Kabir Taneja
Articles by Kabir Taneja

India brings the world’s focus back on terrorism

As a nation impacted heavily by terrorism, India has done well to continue to bring the world back to focus on the issue that was receding from global headlines.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar speaks during the third 'No Money for Terror' conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing, November 19, 2022 (PTI)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar speaks during the third 'No Money for Terror' conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing, November 19, 2022 (PTI)
Updated on Nov 24, 2022 09:20 PM IST

Why the UN must evolve to fight modern-day terror

The threat of terrorism itself has been fast evolving and far surpasses some of the fundamental challenges that the UN, UN Security Council, agencies and members are continuing to try and navigate

The body may find it hard to keep up to speed with the nature of modern terrorism unless it evolves its own structures to reflect the world of today and tomorrow. (Reuters)
The body may find it hard to keep up to speed with the nature of modern terrorism unless it evolves its own structures to reflect the world of today and tomorrow. (Reuters)
Published on Oct 25, 2022 07:20 PM IST

After Zawahiri, what lies next for al-Qaeda

The top job for now will possibly go to someone already blessed by Zawahiri, but the future al-Qaeda could be much more Afghanistan-Pakistan centric as the group looks towards a new era of ideological and operational leadership

Al-Zawahiri, born in Egypt and a trained doctor, exchanged his stethoscope for a Kalashnikov, and became Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man after al-Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) allied in the 1990s, and merged into a single entity in mid-2001, a few months before 9/11. (AFP)
Al-Zawahiri, born in Egypt and a trained doctor, exchanged his stethoscope for a Kalashnikov, and became Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man after al-Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) allied in the 1990s, and merged into a single entity in mid-2001, a few months before 9/11. (AFP)
Updated on Aug 29, 2022 07:44 PM IST

Three events that illustrate India’s Taliban outreach

For the ambit of this article, three major events conducted by New Delhi illustrate the kind of outreach India has conducted with the Taliban, and their outcomes:

Engagement at certain levels for India with the Taliban is inevitable and a need of the hour for its own geopolitical and strategic interests, as it was in the 1990s. (AFP)
Engagement at certain levels for India with the Taliban is inevitable and a need of the hour for its own geopolitical and strategic interests, as it was in the 1990s. (AFP)
Published on May 30, 2022 08:05 PM IST

The arrival of strategic autonomy in the Gulf

With the US no longer playing the role of security guarantor to Gulf states, they are diversifying their foreign relations through partnerships involving China and Russia, thereby acquiring greater autonomy.

It was the UAE’s abstention from the UNSC vote against Russia that caught attention recently, considering Abu Dhabi’s close partnership with the US.(AFP)
It was the UAE’s abstention from the UNSC vote against Russia that caught attention recently, considering Abu Dhabi’s close partnership with the US.(AFP)
Published on Mar 28, 2022 04:34 PM IST

The risks and dangers of foreign fighters taking up arms to fight in Ukraine

This sudden acceptance of the concept of foreign fighters by some Western States and analysts reeks of opportunism and double standards.

This is believed to be sniper Wali, one of the deadliest snipers of the world, who has joined Ukraine's fight against Russia and is also documenting his journey. (File Photo)
This is believed to be sniper Wali, one of the deadliest snipers of the world, who has joined Ukraine's fight against Russia and is also documenting his journey. (File Photo)
Published on Mar 15, 2022 07:04 PM IST

The fractured diplomacy of countering terrorism

What are the gains that diplomacy on counter-terrorism, resolutions of the UN Security Council and other such multilateral instruments bring to the table?

Today, one way or another, the world is divided on how to deal with the Taliban regaining control over Afghanistan.(AFP)
Today, one way or another, the world is divided on how to deal with the Taliban regaining control over Afghanistan.(AFP)
Updated on Feb 01, 2022 03:21 PM IST

What the Taliban–IS rivalry means for S Asia

The Taliban is in an odd position, an insurgency orchestrating a counterinsurgency for its survival. And South Asia is now the playground for this volatile experiment

Afghan scholar and diplomat Mohammed Moheq has highlighted the differences between the Taliban and the IS as strategic and cultural, rather than tactical.militants have since surrendered to the government (Getty Images)
Afghan scholar and diplomat Mohammed Moheq has highlighted the differences between the Taliban and the IS as strategic and cultural, rather than tactical.militants have since surrendered to the government (Getty Images)
Updated on Dec 16, 2021 07:59 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

The US-Taliban deal on Afghanistan is not a ‘model’

The US-Taliban deal must be subjected to consistent academic scrutiny as an agreement that was designed for a safe exit passage from a theatre of war for the US, not stability for Afghanistan or the Afghan people

Ultimately, it was a recipe to hand the Afghan geography to the insurgency itself, with the Afghan government abandoning its people and the country’s armed forces dissolving within months of this agreement (AP)
Ultimately, it was a recipe to hand the Afghan geography to the insurgency itself, with the Afghan government abandoning its people and the country’s armed forces dissolving within months of this agreement (AP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2021 07:00 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

Afghanistan’s anarchic jihadist landscape

Despite the Taliban being a predominant part of the Afghan jihadist landscape, it is imperative to remember that more than 20 terror groups have thrived in Afghanistan

An internally displaced Afghan girl carries a child near their shelter at a camp on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. (REUTERS File)
An internally displaced Afghan girl carries a child near their shelter at a camp on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. (REUTERS File)
Updated on Aug 27, 2021 06:03 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

China sees both an opportunity and a threat in Afghanistan

China, like others, will also be wary of any potential expanded role in Afghanistan. While many analysts have highlighted that the vacuum left behind by the US is ripe for the Chinese to fill, that is easier said than done

While China may have significant plans for Afghanistan, it is yet to place its cards on the table (AP)
While China may have significant plans for Afghanistan, it is yet to place its cards on the table (AP)
Updated on Aug 02, 2021 12:03 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

As crude drones change the nature of terror, India needs to prepare better

The fact that drones made from scrap and duct-tape carrying improvised explosive devices are able to damage conventional aircraft on ground, worth millions of dollars, brought forward a new set of challenges for defence policymakers

A National Investigation Agency team arrives at the Jammu air force station after two suspected blasts were reported early morning in Jammu on June 27, 2021. Indian officials said Sunday they suspected explosives-laden drones were used to attack the air base. (AP)
A National Investigation Agency team arrives at the Jammu air force station after two suspected blasts were reported early morning in Jammu on June 27, 2021. Indian officials said Sunday they suspected explosives-laden drones were used to attack the air base. (AP)
Updated on Jun 29, 2021 04:00 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

Pakistan’s balancing act between the US and the Taliban will affect India

Over the past few weeks, more than the composition of the US military presence, its geographic location outside the borders of Afghanistan has become a focal point of debate

Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi gesturing to Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (left) upon his arrival with a delegation for talks at the Pakistan Foreign Ministry in Islamabad in December 2020. (AFP)
Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi gesturing to Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (left) upon his arrival with a delegation for talks at the Pakistan Foreign Ministry in Islamabad in December 2020. (AFP)
Updated on May 31, 2021 03:44 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

The Taliban is at its strongest since 2001. This needs a clear US response

With the May 1 deadline for an expected US military withdrawal from Afghanistan a little less than a month away, multiple avenues of diplomacy have been launched as the administration of President Joe Biden in Washington DC navigates the future of the US involvement in the 20-year-long war in the country

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (File photo)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (File photo)
Updated on Mar 31, 2021 07:31 AM IST
ByKabir Taneja

How India is weakening its case on terrorism

Trivialising India’s posture on terrorism in the international community can undo years of steady gains, for the short-term and myopic benefits of political support, ideological upmanship and electoral victories in the country’s never-ending election cycles.

Labelling democratic actors, whether dissenters or protesters, without a watertight case of terrorism, is a slippery slope, and one that is bound to attract unwanted attention. (Shutterstock)
Labelling democratic actors, whether dissenters or protesters, without a watertight case of terrorism, is a slippery slope, and one that is bound to attract unwanted attention. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 18, 2021 06:33 AM IST
ByKabir Taneja

Tracing the roots of an American brand of extremism

Trump’s ambivalence towards such groups have emboldened them and with these groups now being increasingly cornered as social media platforms banned Trump and his ecosystem, the threat of Right-wing extremism may assume a different form but will persist.

An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of US President Donald Trump gather in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021. (REUTERS)
An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of US President Donald Trump gather in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021. (REUTERS)
Updated on Jan 11, 2021 08:17 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja and Prithvi Iyer

Decoding India’s latest diplomatic push in the West Asian theatre | Opinion

While successfully balancing relations between Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia power blocks, New Delhi’s affinity for this Gulf outreach is rooted in geopolitical and geo-economic realities

India is central to the economic and geopolitical thinking of Asia and global economics and politics(ANI)
India is central to the economic and geopolitical thinking of Asia and global economics and politics(ANI)
Updated on Dec 09, 2020 10:25 AM IST
ByKabir Taneja

Al Qaeda is battered, but don’t rejoice yet

It may return if more structural concerns in counter-terror thinking and policies are not addressed over time

The entire top leadership of al Qaeda has gone. But don’t rule out a merger with IS or its ability to stitch together geopolitical alliances(Getty Images)
The entire top leadership of al Qaeda has gone. But don’t rule out a merger with IS or its ability to stitch together geopolitical alliances(Getty Images)
Updated on Nov 18, 2020 05:57 AM IST
ByKabir Taneja

In Pakistan-Saudi clash, India has an opportunity

This is the time for New Delhi to make some critical moves, such as rapidly clearing Saudi- and UAE-backed infrastructure projects, cementing itself as a premier investment destination for the Gulf to park its money.(REUTERS)
This is the time for New Delhi to make some critical moves, such as rapidly clearing Saudi- and UAE-backed infrastructure projects, cementing itself as a premier investment destination for the Gulf to park its money.(REUTERS)
Updated on Sep 02, 2020 07:07 AM IST
ByKabir Taneja

West Asia is staring at an economic crisis. India has to be prepared | Opinion

Eight million Indians work in the region and send over $50 billion in remittances. This will change

In the Gulf, markets have crashed, lockdowns are imposed, businesses have stalled, and oil price crash has adversely affected economies. Once travel routes open up, expect a return of Indian workers. The Centre should consult states on their economic resettlement(REUTERS)
In the Gulf, markets have crashed, lockdowns are imposed, businesses have stalled, and oil price crash has adversely affected economies. Once travel routes open up, expect a return of Indian workers. The Centre should consult states on their economic resettlement(REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 24, 2020 07:32 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

The Taliban has trumped the US in Afghanistan | Analysis

The deal will be packaged as a historic triumph of Islamist groups and jihadist outfits for decades to come.

Perhaps not in their wildest dreams had the American leadership over the past two decades expected this photo-op, where US Special Representative for Afghanistan, ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, sat at the same table, in front of the world, and shook hands with the Taliban, agreeing to a gradual withdrawal of US troops and their allies.(REUTERS)
Perhaps not in their wildest dreams had the American leadership over the past two decades expected this photo-op, where US Special Representative for Afghanistan, ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, sat at the same table, in front of the world, and shook hands with the Taliban, agreeing to a gradual withdrawal of US troops and their allies.(REUTERS)
Updated on Mar 03, 2020 05:25 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

Opinion| What Soleimani’s death means for Iran, West Asia and the world

With his killing, the US has entered an area of unknowns. Iran cannot be underestimated

Soleimani was the Shiite power’s chief conductor in the Syrian civil war, designing a policy of fighting ISIS while expanding Iran’s reach in the vacuum left behind. He also was the architect of Iran’s overwhelming influence in Iraq’s politics(AP)
Soleimani was the Shiite power’s chief conductor in the Syrian civil war, designing a policy of fighting ISIS while expanding Iran’s reach in the vacuum left behind. He also was the architect of Iran’s overwhelming influence in Iraq’s politics(AP)
Updated on Jan 03, 2020 09:07 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

The significance of Baghdadi’s end | Analysis

Militarily down, the IS remains ideologically alive. Counter-terrorism must adapt to its techniques

Baghdadi once controlled territory bigger than the UK in Iraq and Syria. His death comes at a time of churn in the IS(AP)
Baghdadi once controlled territory bigger than the UK in Iraq and Syria. His death comes at a time of churn in the IS(AP)
Updated on Oct 28, 2019 07:32 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

Erdogan wants the world stage, from the Kurds to Kashmir

For him, Turkey is the Islamic power awaiting its due, and while it does not have the oil dollars backing its fragile economy, it is still working hard to create its own narratives and influence zones across the region

New Delhi released an uncharacteristically direct statement criticising the military assault in the northern Syria, stating Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism. India’s language mirrored that of Erdogan’s on Kashmir, sending a subtle yet straightforward statement to Turkey(REUTERS)
New Delhi released an uncharacteristically direct statement criticising the military assault in the northern Syria, stating Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism. India’s language mirrored that of Erdogan’s on Kashmir, sending a subtle yet straightforward statement to Turkey(REUTERS)
Published on Oct 10, 2019 08:08 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja

In Afghanistan, India’s soft power is not enough | Analysis

India’s aspirations of becoming a superpower must first begin with establishing itself as a strong regional power

Trump wants India to be part of the fight against ISIS in Afghanistan while the US plans to withdraw its presence(PTI)
Trump wants India to be part of the fight against ISIS in Afghanistan while the US plans to withdraw its presence(PTI)
Updated on Aug 23, 2019 07:15 PM IST
ByKabir Taneja
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