Thursday, May 21, 2015

Optimism over Cuba talks tempered with realism

US President Barack Obama’s decision to normalise relations with Cuba has put the Cold War foes on the verge of reopening embassies in their respective capitals. As a five-decade-old US policy frozen into place during the Cold War starts to thaw, analysts are optimistic about the future of the relationship between Washington and Havana, yet that optimism is tempered with realism. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A United Kingdom Outside the EU is Just Not as Special to the United States 

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union would have negative consequences for its “special relationship” with the United States, says the Atlantic Council’s Frances G. Burwell.

A Coup in Burundi? 

While details of a reported coup against Burundi’s President, Pierre Nkurunziza, by his former intelligence chief are fuzzy, it is clear that the Central African nation with a long history of civil war and political unrest risks descending into chaos once again.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Is this the Solution to Europe's Migrant Problem? 

The European Union wants the United Nations to support its plan to destroy human traffickers’ ships in Libyan territorial waters before smugglers use them to ferry migrants across the Mediterranean Sea. Can it work?

No, said Karim Mezran, Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He argued that it’s “counterproductive” to publicize such operations.

Friday, May 8, 2015

In Britain, it’s Cameron… Again 

British Prime Minister David Cameron defied political pundits and pollsters May 8 by winning a second five-year term in office.

With the results of all 650 seats declared, Cameron’s Conservative Party (the Tories) had won 331. A party needs 326 Members of Parliament to achieve a majority in the 650-seat House of Commons. Ed Miliband’s Labour Party came in a distant second with 229 seats.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

With an Eye on Iran, Gulf Countries Seek US ‘Security Guarantee’ 

The United Arab Emirates and its five partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—worried about Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in their neighborhood—want a US “security guarantee,” Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s Ambassador in Washington, said May 7 at the Atlantic Council.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Barzani: ‘An Independent Kurdistan is Coming’ 

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will hold a referendum on Kurdish independence once Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) extremists have been defeated, KRG President Masoud Barzani said May 6 at the Atlantic Council.

Barzani couldn’t predict when an independent Kurdistan would be born, but added: “Certainly an independent Kurdistan is coming.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Standing Up to a ‘Revanchist Russia’

A "revanchist Russia" would use violence to alter international norms, boundaries, and institutions and poses a threat to the United States' transatlantic allies and partners, NATO's top military commander US Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove said April 30.
Controversial surveillance rules passed May 5 by France’s lower house of Parliament are quite unlike the “knee-jerk” US Patriot Act that followed al-Qaeda’s terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, said Atlantic Council analyst Nicholas Dungan.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The British are Voting: Here’s What You Need to Know

If one thing is nearly certain about Britain’s general elections May 7, it is that they will produce no clear victor and, as a result, could lead to another coalition government—or even a hung Parliament.