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  • Author: Michele Dunne
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As Egypt prepares to hold its first post-Tahrir elections, the transitional military government is trying to turn de facto influence into de jure powers written into the new constitution, such as freedom from civilian control over senior appointments and budgetary oversight. While most political parties have agreed not to challenge the extensive influence and economic perquisites of the military for now—understanding that full civilian oversight might take years to achieve—allowing the military to formalize such powers would create enormous new obstacles to eventual democratization. Egypt is now in danger of producing a post-revolutionary system similar to that of Pakistan, where elected civilian institutions are relatively powerless while unelected and unaccountable military and intelligence services actually run the country, fanning the flames of sectarianism and terrorism.
  • Topic: Democratization, Terrorism, Sectarianism, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East
  • Author: Danya Greenfield
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: While ownership of the transition belongs to those who initiated and drove the uprisings in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, the West has a great stake in the outcome. A failure of these revolutions would likely lead to a rise in radicalism across the Arab world, increased threats to the security and stability of the Mediterranean region, potential disruption in energy flows to Europe and beyond, and enhanced pressures on migration to Europe, both legal and illegal.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Libya, North America, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Ishrat Husain
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In the face of massive economic challenges, a burgeoning population, energy and water shortages, and huge and growing numbers of unemployed workers, especially youth, Pakistan needs to look for ways to move itself out of the economic hole into which it has fallen. Greater trade with India offers an immediate and rich possibility of economic growth for both Pakistan and India. Recent meetings between the commerce ministers of both countries in New Delhi appear to have yielded some good intentions to increase trade from its current level of $2 billion a year to $6 billion, still well below what many scholars estimate to be the potential. Yet, the obstacles remain, in the form of rules and regulations that inhibit trade, and in the lack of private-sector initiatives that would surmount governmental foot dragging. In the end, it is the private sector—not of cial trade—that will boost incomes on both sides of the border. And the question remains: Will India and Pakistan see the advantage of opening borders as being mutually beneficial?
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India, East Asia
  • Author: Kurt Volker, Kevin P. Green
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The topic of reforming NATO—and in particular cutting costs and improving efficiencies—has been with the Alliance for decades. Throw-away lines such as "Why does NATO have 400 committees?" or "Cut the International Staff by 10 percent" have often been used to signal a rough determination to streamline NATO and make it more efficient.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marshall Billingslea, Gary Winterberger
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO's forthcoming 2012 Summit in Chicago gives the Alliance's senior decision-makers the opportunity to assess the health of transatlantic relations and to tackle a set of overdue internal issues that have been long postponed due to more pressing operational issues in Afghanistan, Iraq, and then Libya. Chief among these issues is the matter of reforming NATO's own headquarters and its many and varied agencies. A careful reform effort, with a special focus on shared services, restructuring and integration, NATO's human capital, and the procurement and capabilities development structure and process, could pay significant dividends for the Alliance and ensure the more efficient use of already limited resources. While not a panacea, this would go a long way towards preparing the Alliance for future challenges.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Economics, International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Chicago
  • Author: Julie Chon
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: When it comes to resolving financial crises, size matters, but so does transparency. In both the US and European crises, the drive for size—firing off enough public funds to plug the hole in the financial system—has proven to be self-defeating as markets raise ever higher, unrealistic, and inappropriate expectations for government policy. This strategy addresses some of the economics and none of the politics of crisis management. The race to meet the size test distracts policymakers from addressing the real impediment to restoring investor and public confidence: the inherent uncertainty and lack of transparency associated with extraordinary government actions in times of crisis. The absence of transparent decision-making inflicts a costly blow to the credibility of policymakers because markets and citizens cannot see or believe what leaders are doing to stabilize the financial system.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Jason Healey
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The word cyberspace is nearly thirty years old, and during that time, academics, theorists, and strategists have been considering how conflict will unfold in this new domain .As yet, though, little has been published on what kinds of different futures may await us .For example, many writers seem to imply that cyberspace itself is relatively static, when it is in fact constantly transformed through changes in usage and technology. Indeed, today's generation of digital natives has never known a world without the Internet, and their experience of cyberspace—especially in terms of security, privacy, and collaboration—will be very different from that of previous generations weaned on mainframes, modems, desktop computers, and AOL. If cyberspace is different and younger generations use it differently, then future conflict and cooperation in cyberspace may be unlike anything experienced or even envisioned by Cold War-era thinkers and strategists.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Martin Murphy, Lee Willett
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In 2005 US Navy ship numbers fell lower than at any point since 1916 and little has changed since then. The Royal Navy now has fewer ships and sailors than Nelson had at Trafalgar. It is of course true that counting hulls is no longer a reliable way of assessing naval power yet numbers matter.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Rob de Wijk
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Should NATO remain primarily a collective defense alliance or should it be transformed into a worldwide security provider? This question lies at the core of the debate in allied capitals as NATO develops its next Strategic Concept. New security challenges, as well as NATO's military operations in Afghanistan, suggest that the pressure for change has become irresistible.
  • Topic: NATO, Climate Change, Economics, Politics, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, North America
  • Author: Robert Hunter, Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The drafters of the new Strategic Concept for NATO must realize that the transatlantic context in which the Alliance operates has changed fundamentally. Accordingly, in addition to improving NATO-EU relations and streamlining the NATO apparatus, basic changes in the organization of transatlantic relations overall are required, taking into account two major developments.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Kurt Volker, Edgar Buckley
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: How can an organization of 28 sovereign countries act together effi ciently to agree policies, invest in common capabilities, manage crises and conduct military operations based on consensus? Obviously, not at all – unless it is founded on strong fundamental principles and shared values, agreed strategies and a tradition of mutual trust. That has always been the assumption underlying NATO's constitutional approach.
  • Topic: NATO, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Annette Heuser, Walter Slocombe
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: A critical question for the new Strategic Concept is whether NATO's nuclear policy as outlined in 1999 needs to be altered and, if so, how. This issue brief outlines the questions that will need to be addressed and offers recommendations for addressing nuclear policy in the new Strategic Concept.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Franklin D. Kramer
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The transatlantic partnership has historically been at the heart of U.S. foreign policy, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been at the heart of the partnership. But the factors that long made "transatlantic" the dominant foreign policy construct have fundamentally changed – and with it has come a need for concomitant strategic and operational changes to meet new requirements.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Boyko Nitzov, Ruslan Stefanov, Valentina Nikolova, Dobromir Hristov
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Energy security in Central-Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region is fraught with risks. By virtue of its geography, Bulgaria finds itself in a difficult nexus, drawn into Eurasia's contentious energy geopolitics and as a European Union member, involved in the Union's fragmented energy policy and complex regulatory, energy efficiency and climate change objectives. That position is challenging, but it also presents decision-makers in Sofia with opportunities.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Bulgaria
  • Author: Boyko Noev, Harlan Ullman
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is overseeing the drafting of NATO's latest Strategic Concept, set to replace the current version approved in 1999. Even though only a decade has passed, changes across the globe have been stunning and in some cases revolutionary. For NATO, we believe the challenge of the Strategic Concept is to address the question of whether NATO is still relevant or whether it has become a relic. We strongly believe the former. However, that can no longer be taken for granted. Twenty years after the Soviet Union imploded, the Alliance must finally find a new strategic anchor for its raison d'être or deal with the implications of becoming a relic or an Alliance that may have served its purpose.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Julian Lindley-French, Sebastian Gorka
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Today's NATO is not the NATO of the Cold War. Nor is it even the NATO of just a decade ago. If the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and then the USSR were not enough to fundamentally alter the geopolitical reality the Alliance found itself in, then the events of September 11, 2001 should be considered an evolutionary marker in the development of modern history's "most successful" alliance.
  • Topic: Cold War, Terrorism, Non State Actors
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Harry G. Ulrich
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The United States Government experienced a remarkable rebirth in aviation security after 9/11. We have become familiar with air marshals, enhanced baggage screening, passenger information exchanges, no-fly lists, body scanning and travel document standardization. As our image of aviation security matures, we have become more accepting of previously objectionable government-authorized technological applications, routines and procedures. In fact, we are much more appreciative of the persistent dimension of aviation security, especially after the attempted hijacking or destruction of American Airlines Flight 63 by the "shoe bomber" Richard Reid on December 22, 2001 or more recently Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25, 2009 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
  • Topic: Maritime Commerce, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Julian Lindley-French, Harlan Ullman
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO must do more with less. The only way this can work is to exercise our intellects and brainpower. That leads to the absolute need for a continuous learning process in which knowledge and understanding are the goals. The complexity of the strategic environment demands no less. This applies to all ranks and services.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Ross Wilson, Damon Wilson
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Kyrgyzstan is lurching forward, its future uncertain. Eleven weeks after street protests forced the collapse of the regime of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and three weeks after the worst ethnic violence in the country's history, a measure of security-enforced calm has returned. The apparently successful June 27 referendum on a new constitution and mandate for Interim President Roza Otunbayeva will provide legitimacy and confidence to the government. But Otunbayeva and the group around her appear to underestimate the difficulties they face and to overestimate their ability to control events. They will have to work hard to overcome divisions among their ranks, staggering political and economic challenges, the risks of renewed violence in the south and antipathy toward Kyrgyzstan elsewhere in Central Asia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Damon Wilson, Jonathan Ruemelin, Jeff Lightfoot
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This week, David Cameron will visit Washington for the first time as Prime Minister to reaffirm Great Britain's 'special relationship' with the United States. Cameron will look to build on his June meeting with President Obama in Toronto as well as the recent visit of UK defense secretary Liam Fox by returning to Great Britain with concrete deliverables in exchange for London's long-standing staunch support of U.S. foreign policy goals. Despite his criticism of former PMs Blair and Brown's handling of the relationship with Washington, Cameron has vowed early in his tenure as prime minister to continue the UK's strong engagement in Afghanistan and to put a priority on relations with Washington. His ministers have nonetheless cautioned that London would not "slavishly" follow Washington's lead. A successful visit, as judged by the British public and media, will help end the unhelpful debate in the UK on the health of the 'special relationship.'
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, North America