Atlantic Council

New Atlanticist

Atlantic Council’s Manning: US May Benefit, But Must Review Its Strategy, in a New World of ‘Peak Demand’


World oil prices have slipped again (to about $73 a barrel) after the global cartel, OPEC, declined November 27 to cut the amount of crude petroleum its members pump into the planet's economy. Instead, OPEC followed pressure from Saudi Arabia to keep its production levels unchanged. With crude oil prices having fallen by about a third since June, Atlantic Council analyst Robert Manning underscores that they are likely to remain “in a range of $70 to $100 [a barrel] well into 2015, and perhaps beyond.”

Manning, a senior fellow at the Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security served for years as a State Department and intelligence strategist on energy issues. The global energy market is changing so fast, he has written, that the US government should launch a broad review of its energy and foreign policies to adapt.

Read More

European Union Aims to Put New Muscle into Limiting Deficits; Will it Succeed?


Since 2009, France’s state budget has been breaking the rules. It has been exceeding the European Union’s limit on the size of deficits, which are limited (under the Maastricht Treaty) to 3 percent of gross domestic product unless there are exceptional circumstances. Once in excessive deficit, a country must fulfill a specific timeline agreed, by European finance ministers, for coming back into compliance. Until this week, France's deadline to bring its deficit below 3 per cent of GDP was 2015.

Read More

Ukraine’s Friends Plan a Donor Conference in February; Is That Soon Enough?


On Ukraine, the economists are declaring an emergency. Ukraine is bleeding cash in its war against Russian and Russian-proxy forces in the Donbas region. With its industrial heartland shattered by the war, the country’s economy is shriveling. And the warnings from economists are growing that Ukraine will need a big increase—and quickly—in international financial support, if it is to avoid an economic collapse.

“Ukraine is at risk of a financial meltdown,” economist Anders Aslund wrote last week on his blog at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “Presumably it would be reminiscent of the Russian financial crash of August 1998—with default, high inflation, a frozen banking system, falling output, and panic.”

Read More

Atlantic Council’s Matthew Kroenig on the Extension of Nonproliferation Talks


As Iran and six other nations announced a seven-month extension of their effort to reach a deal to limit the Iranian nuclear program, the Atlantic Council’s Matthew Kroenig said Iran will pose a nonproliferation threat even if a deal is struck.

Kroenig, a nonresident senior fellow with the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, said the US and its allies must increase their pressure on Tehran to reach an agreement, but that a deal along the lines of the current negotiation will not be comprehensive. In an interview, Kroenig also discussed his brief—Mitigating the Security Risks Posed by a Near-Nuclear Iran—issued by the Council last week.

Read More

Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu spoke at a special closing session of the 2014 Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit on the topic of European energy security. In the shadow of Russia's annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine, Biden spoke of the need for Europe to diversify its energy sources.  “Now, now, now is the time to act," Biden said. "What’s happening in Ukraine only serves to underscore this.”

Biden concluded by saying:  “Energy can and should serve as a tool for cooperation, for stability, for security, and prosperity."

Click here to read the full event report and to watch video of Biden and Davutoğlu's remarks.

Atlantic Council's Gopalaswamy Comments


President Barack Obama will travel to India in January, becoming the first US president to visit the country twice while in office. Bharath Gopalaswamy, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, tells Ashish Kumar Sen why this visit is important—and notably how it will be seen by India’s main rivals, China and Pakistan.

Read More

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Atlantic Council on November 13 unveiled a three-ton segment of the Wall bearing the signatures of individuals who played historic roles in bringing the Cold War to a successful end.

Read More

When Hitler Invaded Poland, No One Demanded Polish Reforms Before Offering Help. Why Is It the Reverse for Ukraine?


“September 3, 1939 – British and French commentators and officials said today that it could no longer be denied that Hitler was invading Poland and that the Nazi forces represented the most serious threat to the existence of that country, but they said that Warsaw could not reasonably expect allied assistance unless it carried out massive reforms first.”

That story, of course, never happened. …  No one suggested that Poland needed reforms before defense because they recognized that if Poland did not exist, it could not reform. (The exception was those in London and Paris with links to the Communist Party who followed the Kremlin line even when Stalin was an ally of Hitler, as was then the case.)

Read More

Future of US Economy Depends on Getting Immigration Right


After months
– and even years – of anticipation, President Barack Obama has provided an imperfect solution for nearly half the country’s unauthorized immigrants. The bold decision to wield his executive authority will extend legal status to up to 5 million unauthorized immigrants; make it easier for high-skilled workers to stay; and strengthen security along the border with Mexico. It has been a long time coming. His actions will affect many more unauthorized immigrants than even President Reagan's 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.

The president has provided a temporary solution to a permanent problem. That permanent problem is our broken immigration system.

Read More

Opinion leaders from politics, media, academia, and the corporate world convened in Istanbul this morning for two days of talks on how governments and companies manage emerging risks and uncertainty in today’s turbulent times.

The sixth annual Energy & Economic Summit began with a welcome by Atlantic Council Chairman Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., President and CEO Frederick Kempe, Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of TurkeyJohn Bass, and Summit Director Orhan Taner.

Keynote speakers at the opening session at the Grand Tarabya Hotel on the Bosphorus were US Energy SecretaryErnest Moniz, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, and Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız.

Read More