France has for long had a difficult relationship with Islam and its adherents. The republication by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo of a controversial series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed (saw) to mark the beginning of a trial over the attack on its office in 2015 once again brought to attention the tensions between […]
Global index provider MSCI recently announced its plans to include Pakistan in its emerging markets index, due to its recent economic performance. MSCI announced it plans to upgrade Pakistan from frontier- to emerging-market status in 2016. News that Pakistan is being considered for inclusion in the MSCI emerging markets index was seized upon by a […]
In the week when the US normalised relations with two of its historic foes – Cuba and Iran, the global media gave wall-to-wall coverage to the deal between the US and Iran, describing it as a historic deal that potentially changes the global political landscape. The accord was announced on Tuesday 14 July by Iranian […]
Download the book from here. Introduction The ability of any nation or people to defend its borders from foreign threats has been part of human existence from the very beginning of time. For a nation to be considered independent, protecting its territorial integrity is essential otherwise its very existence comes into question. A nation that […]
After 7 months of much fanfare Imran Khan, former Cricketer turned politician brought an end to his ‘Dharna’ (protest) or ‘Azadi (Freedom) march,’ and re-joined the Pakistan parliament. Speaking to reporters after emerging from a huddle with the party’s core policy makers on April 6, Imran Khan said, “We have decided to attend the joint […]
The Arab Spring officially reached Syria on 15 March 2011 as protests began in Damascus, Aleppo, and the southern city of Daraa. The protests were triggered by the incarceration and torture of several young students, who were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in the city – ‘The people want the fall of the regime.' Today, 4 years on, with the death toll well in excess of 200,000 people and with half of the country’s 22 million population displaced, the uprising continues to rage and on this fourth anniversary the following 10 issues are what you need to know about Syria.
As the world’s richest individuals and companies and the world’s most powerful gathered at the Davos Summit in Switzerland. It was a shock to many when Oxfam, the UK charity, confirmed a mere 1% of the world’s population owns 48% of the world’s wealth. It also concluded that at the current trajectory 1% of the world’s population will in a few years own 99% of the world’s wealth! This was after its 2014 report ‘working for the few,’ revealed he richest 85 people across the globe shared a combined wealth of £1trillion, as much as half of the world’s population (3.5 billion people).
Strategic Estimate 2015 is Khilafah.com’s fifth annual assessment of the global balance of power. We concluded our 2014 assessment with the US remaining the world’s superpower as it began rapprochement with Iran and through ensuring real change did not take place in both Egypt and Syria. In 2014 developments in the Middle East saw US military action in both Iraq and Syria and this has dominated the attention of US policy makers in 2014.
A few days have now passed since the brutal attack that took place in the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. The official death toll stands at 141 dead, the vast majority of those were innocent school children. There has been an outpouring of grief from all corners of Pakistan and all people from all backgrounds have condemned the attack including many groups in the tribal areas and Mullah Umar of the Afghan Taliban.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee has released its summary of the much-anticipated report into the CIA interrogation programs established by US spy chiefs after 9/11. The full report, which many senators wanted classified is 6,000 pages long and only a summary of 525 pages has been unclassified. The report took five years to produce and is based on more than 6 million internal agency documents.
The G20 summit of the world’s largest 20 economies concluded on 16 November in Brisbane, Australia, with the summit communique delivering only bad news on the global economy. The final summit communique highlighted: “But the global recovery is slow, uneven and not delivering the jobs needed. The global economy is being held back by a shortfall in demand, while addressing supply constraints is key to lifting potential growth. Risks persist, including in financial markets and from geopolitical tensions. We commit to work in partnership to lift growth, boost economic resilience and strengthen global institutions.” The global economic crisis has now reached its seventh anniversary and whilst economic collapse has been averted, wealth maldistribution, welfare cuts, unemployment and government debt continues to halt any economic recovery. British Prime Minster David Cameron issued a stark message: “the red warning lights are flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.” The G20 nations collectively account for 85% of the world economy, 80% of world trade and 60% of the worlds population, but despite this it has failed to solve the global economic crisis. There are four key reasons for this failure.
Tunisia held general elections Oct 26, the first since the country adopted a new constitution in January 2014 and second since Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country. The secular Nidaa Tounis party, also known as Call for Tunisia, won 85 of the 217 seats in parliament, whilst Ennahda saw the reversal of its fortunes, winning only 69 seats.
US president Barack Obama laid out his administration’s much awaited strategy in a national televised address on Wednesday 10 September. Whilst this assumes his government had no strategy, America’s strategy has been taking shape against ISIS for some time. This can be seen from the fact that Obama only moved US troops when ISIS was a mere 40 Kilometres from the Kurdish capital city of Arbil in Northern Iraq. US policy makers concluded with the Iraqi central government giving up on taking back areas they had lost to ISIS and with Kurdish forces on the verge of capitulation, air strikes were necessary. With a war weary public Obama is considered to have failed the country in foreign policy areas such as Syria. His speech was in reality a public relations exercise ahead of the November US midterm elections. Whilst Obama’s speech was aimed at his domestic audience, his government’s strategy on the Iraq crisis, ISIS and Syria revolves around four key areas.
As the summer season reached its zenith in the northern hemisphere the global economic crisis that began in 2007 reached its seventh anniversary. Three announcements were made alongside this that show the crisis has not ended and the global economy has not recovered from the economic crisis. The three announcements were:
1. The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on 5 June 2014 that it was cutting its headline interest rate to 0.15%, and that it will impose negative interest rates of -0.1% on eurozone banks who place reserves in their accounts held by the ECB.
The kidnapping and eventual deaths of three Israeli teenagers led to the Israeli government to call upon its reserves in order to launch an invasion of the Gaza Strip. Israel has named this operation “Operation Protective Edge.” Israeli officials have gone to great lengths to highlight the operation is the beginning of a lengthy offensive against Palestinian militants. Israel was forced in the last Gaza flare-up in 2012, named – Operation Pillar of Defence – to seek a humiliating truce with Hamas as rockets were reaching Israel’s key cities including Tel Aviv. Whilst Israel will use this current flare-up as cover to maintain its balance of power and achieve what it failed to do in 2012, Israel’s military-security doctrine suffers from a stark reality which no amount of military development, incursions and collective punishment will change. This can be seen from five perspectives.
For European authorities, Syria is now officially the forbidden conflict. This narrative, of Muslims in Europe fighting in Syria has become very pronounced in recent weeks. The threat foreign fighters currently fighting in Syria will pose, when they return home is being debated in national news channels in Europe and many reports and analysis have focused on the numbers going to fight how they will return battle hardned and will likely commit acts of terror on European shores. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We are very concerned as a government and as a country about the threat of terrorism coming out of Syria. And so what we are doing is trying to prevent people from travelling there.” Since the beginning of 2014 European governments have gone to great lengths to criminalise all those who participate in Syria. On closer inspection much of these reports follow a political narrative and are built upon scaremongering rather than actual facts. Assessing the threat of fighters returning from any conflict poses various challenges, but acts of terror remain a small threat at most.
When the US invaded Afghanistan over a decade ago the Taliban controlled more territory than any other tribal group or faction. As the US begins its drawdown in 2014 the Taliban still control more territory than the rest. Hamid Karzai, barely has any authority beyond his compound, which itself is guarded by US marines. Whilst Afghanistan has historically been the graveyard of empires, the US possessing the most technologically advanced military in history has failed to defeat the Taliban. Peace talks with the Taliban are evidence of the fact that the US has failed to defeat them. The US is now amongst a long list of empires whose military superiority has been undermined by asymmetric warfare.
Download the book from here. Strategic Estimate 2014 is Khilafah.com’s fourth annual assessment of the global balance of power. We concluded our 2013 assessment with the US remaining the world’s superpower, facing a challenge in one region in the world by an assertive and aggressive China. Faced with this reality America’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific […]
The following is an extract from the forthcoming Khilafah.com publication – Strategic Estimate 2014. It analyses the Arab Spring on its third anniversary.
Strategic Estimate concluded its assessment of the Arab spring at the end of 2012 with the following:
“……aside from the Syrian uprising the others that took place have all ground to a halt as those who espoused Islam are in reality maintaining the pre-revolutionary systems. They are attempting to keep the West happy with their moderation and the people that voted them in, happy, by making cosmetic changes, whilst all the while keeping in place the secular systems and protecting Western interests.”
The fallout from the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on Wednesday, August 21st initially shocked the international community as images beamed around the world of the hundreds suffering from the effects of poisonous chemicals. However, the subsequent weeks have turned into a stage-show, as nation after nation have made great statements but failed to deliver much in terms of action. A salient feature of the uprising of Syria has been the lackluster response of the surrounding Muslim lands. Rather than leading the way to solve the crisis, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have merely been conference organisers, middlemen for negotiations and holding grounds for CIA personnel. As the call for intervention fizzle out, the question is asked: what would an intervention look like if some of the surrounding Muslim countries actually took it upon themselves to end the conflict in Syria?
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After the first anniversary of the Arab spring in January 2012 much has changed in the Muslim world and its shocks continue to reverberate across the world. Whilst the uprisings in the Muslim world continue perceptions of the Muslim world both inside and outside the region continue to fluctuate.
The failure of most of the secular parties in the elections that have taken place in the Muslim lands have forced many in the West to revaluate their positions. The initial Islamic statements by the Islamic parties that won have now given way to the reality of ruling and the debate surrounding Islam and secularism continues to get louder as the call from the region for Islam gets louder. Attempts by the West to hijack the uprisings continue and this trend has continues in Syria as the West works to ensure any change remains cosmetic.
The Bombings in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, that claimed three casualties and injured approximately 171, for many confirmed the struggle western nations face against those who are prepared to commit acts of terror. In the wake of 9/11, a wave of terror swept the globe as people worldwide became certain that more such spectacular attacks were inevitable. A global war on terror ensued in order to hunt down terrorists and those who harboured them. A decade on from the events of 9/11 many in the west treat the threat of terror attacks on their soil the same as the possibility of nuclear war during the cold war. There is much propaganda around the issue of terrorism and putting these into perspective is essential.
Download the report from here. Introduction Russia’s deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov, admitted on December 13th 2012, what many have known for some time. Russia’s official admitted that that the Syrian government may be defeated by opposition forces as al-Assad’s forces were “losing more and more control and territory.” The death toll in the country […]
Tunisia was the birthplace of the earthquake that rocked the region and claimed a number of dictator rulers. The self-immolation of Muhammed Bouzizi led to mass protests that led to Zine El Alidine Ben Ali to flee the country. The ripples of this event are still being felt across the world and no one ever expected the Arab spring would engulf the whole region. January 2013 is exactly two years since the Arab spring began in Tunisia and whilst much has changed, what is difficult to avoid is how much has not changed and remains the same.
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Strategic Estimate is Khilafah.com’s annual assessment of the global balance of power. We concluded in our previous assessment the US remained the world’s superpower, however it had been over-stretched in both the wars it was engaged in after the events of 9/11, this led to a number of nations taking a more confident and in some cases a much more confrontational approach to the US in the different regions of the world.
The Arab spring that started in January 2011 led to multiple uprisings that brought the brutal rule of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Ben Ali of Tunisia and Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi’s to an end. For the moment Basher al-Assad continues to cling to power. Elections have taken place in a number of countries and in all […]
Events this week have escalated in Egypt which has led to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to resort to dictatorial actions similar to Hosni Mubarak era.
Since Nasser took power in 1952 the military has constructed the political architecture in Egypt. This system kept the army in charge of key strategic issues such as foreign policy, and defence. On some occasions aspects of domestic policy were left to parliament to deal with, however Nasser, Sadat and Hosni Mubarak remained firmly in charge. The parliamentary elections that have taken place since the 1950’s have in realty been nothing more than a façade. All power has remained with the military who have taken the presidential post in most of Egypt’s recent history.
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Strategic Estimate is Khilafah.com’s annual assessment on the global trends, the emerging trends and the developments that have taken shape during the year between the world’s powers.
2011 will remain long in the memory when the history books are finally written. What has now come to be known as the Arab spring began with a single man in the markets of Tunisia, which then spread to thousands on the streets in Cairo and evolved to hundreds of thousands demanding political change in the Muslim world. The self immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia created a sweeping wave, which crossed the artificial borders in the Muslim world encompassing Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain until it engulfed most of the Muslim world. 2011’s Strategic Estimate, Khilafah.com’s annual assessment of the global balance of power is dominated by the Arab spring.
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For the Muslim World, 2011 will remain long in the memory when the history books are finally written. What began with a single man in the markets of Tunisia spread to thousands on the streets in Cairo and evolved to hundreds of thousands demanding political change for the entire region. The self immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia created a sweeping wave, which crossed the artificial border to Egypt, then to Libya, Yemen and Bahrain until it engulfed most of the Muslim world. The Arab spring has seen many brave the streets to protest and change the status quo which has dominated the political, economic and social landscape for so long. The reaction of the Muslim rulers was as predictable as it was brutal with violent clampdowns leaving thousands dead and many more injured.
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Strategic Estimate 2011 is the second annual assessment of the global balance of power by Khilafah.com. Our assessment focuses on the global trends, the emerging trends and the developments that have taken shape during the year between the world’s powers. We also give our assessment on what is likely to occur in 2011 based on the current international situation.