“The Russians are throwing lifelines to the criminal Venezuelan regime with the intention of further pushing Caracas into Moscow’s orbit. With Venezuela both under US and EU sanctions and being shunned by the major countries of the hemisphere, the Russians see an opportunity to swoop in and use the situation to their advantage,” said Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. He described how a country that is diplomatically isolated and run by an anti-US regime “provides a huge opportunity for Russia to establish a further footprint in a country that is within the geostrategic, geographical orbit of the United States.”
Beijing has rapidly increased its investments in the region, with over $10 billion invested per year since 2012. If current trends continue, the incipient China-Latin America partnership could become an engine for employment growth and broader economic development.
Ernest Moniz, who served as energy secretary in Barack Obama’s administration, said heaping sanctions on North Korea alone cannot produce results and that this approach will only “spin wheels.”
R. Nicholas Burns, who served as undersecretary of state for political affairs in George W. Bush’s administration, said exhausting the diplomatic option before considering the military one is the “wisdom” gleaned from the first nuclear age. “Kim Jong-un is not a more deadly rival of the United States than Stalin was or Khrushchev was in the 50s and 60s,” he said.
In the latest move in an ongoing diplomatic crisis between the United States and North Korea over the latter’s growing nuclear arsenal, North Korea was placed back on the US Department of State’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list on November 20. North Korea joins Iran, Sudan, and Syria on the list.
Mugabe, a liberation struggle hero who led Zimbabwe since 1980, saw his star eventually tarnished by corruption, cronyism, and misrule. He abruptly resigned on November 21 as impeachment proceedings against him began in parliament in Harare.
“Mugabe’s resignation clears the way not only for the resolution of the political impasse on a constitutional basis, but also for the beginning of a new chapter in Zimbabwe’s history,” said Pham, who is director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.
Chancellor is vital for European solidarity on Russia sanctions, says Atlantic Council’s Fran BurwellIf 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 eurozone crisis.
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, Pham, who is director of the Atlantic Council's Africa Center, said: “We’re not saying whitewash the past, but it is in the interests of everyone that Zimbabwe is engaged at this critical time.”
With membership from eleven European Union (EU) nations and the United States, the CoE is one of the most tangible examples of the pledge by NATO and the EU to work more closely together, addressing what both organizations recognize is a threat to their very foundations. Mattis visited the center in Finland last week.
Today, however, this cycle is exacerbated by two factors: a huge increase in livestock numbers, especially in the developing world, and the rapid growth of urban slums. With more animals living near humans, and humans living closer together than ever before, the chances of diseases emerging and spreading rapidly are significantly increased.
For the past two weeks, much of the global conversation on climate change has focused on the talks in Bonn and how parties to the Paris Accord—from which the United States regrettably announced its intention to withdrawal—plan to meet their carbon reduction goals. However, the Armed Services Committees’ conference report emphasizes the national security risks associated with changing global temperatures.