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  • Author: Philip Breedlove, Alexander Vershbow
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: North Central Europe has become the central point of confrontation between the West and a revisionist Russia. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is determined to roll back the post-Cold War settlement and undermine the rules-based order that has kept Europe secure since the end of World War II. Moscow’s invasion and continued occupation of Georgian and Ukrainian territories, its military build-up in Russia’s Western Military District and Kaliningrad, and its “hybrid” warfare against Western societies have heightened instability in the region have made collective defense and deterrence an urgent mission for the United States and NATO
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s persistent efforts to influence the domestic politics of his neighbors and countries well beyond Russia’s borders have posed enormous challenges in Europe and across the Atlantic. More than any other country, Ukraine has been the unwanted recipient of Moscow’s attention, particularly during the past five years. The Kremlin has sought to place a pliable client in command in Kyiv and block Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, including by pressuring the previous Ukrainian leadership against signing. The March 2019 presidential election will be a pivotal event in Ukraine’s history
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Elections
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Paul Shortell
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Myanmar exports more than 90 percent of global jade supply and is also a leading source of high-quality rubies, sapphires and other varieties of colored gemstones. Mining of these precious stones generates billions of dollars annually, making it one of the country’s most significant sectors. Yet the jade and gemstone industry has remained largely shrouded in secrecy, with most profits flowing to armed groups and political elites rather than supporting broad-based economic and social development.1 The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard designed to “promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.”2 Since Myanmar became a candidate country in 2014, the EITI process has helped to shine light on the previously opaque jade and gemstone sector. Myanmar EITI released its first reconciliation report, covering fiscal year
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: In September 2018, Ukraine passed milestone legislation setting out principles for the collection, disclosure and dissemination of extractive industry data. The law mandates project-level payments and beneficial ownership data disclosure. It also mandates the release of “material” elements of extractive industry-related contracts. The law was bolstered by a government-approved reform action plan, incorporating measures proposed by a Ukrainian civil society organization with NRGI support. DiXi Group contributed to data on Ukraine in the Resource Governance Index, and the organization’s experience informed an important public debate in the parliament’s energy committee. This is the beginning of an era of transparency and accountability in Ukraine. NRGI will continue to provide assistance so that the laws and roadmap are implemented.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: A central challenge of Tunisia’s transition out of dictatorship has been finding a way to implement democratic reforms in a country where citizens place little trust in the volatile, post-authoritarian institutions. One pre-requisite for trust is dialogue; if civil society actors don’t have a forum for exchange with the government, they can’t be heard, and trust remains elusive. Social tensions (sometimes manifesting as protests) are high in Tunisia, and the government’s responses have been mostly ineffective.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Andrew Bauer, David Mihalyi, Fernando Patzy
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Guyana is on the verge of becoming an oil-rich country. In absolute terms, Guyana’s petroleum wealth is modest, representing approximately 0.2 percent of global reserves, which places the country 26th globally. However, it possesses the world’s seventh-largest oil reserves per capita, second-largest in Latin America behind Venezuela. If revenue estimates from the Liza field prove to be accurate, Guyana could become one of the world’s largest per capita oil producers over the course of several years in the mid-2020s. According to independent projections, fiscal revenues from the petroleum sector could range between USD 7 and 27 billion over the next 30 years. Between 2025 and 2028, revenues could peak at between USD 800 million and 2.5 billion in a given year, at least doubling Guyana’s national budget in some years. That said, delays on these types of megaprojects are common and some revenue estimates may be optimistic.
  • Topic: Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ted Yoho
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: The Project 2049 Institute is pleased to announce the publication of remarks made by Congressman Ted Yoho [R-FL] at our event, “Addressing China’s Coercive Air Power in the Taiwan Strait.” Congressman Yoho, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Asia and the Pacific, asserts his commitment to protecting the interests of Taiwan despite the recent growing aggressive actions and coercive language of Beijing, directed under General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party. In addition, Congressman Yoho addressed the fact that China’s declaration of the new M503 flight path is just one part of their larger strategic plan to quell Taiwan, which motivates him to continue to push the U.S. administration and Congress to prioritize Taiwan and to work to meet the mounting challenges with which China presents us.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Trump’s decision leaves the Kurdish nationalists of the KDP defenceless and, with their patron gone, will likely cause splits among Arab forces allied with Kurdish militiamen. Regionally, it sends a message to US allies in the Gulf about the Trump’s commitment to the Iran-containment strategy.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Syria
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: So far, Turkey has been successful in its pursuit of internationalising the Khashoggi case and playing its cards strategically to keep the attention of international media and appeal to the morality of peoples and governments while also avoiding a direct clash with Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Saudi Arabia is working overtime at damage control, seeking to put the assassination to rest. Despite these efforts, the crisis persists as the biggest that has ever faced the kingdom. The killing has seriously eroded KSA’s moral standing and has already had tangible political costs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Philip Breedlove
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In September 2018, the Atlantic Council established a Task Force on US Force Posture in Europe to assess the adequacy of current US deployments, with a focus on North Central Europe. The Task Force is co-chaired by General Philip Breedlove, former supreme allied commander Europe, and Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, former NATO deputy secretary general. A full report will be completed in January 2019. This paper is a summary of the task force’s conclusions and recommendations.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Sultoon
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Economic sanctions have become a policy tool-of-choice for the US government. Yet sanctions and their potential pitfalls are often misunderstood. The Economic Sanctions Initiative (ESI) seeks to build a better understanding of the role sanctions can and cannot play in advancing policy objectives and of the impact of sanctions on the private sector, which bears many of the implementation costs.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Stronski
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since the collapse of Russia’s relationship with the West over Ukraine, the Sino-Russian strategic partnership has become more of a reality. Russia and China share a common desire to challenge principles of the Western-dominated international system. But their relationship is complex, with lingering mistrust on both sides. The balance of competition and cooperation is most evident in Central Asia, the Russian Far East, and the Arctic. Engagement in these theaters has tested Russia’s and China’s abilities to manage their differences and translate the rhetoric of partnership into tangible gains
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Constantino Xavier
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Bay of Bengal is one of the world’s least integrated regions, with abysmal levels of trade, connectivity, and cooperation. The deep divide between India and other countries around the bay hinders their efforts to increase their economic and strategic interdependence. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), a regional multilateral organization founded in 1997, offers a well-positioned platform to help address these challenges. But BIMSTEC’s mission to deepen regionalism will stand a better chance of succeeding if its members (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) make the organization a priority, endow it with adequate resources, and enact reforms to strength its capabilities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Saskia Brechenmacher
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Despite differences in political institutions and culture, the United States could borrow from European approaches to increase women’s representation, especially at the state and local levels.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Saksham Khosla
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The idea of a universal basic income (UBI)—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has gained renewed attention amid growing concerns about technological unemployment in advanced economies.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Kheder Khaddour
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Islamic State’s defeat in Syria will not automatically bring displaced people home. A broader political settlement that reflects regional and national realities will be required.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Colin Anderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Incidents involving Iran have been among the most sophisticated, costly, and consequential attacks in the history of the internet. The four-decade-long U.S.-Iran cold war has increasingly moved into cyberspace, and Tehran has been among the leading targets of uniquely invasive and destructive cyber operations by the United States and its allies. At the same time, Tehran has become increasingly adept at conducting cyber espionage and disruptive attacks against opponents at home and abroad, ranging from Iranian civil society organizations to governmental and commercial institutions in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: Currently, in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, the situation in the economies of the region is quite variable. On the other side of the ocean, the US Federal Reverse System has been continuously raising the key interest rate. In Russia, the ruble depreciated due to existing and probable sanctions, in Turkey, economic and political circumstances have led to the 40% loss of the lira’s value (and this figure is expected to further increase by the end of the year), and the withdrawal of the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal with replaced sanctions has caused more aggravation to the socio-economic situation and rapid deprecation of the Iranian rial in the southern neighbor of Azerbaijan. The so-called trade wars and new processes led by the current US government form serious risks for globalization and liberal trade.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rashad Hasanov
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: From the second half of 2014, Azerbaijani public debt increased considerably along with several new challenges facing the domestic economy. During this period, the ratio of foreign debt to GDP rose from 8.6% (01.01.2015) to 22.8% (01.06.2018). The increase was 3.4 billion US dollars in nominal terms. At the beginning of 2018, Azerbaijan’s public debt amounted to 10 billion 100 million US dollars, while the value of loans taken with state guarantees reached 12 billion 682 million US dollars, raising the ratio of debt to GDP to 55%. The increase in the debt burden, particularly external debt liabilities, has caused concern both in the local community and in the government. Specifically, the deterioration of the financial situation of publicly-funded state institutions has raised the likelihood that the debt burden on this category will turn into a fiscal burden. As a result, the “Medium and long-term strategy for public debt management in the Republic of Azerbaijan” was approved on 24.08.2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus