Showing posts from March, 2015
In Nigeria, Jonathan’s Luck Runs Out Opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari’s strategy of assembling a broad coalition and restricting President Goodluck Jonathan to his traditional power base helped the former military ruler to a decisive victory in Nigeria’s March 28 presidential elections, according to Atlantic Council analyst J. Peter Pham.
Russia Plans Spring Offensive in Ukraine, Warns Ex-NATO Chief Wesley Clark Russian-backed separatists are planning a fresh offensive in eastern Ukraine that could come within a matter of months, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, warned March 30.  
Election Uncertainty Would Deal Another Blow to Nigeria’s Economy   The absence of a clear winner in Nigeria’s presidential elections could deal another blow to the country’s economy, which is already reeling from falling crude oil prices, says Atlantic Council analyst Aubrey Hruby.
Can Ghani Make Peace with the Taliban? Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects of peace with the Taliban, in part because Pakistan—where a mélange of terrorist groups have for years found safe haven and support—now acknowledges that improving ties with neighboring Afghanistan is key to ending regional violence.
Will Chaos in Yemen Doom US War on al-Qaeda?  Yemen’s descent into chaos has jeopardized US counterterrorism operations there, but the Pentagon could still order scaled-down drone strikes against an al-Qaeda affiliate by working with like-minded elements in the Yemeni military, says an Atlantic Council analyst.
Lee Kuan Yew: The Power of Big Thinking  Lee Kuan Yew, who as its first Prime Minister transformed Singapore from a tiny, impoverished port city into an economic giant, died March 23. In a phone interview with the New Atlanticist’s Ashish Kumar Sen, Atlantic Council Chairman Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., remembers a man he was proud to call a friend and mentor. 
Netanyahu’s Hard Right Turn Could Put Israel on Road to Isolation Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election declaration not to allow the creation of a Palestinian state could lead to Israel’s further isolation internationally, says Atlantic Council analyst Richard LeBaron.
Museum Attack Puts Spotlight on Tunisia’s Security Challenges  Tunisia’s new government may be forced to clamp down on security following the March 18 terrorist attack on a prominent museum in the heart of Tunis. This could jeopardize the country’s nascent political process, says Atlantic Council analyst Karim Mezran.
EU Will Kick the Can Down the Road on Russia Sanctions European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on March 19 are unlikely to either ramp up or lift sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, says Edward W. Walker, a professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley. 
Israel Votes: Netanyahu’s Fate Hangs in the Balance Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future hangs in the balance as millions of Israelis vote March 17 in an election that most polls suggest is too close to call.
Strange Bedfellows: Saudi Arabia, Israel Oppose Iran Nuclear Deal for Different Reasons  Saudi Arabia and Israel find themselves in the same camp as opponents of a nuclear deal with Iran, but the Sunni kingdom and Jewish state have very different reasons for their opposition. Israelis are concerned mainly with a nuclear-armed Iran, while the Saudis worry more about Iran’s growing regional influence, analysts said March 16 at the Atlantic Council.
Rights and Wrongs: US Law Hurting Ties, Says Nigerian Official  A US law that bans the sale of weapons to foreign forces accused of human rights violations is “hindering” cooperation between the United States and Nigeria, even as Abuja wages war against Boko Haram militants, a top Nigerian intelligence official said March 11.
US Sanctions will Produce More Repression in Venezuela  The Obama administration’s decision to declare Venezuela a national security threat and slap sanctions on seven officials from the oil-rich nation gives President Nicolás Maduro another excuse to blame the United States for his country’s economic plight, according to the Atlantic Council’s top two Latin America analysts.
How will a €1.1 trillion bid to energize the eurozone economy work?  The European Central Bank (ECB)’s €1.1 trillion attempt to energize the eurozone economy will have several positive effects, but these will depend on “many factors exogenous to monetary policy,” says the Atlantic Council’s Dante Roscini.
US, EU Pressure Sought on Congo’s Kabila The United States and the European Union must continue to press Congolese President Joseph Kabila to leave office at the end of his second term in 2016 because the country’s constitution bars him from seeking a third term, opposition officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) said March 9.

Can Morocco Talks Unite Libyan Rivals?

Rival factions in Libya must come together for talks in Morocco this week to take on the threat posed by an affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), says Atlantic Council analyst Fadel Lamen.

South Sudan: Kicking the Can Down the Road, Again

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar failed to resolve their differences by the March 5 deadline not only because they lack the political will to do so, but also because the international community lacks the will to make them, says J. Peter Pham, the Atlantic Council’s lead Africa analyst.

Is the IMF Bailout Enough for Ukraine?

An International Monetary Fund bailout for Ukraine underestimates the banking sector’s needs and is unrealistic about government expenditure on security and defense, according to Andrei Kirilenko, a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ISIL Affiliates, Foreign Fighters ‘Preeminent’ Concern, Allen Says

Officials in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia worry about the threat posed by affiliates of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and their potential to inspire foreign fighters, says retired Gen John Allen, the US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

Kroenig: NATO Should Develop Credible Response to Russian Nuclear Strike

The United States and NATO lack an adequate nuclear deterrence policy even as Russia has put the nuclear option at the center of its national security strategy, according to Atlantic Council analyst Matthew Kroenig.