Germany may be seeking to expedite the construction of Russia's Nordstream 2 pipeline by shielding the controversial project from tough the laws of the European Union (EU), according to a transcript of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Energy Minster Sigmar Gabriel, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Alan Riley writes in "Nordstream 2: Too Many Obstacles, Legal, Economic, and Political to Be Delivered?".
As China reemerges, Japan revitalizes, and the United States rebalances toward Asia, competition over Korea will likely return. In The Korean Pivot and the Return of Great Power Politics in Northeast Asia, Sungtae Jacky Park examines Korea's strategies toward great powers, discusses the future of the strategic dynamic on the Korean peninsula, explores the potential North Korean collapse scenario, and offers policy recommendations for the United States.
In Developing a Western Energy Strategy for the Black Sea Region and Beyond, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center Ariel Cohen addresses the urgent need for a European policy on Black Sea energy following Russia's annexation of Crimea. Dr. Cohen, himself a native of Yalta in Crimea, draws on his wealth of experience in Russian and energy affairs to argue that NATO should boost its military presence in the area, while the EU should work to limit the overwhelming hold of Russia's state gas exporter, Gazprom, on Europe's energy sector. To reduce reliance on Gazprom, which accounts for much of the gas supplied to Southeast Europe, Cohen advocates for lifting government restriction on shale gas exploration, establishing a favorable tax regime for exploration and production of nonconventional resources, and establishing a network of gas interconnectors in the Black Sea.
Following the lifting of sanctions on Iran's all-important gas and oil sector, Tehran will seek to develop an "economy of resistance" by building out commercial relationships that increase other states' reliance on it, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Dr. Sara Vakhshouri argues in Iran's Energy Policy After the Nuclear Deal.
Security challenges in East Asia are becoming acute. North Korea is developing a missile-deliverable nuclear weapon, and the long-term stability of the Pyongyang regime is questionable. Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of Chinese territory, is about to have a presidential election in which a candidate from a pro-independence party is the front-runner. China has also become increasingly assertive in its territorial disputes with Japan and several Southeast Asian countries. Meanwhile, Japan's leaders are attempting to redefine the role Japan plays in regional security affairs. Indeed, Japan's legislature recently enacted revisions to the country's national security laws that would loosen limitations on the use of Japan's armed forces, and the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to increase defense spending.
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Colombia approaches the third anniversary of the negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on November 19 at a time of heightened expectations that peace is within reach. The Atlantic Council report, The Path to Peace and Prosperity: The Colombian Miracle, warns that peace will not be inexpensive and calls for deep international support for both peace making and then peace building. At a time when President Juan Manuel Santos has expended enormous energy and political capital to end the conflict, he will have to work twice as hard to sell the final agreement to voters.
- Martin Dempsey, foreword to War Stories from the Future
War Stories from the Future is the culmination of the Atlantic Council Art of Future Warfare project's first year exploring the future of armed and social conflict.
In "The Militarization of Crimea under Russian Occupation," Crimean activist Andrii Klymenko explains how the Kremlin has moved to tighten its grip on Crimea as the world turns its focus toward Syria. Indeed, Russia has proven itself to be settling in for the long haul in Crimea, with mass relocations of Russian military servicemen to the peninsula spurring housing shortages and massive infrastructure projects.
Argentines go to the polls on October 25 for what is shaping up to be one of the most important elections in years. Whoever wins — either this Sunday or in a likely November 22 runoff — will end the twelve-year Kirchner era. Who will tango their way into the Casa Rosada?
In this month's spotlight, we ask: what will be the outcome of Argentina's presidential elections?