Commentaries & Articles
2019: A Year of Missed Opportunities for Afghanistan
The year 2019 ended for Afghanistan on a more chaotic and disappointing note because of two major reasons: a) failure in achieving any major breakthrough in the ongoing peace process with the Taliban, specifically in relation to the ceasefire and intra-Afghan dialogue; b) lack of success in conducting a credible and undisputed Presidential election.
US and Iran in an Uneasy Calm
President Trump has the uncanny habit of surprising the world by his unique and often contentious tweets on foreign policy issues. But this time it pleased many. “All is Well” tweeted President Trump after 20 odd Iranian missiles apparently targeted the major US bases in Al Asad and Erbil on Wednesday to take revenge for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, whose popularity and absolute importance was witnessed in his death. Iranian leader called these a “Slap on their (US) face”.
व्यावहारिक देशभक्ति: स्वामी विवेकानंद की 157वीं जयंती पर उनकी स्मृति
दिसंबर 1892 में स्वामी विवेकानंद तत्कालीन त्रावणकोर रियासत की राजधानी त्रिवेंद्रम की यात्रा कर रहे थे। यह यात्रा कन्याकुमारी की उनकी उस यात्रा से ठीक पहले हुई थी, जिसमें 1892 के क्रिसमस के दौरान “अंतिम भारतीय चट्टान”1 पर बैठकर वह ध्यानमग्न हुए और उन्हें भविष्य में वैभव की ओर जाता भारत दिखा। उन्होंने देश की दशा सुधारने के लिए आवश्यक कार्यों का रास्ता भी देख लिया। त्रिवेंद्रम में वह महाराजा त्रावणकोर के भतीजे और उनके उत्तराधिकारी राजकुमार के शिक्षक प्रो. सुंदररामा अय्यर के अतिथि थे। स्वामीजी नौ दिन तक प्रो.
Practical Patriotism: Remembering Swami Vivekananda on his 157th birth anniversary
In December 1892, Swami Vivekananda was visiting Trivandrum, the capital of the then Princely State of Travancore. This was right before his visit to Kanyakumari, where, during the Christmas of 1892, sitting on “the last bit of Indian rock” 1, he meditated and meditated and saw clearly the future India resplendent in all her glory, as also he saw the immediate course of action to be taken to uplift the condition of the country. In Trivandrum, he was the guest of Prof. Sundararama Iyer, the tutor to the First Prince, the nephew of the Maharaja of Travancore.
Right to Information Act: Its use and misuse
Chief Justice of India SA Bobde cautioned last month against the abuse of the Right to Information Act, setting off a chain of indignant reactions from a variety of activists. “There is paralysis and fear about this Act”, he stated, adding that “people are not taking decisions” because they apprehend the slash of the RTI sword on their necks. That the Chief Justice had only made an oral observation does not take away from the significance of the remark, more so when he also said that guidelines ought to be laid down on the use of this enabling legislation.
Assassination of General Soleimani and geo-political tensions in the Gulf
Assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Al Quds Forces in an American strike at Baghdad airport in the early hours of 3rd January sent shock waves in the region. Iran declared 3 days mourning and flags are being flown at half-mast. He was a symbol of Iranian resistance in Iran-Iraq war. His body was taken to Ahwaz, the border town occupied by Iraqi forces during Iran-Iraq war. It was taken thereafter to Mashad, Tehran and Qom and buried in his native place in Kerman. The last journey describes his association with defense of the revolution and the country.
All Quiet in Kashmir?
Kashmir is relatively calm since the last couple of months. No street protests, no encounters between the militants and the security forces. Last encounter was reported on November 26 between the militants and the forces in Pulwama district of South Kashmir in which two militants were killed. Though ceasefire violation continue unabated on the Line of Control (LoC), the hinterland, however, is calm if not peaceful.
VIF News Digest
Defense, National Security and Terrorism, VIF Alerts
December 12, 2019
VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16 - 30 November, 2019

Defence: Curtain Raiser: Exercise Mitra Shakti-VII: 2019; HIM VIJAY Military Exercise; Curtain raiser: Indo-Nepal joint...

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International Development
December 5, 2019
VIF News Digest: International Developments (US, UK, Russia and Africa), 18 November- 3 December 2019

THE UNITED STATES White House will not participate in Judiciary Committee hearing: CNN, 2 December 2019 Neither President...

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Neighbourhood News
January 13, 2020
VIF Neighborhood News Digest: January 13, 2020

PAKISTAN Pakistan to have coherent national security policy by year end: Moeed: Dawn January 13, 2020 Prime Minister’s...

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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) is a New Delhi-based think tank set up with the collaborative efforts of India's leading security experts, diplomats, industrialists and philanthropists under the aegis of the Vivekananda Kendra. The VIF’s objective is to become a centre of excellence to kick start innovative ideas and thoughts that can lead to a stronger, secure and prosperous India playing its destined role in global affairs.

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