Atlantic Council analysts predict period of uncertainty after President’s surprise resignation

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina’s surprise resignation on September 3 in the face of corruption allegations will likely plunge the Central American nation into a period of further political as well as economic uncertainty with direct implications for US national security, said the Atlantic Council’s Jason Marczak.

Pérez Molina resigned a day after the Guatemalan Congress stripped him of his immunity from prosecution over accusations that he had masterminded a scheme to defraud Guatemala’s customs service of millions of dollars. Pérez Molina has denied the allegations.

Read More

As war and poverty fuel surge in migration, Europe debates immigration, integration, and identity

As the world faces its biggest migrant crisis since World War II, governments across Europe are struggling to find a solution to a situation that is as much about integration and identity as it is about immigration.

The European Union (EU) will hold an emergency meeting September 14 to discuss how to resettle 40,000 refugees that are already in Europe and 20,000 displaced persons who are currently in camps outside the continent. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will propose increasing that number to 160,000 in his September 9 State of the Union speech.

Even if an agreement on resettlement is reached, the number in question is just a drop in the bucket, said Fran Burwell, Vice President and Director of the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations program.

Read More

Each summer, as part of ongoing efforts to influence their young, Russia’s government leaders and propagandists head to a conference center on the Klyazma River about 130 miles northeast of Moscow to address the “Terra Scientia” Russian Youth Education Conference.

Despite its lofty name, the conference bears little trace of free inquiry. Over the course of six week-long shifts—each with around 1,000 participants representing a different sphere of endeavor—Russia’s most politically reliable youth leaders are introduced to a steady stream of ideas, messages, and talking points to be used over the course of the year in civic and educational work.

Read More

Since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, the world has seen precious little Western leadership when it comes to confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin—despite US and European Union sanctions, recent efforts to strengthen NATO’s conventional deterrence in Europe, and the first signs of increased defense spending in Europe.

Even in the face of plans to send Poland heavy weapons in 2016 while beefing up Baltic defenses and organizing more frequent and larger NATO exercises, the fact remains that Russia—if it chose to do so—could occupy the Baltic states in two days, as Gen. Peter Pavel, the incoming chairman of NATO’s Defense Committee, recently warned.

Read More

History is a great teacher, so it’s no surprise that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and his subsequent Kremlin speech justifying it brought back memories of the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland in 1938. Parallels between Hitler and Putin abound, as do their motivations and the eventual global impact of the two annexations—even though they took place seventy-six years apart.  

Read More

Afghan lawmaker, Shinkai Karokhail, says Pakistan has been ‘selective’ about dealing with terrorists

Shinkai Karokhail, a member of the budget and finance committee of the lower house (Wolesi Jirga) of the Afghan National Assembly and a longtime activist for women’s rights, education, and conflict prevention, sat down with the New Atlanticist's Ashish Kumar Sen for an interview on a recent visit to Washington.

Read More

NATO summits are filled with Georgian expectations. The Warsaw Summit in July of 2016 is no exception. Since the Bucharest Summit (2008), Georgia’s engagement with NATO has seemed to gravitate around the theme of a Membership Action Plan (MAP) as a prelude to NATO membership. The discussion itself is perhaps too focused on Georgia, when the broader question at hand relates to European and Euro-Atlantic security from the wider Black Sea/Caspian area to the Baltics, i.e., the vast space bordering Russia.

Read More

The recent collapse in stock markets and the sudden flow of refugees into Europe led world headlines in August—in a convergence of phenomena that are closely linked. Unprecedented flows of hot, or illicit, money are damaging most economies, causing both investors and migrants to flee.

Ironically, China has outperformed all other economies, even though it has been looted more than most. Between 2003 and 2012, an estimated $1.25 trillion fled the country, bypassing currency controls. China’s most recent attempt to turn off the tap contributed to the collapse of the Shanghai Composite Index.

Read More

The Russian annexation of Crimea in March 2014 is widely regarded as a tragedy for Crimean Tatars. But for Adile Namazova, it was also a professional catastrophe.

A recent university graduate with near flawless English, Namazova, 22, had been working as a language tutor before annexation. But once Crimea changed hands, travelers stopped coming, food prices shot up, and banks closed. The peninsula's tourism-dependent economy went into a tailspin. Soon Namazova's clients could no longer afford their English lessons, and she found herself out of a job.

Read More

Eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region is strewn with remnants of Russian-made cartridges from AK-74U rifles, littered with the splintered, hollowed-out ruins of Russian-made BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, and scarred with the skeletons of Russian T-74B battle tanks. Yet the Kremlin’s incursion into Ukrainian territory is not isolated to the Donbas. Its influence has also permeated the information environment—especially since the “de-escalation” brought about by Minsk II.

Much has been written about Russia’s information operations against Ukraine and the West. In particular, US and European media outlets love to use the St. Petersburg-based Agency for Internet Studies as the ultimate example of Russia’s determination—and some would have you believe mastery—to win the hearts and minds of disillusioned audiences in Ukraine and in the West.

Read More