In for a world of Surprise

The past week has been interesting for the geopolitical observer. It seems that the world is getting prepared for some unspoken eventuality. Many realignments are happening that look very positve on the surface.

The first place, of course, goes to the Emirates-Israel peace pact mediated by the United States. This takes special significance in the way Turkey has been raising the specter of unrest in the region. The contentious issue of West Bank Annexation has been put on hold by Israel. Conservatives in both Israel as well as in the Muslim world have blamed their respective side of compromising too much. Understandably, no one is happy. In my mind – this is a hallmark of a workable agreement. It makes everyone equally miserable. What needs to be seen, is whether the Palestinians, the Hezbollah and the newly minted caliphate will throw spanner in the works. It also remains to be seen whether the US government will change in November, and if it does – it remains to be seen whether the US itself makes a U-turn.

The rest of the changes have happened under the radar for the most part – but are worth noticing. One of these is a congressional resolution submitted to the US Congress by Texas Republican Senator Cornyn. In this, they have asked for a resolution to support India in its attempts to protect its borders from Chinese aggression and to provide India access to the Blue Dot network for infrastructure development.

The third interesting thing this week has been the publicity given to Israel-Germany joint exercises on social media. For the first time ever, Israel and Germany conducted joint military exercises. Interestingly, the news reports point it out as a NATO Germany – Israel exercise, probably underscoring a silent role here too for the Americans. Again – this is interesting in my mind because the US and Germany have been at loggerheads for the past few years about the latter’s contribution to NATO funds.

On the other hand, Turkey is being more like – well, Turkey. And China making aggressive moves towards a hostile takeover of Taiwan. Long term Taiwan – China observers say that this is some more hot air from the Dragon. However, given the overall trajectory of China’s moves – and their actions as far as Ecuador [around Galapagos Islands] point to audacity and belligerence that may prove to be a prelude to something bigger. Add Pakistan to this powder keg, and one knows this can blow sky high anytime.

Speaking of Pakistan – there was a high-level delegation from Pakistan that met the Saudi Prince this week. The relation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have been worsening steadily; in contrast to Saudi India relations. Pakistan’s insistence on Kashmir and the House of Saud’s reluctance to be embroiled in a regional conflict, have led to a showdown. KSA has asked Pak to pay back two of its three billion dollar loans immediately. That amount, amounting to a sixth of its total forex reserves, is biting Pak hard. Probably what hurts worse is the Saudi denial to sell any more oil to Pak.

If Pak is in soup, can Iran be far away? A few days ago, the USA seized two ships carrying Iranian Oil to Venezuela. As to what it hoped to achieve except tick off two countries at the same time – needs to be seen. What is clear, however, is that this will only help cement the already close relations between China and Iran.

All this brings us to an interesting juncture: the world seems to have forgotten what WW2 looked like. Or maybe it remembers it too well and is thinking that they will proactively avoid another such calamity. Either way, these global realignments don’t seem to be something routine. We will follow the events over the next few weeks or months.


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