Showing posts from April, 2015
A Night to Remember What do Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, Ashraf Ghani, Marillyn A. Hewson, and Toby Keith have in common? The answer to that question is probably: not much. That was until all four were honored with the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Leadership Award at a glittering ceremony April 30 at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Washington.
Is the United States Really Indispensable? President Bill Clinton, speaking in 1996 on the US-backed NATO military intervention in Bosnia, described the United States as an “ indispensable nation .”
Would You Care More About Climate Change if You Knew it Would Change Your Life?  Do you care much about climate change? How about the fate of polar bears gingerly making their way across thinning Arctic ice? Most people would probably care a lot more if they heard how dramatic temperature spikes and rising sea levels would disrupt their own lives, panelists said April 29 at the Atlantic Council.
Is Assad Losing Control?  Iran has fueled the war in Syria by providing a steady stream of assistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but his regime is gradually losing control, says Robert S. Ford, a former US Ambassador to Syria.
Dying to Get to Europe  A European commitment to save lives is “backfiring” as human traffickers continue to pack boats full of migrants fleeing desperate situations in Africa and the Middle East, says Atlantic Council analyst Karim Mezran.
A ‘Window of Opportunity’ for TPP, TTIP  Two free-trade agreements currently being negotiated by the Obama administration will ensure a level playing field and benefit American workers, a senior White House official said April 23 at the Atlantic Council.
Asian Bank not Intended to ‘Overthrow’ World Bank, says Chinese Official  China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will have a constructive and complementary relationship with both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and is not intended to “overthrow” either institution, Zhu Guangyao, China’s Vice Minister of Finance, said April 17 at the Atlantic Council.
Europe Limps Back From Recession The European economy is slowly recovering from a double-dip recession aided in part by falling oil prices and a $1.2 trillion bond-buying program by the European Central Bank (ECB), a senior European Commission official said April 16.
US-Cuba Forecast: Sunny? US President Barack Obama’s decision to take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism is a long-awaited move that “opens the door” to the re-establishment of relations with Cuba, said Peter Schechter, the Atlantic Council’s lead Latin America analyst.
What Happened to #BringBackOurGirls? A global campaign that focused attention on the plight of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram a year ago overlooked the region’s larger humanitarian crisis, said Atlantic Council analyst J. Peter Pham. 
Avoiding the ‘New Mediocre’ The global economic recovery is “moderate and uneven” and policymakers must work together to prevent a protracted period of low growth from becoming the “new reality,” International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said April 9.
Al-Qaeda Affiliate Gains from Yemen Crisis Al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP) has emerged as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the crisis in Yemen where its traditional enemies—Saudi Arabia and Zaydi Shia Houthi rebels—are preoccupied in a war against each other.  
Nuclear Deal May Elicit More Bad Behavior from Iran, Says Ex-NSA Jones  A nuclear deal in hand and free of Western sanctions, Iran could more aggressively undermine US allies through “cyber attacks, subversion, and terrorism,” retired Gen James L. Jones, Jr., said April 8.  
Return to Diplomacy 'Best Bet' for Yemen   A quick return to diplomacy is the best bet for Yemen, says Nabeel Khoury, a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
Will Sanctions on Russia, Weapons for Ukrainians Keep Putin at Bay? Western sanctions on Russia are not working and a proposal to provide defensive weapons to Ukrainian security forces will not deter the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, according to Andrei Illarionov, a former advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Iran Deal: More Hard Work Ahead Now that world powers have struck a deal with Iran limiting Tehran’s nuclear program in return for phased sanctions relief, the Obama administration faces the uphill task of selling the agreement to US lawmakers as well as friends and allies in the Middle East.
A ‘Good' Deal with Iran, Says Pickering  A deal announced April 2 limiting Iran’s nuclear program while preventing it from developing a nuclear bomb in exchange for lifting economic sanctions “looks like a very good agreement,” says former US Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering.  
Pickering: Tougher Sanctions, Threat of War Not the Way Forward with Iran Tougher sanctions and threats of military action are both bad options in the event talks to reach a deal on Iran’s nuclear program fail to produce results, said Thomas Pickering, a former US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs. He spoke as negotiators in Switzerland announced another extension of their self-imposed March 31 deadline to seal such an agreement.