David Wemer

  • The United States is Stronger With Allies, Says Atlantic Council’s Damon Wilson

    Amid intense partisan polarization and high-profile disagreements between Washington and its allies, Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, on January 29 made the case for the United States to preserve its alliances. “US interests are best served when Washington and its allies act in unison,” Wilson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington in a hearing on China and Russia.

    As growing aggression from Russia and China becomes “the main geopolitical challenge of the 21st century,” Wilson said, “the United States is much better positioned if it does not assume the burden of countering Beijing and Moscow alone.”


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  • Huawei Charges Escalate US-China Feud

    The charges announced by the US Department of Justice against Chinese telecom giant Huawei, “stand on their merits” but are “difficult to view. . . in isolation” from the Trump administration’s strategy to get Beijing to undertake meaningful economic reform, according to Robert A. Manning, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

    The US Justice Department detailed thirteen charges against Huawei, its affiliated firms, and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on January 28. Meng has been in Canada since being detained on December 1 at the request of the United States for allegedly violating US sanctions

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  • A 'Monumental Day for the Western Balkans'

    On January 25, the Greek parliament approved a deal that will see its neighbor, Macedonia, renamed to the “Republic of North Macedonia”—a move that ends a twenty-seven-year dispute between the two Southeastern European countries.

    The deal—known as the Prespa Agreement—was reached between Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in June 2018. The Macedonian parliament approved the deal on January 11. The agreement paves the way for the newly-minted North Macedonia to join NATO and potentially the European Union.


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  • Greek Parliament Approves Macedonia Name Change Deal

    Greece’s parliament narrowly approved a deal on January 25 that would see its northern neighbor change its name to North Macedonia and Athens lift its opposition to Macedonian accession to NATO and the European Union. The deal passed in a 153-to-146 vote.

    The deal—known as the Prespa Agreement—was reached between Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on June 17, 2018. The Macedonian parliament approved the necessary changes to the constitution on January 11.


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  • Energizing Conversations on Oil at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi

    The Atlantic Council convened government, private sector, and academic experts to set the global energy agenda for 2019 at the Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from January 11 to 13.

    The future of the oil market was frequently discussed as policy makers and experts attempted to parse the dramatic developments of the past year and provide some guidance for what 2019 holds. Here are the highlights from those conversations:


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  • May Survives Confidence Vote, But Now Must Deliver a New Brexit Plan

    British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in her government on January 16, but now has until January 21 to come up with a new plan for Brexit.

    The continuation of May’s government was threatened by a no-confidence vote triggered by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn after May’s draft withdrawal agreement on leaving the EU was defeated in Parliament by 432 to 202 votes. The no-confidence vote failed by nineteen votes, 306 to 325.


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  • May's Brexit Deal Stumbles in Parliament. Now She is Fighting to Save Her Government.

    A little over two months remain until the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union (EU) and yet the manner of Britain’s exit seems more unclear than at any time since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

    The UK Parliament on January 15 rejected by a vote of 432 to 202 the Withdrawal Agreement British Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU.


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  • Can the US Shale Revolution Maintain Its Momentum?

    Although US shale production reached 11.7 million barrels per day in 2018, shale oil and natural gas experts caution that the days of rapid expansion for US shale could be numbered as concerns mount about global economic growth in the short-term, easy access shale sources are depleted, and capital markets decrease their investments.


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  • Can China's Belt and Road Initiative Build Growth and Stay Green?

    China’s massive global energy and infrastructure investment is already paying off.

    Five years ago, “Pakistan was suffering from large amounts of brownouts [and] huge challenges in infrastructure,” according to Ali Siddiqui, an adviser with Pakistani financial services company JS Group and former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States. But after engaging closely with China’s Belt and Road Initiative “there is a large amount of investment that has been made in the power sector, in roads, and soon there will new investment from China in rail. Once that is done, our entire infrastructure shortage will be completed,” Siddiqui said.


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  • Saudi Minister Says Oil Market Volatility 'Unjustified'

    Khalid Al-Falih says he’s convinced ‘the oil market will quickly return to balance’

    On January 13, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih sought to assuage market concerns about potential oil demand as producers try to reverse massive dips in price at the end of 2018.

    “Market sentiment today is being shaped by undue concerns about demand, underestimation of the impact of agreed supply cuts, and a misreading of the supply-demand trends which causes counterfactual actions by financial players,” Al-Falih said. “In other words, if we look beyond the noise of weekly data and vibrations in the market, and the speculators’ herd-like behavior, I remain convinced that we are on the right track and that the oil market will quickly return to balance.”


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