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  • Author: Luigi Bonatti
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In The Euro’s Difficult Future – Competitiveness Imbalances and the Eurozone’s North-South Divide author Luigi Bonatti, a professor of economics at the University of Trento in Italy, stresses that the existing North-South competitiveness divide creates growing tensions between member countries and fuels hostility towards European Union institutions. The paper illustrates why this competitiveness divide is structural, cannot be tackled by macroeconomic policies, and could threaten the euro’s survival.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti, Owen Daniels
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Revolution Unveiled: A Closer Look at Iran’s Presence and Influence in the Middle East, by Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti, and Owen Daniels, pieces together snapshots of Iran’s influence in the region using photographic analysis, geolocation, social media monitoring, and other methods. Through four case studies, this report systematically examines new or lesser-known methods Iran employs to project its influence beyond its borders. By using proxy Shia groups, ideology, arms provision, and transnational networks, Tehran destabilizes and strikes at regional adversaries to achieve its strategic and policy objectives.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Atlantic Council's State Department Reform Report—written by a group of ten foreign policy experts—explores the critical subject areas of structure and process, personnel, budget, congressional relations, and USAID. The report serves as a foundation for reform efforts that will lead to the empowerment of the State Department at a time when a rapidly evolving global environment consistently poses new challenges and threats. The department's role is indeed unique and vital in the US national security apparatus; diplomacy based in continued and robust support for US interests and values is critical to favorable long-term outcomes, including a more secure and stable global environment.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elena Postnikova
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The US Congress enacted the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) to ensure that the American people were aware when foreign governments funded media sources; at the time, their concerns focused on the Nazi regime in Germany. Today, this issue has resurfaced with concerns about the Russian propaganda outlet RT (formerly Russia Today). RT broadcasts are reliably consistent with official statements of the Russian government, which is unsurprising, as it is 99 percent funded by the Kremlin. In Agent of Influence, author Elena Postnikova not only argues that RT should register with FARA but makes a legal case for it while laying out recommendations for policy makers. At a minimum, RT’s activities warrant a thorough investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Strong evidence supports the conclusion that Russia’s RT is owned, controlled, and financed by the Russian state. RT advances Russia’s interests abroad and uses communication channels to influence US domestic and foreign policy. RT has not presented evidence to support that it is a bona fide media organization, which would be excluded from registration. If RT fails to respond to a DOJ inquiry or to present ample evidence that it should be exempt, an enforcement action should follow.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dimiter Toshkov
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: To many, the European Union (EU) is a complex entity overburdened by rules. In The European Union Could Be Simple, Inclusive, or Effective. Pick Two., author Dimiter Toshkov, an associate professor at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University, presents the structural dilemma facing the EU: accommodating the diverse interests of twenty-eight member states while delivering effective policies for over 510 million citizens in a simple way.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Arron Stein
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report is based on a series of interviews with US officials and details two efforts to achieve US objectives to take back territory from ISIS in Syria—with elements trained in Turkey, as part of the Train and Equip program, and through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the dominant local force in northeastern Syria.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Aaron Stein
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report examines Turkish foreign and energy policy toward Russia, Iran, and Iraq. It is divided into three case studies in which the lessons learned from past Turkish decision making might help chart likely courses of actions vis-à-vis Ankara’s future energy relationship with all three countries. The case studies also consider potential impacts on American interests in these three countries along with bilateral US-Turkish relations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Daniel Fried
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Once again, authoritarians are challenging the world’s leading democracies, using twenty-first century versions of aggression, propaganda, and subversion. The very notion of a rules-based, democratic-leaning international order—the Free World—seems in doubt, questioned also by newly-emboldened nationalists on both sides of the Atlantic. In “The Free World,” Ambassador Dan Fried, who retired this year as the United States’ longest-serving diplomat, reminds us what the Free World achieved, where it has gone wrong, and what democratic forces can do to restore the momentum of ideas that still represent the best hope for American interests, democratic values, and the world.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Fried
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Once again, authoritarians are challenging the world’s leading democracies, using twenty-first century versions of aggression, propaganda, and subversion. The very notion of a rules-based, democratic-leaning international order—the Free World—seems in doubt, questioned also by newly-emboldened nationalists on both sides of the Atlantic. In “The Free World,” Ambassador Dan Fried, who retired this year as the United States’ longest-serving diplomat, reminds us what the Free World achieved, where it has gone wrong, and what democratic forces can do to restore the momentum of ideas that still represent the best hope for American interests, democratic values, and the world.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ryan C. Crocker
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The report of the Task Force on the Future of Iraq chaired by Ambassador Ryan Crocker offers a strategy for how the United States can build on the success that the Iraqi government and its coalition partners have had in liberating areas once occupied by ISIS, in order to bring about a lasting defeat of the extremist group and to and secure US national security interests in Iraq over the long term.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Franklin Kramer, Laura Speranza
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since its takeover of Crimea in 2014, Russia has become increasingly emboldened, undertaking actions that, rather than propping up a failing regime, strike directly against the functioning of Western democracy. Employing a combination of "hybrid" actions–political, diplomatic, informational, cyber-, economic, covert and low-level force–the Kremlin has targeted countries not only on the fringes of its sphere of influence, but in the heart of Europe and even the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Grant Harris
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: African nations have rarely been perceived as essential partners in the pursuit of US national security and economic interests, but a re-assessment of Africa’s strategic importance is past due. Transnational threats emanating from the continent continue to evolve, and trade and investment relationships have deepened. A better and broader understanding of the threats and opportunities posed by the countries of Africa is urgently needed, both to strengthen United States-Africa bilateral relations and to create a coherent regional policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Roy Blunt, Ben Cardin
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Atlantic Council’s Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force, co-chaired by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), has been working for the past year to put forward recommendations for continued US engagement in Colombia. Today, Colombia is a strategic US partner. Its achievements and experience fighting international networks of organized crime have transformed the country into an exporter of security expertise and training. It is the view of this high-level Task Force that Colombia continues to symbolize a bipartisan US foreign policy success story. Read our report to find out the task force's full recommendations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Luis Cosenza
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: To many Americans, the difficult issues facing Central America’s Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—may seem distant. But the future of the United States is tied to these countries as some of our closest neighbors. Geography alone demonstrates that their stability and prosperity is critical to our national interest.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ayla Gürel Moran, Harry G. Tzimitras, Hubert Faustmann
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: On 16 November 2016 the PRIO Cyprus Centre (PCC), the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Cyprus (FES) and the Atlantic Council (AC) co-hosted a one-day conference entitled ‘Global Energy Debates and the East Mediterranean’. The conference, held in the UN Buffer Zone in Nicosia, was organised with a view to introducing the Cypriot public to the increasingly complex global energy terrain. Thus, the main focus of the deliberations was not the Eastern Mediterranean, but rather the broader energy picture surrounding the region. The international experts who attended the conference presented topics that concern some of the more salient broader debates, such as the link between energy and global warming as well as the energy relations of the European Union, which constitutes the largest potential market in the neighbourhood for the hydrocarbons of the Eastern Mediterranean. The latter included examination of three important cases to Europe’s east: Russia, Iran, and Turkey. East Mediterranean energy develop- ments and regional cooperation prospects were also discussed by a panel of experts from Cyprus, Egypt and Israel. This edited volume comprises contributions submitted by speakers based on their talks delivered at the conference.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus