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SnapshotsMar 5, 2021 | 21:18 GMT
Riot police approach protesters' barricades in an attempt to disperse a March 4, 2021, demonstration in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, against the military coup.
On Myanmar, Washington Moves Cautiously to Avoid Losing More Ground to China
Without the prospect of international cooperation, the United States is proceeding cautiously with pressure on Myanmar's military government in spite of a week of deadly crackdowns on anti-coup protesters. For now, it is stopping short even from imposing sectoral or deeper country-level trade restrictions, to say nothing of more aggressive financial sanctions, in order to keep Chinese influence in Myanmar from growing.
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AssessmentsFeb 26, 2021 | 21:22 GMT
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud walks the halls of the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. after meeting with then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Oct. 14, 2020.
Biden Brings More Skepticism Into the U.S.-Saudi Relationship
As the drivers bringing them together weaken, the United States and Saudi Arabia will become more conservative in deepening their strategic ties and more critical of one another’s differences. On Feb. 26, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden released a report publicly blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the 2018 assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and imposed visa bans on 76 Saudis associated with the act under a new so-called “Khashoggi Policy.” This, along with other recent public statements and arms freezes, indicates Biden preparing to shift U.S.-Saudi ties away from his predecessor’s close personal relationship with the kingdom. The White House appears ready to press Saudi Arabia to engage in more restrained foreign policy, emphasizing U.S. human rights objectives in its Saudi dialogue. That pressure will undoubtedly clash with several of the kingdom’s own deeply set imperatives, creating pushback from Riyadh and turbulence in long-standing U.S.-Saudi
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SnapshotsFeb 23, 2021 | 21:23 GMT
Norwegian army soldiers use snowmobiles for mobility during a military exercise on March 6, 2013, in Skjold, Norway.
Increased Arctic Activity Sets the Stage for U.S.-Russia Competition
The U.S. military is increasing collaboration with Nordic states in response to expanding Russian military and economic activities in the Arctic, pointing to a future of heightened competition with the potential for both strategic and tactical miscommunication or miscalculation. On Feb. 22, four U.S. B-1 bombers arrived for their first-ever deployment to Norway in a move widely seen as a signal to Russia. Five days earlier, the United States agreed with Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden to continue its participation in the biennial Arctic Challenge Exercise, one of Europe’s largest tactical air exercises and widely seen as practice to counter potential Russian belligerence, next scheduled for June 2021. The U.S. Army is also preparing to unveil its Arctic strategy in the coming weeks, as the changing climate turns the previously inaccessible region into an increasingly busy zone of military and economic activity -- particularly along the Russian frontier.
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On GeopoliticsFeb 22, 2021 | 22:05 GMT
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the situation in Myanmar following the recent military coup in Washington D.C. on Feb. 10, 2021.
Reviewing the Role and Effectiveness of Sanctions
Less than a month into his presidency, U.S. President Joe Biden has already stated that he will impose sanctions on coup leaders in Myanmar. Other White House officials have also suggested that sanctions against Russia are being drawn up following the recent jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In this context, we thought it would be useful to consider what sanctions entail, what goals they serve and what factors make them most effective. For the purposes of this review, we examine sanctions against state actors and their citizens, as those imposed against non-state actors like terrorist groups involve different considerations.
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AssessmentsFeb 5, 2021 | 21:49 GMT
A display shows the UAE passport. 
For Emiratis, Expanded UAE Citizenship Will be a Mixed Blessing
The United Arab Emirates’ new citizenship program for skilled foreign workers will likely further erode native tribes’ longstanding control over economic policy by bringing new players and power dynamics into the decision-making process. On Jan. 30, the United Arab Emirates announced that it had formally changed its citizenship laws to allow highly skilled foreigners to apply for Emirati passports. The new laws allow investors, doctors, scientists, intellectuals and other highly sought-after skilled foreigners to earn Emirati citizenship through nomination by either ruling families, courts or the Emirati cabinet. Exact procedures have not yet been announced, but the process appears to be controlled by high-level Emiratis. New UAE citizens will not have to give up the passports for their home countries.
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