Ambassador James B. Cunningham

  • Review of President Trump's South Asia Strategy

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    Over one year after the announcement of the Trump administration’s strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia, significant opportunity remains to improve efforts to achieve peace. In the Atlantic Council South Asia Center’s new report, Review of President Trump’s South Asia Strategy: The Way Ahead, One Year In, authors Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy, Director, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council; Ambassador James Cunningham, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council; General David Petraeus, Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Dr. Ashley J. Tellis,...

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  • Violence Erupts Between Gaza and Israel

    A new round of violence has erupted in the Gaza Strip following an Israeli military raid on November 11 that killed a local Hamas commander. The undercover military operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) took place in the Gaza Strip, a 141-square-mile territory on Israel’s southern border currently controlled by Hamas, which the United States, Israel, and the European Union categorize as a terrorist organization.

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  • How Will the Outcome of the Midterms Affect Trump's Policy Options?

    Democrats captured the House of Representatives while Republicans strengthened their Senate majority in the US midterm elections on November 6.

    We asked our analysts what they believe are the policy implications of this outcome. Here’s what they had to say*:

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  • Why Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Election Matters

    Afghans will vote in parliamentary elections on October 20 amid the familiar threat of violence.

    The fragile security situation in Afghanistan was underscored on October 18 when Gen. Austin Miller, the top US military commander in Afghanistan, escaped unharmed in an attack by a Taliban gunman in Kandahar. Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, Kandahar’s police commander, and Abdul Momin, the provincial intelligence chief, were killed in the attack. The Afghan government has postponed the vote in Kandahar province by a week.

    In the rest of Afghanistan, voters will head to the polls on October 20 to elect candidates to the lower house of parliament. The election is three years overdue. Around 2,500 candidates are standing for 250 seats.

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  • UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Resigns

    US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s resignation on October 9 caught many, including some within US President Donald J. Trump’s Cabinet, by surprise. She will leave the post at the end of the year.

    Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and the daughter of Indian immigrants, at times struck an independent position from Trump, but was also a prominent supporter of the president.

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  • Cunningham Quoted in PassBlue on Nikki Haley Resignation


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  • The United Nations is in Session. Here's What to Expect.

    World leaders are descending upon New York this week to attend the 73rd session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The meetings give the world’s top political leaders “a chance from the General Assembly podium to address media and delegations from around the world with what they think is important,” according to James Cunningham, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.

    Cunningham, who is also a former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Israel, served as the acting US permanent representative to the United Nations in 2001, including on September 11, and deputy permanent representative from 1999 until 2004.

    With a litany of speeches, meetings, and the high-profile chairing of a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting by US President Donald J. Trump, what can we expect from the world body this week?

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  • Has Trump Shut the Door to Middle East Peace With Closure of Palestinian Office?

    US-Palestinian relationship is ‘broken,’ says former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad


    The decision by US President Donald J. Trump’s administration to close the Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is a symptom of a “completely dysfunctional and broken relationship” between the United States and the Palestinians, says Salam Fayyad, a former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority who is currently a distinguished statesman at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

    The Trump administration’s decision was announced in a statement from the State Department as well as in remarks by senior administration officials on September 10.

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  • Cunningham Joins Fox to Discuss Trump’s Decision to Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem


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  • All You Need to Know As The United States Opens its Embassy in Jerusalem

    [Editor's note: This blog post has been updated.]

    Massive protests have erupted in the Gaza Strip on May 14 as the United States relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, becoming the world’s first nation to have an embassy in the holy city.

    On December 6, US President Donald J. Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to shift the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—the two cities are about an hour’s drive apart.

    The decision is a controversial one. Palestinians turned out in large numbers to protest the decision. At least fifty-two Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire at the Gaza border. Health officials said...

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