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Showing posts from February, 2015

War Game Finds ISIS Escalating: Major Attack Unlikely to Alter US Approach

How would the United States respond if the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) were to either take control of several Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad or conduct a major terrorist attack on the al-Asad airbase in Iraq where US personnel are based?

Is Bangladesh on the Brink?

A decision by a court in Bangladesh to issue an arrest warrant for Khaleda Zia on February 25 is likely to escalate tensions between the opposition leader’s supporters and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government.

US-Cuba Round 2: Tough Talks Ahead

The second round of talks between the United States and Cuba on February 27 will be marked by tough negotiations, but both sides have incentives to work toward a breakthrough, according to Atlantic Council analysts.

Can al-Shabaab Strike the United States?

Al-Shabaab, the al Qaeda-linked militant group in Somalia, has sympathizers in the United States, but likely does not have the ability to strike targets in the West, despite its recent threat to do so, according to Atlantic Council analyst J. Peter Pham.

Details of Greece’s Reforms Plan are Key, Says Montanino

Greece’s creditors will scrutinize its reforms plan, which is aimed at securing a financial lifeline, for details on how the new government in Athens will tackle endemic problems such as corruption and tax evasion, according to Atlantic Council analyst Andrea Montanino.

Under Pressure, Venezuela's Maduro Lashes Out at Critics

The arrest of the Mayor of Caracas is an attempt by President Nicolás Maduro’s crumbling government, which is under immense political and economic pressure to demonstrate authority, to consolidate the hardline base of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), according to Atlantic Council analysts.

Egyptian Airstrikes Will Not Defeat ISIS in Libya, Says Mezran

Egyptian airstrikes in Libya have opened the door for similar intervention by other countries in the region and could doom a United Nations-brokered effort to build a national unity government in the North African nation, according to Atlantic Council analyst Karim Mezran.

'Boom time' for private security contractors

One of the biggest fallacies in Washington is that once the United States is done with private security contractors in Afghanistan and elsewhere they will simply pack their bags and head home, says Sean McFate.
Declaring War on Islamic Terrorism is Not the Answer, Says LeBaronA White House conference on countering violent extremism will “reinforce international will to take on the difficult issues posed by radicalization,” according to the Atlantic Council’s Richard LeBaron.
A 'Glimmer of Hope' in Ukraine?A new deal that would end the fighting between Ukrainian security forces and Russian-backed separatists is being met with skepticism amid an escalation in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Airstrikes will Strengthen ISIS, says Fayyad The ongoing coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham will do very little to destroy the militant group and may, in fact, enhance its ability to recruit more fighters, according to Salam Fayyad, a former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority.
Ukraine’s Fate Hangs in the Balance in Minsk, Once AgainThe leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine are meeting in Belarus’ capital Minsk on February 11 to hammer out a deal to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
US, Germany Seek a United Front on Ukraine The question of providing defensive weapons to Ukraine’s security forces will dominate the meeting between US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on February 9.
Obama ‘All In’ on Pushing Trade Promotion Authority The passage of trade promotion authority legislation in the US Congress is critical for the administration to bring the best trade deals to Congress, a senior US official said on February 5.
Republican Lawmaker Makes Push for Trade Promotion Authority Opponents in the US Congress of trade promotion authority legislation must realize that they are not giving up their constitutional rights to the president by considering this measure, but are, in fact, setting parameters for negotiations, a top Republican lawmaker said on February 5.
Europe Taking Steps to Wean Itself off Russian GasEurope has seized the opportunity provided by the Ukraine crisis to improve its energy security, according to Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy in the European Commission.
Ukraine Urgently Needs ‘Front-Loaded’ Financial Aid Package, says Ukrainian Finance Minister Ukraine urgently requires a “front-loaded” financial package from the International Monetary Fund to help its economy recover from the challenges posed by a recession and a war with Russian-backed separatists, according to Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.
Europe Taking Steps to Wean Itself off Russian Gas Europe has seized the opportunity provided by the Ukraine crisis to improve its energy security, according to Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy in the European Commission.
South Sudan Deal Buys Time for Warring Sides, Diplomats, Says Pham A new deal between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel commander Riek Machar to end the fighting that has devastated the world’s newest nation over the past year is likely just a delaying tactic that allows the two warring sides to rearm and buys more time for the international community’s so far unsuccessful diplomatic efforts, says Atlantic Council analyst J. Peter Pham.
Report Calls on US to Provide Lethal Defensive Military Aid to Ukraine The United States must provide Ukraine with defensive weapons -- and $3 billion in military aid over three years -- to oppose Russia's invasion of the country and deter further Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, according to a new report.