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ISRAEL FACTOR IN THE US POLICY TOWARDS IRAN: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF OBAMA AND TRUMP ADMINISTRATIONS Thesis Topic: Israel Factor in the US Policy Towards Iran: A Comparative Analysis of Obama and Trump Administrations The Persian Gulf region's strategic significance is on the grounds that it contains more than two-thirds (66%) of the world current oil assets and connects three continents Europe, Africa and Asia. Iran's position on the North shores of Persian Gulf with full command over the strait of Hurmuz, the chokepoint that a large portion of the Middle East oil supplies need to go through, is strategically significant. Iran historically experienced the involvement of great powers because of its unique strategic location. Since the foundation of the state of Israel, the Middle East has been the most significant and complex area of American foreign policy. The impact of the Jewish lobby, among other things, is a dominant and extremely significant issue when considering US foreign affairs in the Gulf region. This Research has focused on Effects of various types of lobbying by Israel, as well as its attitude and effectiveness in US foreign affairs toward Iran and have highlighted unconditional US support to Israel and its impacts on Iran. This study aimed to examine the influence of Israeli lobby on the US foreign policy, especially of Obama and Trump period towards Iran. A leader's reasonable decision is critical to the effectiveness of foreign policy. During Obama and Trump's two presidential terms, US foreign policy with Iran was contradictory, with different patterns of dealing with Iran ranging from conciliation to antagonism, all based on American interests. Diplomacy is the only option to find a long-term solution to the security issues that Iran poses to the US in the Middle East. So, there is a need for non-confrontational policies that vanish hostile relations between the US and Iran and also bring stability in Middle East region.
FOOD SECURITY COMPETITION FOR FISHERIES AND SEAFOOD IN THE INDIAN OCEAN REGION: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR PAKISTAN Thesis Topic: Israel Factor in the US Policy Towards Iran: A Comparative Analysis of Obama and Trump Administrations The Persian Gulf region's strategic significance is on the grounds that it contains more than two-thirds (66%) of the world current oil assets and connects three continents Europe, Africa and Asia. Iran's position on the North shores of Persian Gulf with full command over the strait of Hurmuz, the chokepoint that a large portion of the Middle East oil supplies need to go through, is strategically significant. Iran historically experienced the involvement of great powers because of its unique strategic location. Since the foundation of the state of Israel, the Middle East has been the most significant and complex area of American foreign policy. The impact of the Jewish lobby, among other things, is a dominant and extremely significant issue when considering US foreign affairs in the Gulf region. This Research has focused on Effects of various types of lobbying by Israel, as well as its attitude and effectiveness in US foreign affairs toward Iran and have highlighted unconditional US support to Israel and its impacts on Iran. This study aimed to examine the influence of Israeli lobby on the US foreign policy, especially of Obama and Trump period towards Iran. A leader's reasonable decision is critical to the effectiveness of foreign policy. During Obama and Trump's two presidential terms, US foreign policy with Iran was contradictory, with different patterns of dealing with Iran ranging from conciliation to antagonism, all based on American interests. Diplomacy is the only option to find a long-term solution to the security issues that Iran poses to the US in the Middle East. So, there is a need for non-confrontational policies that vanish hostile relations between the US and Iran and also bring stability in Middle East region.
CHINA’S MARITIME SILK ROAD INITIATIVE: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE US STRATEGIC INTERESTS IN INDIAN OCEAN REGION The oceans comprise the largest ecosystem on earth, contributing valuable assets for human survival and a common arena for sustainable development. As globalization and regional economic integration progress, oceans have become a foundation and bridge for market and technological cooperation and for information sharing. Developing the blue economy has become an international consensus, ushering in a new era of increased focus and dependence upon maritime cooperation and development. To meet with the prevailing trends of openness, cooperation and sustainable development, China launched Maritime Silk Road Initiative in 2013. This initiative has also economic, strategic and geopolitical reasons which are more vital than the former. This MSR is connecting South China Sea with the Indian Ocean and the east coast of Africa. In line with the priorities of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, China is deepening ocean cooperation by fostering closer ties with countries along the Road, supported by the coastal economic belt in China. Ocean cooperation isfocused on building the China-Indian Ocean-AfricaMediterranean Sea Blue Economic Passage, by linking the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, running westward from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, and connecting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC). Efforts are also be made to jointly build the blue economic passage of China-Oceania-South Pacific, travelling southward from the South China Sea into the Pacific Ocean. Another blue economic passage is also envisioned leading up to Europe via the Arctic Ocean. Indian Ocean Region is the vital part of this MSR Initiative as most of its projects are in this region. The region is important for the Chinese interests as most of their trade pass through the sea lanes of IOR, even more than half the world trade passes through this region. The importance of this region was rightly explained by Robert D. Kaplan as he said, “Indian Ocean will be the centre of global politics in 21stcentury.”The increasing Chinese influence is posing serious challenges for the sole super power, the United States. The US, as an external power, has been a dominant in the Indian Ocean Region since World War II. The US perceives China’s plans as strategies to replace the US in the IOR, and theoretically these developments are explained under Power Transition Theory.
US Withdrawal From Afghanistan: Implications for India and Pakistan ABSTRACT The US invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and it spent almost two decades to combat terrorism and Al-Qaeda network with heavy military, logistic and financial investment; however, the tough military resistance posed by the Talban and fragile political environment prevalent in Afghanistan undermined the US strategic ambitions. Resultantly, the US withdrew from Afghanistan and Taliban returned to power. Like much deliberated implications of Afghan invasion by the US, its withdrawal too has serious implications for different stakeholders, especially India and Pakistan. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has indeed changed the geo-political and geo-strategic outlook of these two main regional actors in Afghanistan. This research dissertation therefore focuses upon the implications of US departure from Afghanistan for both Pakistan and India. It is argued that, with US withdrawal might negatively impact the Indian penetration into Afghanistan’s political, economic, social, and cultural arenas achieved through heavy investment if Taliban maintain tough stance towards India. On the contrary, Pakistan, apparently comfortable with the Taliban regime might accrue benefits from revival of Talban in Afghanistan. While Neorealism has been applied as research theoretical framework; interpretive research philosophy, inductive approach, case study strategy and qualitative method of research has been adopted to elaborate the phenomena comprehensively and holistically. The date collection was made through extensive study of relevant books, research articles, magazines and official reports. This research summarizes the important findings and proffers the recommendations for policy makers.
BLUE DIPLOMACY AS FOREIGN POLICY INTRUMENT: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS FOR PAKISTAN (2002-2020) Abstract Human civilizational development depends on the ocean for building its interdependency, technological advancement through its sustainable maritime culture. Development of human societies not only calculated by fulfillment of necessities but reflected by the volume of its trade and sustainable development parameters. Oceans plays a crucial role in intercontinental alliances through its seaborne trade and marine resources by using blue diplomacy as its main component. Maritime resources and industries can be capitalized only through expansion of effective foreign policy and economic convergence through conduct of diplomacy. There is diverse reason behind this spatial transmission like technological advancement, population increase, and non-traditional security paradigm along with political instability with deep desire for its sphere of influence by sovereign actors. In this rift, there is need to initiate measure of establishing basis of new diplomacy of which blue diplomacy has emerged. Blue diplomacy is set all diplomacy measures available and conducted through ocean. Furthermore, maritime, or naval diplomacy is a blue diplomacy tool and naval diplomacy is a subdivision of general diplomacy and a means of communication by maritime state and non-state actors, inquest of protecting state’s interest. In case of Pakistan, sea blindness is one of the reason behind the weak maritime structure, followed by many factors as maritime security which is directly proportional to national security, human security, marine environmental security and wellbeing of society, these reasons have been given less concern in Pakistan which further creates management crisis. Apart from structural challenges, Pakistan has especially remained laid in establishing its domestic legislation, as when international agreements are not aligned with a nation's domestic situation, law implementation of agreements becomes the biggest challenge to a nation's standing. This could lead to direct emergence of piracy, human trafficking, gunrunning, smuggling and environmental degradation. This thesis covers the potential of Pakistan maritime sector as well highlight how it can be capitalized by incorporating blue diplomacy to sustain the political, economic, social sector as well as to develop maritime culture. Keywords. Blue diplomacy, , Foreign policy, blue economy , Pakistan
The Politics of US-China Trade Relationship, 20120202: Dynamics and Prospects ABSTRACT Thesis Topic: The Politics of US-China Trade Relationship, 2012-2020: Dynamics and Prospects This is a qualitative research analyzing the politics of US-China trade relationship by focusing on presidencies of Obama and Trump era. This is very normal for two countries to have trade relation with each other, but U.S-China trade relations cannot be considered a normal phenomenon. Because the U.S has gained the status of sole superpower and leading global economy, whereas China, being the 2nd largest global economy, is an emerging superpower and trying to surpass the U.S. There are many unresolved issues regarding bilateral trade between the U.S and China. The debate in regards to trade issues between these two countries traces all the way back to a period before Donald Trump had ever considered running for president of the United States. China has been repeatedly challenged under the Obama presidency. But at that time the way to solve these trade dispute issues was very different from now. Former president Obama has backed the Multilateral Trade Agreement, which includes new guidelines on government agency laws, currency manipulation issues, and new environmental and labor standards. But the strategy used by Trump, was totally opposite, he launched a trade war against China in early 2018. This put China and US in an unending tariff threat. The US-China trade dispute has raised worldwide worries that a trade war between the world's two biggest economies would have major ramifications for the global economy. This study proposes using a neoclassical realism framework to analyze trade strategy of President Trump vis-a-vis China in order to best clarify the US–China trade conflicts beginning around 2018. It contends that trade strategy of Trump vis a vis China is, on a very basic level, motivated by the increasingly competitive relation of both countries, which is affected by Trump's impression of China as US's primary strategic competitor and worry about the US trade imbalance, and reinforced by the midterm election considerations. According to the neoclassical realist interpretation, the trade friction buried in the geopolitical competition between the two nations is probably going to persist for a long period.
India-Pakistan Rivalry in the Contours of Shanghai Cooperation Organization: A Critical Appraisal (2017-2020) ABSTRACT The study analyzes India and Pakistan’s rivalry and possible pathways of cooperation after attaining full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Since the world is moving towards multipolarity, the possibility of attaining cooperation of rival states seems possible. This study examines the role of the SCO in reducing or intensifying tensions between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan have had cold relations, leading to different wars and arms races. India and Pakistan's rivalry has become a puzzle for the peace agents and policymakers as almost all attempts at peaceful coexistence between the two have failed. SCO was considered a useful instrument to quell regional tension and engage the rival states to preserve stability in South Asia. In this setting, the present study argues that after testing SAARC, the SCO is regarded as a toolbox for fixing frictions between Pakistan and India. They have the potential to enhance relations between India and Pakistan. This thesis analyzes the possible scenarios through which India would accept China’s leading role in the region and may get some positive energy from the platform of the SCO for Pakistan’s efforts for regional stability. Keywords: India-Pakistan rivalry, SCO, South Asia, Central Asia, Regional Integration.
Saudi-Iran Rivalry: Its Impact on OIC's Efficacy (2014-2020) Abstract This study aspires to analyze the enigma of Saudi Arab-Iran rivalry and its impact on OIC. The conflict and rival relations between Iran and Saudi Arab is increasing day by day. These two states where have so many difference, shares so much in common too. Both states are in the same region of Middle East and a neighbor to each other. Moreover, with the effort and agreement of both states, they had voted for the common platform of Muslim world. So, in 1969 along with other 26 states the Organization of Islamic Conference was formulated later named as Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The platform was made after criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. The organization was originally designed for Muslim solidarity, mainly protecting the Islamic holy sites, supporting the Palestinian cause, eliminating racial discrimination, and cultivating economic cooperation. The hostility among the two nasty rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia has surrounded a number of Middle Eastern countries and many regional and international Islamic organizations, like, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Due to Iran-Saudi Arab rivalry the neutral platform of OIC lost its strength and become the advocate of dominant powers. The work is discussing the linkage of power seeking dominant players of Middle East and its effects on OIC. Keywords: Efficacy of OIC, Power Politics, Middle East, Saudi Arab-Iran, Rivalry
Afghanistan and Regional Connectivity: Challenges and Prospects ABSTRACT Afghanistan holds a significant position in the Asian continent for connectivity among regions like South and Central Asia, the Middle East through Iran, and to Europe through ongoing energy projects. Afghanistan’s geographical position always made it prominent to the interests of great powers as a crossroads of many civilizations in ancient times to the contemporary projects of regional connectivity and known to be called as the ‘heart of Asia’. But the country holds a war-torn history. Afghanistan remains prone to internal and external skirmishes and has never become a stable nation. However, the tottering history of the country could not diminish its geopolitical significance, particularly in the current global and regional settings that made it both geopolitically and geo-economically crucial. This research focuses on assessing, redefining, and restructuring the role of Afghanistan with a development outlook of regional connectivity in the Asian continent. In fact, the recent emerging global and regional scenario demands Afghanistan to redesign its domestic and foreign policies to benefit from economic projects. It is argued that if Afghanistan plays its role in regional connectivity through multiple energy and transit projects among connecting regions, it will enhance the prospects of Afghanistan’s peace and economic development. The research is knitted around the concepts of geopolitical and geo-economic theories which argue that the geographical and economic factors (resources) influence a state’s position in international trade and states utilize their resources & geography to influence domestic and international politics. This qualitative research is based on secondary data resources. It is descriptive, analytical, and policy-oriented. Key Words: Afghanistan, Regional Connectivity, geo-economics, geopolitical, Economic Development, Energy, Trade & Transit
Geopolitical Competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia (2001-2020): Implications for the Stability of the Middle East This study investigates the geopolitics of the Middle Eastern region which is dynamic and multidimensional. The ideological and sectarian impact on internal and global politics produced various aspects of the Saudi-Iran relationship. The objective of this research is to investigate the contention between KSA and Iran who are competing for decades to gain hegemony in the region. Iran in the light of its Islamic revolution creates and supports the anti-Saudi position in the Middle East. So, the Cold war represents Sunni Islam by Wahhabism and Shi’ite Khomeinism by Iran. The nature of the Saudi Iranian contention has led many Middle East specialists to discover their contention as a New Middle East Cold War. The regional instability periods include civil unrest and offer a beneficial look at instances for investigating the phenomenon of contention. Therefore, this makes a specialty of the Tehran and Riyadh reactions to the activities associated with the Arab Spring. It argues that the loss of life of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s plunging into civil war, and the outbreak of Arab Spring to violent moves in Syria, Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen accentuated Saudi–Iran opposition in the region. The study reveals that their contention lies at the structural stage and may be understood by focusing on their aspiration for Muslim global leadership. Keywords: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Middle East, Sectarianism, Arab Spring.
Evolving Dynamics of Afghan-Peace Processes: Implications for Regional Connectivity between Pakistan and Central Asian Republics Afghanistan has been a bone of contention in the Asian continent for nearly about half a decade. The reason behind this is the political instability in the country and some external and internal factors which have not proved to be beneficial for the country. After a long stay of the Unites States in Afghanistan, the Taliban finally regained the control of Afghanistan and established their government. This phenomenon has changed the landscape of politics, economy and security at regional level. Presently, peacebuilding in Afghanistan has become an essential component of regional security. Afghanistan’s neighbors namely Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and China are now exposed to potential threats emanating from Afghanistan. Moreover, the present crisis in Afghanistan has been steering daunting threats to regional connectivity projects between Pakistan with the Central Asian Republics. This study is examining the efforts of China, Russia, Pakistan the Central Asian Republics in Afghanistan’s peace process. Later an account of likely threats to energy, rail and rods projects has been presented. In the end, recommendations are provided by observing the dynamics of peace process in Afghanistan.