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(USA/Iran) With Iran, nuclear diplomacy comes first (Atlantic Council)

Mehran Haghirian

Since Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, the new administration’s top foreign policy and national security figures have said repeatedly that the United States would resume full compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Iran does.

With Iran, nuclear diplomacy comes first

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(USA/Russia/Europe) Biden must freeze Putin’s pipeline and prevent this “bad deal for Europe” (Atlantic Council)

Benjamin Schmitt

In August 2016, then US Vice President Joe Biden stood in Stockholm and declared the Kremlin-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to be a “bad deal for Europe.” In doing so, Biden added vital policy leadership against Putin’s pipeline to his role as the Obama administration’s point person supporting Ukraine’s struggle against Russian aggression.

Biden must freeze Putin’s pipeline and prevent this “bad deal for Europe”

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(Afghanistan/USA) Afghans’ views on the Doha peace process and the Biden administration’s review of the US-Taliban peace agreement

Makhfi Azizi

After briefly resuming on January 5, the intra-Afghan peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have been slow to progress, and the two sides have not met since the Biden administration announced that they would review the February 2020 US-Taliban peace agreement. While the Afghan government’s team awaits the resumption of talks in Doha, Taliban leaders have been travelling throughout the region, meeting with leaders in Iran, Russia, and Pakistan lobbying and courting support.

Afghans’ views on the Doha peace process and the Biden administration’s review of the US-Taliban peace agreement

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(USA/China) Delist or not delist: A $2.2 trillion US-China auditing dispute (Atlantic Council)

Jeremy Mark

The economic and financial forces set in motion by the COVID-19 pandemic—global recession and ultra-loose monetary policies that have driven a cross-border search for higher yield—have contributed to a slow shift of international capital toward China’s markets. Now, intensified US-China tensions—especially the targeting of Chinese companies for delisting from US stock markets—have the potential to heighten that trend.

Delist or not delist: A $2.2 trillion US-China auditing dispute

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(Russia) Russia after Putin: How to rebuild the state (Atlantic Council)

Anders Åslund and Leonid Gozman

We do not know when and how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime will end, but there are signs that it is struggling and the end could come in the foreseeable future. This final stage may last years, but we need to start discussing now how a new state should be built on the ruins of the old system.

Russia after Putin: How to rebuild the state

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(Europe) Josep Borrell outlines the EU’s priorities in a multipolar world (Atlantic Council)

Larry Luxner

Now that there’s a new administration in Washington, six urgent topics dominate the European Union’s international agenda: rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, counteracting climate change, supporting economic recovery, containing Russia, standing up to China, and renewing the Iran nuclear deal.

Josep Borrell outlines the EU’s priorities in a multipolar world

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(Global Governance) The world’s wealthy countries are at risk of a moral default (Atlantic Council)

Vasuki Shastry and Jeremy Mark

After a four-year hiatus, multilateralism and global cooperation have made a decisive return to the American president’s agenda. The Biden administration’s initial steps have been in the right direction, including re-entry into the Paris climate accord and a fresh four billion dollars for equitable global vaccine distribution through the COVAX Facility. The administration has also contributed to the Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ reaffirmation of support for vulnerable countries hit by the recession that has accompanied the pandemic.

The world’s wealthy countries are at risk of a moral default

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(Belarus) Belarus dictator Lukashenka seeks to silence the media (Atlantic Council)

Vladislav Davidzon

A Minsk court sentenced journalists Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsovato two years in prison on February 18 in a case that highlights the war against free speech that is accompanying Belarus dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s ruthless crackdown on the country’s six-month pro-democracy uprising.

Belarus dictator Lukashenka seeks to silence the media

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(USA/National Defense Strategy/Emerging Technologies) How the next National Defense Strategy can get serious about emerging technologies (Atlantic Council)

Justin ShermanEvanna Hu

In December, physicists at Hefei’s University of Science and Technology of China published a paper in Science with huge national-security implications. They claimed, as the journal Nature put it, “to have made the first definitive demonstration of ‘quantum advantage’—exploiting the counter-intuitive workings of quantum mechanics to perform computations that would be prohibitively slow on classical computers.” It was a major advance in the global competition to develop powerful quantum-computing capabilities that could, among other things, enable adversaries to break encryption algorithms and potentially undermine the security of all data sent over the internet, from government communications to financial transactions.

How the next National Defense Strategy can get serious about emerging technologies

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