David Wemer

  • Iran's Attack on US Drone Escalates Tensions in the Gulf

    If the United States decides to strike back at Iran for its shooting down of a US drone on June 20, “the escalatory spiral” in the region “will only continue with potential disastrous consequences, according to Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

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  • US Senator Condemns Putin's Complicit Role in Venezuela

    US Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, saying on June 20 that the Russian president is a "co-conspirator" in Maduro's human rights abuses.

    Maduro has led Venezuela since his election as president in 2013, when he took over from Hugo Chavez. On his watch Venezuela has become mired in an economic and humanitarian crisis marked by widespread unemployment, food and medicine shortages, and hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have left country. After Maduro was inaugurated for a second term on January 10, following elections deemed fraudulent by many international observers, National Assembly President Juan Guaidó was selected as interim president by the National Assembly and recognized by the United States and more than fifty other countries. Guaidó ...
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  • How the European Union Avoided a Disinformation Crisis

    When voters in the twenty-eight European Union (EU) member states went to the polls in May to elect a new European Parliament, the second-largest democratic exercise in the world provided a “very tempting target for somebody who wanted to interfere in our democratic processes,” Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union, said at the Atlantic Council’s 360 O/S conference in London on June 20. But thanks to increased measures to protect its citizens from disinformation, he added, the EU “didn’t see any kind of spectacular attack.”

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  • North Korea Must Regain Washington’s Trust, South Korean Official Says

    Special adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in argues that diplomatic and security assurances—not sanctions relief—are the key to achieving North Korean denuclearization

    Following the failure of the February summit in Vietnam between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, “there is a huge trust gap between Washington and Pyongyang,” Chung-in Moon, special adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in for unification, foreign, and national security affairs, said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on June 19. “In order to break that trust gap,” Moon added, “North Korea should take some proactive actions.”

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  • The West Must Do More to Help Ukraine, Atlantic Council’s John Herbst Tells Congress

    As Russia “seeks to weaken NATO, the European Union, and the United States,” the Western alliance of democracies must push back against Kremlin aggression “and the place to do it is Ukraine,” John Herbst, a former US ambassador to Ukraine and director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, told US senators at a hearing in Washington on June 18.

    Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014 and has since supported separatists in eastern Ukraine. While “Western support for Ukraine has been substantial and essential,” Herbst testified to the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, “it has not been as agile and effective as it could be.”

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  • Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s First Democratically Elected President, Dies

    Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, died after an appearance in a Cairo courtroom on June 17.

    Morsi was in a hearing facing espionage charges, reportedly stemming from alleged contacts with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, when he collapsed and later died, according to a report on Egyptian state television.

    “While Morsi’s death is a single event, its long-term ramifications will be numerous and far-reaching,” said Jasmine M. El-Gamal, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

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  • Is the Iran Nuclear Deal on Its Last Legs?

    Iran’s plans to violate a central tenet of the 2015 nuclear deal by exceeding limits placed on enriched uranium “will be the final blow to an agreement that the United States mortally wounded a year ago,” according to Barbara Slavin, director of the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative

    The nuclear deal—formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—was signed between Iran, the United States, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and China on July 14, 2015. The deal required Tehran to freeze aspects of its nuclear weapons program. In return, the other signatories would provide sanctions relief. On May 8, 2018, US President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA over concerns that it did not do enough to stop Tehran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon or its “malign


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  • What is Wrong with the WTO?

    Coming up on the anniversary of the July 2018 “trade truce” between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and US President Donald J. Trump, little progress has been made in trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union. This article is the third in a series that will take stock of the opportunities in and challenges to the deepest trading relationship in the world and focuses on WTO reform.

    The World Trade Organization (WTO), the largest multilateral trade organization and the foundation of the global trading system, has increasingly drawn the ire of the United States and other countries that view the organization as outdated and complacent as other countries skirt the rules to get ahead.

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  • Only US Concessions Can Bring Iran to the Negotiating Table

    Iranian supreme leader rebuffs Japanese prime minister’s attempt at mediation

    Iran is unlikely to agree to negotiations with the United States in the absence of US concessions, according to Barbara Slavin, director of the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has offered to serve as a mediator between Washington and Tehran, traveled to Iran this week—the first Japanese prime minister to visit Iran in nearly forty years—in an attempt to facilitate negotiations. However, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rebuffed Abe’s effort.

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  • US Senators Warn Against Tariffs on Mexico

    The migrant flow from Central America to the United States is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, but cannot be solved through the use of tariffs, two US senators said at the Atlantic Council on June 12.

    On May 30, US President Donald J. Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods by June 10 unless the Mexican government did more to help prevent migrants from reaching the US border. He further warned that this tariff would be increased by five percentage points each month until satisfactory progress was made. On June 7, Trump announced that a deal had been struck with the Mexican government that saw the tariff threat dropped, although it could be reinstated if the there is a “problem.”

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