Ashish Kumar Sen

  • After Failed Assassination Attempt, Expect Maduro to Lash Out in Venezuela

    The Venezuelan regime will likely turn even more repressive in the wake of a purported attempt to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas on August 4, according to Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

    Maduro was delivering a speech at a celebration of the 81st anniversary of Venezuela’s National Guard when what in initial reports were described as low-flying drones exploded in midair. The attack sent assembled National Guard troops scurrying for cover. Maduro was unharmed and blamed Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for the attempt on his life.

    Marczak was reluctant to agree with Maduro’s characterization of the incident as an assassination attempt. “Yesterday's incident is one more example in a long list of events that show the fragility of the regime, and will likely prompt it to take even more drastic...

    Read More
  • A Free and Open Indo-Pacific

    The Trump administration has turned its attention squarely toward the Indo-Pacific, with one eye firmly on an increasingly assertive China.

    In a significant policy speech in Washington on July 30, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States seeks “partnership, not domination,” in the Indo-Pacific. In a thinly veiled reference to China, Pompeo added: “We… have never and will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific, and we will oppose any country that does.”  

    What exactly does the Trump administration’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy set out and how can this goal be achieved in an America First era? Robert A. Manning, a resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, discussed the strategy in an interview with the New Atlanticist’s Ashish Kumar Sen. Here are excerpts from...

    Read More
  • Zimbabwe at an Inflection Point

    On July 30, for the first time in more than thirty years, Zimbabweans will vote in a presidential election in which one name will be conspicuously absent from the ballot: Robert Mugabe.

    Mugabe stepped down in the face of pressure from the military, his party, and the Zimbabwean people on November 21, 2017, even as impeachment proceedings got underway in parliament.

    Zimbabwe, which Mugabe transformed from southern Africa’s bread basket to a basket case, now stands at a critical inflection point.

    Read More
  • Trump’s Angry Iran Tweet

    US President Donald J. Trump, in a late-night, all-caps tweet on July 22, threatened Iran with “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have suffered before” if Iranian leaders continued to threaten the United States with war.

    Trump’s tweet was an apparent response to a comment by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Iranian diplomats in Tehran. “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said, according to Iran’s state news agency IRNA.

    In many ways, Trump’s tweet has echoes of his Twitter outbursts against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which ultimately led to a summit between the two leaders in Singapore on June 12.

    Iran, however, is a different kettle of fish.

    Read More
  • Trump’s Angry Iran Tweet

    US President Donald J. Trump, in a late-night, all-caps tweet on July 22, threatened Iran with “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have suffered before” if Iranian leaders continued to threaten the United States with war.

    Read More
  • Trump Picks Putin

    US President Donald J. Trump on July 16 appeared to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials over the US intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections, saying he saw “no reason why” Moscow would have acted in that way.

    Speaking at a joint press conference following his first summit with Putin in Helsinki, Trump said: “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today” on meddling.

    Read More
  • Trump-Putin Summit: Expect the Unexpected

    Just in the past few months, US President Donald J. Trump has blown up the G7 summit in Canada, berated the United States’ NATO allies, criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May on her handling of Brexit, described Germany as a “captive” of Russia, characterized the European Union as a “foe,” and directed the Pentagon to...
    Read More
  • Donald Trump and Theresa May: On the Issues

    Donald J. Trump and Theresa May attempted to paper over their differences—at least in public—at a joint press conference on July 13. This interaction followed a controversial interview Trump gave to the British tabloid The Sun in which  the US president criticized the British prime minister’s approach to Brexit.

    Here’s a look at where the two leaders came out on some key issues as they fielded questions from journalists at the prime minister’s country residence, Chequers.

    Read More
  • Ghani Hopeful 'Real' Dialogue Will Bring Peace to Afghanistan

    Unlike in the past, there is now a “real” and “constructive” dialogue on bringing peace to Afghanistan and this effort is based in mutual trust, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in Brussels on July 12.

    Ghani, speaking at the NATO Engages event co-hosted by the Atlantic Council, said US President Donald J. Trump told world leaders at the NATO Summit this week that the US strategy of a “conditions-based” commitment to Afghanistan was producing results.

    Read More
  • Trump’s NATO Strategy: Shake, Rattle, and Commit

    US President Donald J. Trump on July 12 reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to NATO after declaring that allies had agreed to his demands to spend more on defense. This affirmation came hours after the US president chastised allies for not spending enough on defense and even threated to pull the United States out of the Alliance.

    “The United States was not being treated fairly, but now we are,” Trump said at a news conference in Brussels after NATO leaders held an emergency meeting to address the US president’s complaints that allies are not spending enough on defense.

    “Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment,” Trump said, “And now we're very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong NATO, much stronger than it was two days ago.”

    Read More