Issue Briefs

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The third paper in the new Atlantic Council Sudan Task Force series, “Sudan: Soft Power, Cultural Engagement, and National Security” examines the importance of people-to-people engagement and its relevance to broader US strategic aims in Sudan.

More than two decades of isolation have succeeded in funneling Sudan’s best and brightest to seek higher education and post-graduate employment in locations other than the West. The United States has lost valuable ground to other actors, ranging from the benign to the malicious, who are influencing Sudan’s youth and wider population in ways that almost certainly will not serve US interests.

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The second paper in the new Atlantic Council Sudan Task Force series, “Sudan: Prospects for Economic Re-engagement” examines the possibility of a new era of US economic cooperation with Sudan, including an opportunity for the United States to push for desperately needed economic reforms as part of wider US bilateral engagements efforts.

Authored by Dr. Jeffrey Herbst in collaboration with the Council’s Sudan Task Force, the issue brief describes the political economy of Sudan, which shapes Khartoum’s priorities and affects how it will respond to demands for economic reform.

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The first paper in the new Atlantic Council Sudan Task Force series, “Sudan: Politics, Engagement, and Reform” examines the political landscape in the country in the wake of renewed bilateral engagement, addressing questions of governance, inclusion, and reform.

Co-authored by Ambassador Johnnie Carson and Zach Vertin in collaboration with the Council’s Sudan Task Force, the issue brief offers recommendations for continued progress toward democratic transformation in Sudan, in both the medium and long terms.

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The maritime domain is increasingly a priority for NATO as the alliance seeks to bolster its defense and deterrence posture in Europe’s north and east. Much work remains to be done in terms of NATO’s maritime posture and the maritime capabilities and capacities of its members. The maritime domain presents a unique challenge for NATO’s Baltic members, as they are frontline states in the new contest between NATO and a revanchist Russia. This issue brief lays out the particular challenges for the Baltic States in the maritime domain in the Baltic Sea region, and how Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuanian can build more effective maritime defense in concert with NATO and the United States.

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"The West's failure to respond to Russia's breaches of international law demonstrates weakness and undermines US credibility," writes Dr. Maksym Khylko, in "Shaping Strategy for Comprehensive and Effective Western Policy in Eastern Europe," a new issue brief by the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center. In the past ten years, Russia has invaded Georgia and Ukraine, illegally annexed the peninsula of Crimea, and occupied Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Donbas. Additionally, it has developed anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities and deployed them to the Black Sea and Baltic Sea regions, threatening NATO's ability to operate there. This issue brief examines the strategies that the West can employ to combat the Kremlin's challenges to regional security and the rule of law in Eastern Europe.

 

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The Trump administration's vision of an Indo-Pacific where democracy and open seas can flourish, needs sharpening. India can aid in the optimization of this objective by using bilateral and sectoral lenses to find where the they can best cooperate in order to offset bellicose incursions in the region from aggressive foreign powers. An agreement that focuses just on the technical sector minimizes the risks of a broader bilateral accord and opens the door for the geostrategic cooperation that India seeks. Given the centrality and significance of IT and e-commerce to both India and the United States, the links between the two nations in these spheres would facilitate a grander coalescence with ramifications not only in trade but for security capacity, defense interoperability, and regional peace and stability. The Honorable Paula Stern analyzes these groundbreaking themes in "Unlocking US-India Trade: Why a Bilateral Technology Agreement Works for India and the United States," which illuminates the major trends that will shape the region and the US-India bilateral partnership in coming years.

 

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While the United States and Europe are considered the pioneers of renewable energy, Asia is emerging as a major player in the renewable energy transition. Although experts predict Asia will remain the fastest growing market for oil, gas, and coal, even as an energy transition takes hold, slowing regional fossil-fuel consumption could have significant market and geopolitical implications—and signal that the world could be moving closer to reaching a peak in global oil demand. The transformation on the horizon, spurred by a shift from energy-intensive growth to improved efficiency and focus on electrification, has already occurred in major Asian economies, providing a model for shifts in the transportation sector, for example, to address the energy security and climate challenges facing the region. So, how plausible is electrification and deep decarbonization of Asia?

 

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