Ashish Kumar Sen

  • Trump's Reversal of North Korea Sanctions Sends a Dangerous Signal

    US President Donald J. Trump’s stunning decision to reverse Treasury sanctions on North Korea because he “likes” Kim Jong-un sends a troubling message to the United States’ friends and foes.

    “Hard to believe, but the president is undercutting his own policy of maximum pressure/maximum diplomacy, which was arguable sound, in favor, it seems, of an obsequious gesture,” said Daniel Fried, a distinguished senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center who as the State Department’s coordinator for sanctions policy crafted US sanctions against Russia, the largest US sanctions program to date, and negotiated the imposition of similar sanctions by Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia. 

    Read More
  • Trump’s Support for Israeli Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights May Hurt Israel

    In a departure from longstanding US policy, US President Donald J. Trump on March 21 tweeted that it was time the United States recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau Israel captured from Syria in 1967.

    While there is perhaps more than a touch of politics behind the timing of the tweet—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, is up for re-election on April 9—an actual shift in US policy on this sensitive issue could have serious consequences.

    Read More
  • A ‘Renewed Resolve’ in Congress to Reinforce NATO

    In an exclusive interview, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) says US role in NATO has been ‘worth every penny’

    There is a “renewed resolve” in the US Congress “to reinforce NATO and its mission, to rededicate ourselves to meeting certain goals like the 2 percent goal for defense spending, and to send clear and unmistakable messages to Vladimir Putin’s Russia that the physical compromise of sovereign territory will not be tolerated and that Article 5 is alive and well,” said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA).

    Proof of this bipartisan congressional resolve Connolly talks about is evident in the invitation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress in April.

    Read More
  • #StrongerWithAllies: British National Security Adviser Sees US Role Central to Facing Global Challenges

    It is critical for allies to work together in the face of global challenges to democratic values and principles, Mark Sedwill, national security adviser to British Prime Minister Theresa May, said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on March 8, while emphasizing the singular importance of the United States in such an endeavor.

    “We will face those [challenges] most successfully if we face them together, and in facing them together we will always need to face them with the US playing a central role,” said Sedwill, who also serves as Cabinet secretary and head of the civil service in the United Kingdom.

    Read More
  • After Hanoi: The Road Ahead for the United States and North Korea

    As Washington and Pyongyang pick up the pieces following the abruptly concluded summit between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi last month, the two sides have an opportunity to reassess their positions. Some former officials believe that there is, in fact, reason to be hopeful.

    Kim “needs a different kind of future for [North Korea] and his regime, and he’s prepared to take some risks to do it,” said Kathleen Stephens, a former US ambassador to South Korea.

    Read More
  • One Year Since the Skripals Were Poisoned, Russia Has Not Given Up its Confrontational Policy Toward the West

    On March 4, 2018, a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, were found critically ill on a park bench in Salisbury, England. It was later determined that they had been poisoned by Novichok, a deadly nerve agent. The attack was linked to the Russian state.

    One year later, “Russia shows no sign of rethinking its confrontational policy toward the West,” said Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and  Security who served as the US ambassador to Russia from 2001 to 2005.

    Read More
  • The Second Trump-Kim Summit: What Will Success Look Like?

    US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will hold their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 and 28.

    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.

    Read More
  • In Venezuela, Maduro and Guaidó are on a Collision Course Over Humanitarian Aid

    The crisis in Venezuela is heading toward a showdown between Nicolás Maduro’s regime and the US-backed opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, this weekend.

    Here’s a quick look at what’s going on:

    Read More
  • Maduro’s Days Are Over, Says Colombian President Duque

    Colombia’s leader calls on Venezuelan military to support interim President Juan Guaidó

    Colombian President Ivan Duque said on February 14 Nicolás Maduro should relinquish his hold on power in Venezuela and face trial for crimes against humanity. He also called on the Venezuelan military to support Juan Guaidó, who is recognized by a number of countries, including the United States, as the interim president of Venezuela.

    “His days are over,” Duque said, referring to Maduro. “Now, the military, who are the ones that have to make the change… they have now to support President Guaidó. What is the other option? Continue with a dictatorship that has impoverished the whole population; a hyperinflation of millions; the deterioration of all the liberties?”

    Read More
  • Mike Pence Stands Up For NATO, But is That Enough?

    US Vice President Mike Pence, addressing US and Polish armed forces in Warsaw on February 13, emphasized the importance of NATO, reaffirmed the US commitment to the principle of collective defense, and encouraged allies to meet the Alliance’s defense-spending goal. It is an open question, however, whether his boss, US President Donald J. Trump, shares his conviction.

    “While Vice President Pence’s words were eloquent and reassuring, allies have learned that there is a disconnect between the administration’s policy and the president’s own feelings about NATO and other US alliances,” said Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a former deputy secretary general of NATO.

    Read More