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  • Author: Mohsin Khan, Karim Merzan
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a civil society group comprising the Tunisian General Labor Union; the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade, and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, October 9, 2015 "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia." In a new Atlantic Council Issue Brief, "Tunisia: The Last Arab Spring Country," Atlantic Council Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East Senior Fellows Mohsin Khan and Karim Mezran survey the successes of Tunisia's consensus-based transition and the challenges that lie ahead. "The decision to award this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet is an extremely important recognition of the efforts made by Tunisian civil society and Tunisia's political elite to reach a consensus on keeping the country firmly on the path to democratization and transition to a pluralist system," says Mezran. With the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of President Zine El Abedine Ben Ali in 2011, Tunisia embarked on a process of democratization widely regarded as an example for transitions in the region. The National Dialogue Conference facilitated by the Quartet helped Tunisia avert the risk of plunging into civil war and paved the way for a consensus agreement on Tunisia's new constitution, adopted in January 2014. In the brief, the authors warn that despite political successes, Tunisia is hampered by the absence of economic reforms. Facing the loss of tourism and investment following two terror attacks, Tunisia's economy risks collapse, endangering all of the painstaking political progress gained thus far. Unless the Tunisian government moves rapidly to turn the economy around, Tunisia risks unraveling its fragile transition.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Economics, Political Activism, Reform
  • Political Geography: Arab Countries, Tunisia
  • Author: Bilal Y. Saab, Barry Pavel
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama's summit meeting with Gulf leaders at Camp David on May 14 will end in failure if the administration does not propose a substantial upgrade in US-Gulf security relations that is as bold and strategically significant as the nuclear agreement–and likely formal deal–with Iran. While the summit will not suddenly eliminate mistrust and resolve all differences, it presents an historic opportunity to put back on track a decades-old US-Gulf partnership that has served both sides and the region well, yet lately has experienced deep turbulence. Failure to strengthen these ties will have consequences, the most dramatic of which could be the acceleration of the regional order's collapse. In a March 2015 Atlantic Council report entitled Artful Balance: Future US Defense Strategy and Force Posture in the Gulf, we made the case for a mutual defense treaty between the United States and willing Arab Gulf partners. In this issue in focus, we offer a more comprehensive and detailed assessment of the risks, concerns, benefits, and opportunities that would be inherent in such a treaty. We recommend a gradualist approach for significantly upgrading US-Gulf security relations that effectively reduces the risks and maximizes the benefits of more formal US security commitments to willing Arab Gulf states.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Iran, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Olan Bilen, Mike Duane, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Ilona Sologoub
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since the Maidan revolution, the Ukrainian government has embarked on a comprehensive reform agenda. But almost two years since the revolution, reforms are still lacking in core areas. The most prominent achievements are the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau to fight high-level corruption, the introduction of a new police force in the cities of Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv, the reform of the banking system, and the restructuring of the natural gas sector. However, there were few attempts to reform the civil service and businesses continue to claim that middle-and low-level employees at tax and customs agencies remain corrupt. The authors of "Ukraine: From Evolutionary to Revolutionary Reforms" warn that, if the Ukrainian government does not follow through with an ambitious reform agenda, public support for reforms will wane while dissatisfaction will increase, threatening political stability and the country's successful future. There is no time for slow evolutionary changes. Radical and revolutionary reforms are the only way to success.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Civil Society, Reform
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Mark Seip
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The United States and the Nordic states enjoy a strong, productive relationship. However, stability in the Nordic-Baltic area is under increasing stress, which has implications for both NATO and its partner members, Finland and Sweden. In "Nordic-Baltic Security and the US Role," the Atlantic Council's US Navy Senior Fellow Mark Seip argues that the United States must prioritize bolstering assurance among NATO members, principally the Baltic states. Additionally, the United States and NATO should enhance its capabilities through collaboration, leverage soft power instruments, and find mutuality between NATO and its key partners, Finland and Sweden. In doing so, the United States and the Nordic nations stand to solidify the gains of the thriving region and strengthen European security.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Politics
  • Political Geography: Nordic Nations
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Three years into Egypt's post-Mubarak transition, the near-term prospects for democratization are bleak. The military-security alliance that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, in July 2013 is consolidating power. Government repression against the Islamist opposition, and more recently against secular dissenters, is harsher and society is more polarized than in any point in recent memory.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, Egypt
  • Author: Duncan Pickard, Karim Mezran
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Among the many problems facing Libya's troubled transition to democracy is the challenge of constructing a state in a country with a legacy of weak institutions. Muammar al-Qaddafi's brutal forty-two-year dictatorship employed a policy of de-institutionalization, leaving the presence of the state feeble throughout the country. Those organs that were powerful, including the secret security apparatus, lost their leader with Qaddafi's fall in 2011, leaving a power vacuum that nonstate actors have scrambled to fill. Some of the most influential political groups in Libya today are militias formed during and after the revolution. Although some are loosely affiliated with the ministries of interior or defense, most, if not all, do not demonstrate any particular loyalty to the government. Militias have kidnapped the prime minister (the militia responsible called it an “arrest”), assassinated judges and police officers, physically occupied the office of the justice minister, and engaged in an urban battle in Tripoli. They also seek to advance their political interests—which vary, but include influence over officials, rent seeking, and some Islamist agendas—with threats against ministries or officials. And yet the state relies on militias to provide essential security services such as running checkpoints and protecting the airport because no ministry force is up to the task. The ascendancy of these militias points to two troubling realities: the state lacks a monopoly over the use of force and the country faces an ongoing deterioration of the rule of law.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Reform
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Bill Brownell, Scott Stone
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The release of the second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report on March 31, 2014, provoked the usual calls for urgent and immediate action in response to climate change, including in particular at the international level in the form of a new climate treaty built upon domestic regulatory regimes. Irrespective of whether these calls for action are overly strident or carefully measured, the law plays a central role. In almost any discussion, the breadth and stringency of national and sub-national regulations and the extent to which a treaty can make them “legally binding” assumes paramount importance. But this emphasis on law is misplaced, because it runs headlong into the hard reality that would confront any international climate agreement in the US Senate. And given the soaring use of coal around the world, it also draws attention and resources away from far more achievable opportunities to develop and deploy advanced coal technologies that would allow the world's most abundant, accessible, and affordable energy resource to meet critical energy needs in balance with each country's environmental, economic, and security priorities.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Pinar Dost-Niyego, Orhan Taner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The recent events in Ukraine have revived the question of European dependence on Russian natural gas. The security of Europe's natural gas supply has been a consistently important issue in Russian-European Union (EU) relations. Russia provided 34 percent of EU gas in 2012, and Russian policies can have a direct impact on EU supplies. After the West-Russian confrontation over Ukraine, a lot has been said about the 'US shale gas revolution' and the possibilities of the United States becoming an energy exporter for future European energy needs. Although US energy independence seems to promise new perspectives for future European energy security, as well as for the balance of power in the Middle East, this is not for this decade. We cannot expect that the European Union would be able to cut off all of its energy relations with Russia, but we can foresee–or at least agree–that the European Union should diversify its natural gas supplies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: James Hasik, Byron Callan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Just what makes a military technology disruptive? How does one know who will disrupt, and who will be disrupted? How can we aim to develop disruptive technologies, and how can we spot them before others use them to disrupt our security? Recent studies suggest that five factors matter most in developing those technologies into real military capabilities: financial resources, industrial readiness, systems integration, cultural receptivity, and organizational capacity. Prototyping and field experimentation leverage all these factors, and help make the potentially disruptive ultimately decisive in war.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Governance
  • Author: Faysal Itani
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Jihadists are steadily capturing territory and resources and establishing a state in Syria and Iraq. The most capable jihadist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), now controls swathes of territory, energy resources, and sophisticated military hardware in both countries. Although the extremists are currently occupied with fighting other nonregime armed groups and the Syrian and Iraqi regimes, these efforts are a means to an end: building a state from which to confront and target the United States, its allies, and its interests in the region. These jihadist groups also bring boundless suffering to the populations they control, and serve as a magnet for and inspiration to jihadists worldwide.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Valerie Stocker
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The fall of Muammar Qaddafi's regime in 2011 after four decades of authoritarian rule gave rise to numerous armed groups competing for territory and influence. More than three years since the uprising began, persistent instability threatens not only Libya's fragile democratic transition but also security in North Africa and the Sahel zone. Tripoli is at the center of a power struggle among competing political factions. Benghazi is the scene of ever more brutal political violence, which now risks drawing the country into a civil war. Then there is the southwestern province of Fezzan, Libya's "Wild West," where human trafficking and smuggling thrive and transnational jihadists hide.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Governance, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa
  • Author: J. Peter Pham, Ricardo Rene Laremont
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Africa is home to seven of the world's ten fastest-growing economies. By 2050, the continent's population is expected to overtake India's and China's, doubling to two billion people. Moreover, those two billion Africans will be younger than their counterparts in every other region of the world and will account for one in four workers globally by mid-century. Africa's rich endowment of natural resources, including about 30 percent of the world's known reserves of minerals and 60 percent of the planet's uncultivated arable land, is already well-known to investors.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Morocco
  • Author: Karim Mezran, Mohamed Eljarh
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The French intellectual Jean Baudrillard once said, “It is always the same: once you are liberated, you are forced to ask who you are.” In the case of Libya, this question should have been at the center of every political initiative immediately following the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi's regime. Libya's new leadership had the opportunity to convene a national dialogue in an effort to explore questions of national identity and a new vision for a national mission. Unfortunately, the Libyan elites who emerged from the 2011 civil war did not make national dialogue a priority, opting to appease local forces—armed and political—rather than to undertake the difficult but critical task of nation-building.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya
  • Author: Barbara Slavin, Jason Healey
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: When most people think of the "military option" against Iran, they imagine a US attack that takes out Iran's most important known nuclear facilities at Natanz, Fordow, Arak, and Isfahan. They expect Iran to retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz, sending missiles into Israel, and/or supporting terrorist attacks on US personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Celeste Wallander
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Obama administration's goals for arms control and security cooperation with Russia are the right ones, but they cannot be achieved as long as US-Russian strategic stability is in question. Unless leaders in both capitals confront the new requirements for strategic stability in the twenty-first century, they will fail to seize the opportunity for further arms reductions and enhanced national security.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Richard LeBaron
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Tension between the United States and its partners in the Gulf flared up visibly in the last several months, notably with Saudi Arabia's public displays of displeasure with the US approach to the Syria conflict, nervousness about an interim nuclear deal with Iran, and sharp differences over Egypt. Gulf distrust of US intentions and actions is nothing new, and is in no small part rooted in the Gulf states' deep frustration with how the United States executed the war in Iraq, which they perceive as placing Iraq under Iran's sphere of influence. But these latest tensions also point to a fundamental gap in expectations about the US role in the region and its commitment to security for the Gulf states.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: J. Peter Pham
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The links between the United States and Morocco are among the oldest of the US' diplomatic bonds. In 1777, Morocco's Sultan Mohammed III was the first foreign sovereign to recognize the independence of the thirteen former British colonies. Subsequently, the 1786 Treaty of Peace and Friendship—negotiated by Thomas Barclay and signed by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams—established diplomatic relations between the two countries. Modified in 1836 with the addition of various security and commercial protocols, the accord is still in force, making it the United States' longest unbroken treaty relationship. But as venerable as this history is, the strategic importance of Morocco to pursuing the Atlantic community's interests in the security and development of northwestern Africa has only recently become fully apparent to US policymakers and analysts. President Barack Obama's invitation to King Mohammed VI to make an official visit to the United States this year indicates the importance that both countries attach to this significant strategic relationship.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Morocco, Northwest Africa
  • Author: Barbara Slavin, Fatemah Aman
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: When compared to its often rocky relations with Arab countries to the west, the Islamic Republic of Iran has managed to retain largely cordial ties with its neighbors to the east. Historic linguistic, religious, and cultural connections have helped Iran keep its influence in South Asia and become a key trading partner despite US-led sanctions. Because of its strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, Iran provides India with access to Afghanistan and Central Asia that does not require transit through Pakistan. However, Iran and its neighbors, including Pakistan, face acute challenges such as scarce and poorly managed water resources, ethnic insurgencies, energy imbalances, and drug trafficking that require regional solutions.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iran, South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Arabia, North America, Persia
  • Author: Banning Garrett
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: “This is some of the best driving I've ever done,” Steve Mahan joked at the end of a ride in the Google self-driving car. Mahan's 2012 drive—to buy tacos for lunch and pick up his laundry—was especially remarkable since he is 95 percent blind. His hands-free test drive (accompanied by Morgan Hill Police Department Sergeant Troy Hoefling and recorded in a YouTube video) would have been impossible not only without advanced sensors, computers, and software, but also without big data, which both enabled development of the driverless car and inform its movement along the streets and freeways of California. The Google car itself gathers nearly 1 gigabyte of data per second as it scans and analyzes its environment. Think of the potential data gathering of 100 million self-driving cars on the roads of the United States. How will that data—100 million gigabytes per second—be transmitted, stored, and analyzed?
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Intelligence, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Douglas Townsend
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Upon its conclusion in December 2011, the main part of the sixty-sixth United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 66) session adopted forty-seven resolutions and five decisions in its continuing effort to encourage a more flexible approach to revitalizing the multilateral disarmament process.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Trade and Finance, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Central Asia
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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
  • 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: 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
  • 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: Albert Zaccor
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: There is widespread recognition that the struggle against international terrorism relies heavily on the cooperation of our partners and allies. The National Security Strategy (NSS) of the United States declares that the U.S. will hold partners responsible for doing their part in the struggle -- including efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and trafficking of illicit drugs -- but admits that weaker nations may not be able to fulfill that responsibility. That strategy and other subordinate strategies call for U.S. assistance to those states that lack the capacity to counter effectively those threats. This places foreign assistance and building partner and allied security capabilities at the center of the struggle against terrorism and related transnational threats.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Franklin D. Kramer, C. Richard Nelson
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report provides the working group's insights about the future of overseas bases derived from U.S. experience over the last 60 years. It highlights key assumptions about the future security environment, proposes recommendations and identifies issues that need further study.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David L. Aaron, Frances G. Burwell, C. Richard Nelson, Anna M. Beauchesne, K. Jack Riley, Brian Zimmer
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: On September 11, 2001, the world was introduced to a new type of terrorism, one that was truly global in its organization and its impact. In both Europe and the United States, it was immediately clear that an effective response would require new levels of cooperation across the Atlantic and around the world. The initial response was in part military, as NATO invoked its mutual defense clause for the first time ever and a military campaign began in Afghanistan. But equally important was the decision by both the European Union and the United States to boost the capacity of their domestic law enforcement agencies and judiciary to respond to global terrorism and to look for ways to cooperate with each other in doing so. Since then, U.S.-EU cooperation in combating terrorism has been one of the success stories of transatlantic relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, Arthur K. Cebrowski, Jacques Lanxade, Michel Maisonneuve, Montgomery C. Meigs, Andrew J. Goodpaster
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The substantially changed world security environment of the 21st century demands comparably substantial changes within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO ). These amount to a full-scale transformation to re-align the Alliance to meet new, more uncertain challenges. This transformation, however, is complicated by the lack of common purpose among member nations and deep fractures within NATO. Nevertheless, the continuing value of NATO is incontestable and I trust that sufficient common interests will be found for the members and partners to go forward with the transformation required to reshape the Alliance so that it may act in concert against new risks and dangers.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, North Atlantic
  • Author: Walter B. Slocombe, C. Richard Nelson, Michael P.C. Carns, Jacques S. Gansler
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The prospect of North Korea developing both nuclear weapons and long–range missiles has been at the core of the U.S. rationale for early deployment of a missile defense and of Japan's interest in defense for itself. In the face of North Korea's missile programs and its acknowledgement of an active program to develop nuclear weapons, the problem of defense against those weapons assumes new urgency — as does the question of how defenses affect the broader dynamic of security in Northeast Asia.
  • Topic: Security, International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, Chester A. Crocker
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The current U.S. strategy towards Libya – an implicit strategy of isolation – was developed for a very different international context than the one that currently exists. Put in place during the 1980s, the strategy was appropriate for the Cold War context and for dealing with Libya's hostile behavior at the time. Since then, however, both the general context and specific Libyan behavior have changed, rendering the current set of accumulated laws and regulations that govern U.S. relations with Libya outdated and inappropriate. Furthermore, the current strategy provides no vision for U.S.–Libyan relations once the remaining issues surrounding the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 are resolved. Thus, U.S. strategy needs to be changed to reflect better the new environment and new opportunities.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, Robert Hunter, George Joulwan
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Of the three important topics on the agenda for the Prague summit – New Capabilities, New Members and New Relationships – the issue of “ new capabilities ” is particularly critical. How well this issue is handled will determine in large measure how members and others, particularly potential adversaries, think about NATO in the future.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Geoffrey Kemp, James Steinberg, Christopher J. Makins, Rita Hauser, J. Robinson West, Marc C. Ginsburg, Craig Kennedy
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The current transatlantic relationship as it concerns the Middle East can only be understood in a broader context. The History of U.S.-European Relations on the Middle East. The affairs of the Middle East have been uniquely contentious between the principal European countries and the United States for over 50 years. This has derived primarily from differing approaches to the Arab-Israel problem. The 1990s were an unusual and short-lived interlude in this hi story of differences. The recent emergence of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union and a growing awareness of a broader common European interest in the region based on history, proximity, trade, migration and the changing role of Islam, have prompted the European Union to engage increasingly in the region and to seek a position as a true partner for the United States and not just as 'a wallet.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Christopher J. Makins, L. Gordon Flake, Akio Watanabe
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: A strong U.S.-Japan security alliance remains in dispensable to the interests of both partners in East Asia and beyond. Through strategic cooperation, both formal and informal, the United States and Japan can achieve international objectives that would otherwise be out of reach. Bilateral cooperation also contributes to the kind of stable, predictable relations on which the increasingly interdependent economies of the East Asian region depend.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, David H. Saltiel
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Any government in Tehran will be inclined to seek weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missile delivery options given the realities of its strategic environment. These weapons might help Iran to deter potential external threats, to achieve equality with other major regional powers armed with WMD, and to attain self-reliance in national security, given the isolating experience of arms embargoes. A more pluralist leadership in the future, however, may examine broader choices and trade-offs, and perhaps be less likely to cross key thresholds in WMD acquisition. In any event, Iran's WMD behavior is likely to be determined by both external factors, mainly the availability of crucial components, and internal factors, including calculations of costs, risks, and benefits. Among the benefits, psychological factors, such as prestige, will play an important role. Other important factors that might well shape Iran's WMD behavior include developments in Iraq, relations with the United States and other Gulf states, Israeli-Palestinian relations and the future price of oil.
  • Topic: Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Curtis M. Coward, Jeffrey P. Bialos
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This Report identifies strategic options available to the Bulgarian government and its defense industry, as well as the United States and its NATO partners, for transforming and repositioning the industry for the 21st century and facilitating its integration into the NATO and European Union industrial base. Since other Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries that are aspirants to NATO membership face similar difficulties concerning their defense industries, many of the recommendations herein apply to these countries as well. The report is based on numerous interviews with officials of government entities, private sector firms, and nongovernmental organizations and a review of pertinent governmental and private reports and original documents. A number of the members of the Atlantic Council's working group visited Bulgaria and several of its defense firms in April 2001. Given limitations of time and access to information, the report does not, however, attempt to set forth a thorough review of each firm in the Bulgarian industry.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, Chas W. Freeman Jr., Wesley K. Clark, Max Cleland, Gordon Smith, Robert L. Hutchings
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: With U.S. leadership, the Alliance has undertaken an impressive transformation over the past decade: from the July 1990 London Summit, which heralded a “Europe whole and free,” to the April 1999 Washington Summit, which welcomed three former Warsaw Pact members as new allies, even as NATO forces were engaged in combat for the first time. But the Alliance has not yet realized its full potential as an institution embracing all democratic nations of Europe dedicated to collective defense and embodying the interests and values of the transatlantic community. Moreover, the allies still confront important challenges to their shared goal of bringing lasting security to the European continent as a whole, as well as to the overall vitality of the transatlantic relationship.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, London
  • Author: Stephen Cambone, Christopher J. Makins, Ivo Daalder, Stephen J. Hadley
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: A delegation under the auspices of the Atlantic Council of the United States visited Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris from 10 to 14 July 2000 for discussions with government officials and nongovernmental experts about the proposed deployment of missile defenses of U.S. national territory. The purpose of the trip was to engage a range of European leaders in in-depth discussions of a broad range of issues associated with missile defense. This report reflects the visitors' assessment of what they heard and the conclusions they drew in terms of U.S. policy and relations with the European allies.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Roger Kirk, Jack M. Seymour Jr., John Lampe, Louis Sell
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Basic Factors Underlying a Regional Settlement 1. Any overall settlement in the Balkans should be area-wide and coordinated among the entities directly involved, the neighboring states, the key nations of the outside community, and the relevant political and economic international institutions. 2. It will have to include political arrangements, international security guarantees, and substantial economic assistance as a basis for genuine peace and reconciliation. 3. It must embrace generally accepted international standards, including respect for human rights and rights for ethnic minorities; right of return for all area refugees; rule of law; effective media freedom; and free elections supervised or, where necessary, organized by the international community. 4. The settlement should promote and institutionalize political and economic cooperation, regional trade and/or formal ties among the participating states and entities of the former Yugoslavia, and neighboring states as feasible, including the free flow of goods, labor and capital. 5. International assistance in reconstruction, economic reform and development of economic ties among the peoples of the region and with the European Community must be massive. It should, however, be designed to promote democratic institutions, market reform, adherence to peace agreements, and respect for human rights. 6. Such assistance should target the private sector, encourage local initiatives, and help governments pursue effective economic reform policies. It should seek to curtail corruption and the maintenance of unprofitable state industries. It should avoid encouraging international dependency. The purpose should be to build societies and practices conducive to self-reliance, international cooperation, and outside investment. Positive and negative lessons can be drawn from experiences in Bosnia. 7. The support of the broad population of Serbia will be necessary if peaceful and economically viable regional arrangements are to last. The reconstruction process implied in these arrangements will itself be an incentive for the Serbs to opt away from destructive nationalist policies and join in the regional reconstruction process. 8. Neither lasting peace in the Balkans nor democracy in Serbia can be achieved as long as Slobodan Milosevic remains in power. He has been indicted by the Tribunal in The Hague for crimes against humanity and his removal from power is a prime NATO objective. There are increasing and encouraging signs of popular Serb desire to be rid of Milosevic, but it is not certain that he will depart in the near future. 9. A regional settlement may have to be negotiated indirectly with, or imposed upon, Milosevic as the ruler of Serbia. It should nevertheless be made clear that the West condemns Milosevic\'s actions, that Serbia cannot resume its rightful place in Europe as long as it is governed by indicted war criminals, and that the West will help the people of Serbia in their efforts to bring forth new, democratic, cosmopolitan leadership in their country. 10. The Kosovar Albanians cannot be expected to live under Serbian control again for the foreseeable future. Arrangements short of formal independence such as an international protectorate or trusteeship are possible, indeed likely, for a transitional period. A more permanent and self-sustaining arrangement is highly desirable if it can be achieved without creating more instability in the former Yugoslav space and the neighboring area. 11. A credible international military presence is needed to encourage the return of the remaining Albanian-Kosovars, the continued residence of Serb-Kosovars and to maintain peace and order within Kosovo and on its borders. Such a presence will also be a lasting part of any transitional arrangement. Any foreseeable regional settlement will similarly require a prolonged foreign military presence. This settlement should, however, lay the foundation for an end to that presence by, among other things, providing for supervised demilitarization of the states and entities involved, and a comprehensive regional arms control agreement. 12. A central objective of any regional settlement should be to promote conditions that will encourage a stable political and military environment, economic growth, and increasing self-reliance. These changes will permit an end to the foreign military, political, and economic presence in the region, though no date for that termination should be set.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Kosovo, Balkans
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, James E. Goodby, Tomohisha Sakanaka, W. Neal Anderson, Tomohide Murai, Shinichi Ogawa
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The main challenge for Asia is to build a security community that transforms a legacy of military competition into security cooperation. This transformation will be difficult because of the high level of distrust among the states and considerable uncertainty about future relations. Asia lacks the kinds of developed, institutionalized multilateral security arrangements that contribute to transparency, confidence-building and long-term stability. Furthermore, a “ business as usual ” approach that focuses on managing bilateral relationships is unlikely to result in a security community. More attention needs to be devoted to multilateral security efforts. Without the reassurance of a network of cooperative arrangements, including verifiable arms limitations, potential adversaries may place their hopes in achieving unilateral military advantages. Such efforts could foster fears of regional domination and, in turn, a potential arms race that includes nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: John D. Macomber, Charles McC. Mathias
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Can the United States collaborate with foreign nations in armaments development and production without jeopardizing US national security? This question - in light of America's global security obligations - demands a satisfactory answer. The economic and political advantages of greater international cooperation are significant. Benefits from cooperation include improved interoperability of weapons and equipment used by US allies and partners in operations with the United States, reduction in production costs, and preservation of a defense industrial base among US allies. Yet, considerations of national security are equally cogent.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America