New Atlanticist

Relations with Cuba No Longer ‘The Poisoned Chalice,’ Atlantic Council Analysis Showed


President Barack Obama’s sweeping changes to US-Cuba policy were at least in part influenced by an understanding that this was widely favored among the American people. The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center released a poll in February that found support on both sides of the aisle for normalization with Cuba, and this poll has served as a crucial piece of the Cuba policy dialogue.

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Atlantic Council Analyst Karim Mezran on Libya's Escalated Warfare


Meddling by international actors in Libya has undermined a United Nations effort to broker peace in the North African nation, according to Karim Mezran, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, and France have inserted themselves into the conflict, backing various factions that are locked in a bloody battle for power in Libya. “If all these external forces support troops on the ground, then the push for war is much stronger than the push for peace,” said Mezran.

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Quick Takes from Atlantic Council Experts


President Barack Obama today announced a historic policy change that opens up diplomatic relations, facilitates trade, and expands travel to Cuba.    

Immediately after the White House announcement, Atlantic Council experts provided the following analysis.

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Russia’s Choice, Between Market Reforms and State Controls, May Open or Shut Doors to Détente Over Ukraine


The Russian ruble’s stunning collapse this week may lead President Vladimir Putin to order changes at the country’s central bank and in his cabinet. As he does, will he tilt his government toward Russia’s market-oriented economic reformers or toward its proponents of tighter state controls? And, does the West dare to hope that Russia’s economic crisis might edge Putin toward some discreet reduction of his war against the independence of Ukraine and other former Soviet states?

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Counter-Terror Drive in Waziristan Has Dislodged, Not Destroyed, Militants, Says Shuja Nawaz


The killing by Pakistan’s Taliban of more than 140 people, mostly children, at a school is likely to “provide some glue for a consensus [in Pakistan] that you cannot negotiate with terrorist groups,” according to Atlantic Council South Asia specialist Shuja Nawaz. The assault, in northwestern Pakistan, shocked the South Asian nation and drew international condemnation.

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The 24th Ibero-American Summit, which sought to put the focus on education in the context of slow economic growth, did not produce a specific proposal to address the challenges of developing human capital.

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Atlantic Council Analyst Lists Whom to Watch in the Battle to Improve Governance and Economy


Ukraine’s overhauled cabinet lineup, now complete, offers clues to the new leadership’s seriousness and competence for its critical task of reforms. For a government that must decentralize governance, make official transactions transparent, prosecute and prevent graft, rebuild its finances, resuscitate its economy—and fight a war against Russia—the good news is that the Cabinet includes many new faces and is heavily loaded with real-world business experience.

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'Freedom Support Act' Authorizes, But Does Not Require, Arms Sales to Ukraine


In passing its bill to boost US support for Ukraine last week, Congress left President Barack Obama largely free to decide how and when to apply its provisions – and that flexibility is one reason Obama has chosen to sign the act, even though it includes measures he has resisted, Atlantic Council analysts say.

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Small Steps for a Small Country Could Strengthen Europe Against Russia’s Assaults


In the shadow of Ukraine’s war for true independence from Russia, the small country of Moldova is entering a critical chapter of its parallel struggle. Frustrated Moldovan voters last month reelected their pro-democratic government, but also delivered a warning that concrete economic and anti-corruption reforms must begin immediately. The United States should take four easy (and mostly inexpensive) steps to help Moldova and thereby strengthen the rest of Europe against the aggressive policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Violence in southeastern Ukraine could adversely impact the country's economic transformation, Aasim M. Husain, deputy director of the International Monetary Fund's European Department, told the Atlantic Council.

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