Vinay Kaura

The Impact on India of the Collapse of the Iran Nuclear Deal

| July 18, 2018

The withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal is likely to deal a blow to India’s strategic investments in energy-rich Iran and land-locked Afghanistan as the Chinese strategic footprint there grows. Maintaining good relations with both Riyadh and Tehran will also become more challenging for New Delhi. The Iran dilemma materialized at the wrong time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as India is preparing for parliamentary elections in less than a year. The pressure being exerted by the Trump administration on the Modi government to stop all oil imports from Tehran is set to complicate India’s diplomatic ties with Iran. It remains to be seen how India will secure its interests in Afghanistan and Central Asia without Iranian support.

0

India and China Are Converging on Afghanistan

| June 7, 2018

The “informal summit” between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in China in late April generated worldwide interest. Aimed at sidestepping contentious issues and enhancing greater strategic communication at the leadership level, the summit witnessed the two leaders recognizing the “common threat” of terrorism and expressing commitment to cooperate on counter-terrorist measures. However, an issue that largely escaped attention is an agreement between them to work jointly on economic projects in Afghanistan. This has been interpreted as Beijing’s message to Islamabad that China “approves” India’s positive role in stabilizing Afghanistan, a fact already recognized by the Trump administration in its new Afghan policy.

0

The Taliban’s Threat to Peace in Afghanistan

| March 4, 2018

Washington’s increased support notwithstanding, the Afghan government has thus far failed to contain the Taliban’s sustained terror campaign, while efforts to revive the moribund peace process have similarly run into a dead alley. It remains to be seen whether last week’s bold peace initiative by President Ashraf Ghani will strike a responsive chord with the Taliban.

0

Narendra Modi’s Visit to Ramallah

| February 18, 2018

During Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017, India finally ended its long practice that dignitaries who visit Israel must also travel to the Palestinian-controlled territories. On February 10, 2018, he conducted a landmark visit to Ramallah, the first such visit by an Indian PM – and did not visit Israel. This “de-hyphenation” of Israel-Palestine reflects Modi’s pragmatic and sensible approach to relations with the two entities.

0

The Dynamics of Saudi-Russian Relations

| October 22, 2017

The Saudi Arabia-US partnership is a defining pillar of Middle Eastern geopolitics. However, increasing Saudi-Iranian hostility, recent changes inside the Saudi regime, and lingering questions over the consistency of the Trump administration’s support have led Riyadh to diversify its bilateral relationships. King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s historic four-day visit to Moscow in early October must be seen in this context. The Saudi-Russian rapprochement will likely have huge strategic and economic consequences for Middle Eastern geopolitics.

0

India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward

| August 8, 2017

Narendra Modi’s visit to the Trump White House in June was his fifth visit to the US since becoming PM of India in 2014, but his first encounter with an American president who does not seem to share his immediate predecessors’ positive view of India. Since Trump’s election on an “America First” platform, there has been apprehension in New Delhi that it might fall off Washington’s radar.

0

Indo-Israeli Security Cooperation: Onward and Upward

| July 8, 2017

Over the past three years, Israel has acquired greater priority and visibility over other Middle Eastern countries on India’s diplomatic radar. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be credited with elevating the strategic dimension of the Indo-Israeli partnership by bringing the bilateral relationship out from under the carpet. Indo-Israeli strategic ties are at a historic high with Modi visiting Israel in July, the first visit by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish state since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1992. Modi’s epoch-making trip is likely to give an unprecedented push to efforts to build new bilateral relations and further solidify security ties between the two countries.

0