While US Articulates a Defined Role for India in Asia, the Reverse Is Not True
President Barack Obamaâs visit to India shows the importance he places on that relationship, but New Delhi has yet to spell out where the US fits into its plans, says Bharat Gopalaswamy, a South Asia analyst at the Atlantic Council.
âI donât think we have seen a clear Indian articulation of how they conceptualize the world and where America fits into their conceptualization,â said Gopalaswamy, acting director of the Atlantic Councilâs South Asia Center.
Atlantic Councilâs Bilal Y. Saab Sees âProfound and Generational Problemsâ
Saudi Arabiaâs new king will have his hands full dealing with multiple challenges, both at home and abroad, says Atlantic Council analyst Bilal Y. Saab.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who ascended to the throne following the death of his half-brother Abdullah on Friday, was quick to indicate his intention to continue his predecessorâs policies.
âSaudi Arabia has profound and generational problems that go beyond Abdullah, his successor, or any leader for that matter who will preside over the kingdom,â Saab, a resident senior fellow for Middle East security at the Atlantic Councilâs Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, said in an interview.
âContinuity, Cohesion, and Consolidation Will Be the Watchwords,â Says LeBaron
Saudi Arabiaâs new king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, is unlikely to depart sharply from the policies of his half-brother and predecessor, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who died on Friday, according to Atlantic Council analyst Richard LeBaron.
âContinuity, cohesion, and consolidation will be the watchwords,â LeBaron, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said in an interview.
Pro-Europe Parties Won a Narrow Victory at the Polls, But Canât Agree on a Government
Eight weeks after voters in Moldova gave a narrow victory to the three main parties inclined toward greater democracy and ties with Europe, those groups are locked in a political battle that has prevented the formation of a government. The three-party coalition, called the Alliance for European Integration, which broke the Communistsâ eight-year hold on power in 2009, is at an impasse over the distribution of government posts, writes Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Brian Mefford.
As Kremlin Escalates, the War Costs Ukraine $6 Million-Plus Daily, Atlantic Councilâs Herbst Says
A âsubstantial numberâ of Russian Federation special forces troops led this weekâs capture of the Donetsk airport amid what appears to be Russiaâs biggest direct military offensive in Ukraine since last summer. The offensive, by thousands of Russian troops, appears aimed at least in part at forcing a re-negotiation of the September cease-fire agreement, which has proven an obstacle for the Kremlin in its key goal: constraining Ukraineâs pursuit of closer ties with Europe and the West.
After months of intense, high-explosive combat amid the ruins of southeastern Ukraineâs main airport, Russian special forces commandos this week led the attacks that killed or drove back the Ukrainian troops and national guardsmen that both sides had dubbed âcyborgsâ for their tenacious, defense of the airportâs main buildings, according to Atlantic Council analyst John Herbst. The Russian special forces are fighting at the airport âin substantial numbers,â said Herbst, a former US ambassador to Ukraine who returned this week from a talks with Ukrainian and Western officials in Kyiv and Brussels.
Vickers Sees Terrorism and Cyber Attacks as Top Threats to US
There is a âheightened riskâ of terrorist attacks in the West by groups that have proliferated as a result of the war in Syria and the influence of social media, according to the Pentagonâs top intelligence policy official.
Terrorist attacks in Paris this month underscored the fact that there are multiple groups sponsoring such violence and âattacks on the West, in particular, are high on their list and increasing in priority,â Michael G. Vickers, under secretary of defense for intelligence, said at the Atlantic Council on January 21.
Opposition to Easing Embargo Is Vocal But Small, Atlantic Council Analyst Says
As US and Cuban officials meet in Havana this week for their first talks on normalizing relations, Congress is likely to favor moving slowly on President Obama's request for the lifting of the United Statesâ five-decade-old trade embargo on Cuba, says Atlantic Council analyst Rachel DeLevie-Orey.
Panel Sees Hope as Brazilian President Pledges to Visit US in September
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseffâs second term in office may present an opportunity for Washington and Brasilia to improve relations.
Despite recent bumps in the road in the US-Brazil relationship, Anthony S. Harrington, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil from 1999 to 2001, said he was âcautiously optimistic that we can turn the page again in 2015 and begin to regain the momentum that we saw at the beginning of President Rousseffâs administration.â
US and Allies Need to Help Build Economy, Governance, and Justice, Analyst Says
The chaos in Yemen underscores that the United States and its allies need a comprehensive security and economic strategy for that country, says Atlantic Council analyst Danya Greenfield. Yemenâs decline, marked yesterday as Shiite tribesmen besieged the presidential offices, has given new room for growth to the Yemen-based Islamist militant group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Turn 'This Moment of Renewal ... Into Concrete Action,' Senator Mark Warner Says
President Barack Obamaâs visit to New Delhi this month presents an opportunity to âregenerate, restart, and revitalizeâ the bilateral relationship with India, according to Senator Mark R. Warner, co-chairman of the bipartisan Senate India Caucus.
Obama will become the first US president to visit India twice while in office when he travels to New Delhi to be the chief guest at the countryâs Republic Day celebrations on January 26. The trip comes four months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Washington for two days of meetings with Obama at the White House.