MONALISA VERMA/MILITARY ANALYST
The present round of US-China competition, best attributed as Cold War-2.0, for garnering geopolitical influences across the world and particularly in Asian geostrategic setting could bring immense benefits for regional powers whose bargaining capacity can increase many folds. To end the present stalemate and power status quo, which has been persisting since end of the Cold War-1.0, is increasingly becoming directionless and unnecessarily affecting the global order. China’s emergence into the global stage may have created a set of chaos but it is a necessary evil before one can witness rule of law and a new global order.
The Suez Canal crisis has once again drawn lot of attention in recent weeks when a ship blocked the global trade running into billions of Dollars of losses within a span of two weeks. This even led to close down of few energy industries, ancillary units and power projects. This has prompted the great powers in the world and Asia to reconfigure their present strategy. The US, Europe, Gulf nations, China, Russia, Japan and India have now realized that the Suez Canal which forms the main backbone global economy is indeed a key pillar of global geopolitics.
Japan, the island country on the eastern edge of Asia, is one of the four developed nations of the largest continent. The cultural superpower is an important player in the Asian and world politics. It has outstanding bilateral ties with most Asian nations and is a part of the major regional multilateral organizations, apart from both economic and technological power. It is one of the top foreign aid providers in the world. But with the change of geopolitics in Asia with rise of China, Tokyo feels that it is time to revisit the pacifist policies and construct a new geopolitical paradigm for Japan.
After the announcement of US election results, there is a strong hope that the new Biden Administration is going to change a new policy framework for Iran and West Asian region. This might yet again witness a new round of geopolitical competition since China and Russia have already entered into West Asian theatre and are ready to challenge US policy. Indeed, Russia is particularly interested to consolidate its gains which Moscow has made in recent years. But China is also pushing its own interests in the region with a renewed vigor to challenge US monopoly and bring about a pro-Beijing image in the Arab world. All this is going to put pressure on US to look for softening of its position towards Iran.
CASS INDIAN ANAYLST
The Corona Virus which has already created a panic with heavy death toll ever observed since the days of Second World War could upset the intermediate phase of stability in the present global order where nation neutrality will cease to exist. Now either a country has to support Chinese narrative or American narrative. Even the Corona Virus which has created havoc across the globe except Antarctica can change the geopolitical order which has become stagnant and directionless for quite some time since the end of Cold War in the 90s.
Sectarianism is often treated as the primary cause of conflict in states such as Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq where previously many political forces and tribes had their own loyalties to a particular affiliation. In Syria, the classic case is the present Assad Government which has the loyalty of the tribes of the Alawite sect, a large number of which originate from Syria’s Mediterranean coast—particularly Qardaha, the hometown of the Assad family. Now they provide highest number of recruits for Shia rule in Syria which is opposed by the Sunni Arabs. Now the Sunnis recruit sub tribes in Syria to fight the Syrian Government.
CASS INDIA ANALYST
The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), currently being developed by HAL and DRDO in which Indian Air Force is a partner and a lone customer, should be given top priority for mass production and export. The LCA, which has taken enormous time and had undergone immense technological changes, is a potential platform for IAF. Therefore even if there are shortcomings and delays, the project should be taken to a logical conclusion. Right from the beginning the project was facing complications as India had all the parameters to make a fighter jet except a credible engine. Now this engine component should be seriously pursued so that the LCA can be a world class fighter in its own segment and truly indigenous.
Egypt is burning. But the situation will not change forbetter dramatically in coming days. The country is passing through its mostdifficult time. Indeed, Morsi failed and the Army intervened. But the Egyptiansociety will get further divided and this will lead to violence. An unstableEgypt is bad for the whole region. Egypt is the only country in the region thatenjoys considerable influence in both Asia and Africa.
India is optimistic about the future of its relationshipwith Pakistan as 14 years ago it was under Nawaz Sharif’s rule both Pakistanand India had initiated the process of normalizing ties. This expectation isnot entirely idealistic, but the government should approach Pakistan cautiouslyas Sharif’s ability to strengthen ties with India will depend on hisrelationship with the military, which still makes decisions for Pakistan’sforeign policy