed BW, neared nuclear capacity as well, eventually, but shifted to total deproliferation in due course.

    Rohan Singh Asked: What implications might arise from the recent Israeli air strike on the Mediterranean coast of Syria?

    Rajeev Agarwal replies: Israel has been known to take unilateral military action on the premise of defending its own security interests. Potential military threats to its national security like weapon consignments, gathering of terrorists at launch pads across Israeli borders, etc., have been targeted by Israel in the past as part of its proactive and pre-emptive security measures.

    As regards Syria, this is not the first time it has been targeted by Israeli air strikes. One of the most famous ones was the air strike in 2007 over a suspected nuclear facility in Syria. Even in the ongoing civil war in Syria, the strike at Latakia was the sixth air strike by Israel, as per some reports. Syria is in no position to take any counter action on Israeli air strikes. Also, presently, no one is challenging Israel's right to take out potential military threats unilaterally, even if it means launching operations across into the territory of its neighbours.

    Syria Crisis: How will it be resolved?

    A solution to the Syrian crisis is unlikely to emerge with either Assad in power or in the existing circumstances of the military stand-off. A political solution will have to be imposed from outside, possibly an understanding between the US and Russia with tacit consent of China.

    October 22, 2013

    Syria and the OPCW: Taking a Stock of the Situation

    The joint OPCW-UN team mandated to assist Syria with the elimination of its chemical weapon programme by mid-2014 may not be realistic. As in the case of Russia and the US, the deadline for the destruction of stockpile of chemical weapons has shifted considerably.

    October 17, 2013

    The Islamist Challenge in West Asia: Doctrinal and Political Competitions After the Arab Spring

    The Islamist Challenge in West Asia: Doctrinal and Political Competitions After the Arab Spring
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    Following the Arab Spring, the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) region is witnessing interactions between the various strands of Islamism-Wahhabiya in Saudi Arabia; the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its affiliates in other Arab countries, and the radical strand represented by Al Qaeda and its associated organisations - in an environment of robust competition and even conflict. This work examines these issues in some details. It provides an overview of the political aspects of Islamic law – the Sharia, as it evolved from early Islam and, over the last two hundred years, experienced the impact of Western colonialism. This book draws on a rich variety of source material which has been embellished by the author’s extensive diplomatic experience in the Arab world over three decades.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-737-1,
    • Price: ₹. 695/-
    • E-copy available

    Debating the Doctrine of Military Intervention

    The emerging doctrine of intervention is built around the ability of the international community, mainly the US-led western alliance, to impose its collective will in order to restore a deteriorating situation or to prevent a nascent conflict from burgeoning into full blown war with wider ramifications.

    September 13, 2013