In congressional testimony, Atlantic Council’s Alexander Vershbow says US allies concerned ‘we may have given a gift to President Putin’
Although the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from a Cold War era nuclear arms control treaty with Russia was “legally justified,” the decision could “give Russia free rein to rapidly deploy ground-launched versions of its newest cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons,” Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, warned Congress on February 26.
Vershbow, who is a former NATO deputy secretary general, testified to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces that Washington’s “allies are concerned that, politically, we may have given a gift to [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, who has long sought to escape the INF Treaty’s limitations.”
Within twenty-four hours both the British Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have backtracked on major policy issues concerning Brexit. And in both cases, the question is whether they are actually committed to their declared change of course.
Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament on February 26 that if she failed to secure parliamentary approval on March 12 for her agreement to leave the EU then the next day she would introduce a motion that would allow Parliament to rule out leaving Europe without a deal. If that also failed, then on March 14 she would introduce a further motion providing for Britain’s exit from the EU to be delayed – for a short and limited period – from the currently planned departure date of March 29.
The two leaders last met in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Following that meeting—the first engagement between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea—Trump declared that North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat.” However, there is little evidence that Kim is preparing to eliminate his nuclear weapons.
Global democracy has seen better days. Disruptive new technologies, demographic change, stagnant wages, and uneven economic growth are leading many citizens to question the effectiveness of democratic institutions and the usefulness of global cooperation. At the same time, authoritarian regimes around the world have become emboldened in recent years, directly challenging global rules, regional stability, and attempting to undermine democratic electoral processes. Former leaders from democracies around the globe now say it is time to fight for the principles of freedom, prosperity, and peace.
“There has been much hand-wringing about the state of democracy and the world in general,” Daniel Fried, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center, said. “The point now is to take action.”
It also marks the most significant test yet for the Trump administration's shift in China policy to strategic competition from strategic engagement.
Here’s a quick look at what’s going on:
After ten years of left-wing populism, Ecuador, the smallest of the Andean nations, could witness a drastic political shift. Upcoming sectional elections may provide a foretaste of a victory for the political right in the 2021 presidential and legislative elections.
On March 24, Ecuadorians will elect representatives to occupy more than 11,000 governmental positions, from the lowest municipal posts to the highest tiers of provincial representation.
Macky Sall’s challengers include a former prime minister (Idrissa Seck), a former foreign minister (Madické Niang), a little-known university professor (Issa Sall), and a social-media sensation (Ousmane Sonko).
Mindful of what’s at stake, Macky Sall, who has been in office since 2012, is keen to remind voters of some of his greatest achievements. In the last year alone, the president has inaugurated a new airport, special economic zones, and state-of-the-art sports facilities, and talked up the 200 km of highway built during his time in office.