Commentaries & Articles
Where do the Afghanistan-Taliban Peace Talks Stand?
Nearly two decades after the US-led military intervention in October 2001 toppled the Taliban, Washington was compelled to sign a ‘peace agreement’ with its nemesis. One of the most critical aspects of the agreement was to get the Afghan government and the Taliban to the negotiating table for the ‘intra-Afghan talks’. In a bid to end Afghanistan’s long cycle of violence, the talks began in Doha on September 12, 2020 amidst soaring expectations and publicity.
Annual Review of Islamic State and Al Qaeda: What is on the Horizon in 2021?
Background The past year began with a pathological threat for the world which was detrimental not only for public health, politics, and economics but also for global security. The keywords for the year 2020 were COVID-19, geopolitical realignment, multilateralism, demographic shift (migration), and religious movement. The year was especially marked by transnational terrorism, presenting an intricate mosaic for the policymakers.
2021: The Year Ahead for Japan
Although 2020 remained a challenging year for Japan due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 offers no alleviation from the existent troubles. The year started with a second month-long emergency, albeit a soft lockdown limited to the nation's capital and the neighbouring prefectures. There is uncertainty despite the government assertion on the hosting of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in July. The term for the House of Representatives, or Lower House, is set to expire in October this year, mandating the holding of general elections.
Trends in West Asia in 2020
COVID-19 in West Asia The COVID-19 pandemic has a devastating impact on human lives and the economic situation in the West Asian and North African region. The UAE was the first state in the region to report a positive case on 29 January. Iran subsequently, emerged as a major hotspot for the transmission of the virus. The variations in timings in terms of precautions, screening and restrictive measures have been critical to determine the scale of the pandemic among different states in the region.
Xi Jinping Further Strengthens Chinese Communist Party’s ‘Magic Weapon’-The United Front Work Department
China is making efforts to arrest the slide in US-China relations and lower temperatures after Joe Biden takes over as President on January 20. In addition to Chinese Politburo member and former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s plans for visiting Washington this week, a Chinese trade delegation is likely to travel to the US shortly.
Russia Joins the Race for AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the connected emerging technologies are shaping the economies, militaries as well as the geopolitics of the world. It is no surprise, therefore, that country after country is joining the race to produce, acquire, develop and deploy artificial intelligence at the soonest possible. The US, Europe, Japan and China are the front-runners in the race for AI. India has also declared its ambition to become an artificial intelligence hub. President Putin has made the deployment of artificial intelligence as a top priority in Russia’s national development goals.
VIF News Digests
Global Developments And Analysis: Weekly Monitor
January 19, 2021
Global Developments and Analysis: Weekly Monitor, 11 January - 17 January 2021

Economic France wants suspension of 'poisonous' US-Europe trade spat The European Union and the incoming administration of...

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China Daily Digest
January 22, 2021
China: Daily Scan, January 22, 2021

Xinhua Commentary: Pompeo's announcement only a piece of wastepaper: Xinhuanet January 22, 2021 Former U.S. Secretary of...

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Neighbourhood News
December 14, 2020
VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: December 14, 2020

PAKISTAN PM blames PDM for endangering lives as PTI exults at ‘flop show’: DAWN Soon after the Pakistan Democratic Movement...

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International Development
December 28, 2020
VIF News Digest: International Developments (US, Europe and Russia), 1-15 December 2020

I. United States Politics and Society U.S. Tightens Visa Rules for Chinese Communist Party Members, 3 December 2020 The...

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Defense, National Security and Terrorism, VIF Alerts
January 22, 2021
VIF News Digest: International Developments (US, Europe and Russia), 1-15 January 2021

I. United States Politics and Society US and Iran ratchet up military activity as concerns increase ahead of Soleimani...

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Myanmar Round Up
January 14, 2021
Myanmar Round Up : December 2020

The election controversies continued to prevail in December 2020. Over 240 complaints were filed with the Union Election...

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West Asia Round Up
January 15, 2021
West Asia Review: December 2020

Abstract: As the Iranian regime retained the strategic patience avoiding escalation beyond the threshold over the calls...

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