Ashish Kumar Sen

  • US Imposes Sanctions on Russia Over Election Meddling

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration on March 15 announced new sanctions on Russian individuals and organizations in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and cyberattacks, including attempts to the hack the US energy grid.

    This is the most significant action by the Trump administration against Russia to date.

    The sanctions target many of the same individuals and entities indicted by special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III in February.

    Atlantic Council analysts share their assessment here.

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  • Britain Expels Russian Diplomats Over Attempted Assassination. Is that Enough?

    British Prime Minister Theresa May on March 14 expelled twenty-three Russian diplomats and suspended high-level contacts with Moscow after blaming Russia for poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom. The expulsion, which May described as the largest in more than thirty years, will add further strain to an already tense relationship between London and Moscow.

    But is that an adequate response to ongoing Russian belligerence?

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  • Trump and North Korea: From ‘Fire and Fury’ to Diplomacy

    Last summer, US President Donald J. Trump threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it endangered the United States. A few months later, he derided North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “Little Rocket Man” and said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was wasting his time attempting to negotiate with the regime in Pyongyang. Kim in turn threatened the United States noting in his new year’s day speech that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk and is ready to use it. Trump shot off a provocative tweet about the size of his own nuclear button, which he said was...
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  • It’s Time for Trump to Test North Korea

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has, in a surprise move, reportedly agreed to suspend nuclear and missile tests and start talks with the United States on dismantling his nuclear weapons. Both were prerequisites set by US President Donald J. Trump’s administration before it would agree to an initial, exploratory meeting.

    US President Donald J. Trump promptly tweeted that the rare opportunity to defuse the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, while a sign of “possible progress,” could also be “false hope.”

    “There’s only one way to know if it is false hope and that is to test it by sitting down for talks with the North Koreans,” said Robert A. Manning, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

    “The North Koreans have said everything he has wanted them to say,”...

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  • Trump May Get His Trade War After All

    US President Donald J. Trump’s surprise decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, and a tweeted declaration that “trade wars are good” have set off alarm bells across the globe while causing the stock market to plunge.

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  • In China, the Dawn of the Xi Dynasty?

    Chinese President Xi Jinping was nine years old when his father, a prominent communist revolutionary and vice premier of China, had a falling out with Mao Zedong.

    The year was 1962. Xi Zhongxun was accused of supporting a novel that Mao opposed. For this crime he was stripped of his titles, demoted, and sent to work in a factory. His wife, Qi Xin, was forced to do hard labor on a farm.

    Six years later, the younger Xi was among the millions of “intellectual youth” who were sent to the countryside for “re-education” during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which sought to purge the “impure” elements of Chinese society and preserve a communist ideology.

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  • I Spy A North Korean at the Olympics

    North Korean Gen. Kim Yong-chol is believed to have orchestrated a deadly attack on a South Korean warship, the bombardment of a South Korean island, and, possibly, the cyberattack on Sony Pictures.

    Now, the former North Korean spy chief is on a different mission. Kim Yong-chol will lead his country’s delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on February 25. There he is expected to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in to pave the way for a peace summit proposed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    The diplomatic thaw between North and South Korea follows several months of missile and nuclear tests by Pyongyang and is playing out in the high-wattage arena afforded by the Winter Olympics.

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  • Assad’s Forces Are Killing Dozens of Children in a Damascus Suburb

    Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s forces have unleashed an unrelenting bombardment of the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta that has killed hundreds—many of the victims are women and children—over the past few days.

    The United Nations (UN) has warned that the situation is “spiraling out of control.” The Assad regime has reportedly not even spared hospitals and schools. Targeted attacks on these locations could be tantamount to war crimes.

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  • 7 Things You Should Know About 'Mini Merkel'

    Under pressure to groom a successor, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has picked a “Mini Merkel” to take over as secretary general of her Christian Democrats (CDU).

    Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a close ally of Merkel’s, is expected to be voted into her new role at the CDU congress on February 26. She will replace Peter Tauber who is stepping down after an illness.

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  • Russians Charged with Meddling in 2016 US Election

    Thirteen Russians and three Russian entities have been indicted by a grand jury for interfering in the US presidential elections in 2016, US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said on February 16.

    The thirty-seven-page indictment alleges that Russians’ operations “included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump...and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” Trump’s Democratic opponent, according to the Guardian.

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