Atlantic Council

New Atlanticist

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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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Deadline in Talks Likely to Be Extended, Says Former US Ambassador Thomas Pickering


As international negotiators approach next week’s self-imposed deadline for reaching a compromise to let Iran pursue a nuclear program, US and French former officials told Atlantic Council forums this week that a deal could offer new advantages in the Middle East.

An agreement could create an opportunity for a US-Iranian “open relationship” on confronting militant threats in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ambassador Thomas Pickering told a November 19 forum at the Council in Washington. “For the first time, the United States and Iran have gotten down to the wire, along with our European and Russian and Chinese colleagues, to something that could in one way or another generate, if not a sea change, certainly a major shift in the situation in the region,” said Pickering, a former undersecretary of state for political affairs.

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We can expect Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, to meet this week to vote on the country’s new government. The political parties of President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and their allies are close to completing negotiations and announcing their choices for the new Cabinet of Ministers. Critically, a delegation is in Kyiv from the International Monetary Fund, upon which Ukraine must rely for the cash to see it through multi-layered crises. The IMF has insisted upon meeting with the new cabinet before the fund’s team leaves Kyiv on November 25.

Below are many of the key appointments now under discussion, following Yatsenyuk’s presentation of his candidates on Friday, according to the Atlantic Council’s Kyiv-based senior fellow, Brian Mefford. You can see Brian’s full list at his blog.

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Colonel Igor Girkin Presses Kremlin to Expand Its War Through Southern and Eastern Ukraine


“The Shooter” is back. Colonel Igor Girkin, the career Russian intelligence officer who disappeared three months ago from his leading role in the Russian-sponsored war against Ukraine, has burst anew into Russia’s news headlines. He has given a spate of interviews in which he presses Russia’s government to step up direct military support for the two “people’s republics” it is backing in southeastern Ukraine.

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Boosting the World’s Economy Needs Action, Notably From Europe—Not Another Predictable Summit Communique


National leaders of the Group of Twenty met in Brisbane, Australia over the weekend to deliver an action plan for global economic growth and employment. Topping the agenda were items such as boosting job growth, investment to renew infrastructure , and improving the participation of minorities, immigrants, and women in the labor market. Yet, historically speaking, these meetings rarely result in actual progress or follow-through, unless there is a clear urgency.

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Mutual Vow Won't Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions, But May Help Advance More Serious Accords


The US-China climate change deal unveiled by President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping this week in Beijing has been heralded as a historic breakthrough in the effort to reduce climate change. But is it?

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A Tiny State, Vulnerable over Its Water Supply, Turns Weakness into Strength


A four-week dry spell wouldn’t be a crisis in most Southeast Asian countries, but when February became Singapore’s driest month in 150-plus years, the city-state’s six million people were reminded sharply that water scarcity has become a core national security issue. Singapore has been uncomfortably dependent for its water supplies since the 1960s, when, on the eve of independence, it signed two agreements to import its water from the neighboring Malaysian state of Johor.

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