David Wemer

  • Violence Erupts Between Gaza and Israel

    A new round of violence has erupted in the Gaza Strip following an Israeli military raid on November 11 that killed a local Hamas commander. The undercover military operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) took place in the Gaza Strip, a 141-square-mile territory on Israel’s southern border currently controlled by Hamas, which the United States, Israel, and the European Union categorize as a terrorist organization.

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  • United States and China to Hold Delayed Security Dialogue on November 9

    Amid rising tensions between China and the United States, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will “attempt to put a floor on the relationship” when they meet with Chinese officials in Washington on November 9, according to Robert A. Manning, a resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

    The two US officials will meet Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe as part of an annual framework to discuss security and political issues. Mattis was supposed to have this meeting in Beijing in October, but Chinese officials postponed it after the United States imposed sanctions on a Chinese company for purchasing weapons from Russia and Washington approved a $330 million military equipment deal with Taiwan.

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  • John Bolton Takes Latin American 'Troika of Tyranny' to Task

    US National Security Advisor John Bolton labelled Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua the “Troika of Tyranny” in a November 1 speech outlining the Trump administration’s determination to combat authoritarianism in Latin America. Speaking at Miami’s Freedom Tower, a US national historic landmark due to its role in housing a processing center for Cubans fleeing to the United States, Bolton declared that under US President Donald J. Trump, the United States “will no longer appease dictators and despots near our shores.”

    Bolton’s speech in a critical swing state for both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives just six days before the midterm elections can be seen as an attempt to shore up Republican Party support among the politically powerful Cuban-American community in southern Florida.

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  • Rome's Options in Budget Battle with Brussels

    In light of the European Commission’s rejection of its budget proposal, the Italian government essentially has three options: “cave quickly and fall into line with the EU’s demands, cave slowly, or take Italy off the cliff and leave the euro,” according to Megan Greene, managing director and chief economist for Manulife Asset Management.

    The Italian government’s initial reaction—to brush off Brussels’ concerns—has shown that “the cave quickly option is off the table now,” according to Greene.

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  • #ElectionTracker: No, the United States Isn't the Only Country Getting Ready To Vote

    Scan the headlines these days and you would be forgiven for thinking that the United States is the only country preparing for an important election. As seemingly all attention focuses on voters from the Atlantic to the Pacific don’t lose sight of some other contests around the world. Here is a look at the races we are watching in the runup to the US midterms.

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  • 'Conflict Gold' Fueling War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    New report finds illicit trade could be flowing to the United States and Europe

    The world’s most ubiquitous symbol of wealth is fueling the decades-long conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, policy experts said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on October 24. Militias and warlords are selling gold to fund their military activities and political control in eastern Congo and their illicit trade is not just flowing to the black market, but “may be coming here to the United States as well as Europe,” Sasha Lezhnev, deputy director of policy for the Enough Project, explained.

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  • Macedonians Should Embrace 'an Alignment of Stars,' Says Former NATO Secretary General

    Macedonia and Greece have reached “a generational point here [where a] decision can be taken,” George Robertson, who served as NATO’s secretary general from 1999 to 2004, said at an event at the Atlantic Council on October 22. Robertson, speaking on Macedonia’s potential succession to NATO, explained that the agreement between Macedonia and Greece to change Macedonia’s name is “an alignment of stars that is unlikely to happen for another thirty or forty years.”

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  • The INF Treaty: What it Means and Why the United States is Leaving

    US President Donald J. Trump announced on October 20 that the United States would soon pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a major arms control agreement signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987.

    The agreement, which banned both countries—and the USSR’s successor nations—from keeping ground-based nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, became untenable, US officials argued, after evidence emerged of Russian violations and continued build-up of Chinese missiles within this range.

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  • Trump to Pull Plug on Arms Control Treaty With Russia

    US President Donald J. Trump confirmed on October 20 that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The agreement, signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, sought to ban both countries’ armed forces from keeping ground-based nuclear missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

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  • State Department Official Sounds Warning on Russian, Chinese Influence in Central and Eastern Europe

    ‘The return of great nation competition is the defining geopolitical fact of our time,’ says US Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell

    The United States’ rivals are “expanding their political, military, and commercial influence” in Central and Eastern Europe to the detriment of the Western alliance, A. Wess Mitchell, assistant secretary responsible for the US State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on October 18.

    “The return of great nation competition is the defining geopolitical fact of our time,” Mitchell said, adding the warning that “for far too long the West did not take competition seriously” in Central and Eastern Europe. Content with the success of the post-Cold War period, officials in Europe and the United States have allowed growing Russian and Chinese influence in the region to “sneak up on us,” he contended.

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