Atlantic Council


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

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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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Manufacturing Institute Releases New Report with Atlantic Council and Alcoa Foundation Outlining Four Challenges to Closing the Skills Gap

The Manufacturing Institute, together with the Atlantic Council and the Alcoa Foundation, released the report, Global Responses to the Skills Gap: Emerging Lessons, which outlines four major challenges to closing the skills gap: managing demographics, building flexible skills, expanding work-based learning, and partnering to achieve scale.

The report states that to address the issue of creating a successful talent pipeline "national quality standard for certifications" is needed and should be led by a cross-national training methods institute. The findings are based on the assessments of the strengths and challenges of methods used in a variety of countries, such as Finland, Germany, Hungary, and the United Kingdom, as well as in South Korea and Mexico, which are used to develop a framework for discussion.

Compiled by Atlantic Council Global Business & Economics Senior Fellow Alexei Monsarrat, the report is a critical outcome of a global symposium hosted by the Manufacturing Institute, Alcoa Foundation, and Deloitte in 2012, where participants exchanged best practices and generated strategic manufacturing insights and recommendations for senior executives and policymakers. This is an initial effort to gather those lessons and looks at the evolution of government programs over the last several years, with special focus on the trends in how businesses and government are increasingly working together.
Atlantic Council Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham authored a review essay on threats and opportunities in the Sahel for the forthcoming issue of the Journal of the Middle East and Africa.

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The Natocracy is fired up. The crisis in Ukraine, which climaxed with a bogus referendum, a fig leaf to legitimize a Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula, has given the Atlantic alliance, strategically adrift since the end of the Cold War, a fresh and compelling reason for being. The panjandrums at NATO headquarters in Brussels proclaim that Russia's move on Ukraine is testimony to the threats and instabilities that continue to make the pact pertinent despite the demise of the Red Army, and that the Crimean crisis will strengthen NATO's unity and resolve.

Such cheerleading is to be expected—bureaucracies facing problems of diminished relevance are wont to fall back on PR—but the reality is this: What NATO is likely to face in the years ahead is even less strategic coherence and comity, deeper divisions about means and ends, and decreased security for its post-Cold War members, particularly those nearest Russia.

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