Showing posts from October, 2015
A ‘Band-Aid’ for Syria  The Obama administration’s decision to deploy less than fifty US Special Operations Forces to Syria is a significant shift in US strategy, but one that is unlikely to tilt the balance on the ground in a war that is now in its fifth year, according to Atlantic Council analysts.
Wanted: A ‘Comprehensive Strategy’ to Deal with Russia  The West needs to develop a “comprehensive strategy” to counter Russian authoritarianism and support Georgia’s aspiration of joining NATO, Georgian Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, said at the Atlantic Council on Oct. 29. 
Turkey Votes: Heading into a Familiar Deadlock? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will not be on the ballot in the Nov. 1 elections, yet the vote is in many ways about him.
US Trade Representative Froman Confident Congress Will Back TPP A trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration and eleven other Pacific Rim countries, while not perfect, will eventually win bipartisan support from members of Congress, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said at the Atlantic Council on Oct. 27.
Guatemala’s New President Faces His Biggest Challenge: Governing   Jimmy Morales, a former comedian, has won a landslide election victory to become the next President of Guatemala. That was the easy part. Now comes the hard part: governing.
In Argentina, a Promise of Change It is little surprise that Argentina’s presidential elections have gone into a second round, but what is startling is the narrow margin between the two leading candidates—both of whom promise change, one more so than the other.
‘We Need a Freakin’ Budget’  The Pentagon needs a long-term budget that is free of caps if it is to address important global threats, including from Islamist militants, Russia, and China, a senior Democratic lawmaker said on Oct. 21.
In Afghanistan, an Opportunity for the United States to Work with China and Iran  Franz-Michael Mellbin is the European Union’s Special Representative in Afghanistan. In a wide-ranging interview with the New Atlanticist’s Ashish Kumar Sen on Oct. 20, Mellbin discussed the need for a sustained US and NATO troop commitment in Afghanistan, the opportunity created by the rise of Islamic State (IS) for Washington to work with Tehran and Beijing in Afghanistan, and the necessity for Pakistan to deliver on its rhetoric to show zero tolerance toward all stripes of terrorists that occupy safe havens in its territory.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Heads to Washington Though US President Barack Obama will meet Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the White House on Oct. 22 in an effort aimed at rekindling a peace process in Afghanistan, it is the military that really calls the shots in the South Asian nation, Vali Nasr, a former Obama administration official said Oct. 16.
Walking a Fine Line in the War Against Boko Haram  As it steps into the war against Boko Haram, the Obama administration will have to balance the need to deal with the regional threat posed by the Islamist militants and the very real limitation of resources, said J. Peter Pham, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.
Obama Should Maintain Current Troop Levels in Afghanistan, says former US Ambassador The United States should not further reduce its military and intelligence presence in Afghanistan. Doing so will undermine Afghan security forces and “vitiate” the US’ counterterrorism mission in an important part of the world, said James B. Cunningham, a former US Ambassador to Afghanistan.
For Libya, ‘the First Step in a Long Journey’  The announcement by the United Nations’ envoy for Libya of a national unity government after months of talks is just the “first step in a long journey” for the North African nation plagued by chaos since the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, says the Atlantic Council’s Karim Mezran.
A Three-Pronged Strategy to Deal with Putin  The United States must develop a three-pronged approach that includes economic, political, and security components to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “retrograde ambitions in favor of the peaceful and progressive order the transatlantic community and the world had envisioned at the opening of the 21 st century,” retired Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., a former National Security Advisor, said October 8.
Berlin Wall to be Displayed at the State Department Swapping stories about their experiences in an East Germany that was shut off from the West by the Berlin Wall, US Secretary of State John Kerry and German President Joachim Gauck on October 7 commemorated the arrival of a section of the barrier at the State Department in Washington.
TPP: Putting the United States in the Driver’s Seat  The United States and eleven other Pacific Rim countries on October 5 reached an agreement on the largest-ever regional trade accord in history.