Ashish Kumar Sen

  • The Importance of Being Angela Merkel

    Chancellor is vital for European solidarity on Russia sanctions, says Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell

    If German Chancellor Angela Merkel were to step down from her role it would create uncertainty over the fate of sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, according to Fran Burwell, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council.

    “There is one area where her absence would make a great deal of difference potentially and that is on the sanctions on Russia,” said Burwell.

    “With the British leaving [the European Union] and her leaving—if she should leave—that makes the continued adherence to these sanctions less certain. Depending on what happens in the Italian elections, those sanctions could be vulnerable indeed,” she added.  

    Moreover, Burwell noted, instability in Germany would be a blow for the European Union (EU), which is grappling with the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the Union and the...

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  • With Mugabe’s Exit, Zimbabwe Will Need All the Help It Can Get

    In light of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s resignation, the United States should be prepared to work with his likely successor, a man who is subject to US sanctions, said the Atlantic Council’s J. Peter Pham.

    Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose ouster from the vice presidency by Mugabe early in November triggered the current political crisis in the first place, will likely be the next leader of Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa is the subject of US Treasury sanctions imposed in the early 2000s for his role in undermining democratic processes and institutions in the country.

    Noting that a prominent opposition leader and longtime Mugabe foe, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has embraced Mnangagwa,...

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  • The End of the Mugabe Era

    The ongoing military intervention in Zimbabwe effectively marks the end of Robert Mugabe’s thirty-seven-year hold on power, according to J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

    “In whatever way the developments of the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours play out, it is quite clear that the near-absolute grip that he had on power for almost four decades, that era has come to an end,” said Pham. 

    The military said it has put Mugabe, who has led the country since 1980, under house arrest.

    “The military seems to be taking a very careful approach in not formally declaring this a coup, but it is quite clear that, at least for now, they are in charge,” said Pham.

    J. Peter Pham spoke in an interview with the New Atlanticist’s Ashish Kumar Sen. 

    ...

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  • The End of the Mugabe Era

    The ongoing military intervention in Zimbabwe effectively marks the end of Robert Mugabe’s thirty-seven-year hold on power, according to J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

    “In whatever way the developments of the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours play out, it is quite clear that the near-absolute grip that he had on power for almost four decades, that era has come to an end,” said Pham.

    The military said it has put Mugabe, who has led the country since 1980, under house arrest.

    “The military seems to be taking a very careful approach in not formally declaring this a coup, but it is quite clear that, at least for now, they are in charge,” said Pham.

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  • Did Saudi Crown Prince Just Endanger His Reform Agenda?

    Anti-corruption crackdown targets princes, wealthy businessmen

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has unleashed an unprecedented crackdown on corruption that has, so far, resulted in the detention of more than two hundred people, including almost a dozen princes.

    The most significant targets are former crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, whose assets have been frozen; Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest men and a...

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  • US Strikes on ISIS in Somalia Underscore Threat, Vulnerabilities

    On November 3, the United States carried out two separate airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Somalia, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced in a statement. The operations marked the first time that US forces have targeted ISIS militants in the conflict-ridden Horn of Africa country, where al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab has been the primary focus of American and partner efforts in recent years. 

    The strikes also underscore the shift in ISIS’ center of gravity following the group’s losses not only in Iraq and Syria this year, but also the routing of its affiliate in Libya last December. These developments have sent surviving fighters and arms flowing into more remote areas, including the Sahel, where the killing of four US Special Forces troops in an ambush in Niger in October

    ...

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  • Trump Goes to Asia: An Opportunity to Assert US Leadership

    On his first full business day as president, Donald J. Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multilateral trade agreement with eleven other Asia-Pacific nations that was viewed as a pillar of US commitment to Asia.

    At the height of a nuclear crisis with North Korea, he instructed his advisers to pull the United States out of a free-trade pact with South Korea, a longtime US ally.

    Further, he ratcheted up the rhetoric with Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s mercurial leader,...

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  • Paul Manafort’s Ukraine Connection

    Long before Paul Manafort served as Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign chairman he worked for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian former president of Ukraine.

    It was in this role that Anders Åslund, a resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, first met Manafort.

    Manafort would seek advice from Åslund, who served as an economic adviser to the government of Ukraine from 1994-1997, on matters of economic policy. Åslund recalls Manafort as “highly intelligent and absolutely ruthless.”

    “When the Ukrainian oligarchs heard Manafort was advising Trump they knew Trump would win the [US presidential] election” in 2016, he said.

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  • Getting South Sudan Right

    Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, delivered a stern message to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in their meeting in Juba on October 24: the United States is “disappointed” in Kiir’s leadership and he must not take US assistance for granted. In a stark reminder of the perilous situation in the six-year-old nation, Haley was later forced to hastily evacuate South Sudan after a group of anti-Kiir protesters turned violent.

    Haley’s tough rhetoric raises the question: what, if anything, can the United States do to prevent the world’s youngest nation—one that it helped foster—from unraveling under the...

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  • Getting South Sudan Right

    Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, delivered a stern message to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in their meeting in Juba on October 24: the United States is “disappointed” in Kiir’s leadership and he must not take US assistance for granted. In a stark reminder of the perilous situation in the six-year-old nation, Haley was later forced to hastily evacuate South Sudan after a group of anti-Kiir protesters turned violent.

    Haley’s tough rhetoric raises the question: what, if anything, can the United States do to prevent the world’s youngest nation—one that it helped foster—from unraveling under the pressures of a...

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