Former State Department official, R. Nicholas Burns, says United States needs to do more to help Syrian war refugeesAmericans need to repudiate the “deeply offensive” anti-migrant rhetoric coming from Republican presidential frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson that runs contrary to the founding principles of the United States of America, said R. Nicholas Burns, a former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Carson has compared migrants fleeing the war in Syria to dogs; Trump would support establishing a database to track Muslim Americans; Jeb Bush would prefer it if the United States took in Christian migrants; and Ted Cruz is adamant that the United States should only accept Christian migrants. Republican Governors, meanwhile, have said they will refuse to let any Syrian migrants into their states.
“I think Donald Trump and Ben Carson, in particular, have made statements that go beyond the pale and that should be rejected by the American people,” said Burns, who is the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
The candidates’ rhetoric is part of an alarming anti-migrant backlash that has followed the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. One of the attackers had reportedly used a route frequented by Syrian migrants.
I would like to thank the organizers of this event for making human rights issues in Crimea the main topic. Even if other news is currently making headlines, we must not lose sight of the circumstances on the peninsula and the consequences of Russia's unlawful seizure. In assessing the situation, the European Union and United States must take into account not only international law but also human rights concerns.
Several human rights issues currently occurring in Crimea have already been raised at this event, including restriction of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, pressure to become Russian citizens, repressive measures against Crimean Tatars, repressive measures against certain religious groups, and the legitimization and instrumentalization of paramilitary thugs.
The escalation of tensions between Russia and Turkey — historic rivals around the Balkans, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus — is not in Western interests, and should be defused before it careens out of control. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, should meet on the sidelines of the Paris COP21 climate change summit and set up protocols to prevent incidents such as the jet shoot-down from occurring in the future.
Yanukovych fell on February 21, 2014, and the May 25 presidential election of that year was the first step toward reforms. Yet only two important reform laws were adopted in 2014: the law on reform of higher education, which is being successfully implemented, and the law on lustration, which has largely been stalled.
Hollande, who has taken on the mantle of a wartime leader following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, met US President Barack Obama at the White House on Nov. 24 in a diplomatic effort aimed at building an all-inclusive coalition. He will also meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.
Hollande has said he will urge Russia to focus its attention on fighting ISIS instead of propping up the Assad regime. But at least one member of the US-led coalition will resist a Russian role in the grouping.
“On the Turkish side, there is no appetite for greater coalition-Russian cooperation vis-a-vis the Islamic State inside Syria,” said Aaron Stein, Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
But before any such cooperation becomes a reality, it is important to think seriously about whether it is merited. And once we examine Russia's actual record concerning terrorism, the basis for such cooperation evaporates.
The savage attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Paris on Nov. 13 has prompted French President François Hollande to seek a grand coalition with the United States and Russia against ISIS. The downing of the Russian jet, in or (if one accepts the Kremlin version) near Turkish airspace and over Syrian territory without any ISIS presence is a reminder that Moscow’s military effort in Syria has been devoted principally to 1) attacking opposition groups backed by the West, and 2) embarrassing NATO (with at least two prior incursions into Turkish airspace acknowledged by Moscow).
The Atlantic Council’s Peter Schechter discusses the implications of Argentina’s presidential electionMauricio Macri, the conservative Mayor of Buenos Aires, ended more than a decade of Peronist party rule in Argentina when he defeated Daniel Scioli in a hard-fought runoff election on Nov. 23.
Macri has promised to roll back President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s economic policies that have shut Argentina out of international credit markets and undermined its economic security.
His victory also presents an opportunity to mend ties between Buenos Aires and Washington that have grown frosty on Fernández de Kirchner’s watch.
Peter Schechter, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, discusses the implications of Macri’s election victory in an interview with the New Atlanticist’s Ashish Kumar Sen. Here are excerpts from our interview:
By the winter of 1944, Churchill foresaw that the Allies were going to prevail in the war in Europe and in the Pacific. That year had seen the D-Day invasion of France as well as the bloody battles of Mariana and Palau that had pushed the Japanese towards defeat. In a line that elicited spontaneous applause, Churchill recognized the “sober fact” that in three or four years, the United States had become the greatest military power in the world, and that that “is itself a subject of profound thanksgiving.”