Washington’s reiteration that it will defend the Philippines and Taiwan if either were attacked by Beijing further heightens the chance of conflict between the two powers.
The result of the fourth election in two years clearly points to the dysfunction of Israel’s political system and the many fault lines of its democracy. Sadly, personal rivalries rather than political platforms that address foreign and domestic policies rule the day.
The UK’s latest defence review re-commits Westminster to the Indo-Pacific with a “tilt” to the region that is intended to enhance diplomatic and trade relations between London and its Indo-Pacific partners. While a renewed British presence will be welcomed by many, for China and its partners, it is more likely to be seen as an expansion of the informal US-led “anti-China” alliance.
Any re-negotiation of the JCPOA must necessarily include a sunset clause that Israel finds acceptable and mechanisms to fully ensure that Iran does not use its nuclear programme for military purposes. Any less could lead to further regional conflict, the nuclearisation of the Middle East or both.
Sixty Portuguese Special Forces personnel will be deployed to Mozambique to help train their local counterparts in the wake of the largest and deadliest attack yet in the jihadist insurgency that is ravaging the LNG-rich province of Cabo Delgado.
President Biden’s emphasis on building partnerships to deal with global challenges has been welcomed by US allies. They will be closely watching the recent developments in the context of Washington’s ties with Moscow and Beijing, since many of them may be forced to make tough choices of their own in the long run.
In Pakistan, if an elected prime minister makes a policy shift for the betterment of the country, it is a crime, the price of which he has to pay, but if the same shift is announced by a military general, it is plausible and tenable.
Since Brexit, the British Government has called for a strategic reorientation of British foreign and security policy towards the Indian Ocean region. That reorientation will witness an expanded British presence in the Indian Ocean, with the Royal Navy in particular adopting a proactive role. If the UK is to step up successfully in the Indian Ocean, building closer co-operation and deeper ties with allies in the region will prove essential.
The Taliban are failing to understand two basic points: first, reversion to a pre-2001 Islamic Emirate system is not possible (and not acceptable to regional countries); second, the path to the corridors of true power passes through the democratic electoral process.