In the News, December 29, 2015 - January 21, 2016



‘In the News’ is a roundup of recent media coverage featuring the Johns Hopkins SAIS community and is produced and distributed several times a month by the Office of Marketing, Communications, and Strategic Initiatives.

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December 29, 2015 – January 21, 2016

North Korean nuclear testing and potential sanctions are becoming an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, according to U.S.-Korea Institute Visiting Scholar Dennis Halpin.  Voice of America, 1/20/2016.
 
Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow Afshin Molavi says China is strengthening its economic relationship with Saudi Arabia and may become a broker in the Saudi-Iran conflict. CCTV America, 1/19/2016.
 
The bilateral U.S.-Iran prisoner exchange shows “a sign of the confidence building” between the two countries following a landmark nuclear deal, says Middle East Studies Professor Sanam Vakil. ITV News, 1/17/2016.
 
International Relations Adjunct Professor Francesc Vendrell comments on the U.K.'s "willingness to subordinate its views to the U.S." in U.N. Security Council votes. The Guardian, 1/16/2016.
 
In the quick capture and release of U.S. Navy sailors by Iranian officials, Dean Vali Nasr says the events suggest that the U.S.-Iran relationship “has some degree of momentum.” The Washington Post, 1/16/2016.
 
As relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to worsen, Dean Vali Nasr does not believe that either side wants to go to war, but they will fight each other through proxy conflicts. The Globe and Mail, 1/15/2016.
 
Director of Latin American Studies Riordan Roett says Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff can start the year in a better position than 2015, despite calls for impeachment. The Washington Post-Bloomberg, 1/15/16.
 
Microfinance helps businesses achieve economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability, writes alumna Arantza Loza ’13.The Huffington Post, 1/15/2016.
 
International Development Program Director Deborah Bräutigam describes the tendency to dramatically overstate the scope of Chinese loans and aid pledged to Africa. The Washington Post, 1/14/16.
 
Senior Research Professor of Conflict Management Daniel Serwer says preventing starvation in Syria will require diplomatic resolution to the nation's civil war, not just humanitarian assistanceFortune, 1/13/2016.
 
China Studies student Jennifer M. Turner ’16 comments on Taiwan's challenges maintaining credible deterrence with a small defense budget. War on the Rocks, 1/13/2016.
 
The U.S.-Korea Institute suggests North Korean video footage depicting a successful submarine-launched ballistic missile was most likely faked. The New York Times, 1/13/2016.
 
Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow Maureen White says the world has helped foster the migrant crisis by not supporting refugees in the Middle East. The New York Times, 1/12/2016.
 
Intertwined in a diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia, Language Studies Adjunct Professor Jean-Francois Seznec says Iran is a “potentially rich country and a major competitor” to its rival in the Middle East. NPR, 1/12/2016.
 
Middle East Studies Professor Sanam Vakil says the heart of the Saudi-Iranian rivalry is a regional competition to contain the other’s influence throughout the wider Middle East. Middle East Eye, 1/11/2016.
 
China Studies Visiting Scholar Pieter Bottelier says sustaining "reasonable tightness of the labor market” is more important to China's economy than a structural shift from manufacturing to services. Morningstar, 1/11/16.
 
Global Policy Program Director Daniel Markey says Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Lahore is a surprise,
but not a “dramatic turnaround” to India’s relationship with Pakistan. New Delhi Times, 1/11/2016.
 
Dean Vali Nasr says heightened sectarianism in Iraq could become a wedge issue further polarizing an already tense Middle East. CNN Fareed Zakaria GPS, 1/10/2016.
 
Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies John McLaughlin explains the five pivotal issues of 2016, including the outcome of the Iranian nuclear agreement. Ozy, 1/10/16.
 
U.S.-Korea Institute Senior Researcher Yonho Kim discussed the global response and condemnation of North Korea’s claims of hydrogen bomb testing. CCTV America, 1/8/16.
 
Following November elections, Turkey’s ruling AKP Party should seize the opportunity to enhance its relations with the West, writes Foreign Policy Institute Fellow Emirhan Yorulmazlar. The Hill, 1/8/2016.
 
The U.S.-Korea Institute reports that Pyongyang is able to put a bomb on its intermediate-range nuclear missiles, which could strike neighboring countries and U.S. military bases in the Pacific. The Week, 1/8/2016.
 
U.S.-Korea Institute Fellow Joel Wit says it’s very difficult to determine with certainty North Korea's claims to testing a hydrogen bomb. The Associated Press, 1/7/2016.
 
U.S.-Korea Institute Fellow Joel Wit says if North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb, it would likely be the least advanced form, or a “boosted” hybrid weapon. The Guardian, 1/7/2016.
 
Senior Associate Professor of International Relations Jakub Grygiel says the “right side of history” rhetoric does not help the U.S. defeat its enemies. The American Interest, 1/7/2016.
 
Middle East Studies Professor Sanam Vakil says oil prices “could see some minor blips, but nothing substantial” thanks to a glut in the market, despite tensions in the Middle East. CNN 1/7/2016.
 
U.S.-Korea Institute Fellow Joel Wit says “the Chinese’s biggest nightmare” is that North Korea’s leader would visit Beijing and then return home and conduct a nuclear test. Foreign Policy, 1/6/2016.
 
U.S.-Korea Institute Senior Researcher Yonho Kim says a U.S.-United Republic of Korea alliance should consider that Korea wants a middle-power role in Northeast Asian regionalism. Foreign Policy, 1/6/2016.
 
The U.S.-Korea Institute reports North Korea is believed to possess between 10 and 16 nuclear weapons and predicts it will expand its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by 2020. The Guardian, 1/6/2016.
 
In dissecting the Saudi-Iranian conflict, Dean Vali Nasr says “sectarianism, in some ways, is not just about religion. It’s become about political identity.” CBC Radio The Current, 1/5/2016.
 
Dean Vali Nasr says the deteriorating relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia is based on an intense rivalry for influence in the Middle East. NPR, 1/5/2016.
 
Dean Vali Nasr says the “Saudis are showing the United States that they are capable of dominating regional politics” as tensions continue to grow with Iran. Bloomberg Politics, 1/5/2016.
 
As Saudi Arabia cuts ties with Iran, Foreign Policy Senior Fellow Abbas Kadhim says both countries “see every event as an opportunity to raise tensions.” The New York Times, 1/4/2016.
 
Dean Vali Nasr says the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran is at a time when the international community is trying to create regional solutions to ISIS and Syria. CNN The Situation Room, 1/4/2016.
 
Dean Vali Nasr says the Saudi execution of Sheik Nimr al-Nimr was a domestic policy move, as well as a message to the United States.  PBS NewsHour, 1/4/2016.
 
Argentine President Mauricio Macri followed through on his promise to dismantle the country’s stringent exchange controls, writes International Political Economy Assistant Professor David A. Steinberg. The Washington Post, 1/4/2016.
 
Middle East Studies Professor Sanam Vakil doubts Saudi Arabia’s execution of a cleric will spark an armed conflict. ABC NewsRadio, 1/4/2016.
 
Global Policy Program Director Daniel Markey urges the Obama administration to build a diplomatic forum with emerging powers of the 21st century like China and India. The Cipher Brief, 1/4/2016.
 
In the Saudi-Iranian conflict, Dean Vali Nasr says Western opinion is weighted in Iran’s favor. The New York Times, 1/4/2016.
 
Senior Research Professor of Conflict Management Daniel Serwer says the Saudi execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr is “unjustified” and “outrageous”. PressTV The Debate, 1/3/2016.
 
Dean Vali Nasr believes the White House is reluctant to impose penalties on Iran because it would undermine ongoing negotiations. The Wall Street Journal, 1/2/2016.
 
The U.S.-Korea Institute says North Korea is digging a new test tunnel at its nuclear site in Punggye-ri. The Telegraph, 12/31/2015.
 
Sales of American weapons continue to increase in unstable and contentious regions, says Senior Research Conflict Management Professor Daniel Serwer. Turkish Weekly, 12/31/2015.
 
International Development Program Director Deborah Bräutigam says China is “not on a state-sponsored quest to lock up vast tracks of African land.” Financial Times, 12/30/2015.