Russian authorities are now “trying to use a case of Alexander Litvinenko to destroy the future case of Yulia and Sergei Skripal,” Marina Litvinenko said. Alexander Litvinenko died in London in November 2006 after being exposed to radioactive polonium-210, allegedly given to him in a cup of tea. Litvinenko had emigrated to the United Kingdom in 2000 after serving for almost two decades in Soviet intelligence and then eventually Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
What remains uncertain at this point, however, are the answers to two overarching questions: How will key regional stakeholders—Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China, and India—manage shifting interests and threat perceptions at a time when the United States is pushing for a peace deal, and is there a contingency plan if talks fail?
A series of historical reversals then occurred: telephone lines were unblocked for the first time in decades, airplanes started flying between Asmara and Addis Ababa, and families that had been separated for twenty years—since 1998, when the border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia broke out— were joyously reunited.
History was made again on September 11 as Abiy and Isaias ceremoniously reopened several border crossings, including at the Debay Sima-Burre border point, which sits on the road to the Eritrean port of Assab. Opening this crossing will give Ethiopian exports new access to the Red Sea, with economic dividends in store for both countries.
Daniel Fried was working at the National Security Council and in Rice’s office at the time. He recalls Rice’s conversation with her French counterpart. “We need this,” she said.
By the evening of September 12, less than twenty-four hours after al Qaeda terrorists hijacked and crashed commercial airliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, the allies invoked Article 5 in an act of solidarity with the United States. Then NATO Secretary General George Robertson informed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan of the Alliance's decision.
Although the United States is winding down its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in one of the many offshoots of the current conflict, Atlantic Council resident senior fellow Faysal Itani and Nate Rosenblatt argue that Syria represents a resounding defeat for Washington, not a victory. While other actors within and outside of Syria certainly deserve much of the blame for the conflict’s brutality and duration, “the United States was the international actor with the greatest capacity to alter events in Syria, deliberately or not, and its actions deserve special scrutiny,” Itani and Rosenblatt write in a new issue brief for the Atlantic Council, “US Policy in Syria: A Seven-Year Reckoning,” released on September 11.
US-Palestinian relationship is ‘broken,’ says former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
The decision by US President Donald J. Trump’s administration to close the Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is a symptom of a “completely dysfunctional and broken relationship” between the United States and the Palestinians, says Salam Fayyad, a former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority who is currently a distinguished statesman at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.
The Trump administration’s decision was announced in a statement from the State Department as well as in remarks by senior administration officials on September 10.
Six years have passed and Libya remains mired in chaos. The crisis has sharpened in its severity in the years since the ouster of the North African nation’s longtime ruler, Moammar Gadhafi, by rebels backed by the United States, France, and the United Kingdom in 2011. The United States—weary of foreign entanglements—has decreased its attention toward Libya.
While far from the Alliance’s borders this time, the forthcoming event’s location, huge scale, and unusual partner participation (China) carry strategic implications for NATO and the West, and also raise serious questions open to diverse interpretation.
This was a week that President Trump closed by dramatically escalating his trade dispute with China, threatening new tariffs on nearly $500 billion of Chinese goods. He did so even while facing mounting tensions within his own administration, underscored by an anonymous New York Times op-ed and a new book by Bob Woodward.
In a bit of symbolic theater on the eve of Trump’s trade announcement, China’s Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai was hosting a party in Washington for his African counterparts to celebrate this week’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing.
But Macedonia is about more than NATO expansion or naming disputes. Here’s a look at this small Balkan country that is now grabbing headlines.