Publications

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The Warsaw Summit was a watershed moment for the NATO Alliance. The twenty-eight member states had a unique opportunity to demonstrate NATO’s enduring relevance and ability to defend Europe and the transatlantic area by laying down a marker to build strong and effective conventional and nuclear deterrence. Poland, in particular, should play an important role in NATO’s adaptation to a new and challenging security environment.  

 

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Transformations in Brazil's energy sector could be critical to rebooting the broader economy. Today, with state-owned Petrobras still reeling from political scandal, one development welcomed by investors is a bill gaining steam in Congress to open offshore oil discoveries to greater private investment. Is this the beginning of more changes to come? What should be other top energy priorities for the interim government, and how does this fit into the larger economic picture?

 

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Bahrain has been in the political doghouse in Washington ever since its government crushed Arab Spring-inspired popular protests in February 2011, leading to a political crisis between the government and the opposition that has deepened over the past few weeks. So, it was not surprising when the Bahraini government justified its latest crackdown against Al Wefaq, the largest Shiite opposition faction in the country, its explanations fell mostly on closed American ears.

 

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In the midst of Brazil’s current political earthquake, projecting the future of power and politics in the country is an uncertain endeavor. But the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center is taking that chance. The Center has engaged one of Brazil’s top thinkers, our nonresident senior Brazil fellow and economist Ricardo Sennes, to analyze what current trends tell us about who might be the winners and losers of Brazilian politics through the 2018 elections.

The result is a new Atlantic Council brief, "The Path to Power in Brazil," co-written by the Center’s Associate Director, Andrea Murta. "The Path to Power in Brazil" is more than a mere exercise in futurology, it discusses some of the most fundamental questions facing Brasília. Find out where we place our bets!
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On the eve of the 2016 Warsaw Summit, NATO faces a new and challenging security environment dominated by a revanchist Russia increasingly willing to challenge the West and turbulence and violence across the Mediterranean's southern rim. In this new security environment, the maritime domains around Europe are potential friction zones and where these challenges increasingly play out. The Russian navy is growing its capabilities, is increasingly active, and challenges NATO at sea. In April, Russian attack jets buzzed the USS Donald Cook at close range in the Baltic Sea, but that is only one example of recent risky interactions. The Alliance, however, has not yet done enough to prepare for these new challenges in the maritime domain. The current Alliance Maritime Strategy, approved in 2011, does not reflect this challenging security environment and is instead focused on lower-end missions and challenges, such as counter-piracy.

 

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“Since the 1990s, a number of separatist movements and conflicts have challenged the borders of the states of the former Soviet Union and created quasi-independent territories under Russian influence and control,” states Agnia Grigas, a senior nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, in the opening of her new report, Frozen Conflicts: A Tool Kit for US Policymakers. In the report, Grigas differentiates between Moscow’s policies toward the breakaway regions of the 1990s, the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, and the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and subsequent war in eastern Ukraine.

 

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“During the Cold War, we were facing nuclear war if we screwed up. That was an incentive to get it right, to stay ahead of developments. Today, we have no strategy that covers the entire world – the changes that are coming. And there’s a lot of change going. For 500 years, we lived under Westphalian nation-state systems. But globalization has eroded borders. For the first time this world’s people are politicized, interconnected by technology. The nature of power is changing. The nature of international cooperation is changing. The nature of conflict is changing. We’re not evolving well to adapt. This world is not as dangerous as that during the Cold War, but it is much more complicated.”

—Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret.)
9th and 17th United States Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

 

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“As technologies further improve the world’s ability to access and operate in space, the new administration will need to rethink how the United States wants to act alongside its fellow nations...This Atlantic Council Strategy Paper does a great job initiating this important conversation at a very important time.”
– James E. Cartwright, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


There are growing risks and threats to US satellites, civilian and military alike, and challenges to stated US goals in space. The question for the new administration, however, is whether hegemonic means to address those challenges are likely to achieve US goals. It is this paper’s assertion that they are not. Instead, a rebalancing of means used to address US goals in space is now necessary, based on a comprehensive assessment of the strategic space environment through the next ten to twenty years, toward ensuring that the ways and means being pursued to address those goals are in alignment. This assessment must extend beyond the Pentagon as well, to include the rapidly expanding cast of governmental and nongovernmental space actors. In particular, industry representatives should be brought into a process of dialogue with the national space security community to discuss priorities and concerns.

 

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As NATO leaders prepare to meet in Warsaw this July, the Alliance faces the greatest threats to peace and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War. The most pressing, fundamental challenges include a revanchist Russia, eroding stability in the greater Middle East, a weakened European Union, and uncertain American and European leadership.

 

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On June 23, 2016, a referendum will decide whether Britain will leave the European Union (EU) or remain a member. Britain’s departure from the EU would affect the rest of the world, because it would have implications for a broad spectrum of international concerns–very importantly, international security. For the United States, Britain remains among the most important allies across the security spectrum, but the prospects of a Brexit leave the future of UK-US security cooperation uncertain.

 

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