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On November 30, 2016, the Colombian Congress ratified the peace accords signed by the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), setting in motion a series of reforms stipulated in the accords. One year later, how much has implementation of the accords advanced and what are the top issues that will influence the success of the post-accord transition in 2018? The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s latest Spotlight publication, co-authored by Andrea Saldarriaga Jiménez and Juan Felipe Celia, analyzes these key issues and the road ahead for Colombia in 2018.

 
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France played a significant role in the negotiations that led to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The French never believed in the “transformational” value of the JCPOA. They did not think the agreement would lead Iran to take on more of a moderate role in the region. On the contrary, they feared that in order to get the support of the security wing of the regime, the moderate elements would be forced to give up more freedom to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and their epigones.

 

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“Revelations around Russian efforts to shape the 2016 US presidential election through the use of disinformation, bots, and hacking have thrust the problems of “fake news” and social media manipulation into the public spotlight,” writes Tim Hwang, director of the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund, in "Digital Disinformation: A Primer," a new publication from the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. 
The aim of the piece is to provide a concise handbook of key terms, major actors, and policy recommendations to address current and emerging threats, including trolling campaigns, cyber-attacks, and artificial intelligence (AI). Disinformation threats are only likely to grow as both nation-state and non-state actors exploit technological advancements in hacking, AI and machine learning, and metadata. “Funding should be put toward the creation of collaborative online platforms for fact-checking digital media, enabling journalists and citizens to more quickly work together to reject or authenticate disinformation circulating through the web,” advises Mr. Hwang who calls for a number of proactive steps to be taken by US congressional members.

 
NAFTA renegotiations have the potential to further transform North America’s energy sector into a global competitor. From the US shale revolution, to Mexico’s revitalized energy sector and Canada’s vast reserves, how can a modernized NAFTA expand US energy markets and revitalize North American energy?

In our latest Spotlight publication, David Goldwyn, chairman of the Atlantic Council Energy Advisory Group and nonresident senior energy fellow at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, outlines four ways NAFTA can improve energy market integration and competitiveness.

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The late summer of 2017 could see one of the largest Russian military exercises in Europe since the end of the Cold War. Zapad 2017, a joint strategic exercise involving Russian and Belarusian military forces, is expected to take place in September 2017 in Russia’s western military district, the Kaliningrad exclave, and across Belarus. Rising tensions in Europe have created a heightened sense of instability and insecurity, making the plans for a large-scale military exercise much more than just a routine matter. This quick-guide provides a helpful overview of what Zapad 2017 is, why it matters, and what it might mean for Europe and the United States and NATO.

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With US sanctions against Nicolás Maduro firmly in place, the Trump administration is set to take more severe economic actions if the Venezuelan government continues to repress political and civil liberties. What is in the US toolbox and what would be the effects of implementation? 

The Venezuela Spotlight is authored by David Mortlock, former director for International Economic Affairs at the White House National Security Council and nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center; and Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and founding director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Management Studies Institute (IESA) in Venezuela. Together, they break down the options and lay out principles to be applied as the international community assesses next steps.

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It is no secret that China and the United States have different opinions about world order. South Korea, meanwhile, is caught in the middle of these two great powers who want to push their weight around the global stage. South Korea has always sought to balance relations between the two countries, but it may be forced to choose.

 

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Europe—Key Partnership for American Prosperity recommends that, to best serve American interests, President Trump should encourage a stronger, more integrated Europe. Doing so will ensure more economic growth, geostrategic stability, and global leadership for both the United States and Europe. These recommendations come in advance of the President's visit to Paris to meet with French President Macron and to join the Bastille Day celebrations on July 14, 2017.
Rolling Back the Growing North Korean Threat recommends President Trump adopt a policy of "high pressure containment" to convince the North Korean leadership that, unless it halts its nuclear weapons programs and restarts diplomacy to eliminate them, it will have neither a viable economy nor future. These recommendations come in advance of South Korean President Moon Jae-In's first visit to Washington, DC to meet President Trump on June 29 and 30, 2017.
The Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security's Atlantic Council Memos to the President series aims at providing distinct, bold recommendations to President Donald Trump for the most pressing items on his agenda. An Historic Opportunity to Partner with India recommends President Trump extend three vital capabilities to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Washington, DC on June 25 to 26, 2017. The first in the Atlantic Council Memos to the President series, the memo highlights for President Trump that this visit is his best opportunity to partner with India to deal with the major challenges facing the region, specifically those posed by China's increasingly aggressive behavior.