The absence of overt conflict in Antarctica does not mean cooperation is thriving. Missing the elements of coercion and mistaking cooperation for a static concept in the Antarctic means stakeholders are at risk of strategic complacency.
Leaders of the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom have announced a new trilateral security pact. Their brief, though momentous, statements were notable more for what they did not say.
The United States has designated Lebanon- and Kuwait-based members of a financial network that funds Hizballah, as well as members of an international network of financial facilitators and front companies that operate in support of Hizballah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Together, these networks have laundered tens of millions of dollars through regional financial systems and conducted currency exchange operations and trade in gold and electronics for the benefit of both Hizballah and the IRGC-QF. This action is being taken pursuant to the counterterrorism authority within Executive Order 13224, as amended.
Hizballah uses revenues generated by these networks to fund terrorist activities and to perpetuate instability in Lebanon and throughout the region. The United States will not relent in targeting these networks, and we will continue to take actions to disrupt their activities.
Hizballah is increasingly looking for additional sources of revenue to bolster its coffers. We call on governments around the world to take steps to ensure Hizballah and other terrorist groups do not exploit their territory and financial institutions.
For more information on today’s action, please see the Department of the Treasury’s press release.
In the midst of ongoing violence, abuses against civilians, and growing humanitarian plight in Ethiopia, President Biden today signed an Executive Order (E.O.) establishing a new sanctions regime in response to the crisis. With it, the United States will be able to impose financial sanctions on individuals and entities in connection with the conflict, including those responsible for threatening peace and stability, obstructing humanitarian access or progress toward a ceasefire, or committing serious human rights abuses. Designated individuals are also subject to visa restrictions. This conflict has sparked one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with more than five million people requiring assistance, of which over 900,000 are living in famine conditions. This new tool underscores our resolve to use every appropriate tool at our disposal to bring relief to the long-suffering people of the region.
For too long, the Government of Ethiopia, the Government of Eritrea, the Amhara regional government, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have failed to stop fighting and invest in diplomacy required to solve the ongoing crisis. Instead, violence has escalated and spread, and human rights abuses and obstruction of humanitarian access continue. The Administration, in concert with our international partners, including in the region, has employed a range of diplomatic tools. Most recently, the United States designated Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) Chief of Staff General Filipos Woldeyohannes under the Global Magnitsky sanctions authority in connection with serious human rights abuses committed by the EDF in Ethiopia. In May, we also announced a visa restriction policy on the issuance of visas for individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the resolution of the crisis in Tigray.
The United States calls on the Ethiopian government and the TPLF to cease ongoing hostilities and enter into ceasefire negotiations immediately and without preconditions. Talks to achieve a negotiated ceasefire should lead to a broader dialogue to find a durable political solution to the conflict. Eritrean forces should immediately and permanently withdraw from Ethiopia. If the parties take immediate steps in this regard, the United States is prepared to delay imposition of sanctions and focus on supporting a negotiated process.
Absent clear and concrete progress toward a negotiated ceasefire and an end to abuses – as well as unhindered humanitarian access to those Ethiopians who are suffering – the United States will designate imminently specific leaders, organizations, and entities under this new sanctions regime. Any sanctions imposed under this new authority would target those responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that are prolonging the conflict in northern Ethiopia, obstructing humanitarian access and a ceasefire, or committing serious human rights abuses. We have taken a series of steps to help ensure legitimate humanitarian assistance (including COVID-19 related assistance), as well as personal remittances, food, and medicine continue to reach the Ethiopian and Eritrean people and that the activities of international organizations and non-governmental organizations in Ethiopia and Eritrea can proceed.
Today’s action demonstrates that the United States will continue to use all appropriate tools at our disposal to end the conflict.
A glimpse inside the black hole of Russia’s corridors of power reveals that the fault line within the regime is getting deeper, and the current campaign for the upcoming State Duma elections on September 17–19 is one of the factors determining that line.
This German federal election is crucial for Europe’s future. Angela Merkel’s successor has the choice of leading Europe toward more integration and strategic relevance or abetting its gradual, inexorable decline.
The Strategic Compass for the EU’s security and defence policy, to be adopted in 2022, must generate immediate action. The best way of ensuring that is to prepare new capability initiatives and, potentially, new operational engagements now, so that they can be launched simultaneously with the Strategic Compass. In that light, “the development of an initial-entry force as a pool of Member State forces that train and exercise together and are made available to the EU” (as summarised in an EEAS working paper), is one of the most promising ideas on the table. How to make it work?
The EU-US Summit on 15 June 2021 marked the beginning of a renewed transatlantic partnership and set an ambitious joint agenda for EU-US cooperation post-COVID-19. The new Biden administration offers the EU the opportunity to re-establish transatlantic relations, which reached their lowest point since World War II under the turbulent Trump administration, and to address the bilateral disputes and tensions that have emerged, partly as a result of Trump’s ‘America First’ policies. One of the key deliverables of the Summit was the establishment of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The TTC aims to deepen EU-US relations on trade and investment and to avoid new technical barriers to trade by cooperating on key policies such as technology, digital policy issues and supply chains. Despite the optimism in Brussels and Washington about renewing and strengthening transalantic cooperation, there are several challenges for EU-US cooperation. In the areas of trade, digital and climate in particular several differing views or outstanding disputes (most of them inherited by the Trump administration) will need to be addressed by the new TTC (the first meeting is scheduled on 29-30 September 2021) or other joint bodies. Only then will the EU and the US be able to deliver on the new ambitious transatlantic agenda. This paper will therefore discuss the key challenges and opportunities for EU-US cooperation in the three interrelated areas of trade, digital and climate. For each of these areas, the outcome of the June 2021 EU-US Summit will be discussed and the challenges and opportunities for delivering on the renewed transatlantic agenda will be analysed. Moreover, this paper will present several policy recommendations, for the TTC or on EU-US cooperation in general, on how to advance the transatlantic partnership.
Climate change is expected by many to produce new and/or intensified mobility patterns, including migration and displacement. However, only limited research exists on the relationship between climate change and human mobility, specifically on the implications of increasingly intense slow-onset climate change, such as weather variability and extremes. This DIIS Working Paper provides initial data and analysis on climate, mobility and governance in Ghana as an input to the Governing Climate Mobility Research Programme.
In parts of Ghana, temperature increases have now topped 1.5 ºC, weather patterns and seasons are shifting, and all of this is occurring on the backdrop of other environmental and agrarian changes. This paper documents such changes through multi-decadal analyses of temperatures and rainfall as well as vegetation change. However, it also links these changes, and how they are experienced locally, to existing governance and mobility dynamics in the programme’s case study areas in the Upper West Region and Eastern Region. For instance, the paper indicates how governance interventions, including failures, have affected agrarian livelihoods as seen in the deteriorating irrigation infrastructure in the Upper West Region, and how existing mobility patterns are linked to resource access and rural livelihoods.
This working paper is a scoping study and therefore provides a detailed introduction to such environmental, socio-economic, governance and mobility dynamics in the study areas, as well as identifying key dynamics and possible linkages for further study. It builds on a previous GCM working paper that explores the historical linkages between climate, mobility and governance in Ghana.