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  • Author: Jason Healey, Leendert van Bochoven
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO's central missions of collective defense and cooperative security must be as effective in cyberspace as in the other domains of air, land, sea, and space.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Banning Garrett, James B. Steinberg, David Ignatius, Uri Dadush
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: How will the US economy evolve over the next twenty years and what might be the impact of various US economic scenarios on the global system? Will the United States have a Japan-like decade or two of anemic growth? If so, would this lead the United States to reduce its foreign involvement and commitments, become more protectionist, and focus on its internal problems? Or will the United States solve its fiscal and debt problems, reinvigorate growth and innovation, and return to sustainable economic growth? Would this underpin a renewed commitment to active US global leadership in mobilizing international cooperation to manage security, economic growth, and global challenges?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Barbara Slavin, Yasmin Alem
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As the nuclear standoff between Iran and much of the rest of the world deepens, Iranian domestic politics are in turmoil. Trying to reduce endemic conflict within the system, the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has succeeded in recent years in expelling discordant voices and closing off institutional loopholes for dissent.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Michele Dunne
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: With Egypt in the midst of a political transition, this is a crucial time to rethink the US's relationship with Egypt, argues Atlantic Council Director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East Michele Dunne in this policy brief for the Project on Middle East Democracy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Barry Pavel, Jeffrey Lightfoot
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The "tough love" farewell speech of former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates last June was more than a major policy speech on the state of NATO. His remarks were also highly symbolic, coming from a legendary Cold Warrior whose forty-year career had been oriented around the transatlantic relationship. Secretary Gates used his final appearance at the bully pulpit not only to warn Europeans that declining defense budgets risked undermining the credibility of the Alliance among US policymakers, but also that a new wave of American decision-makers would not necessarily share his generation's knowledge of, concern for, or sentimental attachment to the transatlantic alliance.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Jeffrey Lightfoot, Simona Kordosova
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Imagine for a moment if in the autumn of 1945 the great leaders of the transatlantic community had let the ravages and cynicism of war strip them of their vision, ambition, and hope for a better future for mankind. Who could have blamed Jean Monnet, Harry Truman, Robert Schumann, George Marshall, and others if they had decided that the idea of forging an enduring Atlantic community of shared security, prosperity, and values was just too difficult to achieve and too hard to explain to their embittered and weary citizens? Yet without their sheer will to overcome Europe's history of chauvinistic bloodshed and America's instincts for insularity, the world would be far less safe and free.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Democratization, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Svante Cornell, Frances Burwell
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The first phase of the US "Reset" of its relations with Russia has concluded. Launching a second phase will not be easy: with the Russian presidential elections in March, there will be only a brief window for moving US-Russia relations forward before the US presidential contest moves into full gear. Although the result of the Russian election was widely seen as pre-ordained, the protests following the parliamentary and presidential contests have added uncertainty. A new Putin administration will be challenged by many reformers, but the external impact of that growing internal divide is unclear.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Government, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Jason Healey
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Over the course of 2011, the United States government released a coordinated set of policies that represents the most energetic cyber statecraft in nearly a decade.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Kori Schake, Lord Robertson, Franklin C. Miller
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Slightly over two years ago, NATO was embroiled in an internal controversy of its own creation which bore within it the seeds of a deep crisis within the Alliance. Several governments, impelled by a heady mix of domestic politics and a newly fashionable interest in nuclear disarmament among certain elites, actively sought the removal of US nuclear weapons from the European portion of the Alliance. In doing so, they raised serious questions about their adherence to the central core of the Alliance: the Article 5 guarantee.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Karim Mezran, Fadel Lamen
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The fragile progress towards a more pluralistic, if not yet democratic, Libya is threatened by several serious security problems. Car bombings, political assassinations of high ranking officials, attacks on foreign diplomatic staff and NGOs, and violent quarrels between armed militiamen have become daily events. It is in the interests of the United States and other members of the international community to aid Libya's nascent government in achieving national reconciliation to avoid an otherwise inevitable descent into anarchy.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Democratization, Diplomacy, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: United States, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Jason Healey
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since the Internet makes us all neighbors, more nations are likely to be affected by conflicts in cyberspace than in the air, land, or sea. Nations are increasingly looking to limit potential cyber conflicts using the same devices that have limited more traditional wars: treaties, conventions, and norms.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Henry M. Paulson
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For nearly four decades, there has been a broad consensus among US policy and opinion leaders that China's success will, ultimately, be good for the United States. But this long-standing consensus is now fraying. We need a new consensus, based on an updated framework that reflects the reality that China is no longer a "developing" economy but an increasingly established one.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Asia, North America
  • Author: Mara Revkin, Yussef Auf
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: All eyes are on the ballot box as Egypt prepares for the second round of the first post-Mubarak presidential election on June 16-17, a controversial run-off between the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP, the party founded by the Muslim Brotherhood) candidate Mohamed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak's former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, two of the most polarizing candidates in the race who together won only 49 percent of the votes cast in the first stage of polling on May 23-24. Egyptians are now faced with a choice between Islamists—who already hold a parliamentary majority and now stand to gain control of two out of the three branches of government—and a symbol of the former regime and military establishment.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Reform
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Mihaela Carstei
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Historically, energy security has played a central role in shaping the national security strategy and interests of the Baltic states. The diverse challenges that exist in the region make it necessary to focus on identifying areas of cooperation between the countries as they pursue diversified oil and gas supplies.This is crucial to achieve a regional approach to the European Union's common energy security goals.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Oil, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jason Healey
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Experts have warned about a massive surprise cyber attack since at least 1991, when Winn Schwartau testified to Congress about the dangers of an "electronic Pearl Harbor." More recently, the analogy has changed to a "cyber 9/11" but the fear is generally the same: the dependence of modern economies and societies on cyberspace means a digital attack could fundamentally disrupt our way of life and be remembered for decades as the day everything changed.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Science and Technology, Terrorism
  • Author: Shahid Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For over thirty years (1960-90), the Indus Water Treaty has proved to be an outstanding example of conflict resolution between India and Pakistan. Due to the increase in water stress in the basin states since the early 90s, the Treaty has come under strain. It may find it difficult to survive into the next decade, even though there is no exit clause in the Treaty. Rising Pakistani demand and the continued building of hydro-power and other dams by India on the western rivers may further threaten the Treaty. What is the reality behind the emerging debates between the two basin states on water access and usage?
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Water
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Europe, South Asia, India, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Suresh P. Prabhu
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Threats of international water conflicts have garnered headlines in many parts of the world including South Asia. Yet, there are almost no examples of outright water war in history. Instead, national water tensions and issues in water management continue to bedevil South Asia and the largest country in the region. India's population currently stands at 1.2 billion people and is expected to reach 1.6 to 1.8 billion by 2050. For a country that already ranks among the lower rungs of the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index, faced by the stresses of such population growth, India will have to design a plan to satisfy basic human needs for survival, and identify—and maximize—the use of key inputs that drive India's economic growth. One common source that cuts across all criteria for basic survival and economic development is water. It is predicted that by 2050, the per capita availability of water at the national level will drop by 40 to 50 percent due to rapid population growth and commercial use. The main sectors that are heavily dependent on water, such as India's agriculture and power generation, will also affect the quality of water available, both for other productive sectors and for public use. The demand for, availability, and varying use of water all have an impact on India's water resource management and its relations with neighboring countries.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Industrial Policy, Water
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Mohsin Khan, Svetlana Milbert
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring that swept the Middle East last year dramatically altered the political landscape of the region for the better with the overthrow of autocratic regimes. But it also generated considerable uncertainty over the future of economic policies and economic reforms in the Arab world. Will the political transition triggered by the Arab Spring lead to a continuation of the market-oriented economic reforms that most Arab countries had embarked upon over the past two decades, or will more populist regimes emerge that will undo these reforms and adopt economic policies that cater primarily to the immediate demands of the restive public?
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Nicholas Dungan
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Vive la différence! or Plus ça change, plus c'est la môme chose? Which French expression best describes François Hollande and his socialist majority, elected in May and June to govern France for the next five years? The correct answer is: both.
  • Topic: Economics, Bilateral Relations, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Anna Borshchevskaya
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: On October 28, 2012, Ukraine will hold parliamentary elections—the country's sixth since gaining independence in 1991 and first since presidential and local elections that took place in January-February and October 2010, respectively.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Reform
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Jason Healey, Leendert van Bochoven
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The perfect is the enemy of the good in both military alliances and cyber security. The dream cyber warning network would detect most attacks before they occur and quickly detect and stop the rest, preferably automatically. Unfortunately, this is currently feasible only for extremely small and heterogeneous organizations willing to commit significant resources, such as financial institutions. The challenges for a military alliance of twenty-eight nations with widely varying budgets and needs are much harder to meet.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Science and Technology
  • Author: Isabelle Francois
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Conventional arms control in Europe remains relevant more than two decades after the singing of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). Today, it could serve as a useful vehicle for collaboration with Russia on a broad range of security issues, and productive movement forward would also do much to reassure and secure smaller NATO allies and regional partners. Ultimately, what is needed is a paradigm shift away from "mutual assured destruction" and towards a concept of "mutual assured stability."
  • Topic: NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Duncan Pickard
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since October 2011, the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia has been negotiating and drafting the republic's new constitution, which is intended to institutionalize a new democratic system in the aftermath of the revolution that toppled the dictatorship in January. While the Assembly is still several months away from completing its work and some major issues, notably the system of government, have yet to be resolved, some important lessons have nonetheless emerged that might prove useful for other constitution-making processes worldwide, especially in neighboring Libya.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Nicholas Burns, Damon Wilson, Jeff Lightfoot
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO leaders will gather in Chicago in May to discuss the war in Afghanistan, defense capabilities, and global partnerships. These are crucial issues for the Alliance, but they will not address the "dim and dismal" outlook warned against by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in his June 2011 farewell speech in Brussels. That outcome is not preordained. It can be avoided if individual allies recommit to the Alliance and take the necessary steps to reinforce, or 'anchor,' the NATO Alliance in the decade ahead.
  • Topic: NATO, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Author: Bokyo Nitzov
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Central Eurasia brings together both the best and the worst of energy policies. It is a major petroleum-producing region that now is poised for further growth. Unreformed, vertically integrated national monopolies operate alongside large Western energy companies and leading government-owned and private companies based elsewhere in the developing world. Some Caspian governments all but exclude foreign investment in the energy sector, particularly in hydrocarbons, while others are open to it. Energy markets are restricted and uncompetitive.
  • Political Geography: Eurasia
  • Author: Harlan Ullman
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Regardless of how the conflict in Afghanistan (along with NATO's role, presence, and draw down) is resolved, one consequence will be to increase the importance of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) both in Europe and for the entire transatlantic community. Whether Operation Enduring Freedom and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) produce a stunning victory in which Afghanistan emerges as a stable state under the rule of law with a viable government or a rocky withdrawal in the midst of continuing violence with no clear solution in sight, NATO nations will have long tired of that war. Fortunately, the Lisbon Summit with a 2014 end date has eased domestic political pressures over Afghanistan. However, that relief is by no means permanent.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe
  • Author: Walt Slocombe
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: What Does the 2010 Strategic Concept Say (and Not Say) About Nuclear Weapons Issues? The Strategic Concept (SC) adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010 includes a number of propositions that define NATO's future nuclear policy which, explicitly or otherwise, serve to highlight the questions that remain to be resolved. Most fundamentally, the SC, having enumerated NATO's "core tasks" as collective defense against attack, management of crises "that have the potential to affect Alliance security," and cooperation with others "to enhance international security," declares that "[d]eterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy."
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, International Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, Lisbon
  • Author: Barbara Slavin
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The broadest and toughest sanctions regime imposed on any country except Libya has not convinced Iran's leaders to abandon a program that appears aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Instead of seeking even more crippling economic penalties—such as an oil embargo—that would fracture the international consensus on Iran, the United States should tighten implementation of measures already in force and enact more sanctions linked to human rights, which have a wide constituency in Europe and demonstrate to the Iranian people that international concerns extend beyond nuclear weapons. The U.S. should also work with its diplomatic partners to craft new proposals that would couple acceptance of limited uranium enrichment with rigorous international monitoring, and encourage China, Iran's major trading partner, to use its leverage in support of nonproliferation.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran
  • Author: Barbara Slavin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Over the past three decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has shown remarkable endurance. It has survived an eight-year war with Iraq, mounting economic sanctions, and serious domestic unrest. It has benefited from the missteps of adversaries, which have created opportunities for Iran to expand ties to militant movements in Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, and to increase its influence in Afghanistan. Recent uprisings against Arab governments long allied with Washington have encouraged the Iranian government to portray itself as the fulcrum of a "new" anti-Western Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Palestine, Lebanon
  • Author: Banning Garrett, Patrick Degategno
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The world is about to experience the emergence of a second wave of wireless technology. It will be a "disruptive technology" globally and could contribute to accelerating the socioeconomic development trajectories of the world's poorest countries, according to a presentation made by Jeffrey Reed of Virginia Tech and James Neel of Cognitive Radio Technologies during a workshop entitled "The Second Wave of Wireless Communication - A New Wave of Disruptive Technology."
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kurt Volker
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Fixing NATO's public support problem requires the personal commitment of allied leaders (from Prime Ministers on down); tough decisions on resources, capabilities, and operations in order to restore NATO's credibility; and identifying how NATO's actions directly improve the lives of citizens in NATO countries. NATO must be seen as addressing the right issues, successfully, in a way that citizens of allied countries would feel proud to say "This is My NATO."
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe
  • Author: Les Bloom, John Savage
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The best deterrence to cyber conflict is to aggressively pursue national and international risk mitigation at the same time that we explore a full-spectrum of cyber capabilities. Nations should strive to reduce the emerging cyber arms race by developing a basis for trust. The international community has already taken useful steps in this direction with, for example, the European Convention on Cybercrime and the UN report on cyber security which calls for a set of actions that would make information infrastructures more secure.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Terrorism, War, International Security
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Boyko Nitzov
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: How much energy does it take to put a meal on a plate? Here's the best answer that I've come up with so far: it takes about the equivalent of one third pound of oil to produce, harvest, process, transport, store, package, and prepare every pound of food on the planet. This does not include solar radiation and other natural energy used by plants and animals or energy used to travel to shop for food or to dispose of food waste. The bulk of the energy used across the life cycle of food is fossil fuels, and most of it is oil.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Food
  • Author: Jeffrey A. Larsen
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO released a new Strategic Concept in November 2010 that maintained its traditional call for continued reliance on nuclear weapons as the ultimate guarantor of its security. But finalizing that document was not easy. Several compromises took place at the Lisbon Summit, including a decision by the Alliance to conduct a Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR) by 2012. In addition, the allies chose not to repeat some key wording that had remained unchanged since it was introduced in the 1991 Strategic Concept that the Alliance would "maintain adequate sub-strategic nuclear forces based in Europe." This may provide a political opening for the Alliance to eliminate forward-deployed US nuclear weapons in Europe, should it decide to do so. This brief examines options for NATO nuclear deterrence and assurance policy if that occurs.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Damon M. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As Qaddafi's regime crumbles and Libyan rebels assume the mantle of governance, many are bemoaning rather than celebrating the role of NATO in the Libyan revolution. As the Alliance winds down its military campaign and contemplates next steps, now is the time to draw lessons from what worked and what did not, and to prepare to act on these lessons in time for NATO's next summit in Chicago in May 2012.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, North Africa, Chicago
  • Author: Jason Healey
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: If the world is going to solve problems of cooperation and conflict in cyberspace, states and non-state actors alike must apply a wider range of tools. Our experience in this domain is still limited to a few decades – and there are still comparatively few digital natives – so it is not surprising that we have not hit upon the ideal set of concepts and instruments.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Non State Actors
  • Author: Barbara Slavin
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For a country that has been accumulating nuclear know-how since the Eisenhower administration, Iran has hardly been sprinting toward a bomb. Indeed, repeated prognostications that Tehran was on the verge of becoming a nuclear power have a Chicken Little quality: The sky did not fall over the past decade, and it seems unlikely to do so for the next year or two or three. Still, Iran has made steady progress accumulating the elements and expertise required to make nuclear weapons, and it would be naive and irresponsible to discount what appears to be a cottage industry of piecemeal proliferation.
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Jason Healey
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: If you pull a knife on a gunslinger, don't be surprised if you get shot. This is one of the messages of the president's International Strategy for Cyberspace. Some media outlets have taken to extreme headlines, such as OBAMA RESERVES RIGHT TO NUKE HACKERS, or HACK US AND WE'LL BOMB YOU. These headlines, although perhaps intended as hyperbole, highlight the routine misunderstandings that take place when applying national security concepts to the technical domain of cyberspace. This issue brief will analyze the relevant part of the Strategy, especially focusing on whether, and how, the United States might respond to cyber attacks, and under what circumstances, if any, such responses would be nuclear.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Blythe Lyons
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: A substantive dialogue has emerged in the United States under the rubric of "the energy and water nexus," representing the deepening understanding of the circular relationship between water and energy. Both are essential building blocks of US economic and physical security, and interface with efforts to improve health and prosperity. On a national level, the criticality of this relationship to economic and public prosperity is often ignored, as energy and water impacts are largely specific to a watershed or a local surface water source. The United States today needs new policies and significant infrastructure investment in order to meet the increasing demand for water and energy, while dealing with the constraints of growing water scarcity and potential threats to water quality.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources, Water, Biofuels
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Barbara Slavin
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Sanctions and China's growing economic clout have altered Iran's trading patterns in ways that are reducing Iran's access to hard currency but may also be insulating the Iranian government and political elite from further US unilateral pressures.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Middle East, Asia
  • 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
  • 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: Edgar Buckley
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: No wonder everyone looks forward to a positive decision on making territorial missile defense a NATO task at the upcoming Lisbon Summit. Allies will breathe a collective sigh of relief for two reasons. First, proliferation of missile technology has exposed Europe to real future risks and threats, which can only be countered defensively through early preparation and deployments. Second, absent such a decision, the United States' Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) – to be deployed in Europe whatever the summit decides – is a fundamental challenge to NATO, detracting from its overall responsibility for collective defense and raising acutely uncomfortable issues, such as the prospect of U.S.-commanded defenses operating in parallel with Article 5 defense of NATO.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Stephan M. Minikes
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For many years, I have been engaged in debate with other foreign policy practitioners over the question of whether the United States and Russia should work together. An improved U.S.-Russian relationship offers the prospect not only of improved cooperation on areas of mutual bilateral interest, but also enhanced cooperation within multilateral institutions such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) where I was the U.S. Ambassador between 2001 and 2005.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, 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
  • Author: Kurt Volker
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, NATO stands at a crossroads. Will it reinvent itself yet again, to serve as the foundation for the security and defense of Europe and North America in a world of diverse, non-conventional threats, many of which come from outside of Europe? Will it return to a passive, geographically defined approach of protecting the territory of European Allies against armed attack? Will it merge these visions into a new hybrid? Will it retain the political will and resource commitments of its members, whether in Europe or North America?
  • Topic: NATO, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Robin Niblett, Alexei Monsarrat, Aola Subacchi
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: What started last year as a growing international credit crunch and, by September, a global banking crisis has now spread into the real economy. International trade, investment and economic growth are all contracting. A drastic curtailment of credit, collapsing global demand and a loss of trade finance is having a devastating economic effect on both the developed and developing worlds, especially those economies that are heavily dependent on exports.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • 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
  • Author: David L. Phillips
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report evaluates the international community's response to the conflict in Abkhazia. It recommends a package of immediate measures to the Georgian and Abkhaz sides to prevent the escalation of violence. As part of a multi-year strategy, it also suggests steps that Georgians, Abkhaz, and international stakeholders can take to lay the ground for future negotiations. In addition, the report proposes a diplomatic initiative by the United States and the European Union (EU) that would restore Georgia's sovereignty, while preserving the interests of Abkhaz.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Sovereignty, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Georgia, Abkhazia
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Make no mistake, the international community is not winning in Afghanistan. Unless this reality is understood and action is taken promptly, the future of Afghanistan is bleak, with regional and global impact. The purpose of this paper is to sound the alarm and to propose specific actions that must be taken now if Afghanistan is to succeed in becoming a secure, safe, and functioning state. On the security side, a stalemate of sorts has taken hold. NATO and Afghan forces cannot be beaten by the insurgency or by the Taliban. Neither can our forces eliminate the Taliban by military means as long as they have sanctuary in Pakistan. Hence, the future of Afghanistan will be determined by progress or failure in the civil sector.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Development, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia
  • 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
  • Author: Richard L. Lawson, John R. Lyman
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Today, hunger, poverty, and desperation remain prevalent throughout much of the developing world. If we are to live in a 21st century more prone to peace than violence, the developed countries must move expeditiously to address the developing countries' requirements for energy, water, and agricultural production. The availability, accessibility and affordability of energy, water and food supplies are vital to the economic development that is required to alleviate global poverty, to reduce global tensions, and to address global environmental degradation.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Environment, Globalization, Poverty
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Today's businesses rely increasingly on corporate IT networks and their connection with the global Internet as the backbone of their sales, sourcing, operating, and financial systems. However, the convenience of global connectivity comes at a cost-the vulnerability of network infrastructures and systems to the malicious actions of cyber criminals and espionage agencies. Yet few CEOs or managing directors are prepared to lead their companies against these dangers. Too often CEOs and directors fail to understand the level of potential risk and liability, and cede responsibility for dealing with cyber attacks to their IT department. Instead, leaders of corporations, nongovernmental and not-for-profit organizations, and public sector agencies in the 21st century must know enough to at least ask the right questions of their chief information officer.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Author: Adrian Karatnycky, Jan Neutze
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Ukraine is facing a considerable challenge from corruption, which our research showed is present in nearly all levels of government and politics, the judiciary, and business. It is the view of the Task Force that corruption has become so severe that it has the potential to threaten Ukraine's political and economic stability as well as the country's European Union membership aspirations. While Ukraine has made progress since the Orange Revolution in areas such as developing an independent media and a more active civil society, its political leaders have failed to fulfi ll the core promise of the Revolution by effectively addressing corruption. Instead, our research revealed that public suspicions about corruption at the highest reaches of political power are widespread in Ukraine.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Jones James
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Retired Marine General James Jones, Chairman of the Atlantic Council, chaired the Committee that produced this report assessing Iraq's national police force. The report's overall assessment said "the Iraqi armed forces - Army, Special Forces, Navy, and Air Force - are increasingly effective and are capable of assuming greater responsibility for the internal security of Iraq; and the Iraqi police are improving, but not at a rate sufficient to meet their essential security responsibilities. The Iraqi Security Forces will continue to rely on the Coalition to provide key enablers such as combat support (logistics, supply chain management, and maintenance), and training. The Commission assesses that in the next 12 to 18 months there will be continued improvement in their readiness and capability, but not the ability to operate independently. Evidence indicates that the ISF will not be able to progress enough in the near term to secure Iraqi borders against conventional military and external threats."
  • Topic: Security, War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Atlantic Council of the United States and the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations organized the first "U.S.-China Energy Security Cooperation Dialogue," held in Beijing on 31 October-1 November 2006. Conference participants included foreign policy analysts and energy experts from the U.S. and Chinese governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and universities in both the United States and China. The agenda covered a broad spectrum of energy and energy-related geopolitical issues, including long-range forecasts for energy supply and demand, energy sources ranging from oil and gas to coal, nuclear and renewables.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Kenneth Katzman
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This compendium contains the text of major regulations, laws, and other documents governing U.S. interactions with North Korea. Also provided are the text of U.N. Resolutions, agreements, and other documents that represent major policy decisions in U.S. relations with North Korea. Accompanying each major document, law, or regulation is a brief analysis discussing the policy reflected by that document and major significance of the provisions of the law or regulation promulgated.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Frances G. Burwell, William H. Taft IV
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Throughout 2006, allegations of U.S. involvement in "renditions" of suspected terrorists from Europe to prisons in Afghanistan and elsewhere reverberated around European capitals. Charges that the United States had established secret prisons in some European countries raised the temperature even further. The European Parliament and the Council of Europe initiated investigations, while some European leaders called for the United States to close its detention facility in Guantanamo, describing the facility as contrary to international law.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Torture
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe
  • Author: James Goodby, Jack N. Merritt
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The United States has few more important policy goals than eliminating North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The risk that the repressive Pyongyang regime could transfer nuclear weapons and materials to rogue states or terrorist groups weighs particularly heavy on the minds of U.S. policymakers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Jan Neutze, Frances G. Burwell
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: During the second half of 2006 and in early 2007, the German economic engine seemed to gain speed, moving into recovery after several years of stagnation. Whether this recovery is sustainable is still unclear, however. With its reliance on exports, Germany remains vulnerable to any downturn in the global economy. Nor is it yet clear that the recent upswing will result in long term job growth and increased consumer spending. To reinforce this recovery, the chancellor should go beyond an economic policy based on balancing the budget and reducing corporate taxes. She should focus now on creating more flexible conditions of employment, so that more workers can be hired and companies can expand, and should work with German business to develop the successor industries to today's export champions. Her government must also rethink the failed policy of subsidizing the eastern Länder, and take steps to deal with the long term challenges of an aging workforce and an education system that does not produce workers with the right skills. Chancellor Merkel knows that coping with globalization will require a liberalized economy with more freedom and flexibility for its workers and its companies.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The U.S. government has sought to advance democratic and free-market change in Cuba for 47 years. Those efforts have failed. Indeed, the transfer of power from Fidel Castro has produced little change in Cuba's politics and took place with no manifestations of broad popular demands for an end to one-party Communist rule. Instead, the Cuban people appear to be resigned to peaceful and gradual change on the island. Most observers judge that any transition to democracy, rule of law, and capitalism is years away.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Harry Harding
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: China has done remarkably well in its development over the last twenty-five years. It has achieved and sustained high rates of economic growth, lifting millions out of poverty. It has achieved a significant place in the international economy. It is widely regarded as a major power, not only in Asia but also increasingly on a global stage. Looking ahead, however, things could go wrong – possibly quite seriously wrong – for China, and if China experiences serious problems, its size and its expanded role in the world mean that there could be serious consequences for the broader international community as well.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Albert Kiedel
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: What are the implications if China sustains nine-percent growth through 2010? This is the basic question posed by conference organizers. The relevant time frame is what matters most. If China merely maintains nine-percent growth until the year 2010, the implications are not great. Too much is left unknown about what comes after 2010. Even with nine-percent growth over the next five years, China in 2010 will still be at a relatively low level of performance, both overall and in per-capita terms. But if sustaining nine-percent growth to 2010 means that China has launched on-going reforms that will continue to engineer institutional changes needed for a market economy's successful commercial and political management, then the resulting successful development trajectory in the rest of the century will generate profound and, from today's perspective, unexpected consequences.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Edward J. Lincoln
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: China ought to be able to produce a relatively high economic growth rate over at least the next decade. There are a number of problems confronting the economy, but one of the great lessons of the past half-century of world economic growth is how much growth can result even when economies have considerable institutional flaws. Economists usually speak about the need to get the “fundamentals” right to produce economic growth, but we should also keep in mind that nations need not get have a perfect set of institutions and rules to generate growth.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: F. Stephen Larrabee, Jeffrey Simon, Jan Neutze, Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since his inauguration in January 2005, Ukrainian President Viktor Yush-chenko has repeatedly stated that his foremost foreign policy goal is his country's integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. “Joining Europe” today, be it preparing a country for a bid to enter the European Union or NATO, is an extraordinarily complex business. It will require the development of a consensus on a Euro-Atlantic policy course among the country's political leadership. It will also require an effective and coherent policy coordination structure. As the experience of other Eastern European countries has demonstrated, integration into the European Union or NATO is not just the responsibility of the foreign and defense ministries. It also requires coordination with the ministries of economy, justice, agrarian policy, transportation and communications, internal affairs – indeed, virtually every ministry in the Ukrainian Cabinet.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Banning Garrett, Franklin Kramer, Jonathan M. Adams
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: At the beginning of 2006, Taiwan is confronted with difficult choices that it currently seems unprepared to face. Cross-Strait tensions have diminished in the last year and Taiwan's economy has grown at an annualized rate of about 3.6 percent, which is respectable if not robust by East Asian standards. Taiwan, however, also faces an East Asian future which likely includes an increasingly important role for its relations with the Mainland as China becomes an ever more important economic and political factor regionally and globally.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: David C. Gompert, Jan M. Lodal, Leslie S. Lebl, Walter B. Slocombe, Frances G. Burwell
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since 1989, the security environment facing the United States and its European allies has changed beyond recognition. The Soviet Union has disintegrated, as has the division of Europe between East and West, and new threats have arisen. The disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s demonstrated that instability and war emerging from failing states could affect the peace and security of Europe. After 2001, global terrorism became the priority threat, especially when linked with the prospect of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Ronald Bruce St. Jon
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: On the evening of December 19, 2003, the Libyan Foreign Ministry issued a statement, the product of nine months of tough negotiations with the United Kingdom and United States, renouncing weapons of mass destruction and related missile delivery systems. The statement said Libya had “decided, with its own free will, to get rid of these substances, equipment and programmes and to be free from all internationally banned weapons.” It added Libya intended to comply with the Missile Technology Control Regime, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and international biological and chemical weapons agreements and treaties. It pledged to “take these measures in a transparent way that could be proved, including accepting immediate international inspection.” Soon after the issuance of this statement, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi publicly endorsed the move, terming it a “wise decision and a courageous step.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Middle East, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Robert Kapp
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Peter Bottelier, the principal presenter of this topic, opened by noting that much discussion now surrounds the evolving “new line” embodied in China's economic plans for the next five years. The three agricultural questions, self-innovation, regional adjustment, opening up of a win-win “harmonious society,” and economizing on energy use: what do these and other much-discussed new terms really mean?
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Rawski
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Beginning with the start of reform in the late 1970s, China's industry has recorded impressive growth of output, labor productivity, and exports as well as dramatic upgrading of the quality and variety of output. These gains have occurred in spite of difficulties arising from lethargic state enterprises, inadequate corporate governance, excessive official intervention, corruption, and weak financial institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Kenneth Lieberthal
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This article seeks to examine two key issues that will be major drivers of consumption in China over the coming five years: urbanization and environmental amelioration. Whether the issues identified will be the largest factors over this time frame remains unclear, but each of these two areas warrants considerable attention as a very significant contributor to the future of consumer demand in China.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Arthur R. Kroeber
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: China's impressive economic growth of the past quarter century (9.4 percent average annual real GDP growth between 1980 and 2004, by official figures) is not miraculous; on the contrary, it can largely be explained by conventional models of economic development.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia