Stories about US foreign policy

So far so bad: 100 days of Donald Trump made America great again

Against all odds, US President Donald J Trump has completed 100 days of office. While the US president’s tenure so far has been tumultuous, with protest after protest erupting across the country, Trump has also baffled the United States and the rest of the world with his conflicting, sometimes bizarre views and methods.  To his credit, Trump has provided much comic relief — especially on the internet — with his, let’s just say, unconventional methods (there is madness in them, yes). From announcing foreign policy on Twitter to labelling every news outlet as “fake news”, the leader of the free world has gone about making America great ...

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Is Trump aware of the catastrophic consequences of fighting a war with nuclear-armed North Korea?

These days, for the most unfortunate reasons, there’s no dearth of events clamouring to grab the headlines in the US. A perpetual flow of rudimentary as well as impactful (read ‘incendiary’) news keeps on piling stress and frustration on those who dare to care. From the Sean Spicer gaffes to airline functionaries literally trying to beat their passengers to death, to the never-ending Russian hacking saga, the news cycle is as bizarre as it gets. While the plight of conscientious governance is too hard to miss, what’s worth noting and most incredibly intriguing is how conveniently the Donald Trump administration has within a matter of few days managed to manoeuvre ...

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Back to Obama

Friday night, America and the world said goodbye to an era that we have known for eight years, the presidency of Barack Obama. Giving way to a radically different and unorthodox presidency, which makes the change all the heavier. As we ponder over the inauguration of Donald Trump, let us look back and see how the eight years of the Obama administration have been, what he has done and what he has accomplished, and figure out what his legacy will be. Obama presided over America during one of the tougher periods in its history. The previous eight years, namely George ...

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Should Afghanistan, India and Iran always blame Pakistan for their own mistakes?

It’s nothing but ironical that I’m writing this blog on the latest (if not the greatest), all intensive, simmering hot issue of yet another AfPak entanglement right around the time when one of the chief architects of Pakistan’s Afghan’s policy of the 80s-90s, General Hamid Gul, bade farewell to the world. The general, a villain to some and a hero to others, was by all means a controversial figure, one who left a deep impact on the regional politics for years to come. So when I hear the current crop of Afghan leadership screaming their lungs out with ferociously unsavoury, emotion-laden statements pointing fingers at the Pakistanis for ...

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The price I pay for respecting Islam

Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would become a scholar focusing on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. Growing up, my passion was playing basketball and following the Boston Celtics. I never had any Muslim friends. In fact, I did not even know a single follower of Islam until my college years. If you had asked me “What is a Muslim?” when I was 16-years-old, I would not be able to answer you. But everything changed when 9/11 happened.  Muslims were seen as “extremists” and Islam was an “evil” force that had to be crushed by “freedom loving people”. When it came time to ...

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Hillary Clinton, “it’s your time” to run the White House

United States may finally have a female head of state. Hillary Clinton has formally announced that she will run for president in 2016 and perhaps be the next occupant of the White House. We’ve been listening to rumours and whispers for as long as one can remember but after tons of denials, rejections and I-don’t-knows, the former first lady and later on secretary of state has decided to give a second shot at the presidency, the so-called ‘highest glass ceiling of American politics’. The April 12, 2015 announcement didn’t come as a shock. From the time when President Barack Obama was re-elected for ...

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60 years ago Saadat Hasan Manto knew what Pakistan was in for today

“I have seen him;  On the cleanest roads, in a dust-covered amazement;  In the gathering storm of blind, overturned cups; Tossing the empty bottle he shouts, ‘Oh world! Your beauty is your ugliness.’  Booms becoming the noise of chains, The world stares back at him, Their bloodshot eyes rattle with the question, ‘Who nabs the pillar of time, By the noose of his drunken breath? Who dares to break into dim corridors, Of twisted conscience? Who intrudes upon poisonous dens, Of demonised souls? Through icy glasses his rude glance, Chases us like a footfall, Foul monster! Bang! Bang!” (A poem for Manto – Majeed Amjad) The man who saw beauty in the world’s ugliness and for whom this poem ...

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The cyclical nature of the War on Terror

Acts of ‘terror’ have been permeating through our televisions screens and newspapers in the West to the extent that we now seem to be surrounded by them. The ‘war on terror’ makes ‘us’ in the West feel safe, but what is almost never considered is how ‘our’ safety affects the lives of the ‘others’ we aim to destroy. In the wake of the horrific Peshawar school attack that killed 141 people, many of whom were children, the international community rallied against the attackers. What remained unexplored were the factors that led to the attack to begin with. What were the motivations ...

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Ethics in an unethical mirage

It is often said that national interests dictate the dynamics of international politics and that morality has no role to play in international relations. Proponents of this view are likely to argue that international politics hinges on pragmatic and practical issues. Alliances are then, the result of mutual benefit accruing to both parties; animosity is either the status quo or likely to occur where interests do not converge. On the other hand, we have Mr Woodrow Wilson, who argues that, “Interests do not tie nations together; it sometimes separates them. But sympathy and understanding does unite them.” It may be conceded that ...

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Don’t write off Obama just yet!

Despite severe opposition from the Republicans, President Barack Obama finally did what he should have done years ago – he announced a plan to stop deportation of almost five million undocumented migrants from the US.  Faced with a crisis of confidence and a defeat in the November mid-term elections, Obama, a Democrat, recently lashed out at the Grand Old Party (GOP), a republican party, and said, “They have the ability to fix the system. What they don’t have the ability to do is to expect me to stand by with a broken system in perpetuity.” Immigration reform has been ‘way overdue’. The president’s announcement does not, ...

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