Thousands of miles from home, 1,700 US Marines began slowly arriving for their newest mission. Their destination was not the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, however, nor the established bases of Europe and Japan, but the tropical city of Darwin, located far in Australia’s north.
The contingent of Marines is the largest to visit Australia since Washington and Sydney agreed in 2011 to allow up to 2,500 US troops to use the country for basing and training. The deployment, known as Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, will remain in Australia’s north until October, primarily participating in large training exercises with Australian and other partner regional forces, including the massive Talisman Sabre exercise with Australian forces from June to August.
As the US Congress considers passing new sanctions to punish Russia for its aggression in Ukraine, interference in US elections, and material support for Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, lawmakers should remain committed to a united approach with Washington’s European allies and ensure that the new legislation maximizes US cooperation with its partners, according to Atlantic Council Distinguished Ambassadorial Fellow Daniel Fried.
Two current bills, the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression (DASKA) Act and the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act , have been reintroduced in the US Senate as attempts to mandate the Trump administration place sanctions on Russia in response to specific bad behavior by the Kremlin. The latest sanctions push demonstrates that Congress still “continues to show antipathy towards Russian behavior,” in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Syria, and other places, according to Atlantic Council Global Energy Center Chairman Ambassador Richard Morningstar, who moderated an Atlantic Council panel on the sanctions measures on April 17. The event was cohosted by the Atlantic Council’s Economic Sanctions Initiative and the Global Energy Center.
Japan wants to focus on tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods, referring to the possible outcome as a Trade Agreement on Goods (TAG), but the United States insists on a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation—encompassing goods, services, investment, and anti-currency manipulation.
Beyond these differences in scope, there are important divergences on substantive matters, not the least of which is Japan’s preference for a free trade framework as opposed to the United States’ managed-trade approach. As a consequence, the talks could make speedy progress if narrowly focused, but could drag on if Washington insists on a comprehensive agenda.
So, it’s surprising that transatlantic leaders are neither working at common cause nor asking the most crucial geopolitical questions of our age.
At the national level, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the secular Indian National Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, whose father, grandmother, and great grandfather all served as prime ministers of India, are in a fight to lead the country. Modi has served as prime minister for the past five years.
This handy guide will help you make sense of the contest.
By agreeing to extend the deadline for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) to October 31, EU leaders and British Prime Minister Theresa May “managed to avoid the most disruptive [potential] scenario, which would have been no-deal Brexit,” top European Commission official Valdis Dombrovskis said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on April 12.
The extension, which would first be reviewed by the EU on June 30 but could last as long as October 31, would give the UK Parliament time to “reflect and work on what is really their preferred scenario,” Dombrovskis said.
The arrest of Julian Assange in London on April 11 is a victory for the rule of law. Whatever one believes of the purported nobility of his ideology that governments and persons he does not like should be subject to information warfare under the guise of targeted “transparency,” Assange and his allies and enablers have done far more harm than good.
Individuals, businesses, and governments have the right to live within digital rules and laws. Anything else is a crime, espionage or information warfare. Respect for protected and private information, whether it be for individuals or nations, is essential for societal function. Individuals who take it upon themselves to decide who deserves data respect and who does not are dangerous for all. Who’s next?