Asia

  • Nimmo Quoted in USA Today on Russian Trolls


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  • More Shots Fired in US-China Trade War

    This is what a trade war looks like.

    On September 18, hours after US President Donald J. Trump announced his decision to impose 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, China struck back. Beijing retaliated immediately, announcing tariffs on an additional $60 billion in US imports.

    The new Chinese tariffs will target more than 5,000 US goods, including meat, nuts, alcoholic drinks, chemicals, clothes, machinery, furniture, and auto parts—nearly everything that China imports from the United States.

    The Chinese tariffs, just like the new US ones, will go into effect on September 24.

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  • The Geopolitical Divorce of the Century: Why Putin Cannot Afford to Let Ukraine Go

    Next month, Europe’s leading budget airline will begin regular flights from Ukraine to a host of EU destinations. This is the latest milestone in a Ukrainian aviation boom that is seeing additional routes announced on a weekly basis and record passenger numbers at airports across the country. Each new flight serves to broaden Ukrainian horizons and anchor the country more firmly within the wider international community. Meanwhile, there has not been a single direct flight between Ukraine and Russia since October 2015.

    The changes in Ukraine’s air travel industry are just one of the many ways in which the country has turned away from Russia and gone global since the climax of the Euromaidan Revolution in early 2014 and the start of Vladimir Putin’s hybrid war. Since then, Russia’s share of Ukrainian exports has tumbled from 24 percent to around 9 percent, while Russian imports to Ukraine have halved. As economic ties between Kyiv and Moscow loosen, Ukrainian businesses have begun to discover life after Russia.

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  • Trump’s Trade War Unlikely to End Soon

    Trump administration slaps more tariffs on Chinese imports

    The latest escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China is further proof that US President Donald J. Trump has no intention of quickly coming to an agreement over a new trade relationship with China, according to Bart Oosterveld, director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program.

    “The [Trump] administration has no political or economic incentive to tone down these trade wars,” Oosterveld said.

    On September 17, the Trump administration announced 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports in an attempt to pressure China to change trade practices that the president says are hurting US businesses.

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  • Deep Dive: How Ukraine’s Presidential Candidates Plan to Win

    Ukraine’s presidential campaign season has unofficially begun. Almost half a year before the presidential race in March 2019, candidates have already settled on basic strategies.

    Let's analyze their messages—how they separate themselves from their competitors and try to create an attractive image, what ideas "sell," how they struggle with criticism, negativity, compromise, and ultimately, how they plan to win the elections.

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  • The War For Peace in Afghanistan

    Challenge posed by ISIS affiliate must be addressed

    The message from Washington these days appears to be that severing the link between the Taliban and Pakistan is the silver bullet for peace in Afghanistan. It is, however, simplistic to portray the Taliban as the only insurgent group in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the only relevant outside actor. While the Taliban might be the insurgent group with the most sympathizers and members, there are other groups active in Afghanistan that may not be influenced by Pakistan. An enduring peace in Afghanistan is only possible if it involves a deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and addresses the challenge posed by these other insurgent groups.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to appoint Zalmay Khalilzad as his Afghan envoy, tasked with mediating between the Taliban and Kabul, might help bring Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government and at least some factions of the Taliban together. Khalilzad has walked a fine line between Afghanistan’s many ethnic groups in the past. He helped effectively form the country’s first post-Taliban government and organized the country’s first post-Taliban elections.

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  • Trump’s Election Meddling Sanctions Will Not Deter Russia

    US President Donald J. Trump on September 12 issued a new executive order (EO) authorizing sanctions in response to interference in US elections, likely as an attempt to stave off two bipartisan bills circulating in the Senate that would mandate significant sanctions against Russia. The EO is a mixed bag; it directs cabinet officials to produce reports on interference following every US federal election—a good step toward showing seriousness—but the sanctions in the EO do not substantially change the status quo, especially from the perspective of providing an effective deterrent to Russian aggression. 

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  • Putin Critic Litvinenko's Widow Says Russia Using Disinformation to Discredit Skripal Poisoning

    Russia is using the same disinformation playbook to sow doubt about the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter as it did in the case of Alexander Litvinenko’s death, Marina Litvinenko, the slain Russian intelligence officer’s widow, said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on September 11.

    Russian authorities are now “trying to use a case of Alexander Litvinenko to destroy the future case of Yulia and Sergei Skripal,” Marina Litvinenko said. Alexander Litvinenko died in London in November 2006 after being exposed to radioactive polonium-210, allegedly given to him in a cup of tea. Litvinenko had emigrated to the United Kingdom in 2000 after serving for almost two decades in Soviet intelligence and then eventually Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

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  • Manning in Nikkei Asian Review: North Korea Needs a New Approach


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  • Can Peace Be Won in Afghanistan?

    At a time when the Taliban are gaining ground in Afghanistan, Afghan government losses are mounting, and regional partners’ views on the conflict are shifting, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has not given in to pessimism. On a September 7 visit to Kabul, Mattis expressed optimism about the existence of “a framework” and “open lines of communications” between US diplomats and Qatar-based Taliban representatives that he believes might lead to an intra-Afghan reconciliation process that would end nearly two decades of war. He also reassured Kabul’s leadership that the United States will stand by the Afghans until there is lasting peace and stability.

    What remains uncertain at this point, however, are the answers to two overarching questions: How will key regional stakeholders—Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China, and India—manage shifting interests and threat perceptions at a time when the United States is pushing for a peace deal, and is there a contingency plan if talks fail?

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