Atlantic Council

Publications

Africa Center Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton co-authored a Joint Special Operations University monograph with Dr. Paul Williams, associate professor at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The authors bring their expertise in governance, conflict mitigation, and Africa, to this analysis of Somalia's attempts to establish security and build state institutions while facing the Harakat al-Shabaab insurgency. By every measure of state effectiveness—income generation and distribution, execution of the rule of law, and ability to provide basic human security—Somalia has little or no capability.

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In defiance of international law and established rules of behavior, President Vladimir Putin’s Russia illegally annexed Crimea by force last spring and is vigorously destabilizing eastern Ukraine with a combination of military and nonmilitary means now called by specialists a "hybrid war."

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UK and US defense capabilities have benefitted extensively from close industrial and technological cooperation for over seventy years. As the two allies contend with the fiscal challenges of the post-financial crisis era, the time is right to consider the benefits of close cooperation and approaches to maximize cooperation for the future. International Defense-industrial Cooperation in the Post-financial Crisis Era includes papers on key challenges facing the defense industry over the coming years from thought leaders in the defense community from the Atlantic Council, American Enterprise Institute, Center for a New American Security, and Stimson Center.

pdfRead the Report (PDF)

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President Barack Obama is right to focus on the responsibility of the Sunni Muslim world to attack and expunge the cancer that is the militant group calling itself the Islamic State (IS).

The group's perversion of Islam in the service of its barbaric goals needs to be confronted first and foremost by those for whom it purports to speak.

But to succeed, the coalition must encompass the entire Muslim world and cannot exclude the most important Shiite nation, Iran.

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Obama’s foreign policy needs conviction of leadership

IT’S NO secret that President Obama has had a troubled year in foreign policy. Critics from left, right, and center have lamented a global strategy lacking in toughness, strategic direction, and results. During the past few months, many of America’s closest friends have openly worried about America’s leadership deficit in responding to war and revolution in the Middle East as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive push into Ukraine.|

But in the past few weeks, Obama has shown signs of a rethink and course correction that provide some hope of resurrecting America’s lead global role and Obama’s own foreign policy legacy. Obama is focusing first on the Iraq-Syria crisis, where the Islamic State’s swift and stunning advance this summer from its base in Northern Syria threatens the entire region. Obama unveiled this week a set of sensible steps to thwart the Islamic State over the long term.

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Atlantic Council Africa Center Assistant Director Joshua Meservey authored a book review of The Flechas: Insurgent Hunting in Eastern Angola, 1965-1974 for the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Middle East and Africa.

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Barely a week after reaching a semi-durable cease-fire in a seven-week war that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and prompted virulent new expressions of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe, the Israeli government announced that it was seizing nearly 1,000 acres of land near Bethlehem for expansion of Jewish settlements.

If carried out, the confiscation near the Etzion bloc south of Jersualem would be the biggest by Israel in 30 years.

The announcement set off a chorus of diplomatic condemnations, including from the Barack Obama administration.

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This Week’s Internet Conference in Istanbul Follows an Historic Debate at Brazil’s NETmundial

 
“History,” John W. Gardner reputedly said, “never looks like history when you are living through it.” Maybe that is why one of the recent years’ biggest events in shaping the future of the Internet got so little attention recently. Global news media largely ignored the conference, called NETmundial, which took place in April in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Yet some potentially historic developments took place there. In true Internet form, the results were slightly ambiguous.

NETmundial was one of a series of conferences and debates that gradually are shaping the future model of governance for the Internet. Its biggest impact may have been to reverse the momentum in that debate away from those (led by Russia) who favor an internet run mainly by governments – and toward pluralists (mostly from liberal democracies) who want to keep civil society and the private sector involved. Still, this battle will continue, leading up to what is seen as a potentially critical conference to be held in fall 2015 in New York. And the discussions at NETmundial suggest that the pluralist, or “multi-stakeholder” vision for the Internet may need a little help if it is to survive.

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Conflict and bloodshed on the periphery of the NATO region must be dealt with head-on at this year’s summit if the Alliance is to remain relevant to its members’ interests, argues Damon Wilson

As NATO leaders gather in Wales, transatlantic security faces the most serious challenges it has confronted since the end of the Cold War. From Ukraine and Syria, to Iraq and Libya, the frontiers of the Alliance are plagued by conflict and bloodshed. Yet, as NATO seeks to look beyond Afghanistan and chart its future course in Wales, many Allies are reluctant to face these new challenges head-on. Dodging these issues at the UK Summit would be a mistake. In fact, focusing exclusively on the defence of NATO Allies’ risks would leave the Alliance less secure over time.

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To say that there are a lot of moving pieces in the Middle East these days is certainly an understatement.

From Libya to Yemen, Gaza to Iraq, outside powers are intervening in complex confrontations that pit religious fundamentalists against secularists, dictators against democrats and ethnic minorities against each other.

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