Showing posts from July, 2015
In Afghanistan, the Taliban Has a New Leader, But it’s His Deputy Who is Raising Eyebrows The appointment of the head of a Pakistan-based terrorist network as a deputy leader of the Taliban may prove to be an obstacle in Afghan-led efforts to make peace with the Islamic militants.
Will Mullah Omar’s Death Doom Peace Process?  Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s death, if confirmed, could call into question the Taliban’s leadership and undermine the Afghan government’s efforts to jumpstart a peace process with the militant group, says the Atlantic Council’s James B. Cunningham.
Senators Make Case for Lifting Crude Oil Ban A top Republican Senator, making the case that energy must be a significant tool in the US diplomatic toolkit, said July 30 that the United States will be “effectively sanctioning” domestic oil producers if it does not lift its ban on the export of US crude oil but lifts sanctions on Iran as a result of a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.
Courting Chaos in Libya  The decision by a Tripoli court to sentence a son of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to death by firing squad is the latest in a series of “self-defeating maneuvers” by authorities in Libya’s capital, says the Atlantic Council’s Karim Mezran.
Turkey's War in Syria: Of Kurds and Ways A landmark agreement between the United States and Turkey—that allows US jets to use a Turkish air base to launch strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants and envisages the creation of a “safe zone” in war-ravaged Syria—is a step in the right direction, but also raises some important questions.
Obama’s 'Most Strategic Itinerary' in Africa  US President Barack Obama’s decision to visit Kenya and Ethiopia this week underscores the strategic significance of these two sub-Saharan nations to the United States, says the Atlantic Council’s top Africa analyst.
Nigerian President Slams US Law Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari—at war with Boko Haram militants at home—in a July 22 address in Washington lashed out at US laws that ban the sale of weapons to foreign militaries accused of human rights violations saying such restrictions have only aided the insurgency.
President Buhari Comes to Washington  Nigeria’s war on Boko Haram will be at the top of the agenda when US President Barack Obama meets his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari at the White House July 20, says the Atlantic Council’s J. Peter Pham.
United States, Cuba Reopen Embassies After Fifty-Four Years. Here's Why it Matters  The United States and Cuba reopened embassies in each other’s capitals July 20 taking the biggest step toward ending half a century of animosity between the two countries.
Libya Needs a Little Help from its Friends Even if a Tripoli-based faction were to set aside its grievances and sign a UN-brokered peace deal that would not be enough to rescue Libya. What the North African nation needs is an international peacekeeping force with a clear mandate to fight terrorists, says the Atlantic Council’s Karim Mezran.
Defending the Iran Nuclear Deal  Iran is not permitted to build a nuclear weapon after the duration of the agreement reached in Vienna this week, nor does the deal give the Islamic Republic a “signing bonus” in terms of immediate sanctions relief, a senior Obama administration official said July 15.
Greek Crisis ‘Diverts Attention’ from Kyiv  The Greek financial crisis has diverted global attention away from Ukraine, but it also "sheds a positive light" on the Kyiv government's achievements, Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius said in a July 14 interview.
Assessing the Iran Deal The nuclear deal reached July 14 that limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief will have a significant impact on the United States’ alliances in the Middle East, says retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
Not Yet a Done Deal with Greece A deal that paves the way to negotiations on a third bailout for Greece imposes tough limitations on Greek sovereignty that could endanger Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ government, says the Atlantic Council’s Andrea Montanino.
Deal will 'Weaken' Greece's Tsipras The terms of an agreement between Greece and its Eurozone creditors are tough, but there is an implicit recognition that austerity alone is not the answer, says the Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell.
Don’t Fall for Putin’s Game, Warn European Officials  Russian President Vladimir Putin has a strategy clearly aimed at dividing the Western alliance arrayed against him and this must not be allowed to succeed, two European officials said June 12.
#CounteringISISpropaganda  Web-savvy extremists belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and their online cohort of supporters dominate the conversation on Twitter leaving little hope for the success of US efforts to counter that propaganda, according to a former State Department official.
Every Effort Being Made to Avoid Grexit, says European Commission’s Dombrovskis  Every effort is being made to keep Greece in the Eurozone, but the Greek government has to show that it can be a genuine partner by presenting a credible reform proposal in its bid to secure a bailout, a senior European Commission official said July 9.
At Four Years Old, South Sudan is the ‘World’s Most Failed State’  Four years after it won independence from Sudan following decades of war, South Sudan is once again trapped in a vicious cycle of conflict that has turned the world’s youngest nation into a failed state, says the Atlantic Council’s J. Peter Pham.
Here’s What You Need to Know About Lindsey Graham’s Foreign Policy Agenda Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham laid out an interventionist foreign policy in a July 8 address that was peppered with blistering critiques of President Barack Obama as well as some fellow Republicans and tough talk on radical Islam.  
Bridging the Gulf  Many of the United States’ Gulf allies are anxious about Iran’s activities in part because of the high levels of mistrust in their own relationships with Washington, the Atlantic Council’s Bilal Y. Saab said July 7.  
Dealing with Greece Europe will be weakened by a financial aid deal with Greece that is seen to be solely on Athens’ terms, says the Atlantic Council’s Andrea Montanino.