In modern warfare, the role of private military companies (PMCs) has significantly increased. The world’s major powers, in particular, are keen on employing PMCs in conflict zones. The author, Adam Abass, notes that the strong ties between these companies and states have allowed the former to evade prosecution or sentences for their alleged war crimes and human rights abuses.
One of the most recent factors negatively affecting food security is the armed struggle between Russia and Ukraine. Aimen Jamil and Zartaj Chaudhary explain how droughts, shortage of fertilisers, and geopolitical tensions are possibly creating a global food crisis.
Communism is a political ideology that started gaining momentum in the 1920s. It was a champion for the East and had started to encroach on the West as it started to become popular amongst the lower class. To deal with such a broad and intangible threat, the Western powers (mainly America) built a negative and dangerous aura around it and used it to garner public support for themselves. This narrative building was done through securitization of the term and can be visualized in the public speeches of American Presidents of the Cold War era.
The United States of America purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 and made it one of its fifty states in 1959. It is a very important maritime strategic asset of the US. The author, Summaiyya Qureshi, looks at how this tender took place.
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), an alliance between the US, India, Australia, and Japan, reemerged in the international arena in 2017 as an effort to keep China in check in the Indo-Pacific region. The common interest of countering China bounds these states together but according to the author, Dr. Kankana Debnath, the visit of the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers to New Delhi has threatened the internal dynamics of QUAD.
The arms trade between the West and the Middle East has been a long-standing factor in the relations between the two. Within the Middle Eastern region, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has risen as the largest arms importer, mainly relying on the US for weapons. The author, Rooha Javed, notes that between 2015 and 2020, the US pledged to sell weapons worth $64.1 billion to Riyadh. Moreover, despite the criticism of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the war in Yemen, the US has continued the arms supply to the kingdom.
Facing enormous sanctions and economic setbacks, the Russian state is grasping at straws as it attempts to keep its economy afloat. Pegging the ruble to gold was a last-ditch attempt by Russia, but it seems to have struck gold. Or has it? The author, Muhammad Mustafa Ahmed Khan, explains the value and current state of gold, the dollar, and the ruble in the global financial markets following the sanctions on Russia.
Space was an important front for war in the last century and will be just as significant in this century. Space became a zone of conflict during the Space Race in the Cold War. In present times, the space market has grown complex and diverse, with the private and commercial sectors participating more in this realm. The author, Iqra Mumtaz, believes that space hegemony will play an important role in terms of future military and political influence.
In 2014, separatist groups backed by Russia declared the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine “republics.” Since then, they’ve been accused of committing war crimes and assisting Russia in its attacks on Ukraine. The authors, Syed Haris Shah and Khushbakht Ayesha, analyze the pro-Russian ideology of the leadership of these two self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s Donbas region and their role in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
In 2017, Russia introduced an amendment to the Russian Criminal Code, decriminalizing domestic violence. Russian law, along with the Russian orthodox tradition of considering domestic abuse an “internal family matter,” has led many women to lose faith in justice and abandon all hope. The author, Hafsa Ammar, argues that during the pandemic, while the rest of the world passed laws to ensure the safety of women trapped in abusive environments, Russia had done the opposite. The situation in Russia has prevented women from even reporting cases of domestic abuse, leading the government to make claims of a decrease in violent cases.
Ever since it gained independence in 1947, the Republic of India has had strained ties with the United States, a trend that continues today. Despite instances of co-operation on issues like international counter-terrorism, trade, and economic development, the two largest democracies in the world have often diverged on questions of strategic importance, a divergence that has been exacerbated and brought into the spotlight by the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is now continuing into its second month.
India has strong diplomatic, economic, and military ties with Russia and Ukraine. Keeping this in mind, Syed Haris Shah and M. Shahkar Ijaz Khan explain the cause of India’s neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine war. They argue that the impartiality of New Delhi has both opportunities and challenges for the republic in the future. Moreover, if India openly condemns the Russian aggression in Ukraine, India-Russia relations will suffer a huge blow.
Almost everybody nowadays is familiar with World War I and World War II, but many people are not aware that there was a World War Zero, or the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. Fought between Russia and Japan, this war is considered one of the most devastating ever.
In the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Moscow has been relentless in its attacks on Ukraine. Till the 20th of March, Russia had killed more than 2,300 people in the city of Mariupol alone and destroyed it in its desire to conquer the besieged city. With each passing day, the war is worsening and people are dying. Yet, the efforts to end the war have failed. The author, Rabia Rasool, asserts that though both states have shown their willingness to compromise to some extent, for one reason or another, the Russia-Ukraine peace talks in Turkey have failed.
The statements of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, before the Russia-Ukraine war officially started, offer an insight into the reasons and motivation behind the war. The author, Afifa Iqbal, notes that whatever the causes may be, the Russia-Ukraine war is bound to have severe economic implications for the parties involved, and for the world’s energy-dependent states, namely Pakistan. She asserts that the imposition of harsher sanctions on a petrostate like Russia will have far-reaching effects, one of which will be the surge in global oil prices.
In a televised address on February 24, Putin declared war on Ukraine. War is a diplomatic failure, a tragedy, and a crime. Although Putin’s actions are not defensible, America and NATO cannot be vindicated as innocent players in this crisis either, as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine confrontation stems from the US-Russia tensions over NATO expansion. The author, Palwasha Aftab, concludes that in view of the sensitivities and far-reaching implications of the current security crisis in Europe, it is imperative to carve out balanced and sustainable peace in Europe, for the achievement of which a speedy and consensual settlement of the Russia-Ukraine war in particular and the build-up of a new European security order in general, remain intrinsic.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has stirred up bloc politics once again, pitting the West against the Russia-China bloc. Pakistan’s current government is clearly leaning towards the idea of a Pakistan-Russia-China bloc, but that foreign policy truly rests on the domestic political situation of the country. Amid the political uncertainty. the author, Mr Sarmad Ishfaq, illustrates how future policies pivot on the results of the no-confidence vote.