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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • Author: Franklin D. Kramer
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Cyber security has emerged as a critical challenge in an era defined by global interconnectedness and digital information. While there are multiple ongoing efforts that seek to enhance cyber security, an integrated governmental strategy to meet that challenge has only begun and has yet fully to take shape. All strategies demand recognition of risk and prioritization of resources, and cyber strategy will be no different.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Intelligence, Science and Technology, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Chris Demchak
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: A spate of attacks from both state and nonstate actors have provoked other Western nations to join the United States in emphasizing cyber security as a national security priority. As noted by Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn last July, any peer state, proxy organization, or skilled group of close friends anywhere in the world with unfettered internet access is able to attack in milliseconds due to the global, open, and easy nature of the world's now huge telecommunications systems. The world of "cybered conflict" is one in which even the part-time foreign attacker can to an unprecedented degree flexibly choose the scale, proximity, and precision of any attempted attack. They can at their leisure aim at any state's military, government or commercial networks, or those of any of our allies, or associates.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Barbara Slavin
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Seventeen months after disputed presidential elections, the Iranian government has forced opposition protestors off the streets but continues to face an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy that is undermining its capacity to implement effective domestic and foreign policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Sarwar A. Kashmeri
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: General Brent Scowcroft, dean of the American foreign policy establishment, has proposed a deceptively simple test to determine whether NATO is still relevant. His test is a question: "What is NATO for? "
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Bruno Gruselle
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In France, missile defense comes with a long and complicated history. When the U.S. Congress passed the "National Missile Defense Act of 1999," which called for the development and deployment of a U.S. national missile defense system, Paris reacted negatively. At that time, France still considered missile defense to be both unnecessary and destabilizing. French policy makers still considered the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction to be the cornerstones of strategic stability. French thinkers viewed missile defense as jeopardizing both the doctrine and the Treaty, as well as risking a new arms race with Russia.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, France, North America
  • Author: Annette Heuser, Frances G. Burwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The U.S.-EU Summit has lost its moorings. The Obama administration's decision on January 31, 2010 to postpone the May 2010 U.S.-EU Summit was a tacit recognition that the Summit lacks clarity of purpose and strategic vision. Neither side had successfully articulated any particular reason to meet. While Obama's decision was largely based on domestic political calculus, the move prompted some deep soul-searching in Brussels. Confidence in Brussels about the new administration's commitment to the U.S.-EU Summit process, and to working with the EU in general, reached a low point when Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department, said that the Summit should take place “only when necessary.”
  • Topic: NATO, Globalization, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Franklin D. Kramer, John R. Lyman, Mihaela Carstei
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Energy security presents quintessential geopolitical challenges. In Central Europe, achieving energy security can be a critical element for a continent seeking to resolve vestigial Cold War complexities with Russia and toward meeting 21st century challenges including balanced economic development, energy diversity and climate change. Central Europe, utilizing both European Union support and Western European national assistance and enhanced by United States technical assistance, can take five key steps that will go far toward resolving energy security challenges and help to reframe the geopolitics of the continent.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Melissa Hathaway
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: America's future economic and national security posture, enabled by the digital revolution, is at risk. If the Obama administration is serious about mitigating that risk by increasing the security of the nation's information and communications infrastructure, it should exercise every instrument of power at hand to move the United States toward a better place.
  • Topic: Communications
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The international system—as constructed following the Second World War—will be almost unrecognizable by 2025 owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalizing economy, an historic transfer of relative wealth and economic power from West to East, and the growing influence of nonstate actors. By 2025, the international system will be a global multipolar one with gaps in national power continuing to narrow between developed and developing countries. Concurrent with the shift in power among nation-states, the relative power of various nonstate actors—including businesses, tribes, religious organizations, and criminal networks—is increasing. The players are changing, but so too are the scope and breadth of transnational issues important for continued global prosperity. Aging populations in the developed world; growing energy, food, and water constraints; and worries about climate change will limit and diminish what will still be an historically unprecedented age of prosperity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Globalization, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Because of their significant contribution to global demand for improved living standards, meaningful actions by the United States and China on transportation and energy will be important in any effort to reduce global consumption of traditional energy sources. Together the United States and China consume 40% of the world's energy and are responsible for 50% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Given their economic size and impact on global markets, it is imperative that the U.S. and China join in a mutually beneficial process.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Lincoln A. Mitchell, David L. Phillips
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Research Project on Enhancing Democracy Assistance is undertaken by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and the Atlantic Council of the United States. This report recognizes that democracy assistance is essential to the promotion of US foreign policy and global interests, and offers political and technical recommendations in order to enhance democracy assistance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, Globalization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The 2007 U.S.-China Energy Security Cooperation Dialogue was held in a period when a broad range of activities and policy recommendations have been proposed to address global energy security and environmental issues. The Dialogue identifi ed a number of further steps that China and the United States could cooperatively undertake to accelerate developments.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Because of their significant contribution to global demand for improved living standards, meaningful actions by the United States and China on transportation and energy will be important in any effort to reduce global consumption of traditional energy sources. Together the United States and China consume 40% of the world's energy and are responsible for 50% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Given their economic size and impact on global markets, it is imperative that the U.S. and China join in a mutually beneficial process.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America