Obama’s eloquence notwithstanding, he, in his policy announcement speech the other day, lacked substance as usual when he extended US troops presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016, reinforcing a failure yet again. A much wiser Putin is not likely to land boots in or around Syria; would Obama or his allies gamble that or escalate in any way, having miserably failed in Iraq before? Saudis are finding it ever more difficult to buy mercenaries for proxy wars. Iran is in a wise balancing act, following a nuclear deal of sorts. Turkey would rather watch and see how many air space violations can it bear or heat it’s border can sustain. Where do Pakistan-India roosters figure on this big a canvas, given Modi’s demonstrated littleness? It is open to speculation.

ALYA ALVI,

Rawalpindi, October 19.