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  • Author: Borzou Daragahi
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For much of its four decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been blessed with a weak political opposition. While Iran has faced competent and powerful foreign enemies—such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the United States, and Israel—its Iranian political challengers, both domestically and abroad, have been largely fragmented, unrealistic in their aims, and sometimes as authoritarian as the regime. But, though few credible Iran watchers argue that opposition groups and figures arrayed against Tehran’s establishment pose a serious threat, Iran treats them as if they are mortal dangers to the regime. This paper attempts to sketch out the landscape of the various major political opposition groups, and begin to grapple with the question of why Iran perceives them as such a challenge.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Philip Breedlove, Alexander Vershbow
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: North Central Europe has become the central point of confrontation between the West and a revisionist Russia. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is determined to roll back the post-Cold War settlement and undermine the rules-based order that has kept Europe secure since the end of World War II. Moscow’s invasion and continued occupation of Georgian and Ukrainian territories, its military build-up in Russia’s Western Military District and Kaliningrad, and its “hybrid” warfare against Western societies have heightened instability in the region have made collective defense and deterrence an urgent mission for the United States and NATO
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Franklin Kramer, Robert J Butler, Catherine Lotrionte
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes cyber’s role in deterrence and defense—and specifically the military-civil nexus and the relationship between the Department of Defense (DoD), the civil agencies, and the key private operational cyber entities, in particular the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and electric grid operators. The focus of the paper is on high-end conflict including actions by an advanced cyber adversary, whether state or nonstate, and not on the “day-to-day” intrusions and attacks as regularly occur and are generally dealt with by governmental agencies and the private sector without military involvement. High-end conflict can be expected to include attacks within the United States homeland as well as in forward theatres.
  • Topic: Civil Society, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Pack, Rhiannon Smith, Karim Mezran
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For the past three decades, Libya has been a rich recruiting ground for the global jihad. Investigating the precursors and then subsequent evolution of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and other extremist actors throughout this period presents actionable insights into how jihadist actors coalesce; how they interfere in post-conflict state building; the threats they pose to civilians, nascent economies, and external states; and finally, what complexities remain when their hold on territory has been eradicated, but their adherents have not been killed nor their ideology debunked. In The Origins and Evolution of ISIS in Libya, Jason Pack, Rhiannon Smith, Karim Mezran examine ISIS’s pre-history, birth, expansion, consolidation, and dispersal in Libya, as well as the broader political context of the country. They offer advice and recommendations for how Western governments and militaries should approach jihadist actors globally.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Sergey Aleksashenko
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: It has been more than two years since the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) imposed economic sanctions on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. For some of the measures, though not all, that is time enough to evaluate effectiveness. But before such an assessment can be made, the initial goals of the sanctions should be clearly stated. This is not as straightforward as it might seem.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Security, Sanctions, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, European Union
  • Author: Faysal Itani
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since August 2014, the US-led air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has successfully inflicted casualties on ISIS and weakened its oil revenues. However, the same efforts have also accelerated the rise of the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, and the near-collapse of nationalist rebel forces. In "Defeating the Jihadists in Syria: Competition before Confrontation," Faysal Itani of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East details the unintended consequences of the coalition air campaign and proposes a revised US strategy. He argues that the United States can effectively assist nationalist insurgents to defeat ISIS and the Nusra Front by enabling them to compete with and contain these groups before ultimately confronting them. Itani writes that the US-led campaign thus far and the train-and-equip initiative set to begin next month undermine and weaken nationalist rebel forces. He criticizes these efforts for failing to provide sufficient support to the rebel forces, while directing them to target ISIS instead of the regime. Meanwhile, the Nusra Front and other jihadist organizations have greater resources and have been effective in targeting the Assad regime. As such, nationalist rebel forces and local populations have increasingly aligned with the Nusra Front and even tolerate ISIS in order to protect themselves against regime violence, criminality, and chaos. Itani's proposed US strategy offers a practical and workable response to the rise of jihadists groups in Syria; this revised strategy seeks to support rebel forces to compete with the Nusra Front for popular support and to take control of the insurgency, contain ISIS, and build capacity for an eventual offensive against the jihadists. This approach will build on positive results in southern Syria by significantly increasing direct financial and material support and training for vetted nationalist groups that have already shown significant success. Simultaneously, in the north the campaign can provide sufficient material support to nationalist forces while expanding coalition air strikes to target ISIS's frontlines, allowing the nationalist insurgency to defend and govern territory. Only once nationalist insurgent forces have successfully competed with the Nusra Front and contained ISIS can they confront and ultimately defeat the jihadist groups in Syria.
  • Topic: Politics, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Karim Mezran, Jason Pack, Mohamed Eljarh
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The proximal cause of Libya's current problems in the security sector, the economy, and the transition to constitutional governance is the Libyan authorities' policy of appeasement of their opponents. Some analysts have absolved the post- Qaddafi authorities-the National Transitional Council (NTC), General National Congress (GNC), government, cabinet, and ministries-of both their agency and responsibility for the current problems by blaming Qaddafi-era policies, Libya's primordial social and regional structures, and the absence of institutions (such as a national army or civil society) for most challenges currently facing the country. These factors are, indeed, key components of the troubles and constitute the root causes of the current situation. However, these preexisting factors have been exacerbated and mutated by the practice of appeasement.
  • Topic: International Security, Governance
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Magnus Nordenman
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As NATO winds down its long combat operation in Afghanistan, the Alliance is facing a new and dynamic security environment that is more strategically constraining and competitive than at any time since the end of the Cold War. This is spurred by a set of long-term trends that are driving a transformation of global arrangements and power relationships and is further reinforced by fiscal austerity and uncertain political leadership on both sides of the Atlantic. Furthermore, along with these long-term challenges, increasing turbulence in the Middle East and the Ukraine crisis mean that NATO today has serious security concerns to tend to on the immediate periphery of Alliance territory.
  • Topic: NATO, Demographics, Science and Technology, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: To deal effectively with long-range global trends and near-term security challenges, the United States requires a broader application of all elements of national power or risks continued disjointed efforts in US global engagement. A transformed interagency balance is a hedge against uncertainty in a dramatically changing world.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, National Security, International Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Walter B. Slocombe, Matthew Kroenig
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO's Strategic Concept (SC), adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, includes a number of propositions that define NATO's nuclear policy. Most fundamentally, NATO's most important strategy document declares that "[d]eterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of" the Alliance's "overall strategy."
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, International Security
  • Author: Robert A. Manning
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: US extended deterrence in Asia, involving the full spectrum from nuclear to conventional capabilities, faces an array of new challenges. Indeed, a dynamic, volatile, and more complex security landscape in the Asia-Pacific and globally has heightened regional security concerns and given deterrence and strategic stability a renewed importance in the period extending to 2025.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Richard LeBaron
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Two important issues are testing relations between the United States and its allies in the Gulf: democratic transitions in the Arab world and regional security. Their outcome will either strengthen or disrupt what has been a long-term partnership. The United States and its Gulf allies are well into their second year of reacting to, and attempting to influence, the rapid political change in the Middle East and North Africa, but their efforts are informed by differing motivations. Meanwhile the looming threat of Iran attaining nuclear weapons has brought greater urgency to efforts to enhance Gulf security, but also some disquiet in the Gulf about any possible US deal with Iran that would serve global non-proliferation interests but threaten their vital regional security interests.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Security, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North Africa, North America
  • Author: Michele Dunne, Barry Pavel
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In President Barack Obama's first term, his administration withdrew US forces from Iraq, ratcheted up pressure to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, began the adjustment to relations with post-authoritarian governments in Arab countries including Egypt, struggled with how best to handle an increasingly bloody rebellion in Syria, and attempted to restart diplomacy on the Israeli/Palestinian problem. At the beginning of his second term, US interests are at significant risk as the region continues to undergo profound changes, and Arab and European allies are asking for greater US engagement. The region also presents the United States with unanticipated opportunities, such as the development of Arab democracies and a reduction in Iranian influence. The challenge facing the United States is how to lead without dominating, and how to protect and promote US interests without absolving other actors of responsibility. Thus, the task for this administration is to develop a strategy: to match the president's positive rhetoric with meaningful follow-up in terms of diplomacy, assistance, and security cooperation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Security, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, North America
  • Author: Peter Engelke
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Cities are shaping our collective fate in nearly every respect. As the predominant locus of human settlement, cities already wield considerable power and will continue to increase their influence in the decades to come. Cities generate most of the world's wealth. They are the places where citizenship and political participation are defined, redefined, and contested. They are the sites where global challenges ranging from climate change and natural resource depletion to international security problems are felt. In other words, we have seen the future, and it is urban. If humankind's most pressing challenges are to be solved during this century, the world's foreign and security policy establishments must not only become more cognizant of mass urbanization, but begin creating the processes that will productively integrate cities within global governance structures. These policy establishments are already behind the curve, for cities have been going about building parallel global governance structures on their own for some time now. They have become important actors in shaping global politics, helping to forge new patterns of transnational relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Security, Governance, Urbanization
  • Author: Jim Kolbe, George Casey
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The democratic transitions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya will remain reversible unless and until their security agencies are reformed to carry out their functions without abusing citizen rights or interfering in politics. This is true of both internal security forces and armed forces; this report focuses on the latter. The future role of the armed forces is vital to the outcomes of the transitions and to the attainment of US political and strategic interests in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Democratization, International Security
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Franklin D. Kramer
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: International security in today's globalized world demands a framework responsive to interconnectedness, multiple power centers, shared vulnerabilities, and dramatic change. To meet these diverse challenges that affect the security of its members, NATO, as the West's premier security organization, must reach beyond the transatlantic arena. It must link with other nations whose world views are comparable and whose capacities complement NATO's strengths. NATO's global partnerships are critical elements in providing an effective international security framework and, therefore, are a vital key to generating a stable and secure international system.
  • Topic: NATO, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, International Security
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, South Korea, Libya, Australia
  • Author: Jason Healey
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For more than two decades, cyber defenders, intelligence analysts, and policymakers have struggled to determine the source of the most damaging attacks. This "attribution problem" will only become more critical as we move into a new era of cyber conflict with even more attacks ignored, encouraged, supported, or conducted by national governments.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Terrorism, International Security, Reform
  • Political Geography: China
  • 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: 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: Franklin D. Kramer
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The new United States defense guidance has substantial implications for transatlantic nations that must be addressed at the NATO Summit in May. Specifically, how does the longstanding transatlantic security bargain apply in this globalized world? What are the key security challenges at this strategic turning point? How should those challenges be met in a time of financial constraint? And what are the key actions the transatlantic nations should undertake?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Science and Technology, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • 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: Franklin D. Kramer
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The most disruptive potential cyber security concern is the capacity of information technology to generate or escalate geopolitical conflicts into open or uncontained hostilities through attacks on operational networks. Undermining critical capabilities such as the military or the electric power grid would be highly destabilizing and potentially escalatory, generating a perceived need to move a confrontation toward conflict or to escalate a contained conflict into a broader arena.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Law, Science and Technology, International Security
  • 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: 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: 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: Robert Nurick
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Look at the security arrangements for the eight countries of the Nordic and Baltic region and two things are immediately apparent. The countries that have the greatest needs have the worst security. And the countries that have the strongest defense are divided.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Energy Policy, International Security
  • 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: 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
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In the late 1940s, a visionary generation of transatlantic leaders – shaped by the experience of the most devastating war in human history – decided to build a new world based on respect for universal human values and cooperation among nations. Thus was born the United Nations, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the International Court of Justice, the Bretton Woods Institutions of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the European Coal and Steel Community and, of course, NATO.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, International Political Economy, International Security, Reform
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: During what the U.S. government formerly called the “war on terror”, both U.S. and European governments resorted to preventive detention. But holding individuals deemed to be a security risk indefinitely and without charge is a controversial strategy. Not only have there been miscarriages of justice, but detention may actually fuel the terrorist cause and attract more recruits. Yet, without recourse to preventive detention, military and security forces may be tempted to resort to more extreme, and perhaps prohibited, measures against an individual suspected of being a terrorist threat. If, therefore, U.S. and European governments are to employ preventive detention as a tool in fighting international terrorism, particularly in overseas operations, it must be done in a way that reinforces the legitimacy of their efforts and is in keeping with international law.
  • Topic: International Law, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Franklin Kramer, John Lyman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The world is energy short and carbon long. This report focuses on that juxtaposition and the means to achieve energy security in a world concerned over climate change and maintaining economic growth. The provision of a sustainable energy future will require a dramatic transformation of the world's energy supplies and consumption patterns. The current global financial crisis and accompanying economic downturn has made meeting this challenge significantly more difficult. Despite the current softening of energy demand, the world is facing a long-term tightening of conventional energy supplies and a need to address increasing environmental concerns that will require international cooperation on an unprecedented scale.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, International Security
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The world that created the transatlantic partnership is fading fast. The United States and Europe must urgently reposition and recast their relationship as a more effective and strategic partnership. It is a moment of opportunity -- to use or to lose. With the Cold War over and new powers rising, some say the transatlantic partnership has had its day. We disagree. Our achievements may not always match our aspirations, but the common body of accumulated principles, norms, rules and procedures we have built and accumulated together -- in essence, an acquis Atlantique -- affirms basic expectations we have for ourselves and for each other. In this new world of global connections, the transatlantic relationship is the thickest weave in the web. The deep integration of our democratic societies and economies is unparalleled and transcends neat “foreign” and “domestic” distinctions. We are literally in each other's business. North America's relationship with Europe enables each of us to achieve goals together that neither can alone -- for ourselves and for the world. When we agree, we are usually the core of any effective global coalition. When we disagree, no global coalition is likely to be very effective. The transatlantic partnership, while indispensable, is also insufficient. Only by banding together with others are we likely to advance our values, protect our interests, and extend our influence. Our partnership remains as vital as in the past. But now we must focus on a new agenda. Together, Europe and America must surmount immediate economic challenges while positioning their economies for the future; build transatlantic resilience -- protect our societies, not just our territory; continue work toward a Europe whole, free, and at peace; address conflicts more effectively; redouble efforts to halt proliferation of agents of mass destruction; reinvigorate efforts to preserve a habitable planet. Unfortunately, there is a growing mismatch between the nature of our challenges, the capacity of our institutions, and the tools at our disposal. Strong bilateral relations between the U.S. and European countries are still essential. NATO remains vital to our security. We offer views on NATO's future in a companion volume, Alliance Reborn. But we must also recast and reposition the U.S.-EU relationship. That is the subject of this report. The U.S.-EU relationship is important but not strategic. Such a partnership is possible, but it is not the partnership we have today. Given the challenges we face, such a partnership is urgent. It will require a new type of politics, not simply new kinds of process. Our central challenge is to mobilize political leadership behind a set of ambitious goals, tied to pragmatic steps forward.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe