Atlantic Council

Publications

A report released today by the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center argues that heavy military spending in India and Pakistan has in fact been detrimental to the citizens of both countries in terms of security and economic growth, and calls on leaders to reinvest in trade and confidence building.

In India and Pakistan: The Opportunity Cost of Conflict, Atlantic Council South Asia Center Director Shuja Nawaz and Nonresident Senior Fellow Mohan Guruswamy explain how high defense spending and low economic integration into South Asia’s regional economy have come at the expense of those living in poverty. Although many now favor rapprochement, Nawaz and Guruswamy argue that unless both sides begin a dialogue on economic and military relations, these issues will only worsen.

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In a new issue brief, “Turkish-Iranian Rapprochement and the Future of European and Asian Energy,” Pinar Dost-Niyego and Orhan Taner of the Atlantic Council’s Turkey office outline how Turkey and Iran’s developing relationship is a key consideration in analyses of European and Asian energy security. They argue Turkish-Iranian relations, in which energy plays an important role, should be seen in the context of EU energy needs and dynamic US energy interests. The evolution of the Iranian-Turkish relationship has implications for nuclear discussions and sanctions against Iran, the US withdrawal from the Middle East, American shale gas development, and the US foreign policy “pivot to Asia.”

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The results of last week's Geneva conference on Ukraine offer a glimmer of hope. We're a long way from seeing calm return to Ukraine, but the text of the agreement provides the most hopeful sign yet that a Crimea redux, or worse, can be averted in the Donbas, Ukraine's turbulent, Russophone east.

That's one take on what happened at Geneva.

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At the upcoming summit in September 2014, the NATO nations are very likely to approve a concept of "framework nations" around which to build integrated capabilities. As yet, however, there has been relatively little discussion about how best to organize the framework nation approach so as to support NATO objectives.

In the latest issue brief from the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, "NATO's Framework Nations: Capabilities for an Unpredictable World," Atlantic Council Distinguished Fellow and Board Director Franklin D. Kramer proposes building the framework nations concept around the three core NATO objectives whose achievement will guide the requisite capabilities.

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The Atlantic Council and Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) have released a pioneering report, Beyond Data Breaches: Global Interconnections of Cyber Risk, to better prepare governments and businesses for the cyber shocks of the future.
 
Through a combination of stable technology, dedicated technicians and, resistance to random outages, the Internet has been resilient to attacks on a day-to-day basis, creating an extended period of prosperity. Yet, as we approach nearly absolute dependence on the Internet, cyber attacks of the future can and will affect globally interconnected systems like electrical grids and worldwide logistics systems. This Internet of tomorrow will be a source of global shocks for which risk managers, corporate executives, board directors, and government officials are not prepared.

pdfDownload the Excutive Summary

pdfDownload the Report

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As U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gear up for a timely summit, a festering sense of uncertainty and unease stalks the U.S.-Japan alliance as it approaches a critical juncture.

After an exciting first year marked by renewed economic dynamism and impressive efforts to enhance Japan’s global strategic posture, Abe’s pragmatic streak appears to have been overshadowed by his conservative nationalism, marked by his Dec. 26 visit to Yasukuni Shrine to pay homage to Japan’s war dead.

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Atlantic Council's New Eurasia Center Director is Former Envoy to Kyiv

John Herbst, the newly appointed director of the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, served as the US ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006. Here, he offers an overview of the crisis in Ukraine.

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Russia-Ukraine Crisis Is Now Unlikely to Let Russian Gas Keep Flowing Smoothly to Europe 

European countries from Germany and Poland to Italy and Turkey now need to ensure they have emergency plans in place to deal with a possible cut-off of Russian gas supplies. At risk are the roughly one-fifth of their supplies delivered via pipelines through Ukraine, and even greater volumes if other Russian pipelines are affected.  Any one of several events could reduce or halt this flow, which amounts to around 86 billion cubic meters a year.

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With the benefit of hindsight, the Russian annexation of Crimea shouldn’t have been a great surprise: it has been obvious to those who chose to look that for most of the last twenty years, that Russian president Vladimir Putin never fully accepted the USSR’s demise. Now, as the West agonizes over another possible irredentist feint—possibly in Ukraine proper or in Transnistria—the United States and its allies need to take a deep breath and consider the long game.

By the end of March, some accouterments of post-Soviet sovereignty had changed. The peninsula in dispute switched flags and currencies. But despite epochal foreboding, few lives had been lost; with Russian pride assuaged, the remainder of Ukraine was lurching into the European Union’s embrace—barring a Putin effort to destabilize it. The issue kicking off the crisis in the first place—Ukraine’s edging towards the EU—had now given Eurasia another tilt towards Mother Europe.

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The release of the second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report 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. But these calls overlook the political realities that would confront any international climate agreement in the US Senate. Additionally, given the soaring use of coal around the world, this emphasis on laws and treaties neglects far more achievable opportunities to meet climate and other environmental goals in balance with energy, economic, and security priorities through the further development and broader deployment of advanced coal technologies.

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