Brute Isolation: Trump and the Art of Unraveling the Iran Deal

Contrary to a barrage of spin, the P5+1 meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to assess implementation of the Iran nuclear deal did not go especially well, as diplomats confirmed to Asia Times. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson was forced to concede Tehran is abiding by the deal. But once again …

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Unmasked: Trump Doctrine Vows Carnage for New Axis of Evil

This was no “deeply philosophical address”. And hardly a show of “principled realism” – as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was “American carnage,” to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller. One should allow the enormity of what just happened to sink in, slowly. The president of …

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Iran Turns The Art of the Deal Upside Down

As President Hasan Rouhani prepares to address the UN General Assembly in New York and the Trump administration and allies relentlessly lobby for the Iran nuclear deal to be decertified, Tehran is busy clinching deal after deal with Asians and Europeans. For the Chinese government, Iran – and Pakistan – are so geopolitically important that they are …

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US soldiers prepare to raise the American flag during a memorial ceremony in Kabul to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sept. 11, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Mohammad Ismail

9/11 and the Unsolvable Afghan Drama

Sixteen years after 9/11, and the subsequent US bombing that toppled the Taliban, where do we stand? Osama bin Laden is no more. Al-Qaeda is not in Afghanistan but swarming Idlib province in Syria, metastasized into Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former Jabhat al-Nusra; 30,000 jihadis with combat experience who absorbed brigades from other “moderate …

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre) and his wife Peng Liyuan welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of a banquet dinner during the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province, on September 4, 2017. Photo: AFP / Fred Dufour

The Russia-China Plan For North Korea: Stability, Connectivity

The United Nations Security Council’s 15-0 vote to impose a new set of sanctions on North Korea somewhat disguises the critical role played by the Russia-China strategic partnership, the “RC” at the core of the BRICS group. The new sanctions are pretty harsh. They include a 30% reduction on crude and refined oil exports to …

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Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die

A serious working hypothesis is being discussed for a while now among independent geopolitical analysts. Here it is, in a nutshell. Daesh may be dying – but the world is still encumbered with its walking corpse. Plan B of Daesh’s masters may have been to indoctrinate repeated waves of misguided youth across the EU and “seduce” them into D.I. Y. jihadi terror, …

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Afghanistan and the CIA Heroin Ratline

The Persian Gulf harbors an array of extremely compromising secrets. Near the top is the Afghan heroin ratline – with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) positioned as the golden node of a transnational, trillion dollar heroin money laundering operation. In this 21st century Opium War, crops harvested in Afghanistan are essentially feeding the heroin market not …

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US Army self-propelled howitzers take part in a military exercise near the DMZ in Paju, South Korea, on August 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Korea, Afghanistan and the Never Ending War Trap

There are more parallels between an unfinished 1950s war in Northeast Asia and an ongoing 16-year-old war in the crossroads between Central and South Asia than meet the eye. Let’s start with North Korea. Once again the US/South Korea Hunger Games plow on. It didn’t have to be this way. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov …

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