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In West Asia, where US and China’s interests intersect

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s recent six-nation tour of West Asia has sparked discussions about Beijing’s taking a more active approach in the region. In part, this is driven by China’s expanding interests; in part, it is a product of the China-United States (US) competition and geopolitical churn underway after...

Takshashila Working Paper — Constraining the Pakistani Military-Jihadi Complex In a Post-COVID World

by Pranay Kotasthane This is a draft of a paper published in Scholar Warrior (ISSN: 2319-7331, Autumn 2020), a Centre for Land and Warfare Studies Publication. Download the paper This paper surveys four major developments that impact the Pakistani Military-Jihadi Complex (MJC) in the recent months — change in MJC’s...

Takshashila Strategic Assessment — India, COVID-19, and West Asia

Download the Strategic Assessment as a PDF. Executive Summary The novel coronavirus has introduced new and highly unpredictable social and political dynamics into West Asia. We argue that: India’s key challenges are securing the return of out-of-work expatriates, protecting those still working in the region, and preparing for a reduction...

Let’s make the most of dirt cheap oil [Mint]

In a dramatic and unprecedented turn of events on Monday, crude oil began trading in negative territory for the first time since records began. The price on a futures contract for West Texas crude that was due to expire on 21 April crashed to minus $37.63 a barrel. This is a...

Takshashila Strategic Assessment — India and the Saudi-Russia Oil Price War

Download the full Strategic Assessment as a PDF. Executive Summary Global oil prices have fallen by about half since early March 2020. On one hand, the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across the world, and on the other, the world is awash in oil because of the Saudi-Russia dispute over production...

Talks about talks with Pakistan

The Modi government should put grand rapprochement with Pakistan on hold and leave diplomacy to diplomats, by Rohan Joshi and Pranay Kotasthane

Terra Nullius | The Turkish conundrum

An important signifier of a liberal democracy is its power to introspect and retain its identity, especially when its politics shifts. A government in a liberal democracy that comes into power with a strong majoritarian mandate needs to pay attention to two things. One, if it claims to create a...

Acorn | Looking for morality in chemical composition of death devices

The debate in Washington is about guilt management, not Syrian lives. The very public handwringing and teeth-gnashing that is Barack Obama’s decision-making on intervention in Syria is on the surface and according to the protagonists about upholding international humanitarian norms, punishing regimes that transgress them and maintaining US credibility. To...

Acorn | Karzai’s tightrope

Pakistan’s opposition to an autonomous Afghanistan is the problem My op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Asia‘s symposium (Nov 15th, 2011): As the Obama administration pushes for an earlier drawdown of U.S. troops, Kabul must quickly take responsibility for maintaining internal stability and charting an independent foreign policy. We asked...

Acorn | East Asia, yes. Iran, err.

US State Department’s view on India’s regional role Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of an online Q&A with Robert Blake, US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia. Nitin Pai: You have been one of the few U.S. officials to state that India is part of East...