In The News, January 21 - February 2, 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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January 21, 2016 – February 2, 2016

U.S.-Korea Institute Researcher Curtis Melvin says the North Korean-Cuban trade agreement frees up scarce foreign exchange for other uses. NK News 2/2/2016

A practicum team of International Development students says that rapid development of the Negombo lagoon in Sri Lanka may pose long-term challenges for surrounding communities. International Water Management Institute 2/2/2016

Middle East Studies Professor Sanam Vakil says China could be “a potentially important arbiter” in the Saudi-Iran conflict. Newsweek 2/1/2016

Managing Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations András Simonyi says Denmark and Sweden are coping with an influx of migrants from the Syrian crisis. Newsmax Prime 2/1/2016

Adjunct Professor of Strategic Studies Seth Jones says the number of al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan is higher than previously estimated. The New York Times 2/1/2016

Sanam Vakil says the Saudi and Iranian governments often use sectarianism as “a convenient tool to mask their domestic, economic, and political weaknesses.” The Jerusalem Post 1/30/2016

U.S.-Korea Institute analysis is cited as signaling more North Korean missile testing activity. Reuters, 1/29/2016.

The U.S.-Korea Institute says “a range of low-level activities” were seen at North Korea’s rocket launch site, based on commercial satellite imagery. Voice of America 1/29/2016

Satellite images suggest North Korea may be in the early stages of preparing a space launch vehicle, according to the U.S-Korea Institute. MarketWatch 1/29/2016 

U.S.-Korea Institute analysis says activity at a North Korea launch pad was low-level, suggesting any launch preparations were in the “early stages.” AFP 1/29/2016

Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies John McLaughlin says the anti-Islamic State coalition should vigorously exchange intelligence. OZY 1/28/2016

Alumnus Oleg Svet ’10 says the U.S. should demobilize the lower ranks of ISIS by mimicking a successful strategy used by the Colombian government. Foreign Policy 1/28/2016

Dean Vali Nasr argues both Shia Muslims and Catholics have a respect for clerical authority and theological tradition that has evolved over time. The Economist 1/27/2016

Director of SAIS Europe Michael G. Plummer warns a delay to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017 could cost the U.S. $94 billion. The Economist 1/27/2016

Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin-Salman is modernizing the kingdom’s economy through his close ties to oil and technology company leaders, says Adjunct Professor Jean-Francois Seznec. Institutional Investor 1/27/2016

Director of China Studies David M. Lampton says China-U.S. relations are reaching a “tipping point,” because both countries regard the other as an obstacle in its own advancement. 1/27/2016

Senior Research Professor Thomas G. Mahnken says the U.S. should assist small frontline states in combating coercion by their larger neighbors. War on the Rocks 1/27/2016

Estimates suggest the Trans-Pacific Partnership will increase annual incomes in the United States and annual exports, writes Michael G. Plummer. The Economic Effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership: New Estimates 1/26/2016

Dean Vali Nasr believes the West is no longer interested in oil, and its “primary concerns are terrorism and refugees entering Western countries.” The Hindustan Times 1/26/2016

Michael G. Plummer calls the Trans-Pacific Partnership “a landmark accord.” The New York Times, 1/25/2016.

Foreign Policy Institute Director Carla P. Freeman says Chinese President Xi Jinping will address North Korea nuclear testing and economic restructuring in 2016.The Foreign Policy Institute 1/25/ 2016 

Center for Transatlantic Relations Senior Fellow Sasha Toperich says Bosnia and Herzegovina should quickly implement social and economic reforms. The Huffington Post 1/25/2016

Dean Vali Nasr says the rise of the Islamic State is an attempt by Sunni hardliners to reverse Shia Iran's gains in Iraq. The New Indian Express 1/25/2016

Russia is losing ground in domestic politics, economics, and foreign policy, writes Center for Transatlantic Relations Senior Fellow Donald Jensen. The Rand Blog 1/25/2016

Michael G. Plummer says an expansive Asia-Pacific trade agreement will boost the paychecks of U.S. workers, increase exports, and grow the economy, in a report. The Hill, 1/25/2016.

Michael G. Plummer also says low-wage manufacturing workers face “lasting wage cuts and unemployment” since the TPP does not increase job creation overall. The Washington Post 1/25/2016

Russia’s economy has been weakened by the oil-price drop and Ukraine-related sanctions, writes Center for Transatlantic Relations Senior Fellow Donald Jensen. Newsweek 1/24/2016

Curtis Melvin discusses the costs and benefits of tourism in North Korea. NPR All Things Considered 1/22/2016

John McLaughlin says the fight against ISIS is showing momentum, but the tide has not yet turned. ABC 7 WJLA 1/22/2016

John McLaughlin also says an oil price drop will be “one of the pivotal issues of 2016,”and have the strongest political impact on countries in the Persian Gulf and Russia. Politico, 1/21/2016.

The U.S.-Korea Institute says the U.S. could impose tougher sanctions on North Korea through a diplomatic campaign that would move Beijing toward tougher UN sanctions. The Diplomat 1/23/2016

In examining tensions in the Middle East, Dean Vali Nasr says the “U.S. and Europe are worried about refugees and ISIS, and Saudi Arabia is worried about Iran.” CNN 1/22/2016 

Dean Vali Nasr says sectarianism is “a perfect storm,” a product of several factors at play in the region including Islamism, American occupation of Iraq and the Arab Spring. Foreign Policy 1/22/2016

Global Policy Program Director Daniel Markey says a terrorist attack on a Pakistan university is a part of a long-term fight and broader problem of unrest along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. BBC World News America 1/21/2016