The United States is no longer interested in prolonged military engagements in foreign lands to effect regime change or in financial investment to enable nation building; the project of nation building is to be the job of the local populace and not that of the US military. Working with partners, Washington will continue to promote such democratic norms as basic human rights, humanitarian aid and regional diplomacy.
The nuclear submarine technology that Australia will acquire through the AUKUS alliance is only one element of a major recalibration of Australian and US strategies to counter China.
The six-kilometre-long Padma Bridge will greatly enhance connectivity across Bangladesh and exemplifies China’s expanding soft power.
A failure to understand Afghan history, the country’s tribal culture, its unfamiliar rugged terrain and an underestimation of the Taliban’s faith, determination and fighting skills, combined with the rampant corruption of the Karzai and Ghani governments, Washington’s misreading of Afghan political reality and faulty technical intelligence, all led to the failure of US military plans.
New air and diplomatic links between Bahrain and Israel are coming into effect and, together with increased trade volumes, constitute the latest developments flowing from the Abraham Accords, which are beginning to bring demonstrable benefits.
Iran’s role in Afghanistan is likely to be important, due to its geographic location and also because, while Tehran will seek to find common ground with other countries, including China, it is also likely to follow an independent policy driven by its own strategic interests, especially in the South Asian context.