Showing posts from July, 2018

A Free and Open Indo-Pacific

The Trump administration has turned its attention squarely toward the Indo-Pacific, with one eye firmly on an increasingly assertive China. In a significant policy speech in Washington on July 30, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States seeks “ partnership, not domination ,” in the Indo-Pacific. In a thinly veiled reference to China, Pompeo added: “We… have never and will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific, and we will oppose any country that does.” 

Zimbabwe at an Inflection Point

On July 30, for the first time in more than thirty years, Zimbabweans will vote in a presidential election in which one name will be conspicuously absent from the ballot: Robert Mugabe. Mugabe stepped down in the face of pressure from the military, his party, and the Zimbabwean people on November 21, 2017, even as impeachment proceedings got underway in parliament. Zimbabwe, which Mugabe transformed from southern Africa’s bread basket to a basket case, now stands at a critical inflection point.

Trump’s Angry Iran Tweet

US President Donald J. Trump, in a late-night, all-caps tweet on July 22 , threatened Iran with “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have suffered before” if Iranian leaders continued to threaten the United States with war.

Trump Picks Putin

US President Donald J. Trump on July 16 appeared to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials over the US intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections, saying he saw “no reason why” Moscow would have acted in that way. Speaking at a joint press conference following his first summit with Putin in Helsinki, Trump said: “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today” on meddling.

Trump-Putin Summit: Expect the Unexpected

Just in the past few months, US President Donald J. Trump has blown up the G7 summit in Canada , berated the United States’ NATO allies , criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May on her handling of Brexit, described Germany as a “captive” of Russia , characterized the European Union as a “foe,” and directed the Pentagon to review the cost of withdrawing US troops from Europe .

Donald Trump and Theresa May: On the Issues

Donald J. Trump and Theresa May attempted to paper over their differences—at least in public—at a joint press conference on July 13. This interaction followed a controversial interview Trump gave to the British tabloid The Sun in which  the US president criticized the British prime minister’s approach to Brexit.

US Senators Back NATO as Trump Leaves Allies On Edge

In Brussels, where US President Donald J. Trump has castigated allies and cast doubt about the US commitment to NATO, two US senators—one a Republican and the other a Democrat—speaking at the NATO Engages event co-hosted by the Atlantic Council on July 12 expressed their full-throated support for the Alliance. “Congress has your backs,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Trump’s NATO Strategy: Shake, Rattle, and Commit

US President Donald J. Trump on July 12 reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to NATO after declaring that allies had agreed to his demands to spend more on defense. This affirmation came hours after the US president chastised allies for not spending enough on defense and even threated to pull the United States out of the Alliance .

Ghani Hopeful 'Real' Dialogue Will Bring Peace to Afghanistan

Unlike in the past, there is now a “real” and “constructive” dialogue on bringing peace to Afghanistan and this effort is based in mutual trust, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in Brussels on July 12.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Stands Up for NATO

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on July 11 delivered a resounding defense of NATO—the transatlantic military alliance that today grapples with external as well as internal challenges—and sought to address questions of burden sharing noting that it is the quality of the output rather than the quantity of the input that actually matters.

NATO Engages: Shoring Up the Alliance

The opening day of NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue was marked by passionate endorsements of the transatlantic military alliance that has been credited with giving the West its longest period of peace without a major power conflict in centuries.

NATO’s Jamie Shea Signs Off On a Positive Note… And With Some Advice

At a time where there are so many doubts about NATO at the political level, the paradox is that the Alliance on July 11 came out with a communique—agreed to by all member states—that is “the most substantive… the most complete, the most consensual,” notes Jamie Shea, NATO’s outgoing deputy assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges.

The Brexit Showdown

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was engulfed in turmoil on July 9 as she lost two senior Cabinet members over her plans for a soft Brexit. Within a span of twenty-four hours, David Davis resigned as Brexit secretary and Boris Johnson as foreign secretary. If forty-eight members of Parliament write letters of no confidence, May will be forced to face a vote of no confidence.

Finally, Peace in the Horn of Africa?

The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea on July 9 signed a declaration ending the state of war between the two countries. The summit between Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on July 9 marked the first time that the neighbors’ heads of state have met in nearly two decades.

Six Facts You Should Know About NATO

The heads of state and government of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member nations will meet in Brussels on July 11 and 12. US President Donald J. Trump will be among those present. Here are six facts you should know about the Alliance that has been credited with maintaining peace in Europe for the past seven decades.

President-Elect AMLO: A Seismic Shift in Mexico

For Andrés Manuel López Obrador it was third time lucky. The new president-elect, popularly known as AMLO, won Mexico’s July 1 presidential election by a landslide picking up more than 50 percent of the vote.