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Showing posts from July 29, 2018

IMRAN KHAN’S PAKISTAN

Sunday, 05 August 2018 | Ashok Behuria | in Agenda The cricketer-turned politician’s charisma has finally worked in Pakistan. What remains to be seen is how he will address the outstanding issues with India. Will he, as a favourite of the Army, make it understand the value of giving peace a chance? Or will he just toe the line? Imran Khan sprung a surprise in the 14th General Elections in Pakistan held on July 25 this year. After 22 years in wilderness, he finally managed to make his charisma work in electoral politics. A man of many parts — ace cricketer, philanthropist, rabble-rouser, eternal optimist with a colourful life — Imran is due to take over the reins of the new Government in Islamabad soon. The election results proved many Pakistan watchers in India wrong. As much as they were guided by opinion polls to argue that Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was closing the gap with Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), they hardly believed that the apparent shift in

Saudi Arabia Is in a Double Bind on Oil Prices

31 July 2018 Source: Chatam House Saudi Arabia may have prevailed at the latest OPEC meeting, but its biggest challenge when it comes to balancing production and prices is domestic. Jessica Obeid Academy Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources Department (2017-18) Saudi and foreign investors attend the kingdom's Global Competitiveness Forum in 2016 in Riyadh. Photo: Getty Images. Share     At the OPEC meeting held in Vienna on 22 June, Saudi Arabia successfully pushed for an increase in oil production, despite opposition from Iran, Iraq and other smaller producers within the organization. But this victory may yet prove hollow, as the kingdom’s biggest challenge when it comes to balancing production and prices is domestic. On the one hand, keeping oil prices low helps secure Saudi Arabia’s market share, satisfy the US and increase pressure on Iran. On the other, it is in its interests to keep potential revenues at a level that will maximize the value of its intended in

The Peculiar Chronology of Persistent Nerve Agents

https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/persistent-nerve-agents/ By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham August 3, 2018 An example of a Novichok nerve agent. Atom key: C dark grey, H light grey, N blue, P yellow, F light blue. Chemical formula C7H16FN2O2P. PM7 geometry-optimized structure. Image via Flickr CC BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 912, August 3, 2018 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  A peculiar chronology can be spotted w hen examining the milestones marking the history of the development and use of persistent nerve agents around the world . Coincidentally or otherwise, Iran, North Korea, and Russia have all been mentioned in the context of nerve agents in recent years. The category of chemical warfare agents known as nerve agents has two sub-categories: volatile (non-persistent) and persistent nerve agents. The first is typically represented by sarin, a toxicant that was used in the Tokyo subway sabotage (conducted by the Japanese movement Aum Shinrikyo in 1995), during the Iraq-I

The Peculiar Chronology of Persistent Nerve Agents

https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/persistent-nerve-agents/ By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham August 3, 2018 An example of a Novichok nerve agent. Atom key: C dark grey, H light grey, N blue, P yellow, F light blue. Chemical formula C7H16FN2O2P. PM7 geometry-optimized structure. Image via Flickr CC BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 912, August 3, 2018 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  A peculiar chronology can be spotted w hen examining the milestones marking the history of the development and use of persistent nerve agents around the world . Coincidentally or otherwise, Iran, North Korea, and Russia have all been mentioned in the context of nerve agents in recent years. The category of chemical warfare agents known as nerve agents has two sub-categories: volatile (non-persistent) and persistent nerve agents. The first is typically represented by sarin, a toxicant that was used in the Tokyo subway sabotage (conducted by the Japanese movement Aum Shinrikyo in 1995), during the Iraq-I

Dynamics of J&K: Lecture by Dr.Ashok Behuria to future strategic leaders of Indian Armed Forces

Dr Ashok Behuria, Senior Fellow at IDSA spoke on Dynamics of J&K to future strategic leaders of Indian Armed Forces attending Higher Defence Management Course at College of Defence Management, Secunderabad. Dr Behuria spoke on the topic with authority based on extensive research on the subject. He enriched his talk with anecdotes to bring out the complexity of the issue. He spoke about the new generation of militants, complicacies due to external influences and vested interests of various agencies. He pointed at the dominant role of the Pak Army and ISI in Pakistan's approach to Kashmir and Indo-Pak relations. Dr. Ashok Behuria is a Fellow and Coordinator of the South Asia Centre at IDSA. He is a Ph.D in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is a recipient of the  prestigious K Subrahmanyam Award for excellence in strategic studies for his work on Pakistan in 2009.

WestAsia Digest : Ananta Center

​   Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad Adviser, West Asia & North Africa, Ananta Centre Former Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman & UAE 1st August 2018 | VOL 03 ISSUE 08 | MONTHLY H I G H L I G H T S •  Political Developments   •  Oil-related Developments I)  Political Developments 1) Syria – government forces advance in the south:  After the success of the government in retaking Aleppo, Homs, Palmyra and finally Ghouta, and securing its capital, the southern campaign began in mid-June as the Bashar Assad regime, already in control of 60 percent of the country, moved to take back the remaining parts from rebel hands. The south, consisting the provinces of Quneitra, Daraa and Sweida, has more than one million residents of different denominations. The main rebel forces are from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is said to have about 20,000 fighters, though there is a sprinkling of extremist elements across the region. Over the last year, the south was relatively peaceful due to

Taliban: We’re ‘another name of the Afghan nation’

Taliban: We’re ‘another name of the Afghan nation’ Posted on: 27-06-2018 By Bill Roggio In a recent statement that addressed comments by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the Taliban reiterated that it considers itself the sole representative of the Afghan people. This is at odds with the opinion of some analysts who advise the US government on policy with respect to a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. The Taliban statement, which is dated June 23 and published at Voice of Jihad, addressed Stoltenberg’s comments that “the way to achieve that [peace] is not to leave Afghanistan. The way to achieve that is to stay in Afghanistan”. During the Taliban’s response – which reiterated that all foreign forces must leave before negotiations can begin, a consistent Taliban position for more than a decade – the group said it views itself as the only representative of the Afghan people. “Taliban is not some group but is another name of the Afghan nation,” it said while addressin