Publications

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In recent years, China’s regional ambitions in the Indo-Pacific have become a serious security concern for both India and the United States. Chinese infrastructure projects in the region’s smaller and poorer countries—under China’s Belt and Road Initiative—have raised concerns about the susceptibility of these economies to the predatory economics that have recently characterized the Chinese regional approach. China’s economic ascension has been accompanied by the tendency of Chinese leaders to pay little heed to established international protocols—evident in Japan, the Philippines, and, most recently, in India. The country’s bellicose incursions in the Indo-Pacific are challenging US geostrategic supremacy in the region. Working in tandem with India to improve its capacity to play a stronger role in the region and uphold the existing liberal order, would be a critical stride for US grand strategy. 

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A predominantly Shia nation, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a substantial Sunni population that receives little attention compared to the country's other minorities. Last year's attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in the capital Tehran have raised fears that disgruntled Iranian Sunnis, who have until now largely escaped extremist influences, could become targets of radicalization by regional jihadist groups.

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Results from latest national door-to-door poll reveals deepening humanitarian and economic anxieties and widespread political mistrust ahead of upcoming presidential elections.

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For decades, the United States has been a global leader in nuclear energy, both in terms of domestic power generation and the formation of global nuclear policy. In his issue brief, US Nuclear-Power Leadership and the Chinese and Russian Challenge, Global Energy Center Senior Fellow Robert F. Ichord, Jr. examines the diverging developments in US nuclear power vis-à-vis its Chinese and Russian counterparts. He concludes that it constitutes a Chinese and Russian challenge to US nuclear power leadership, with significant geopolitical and security consequences.

Nuclear energy remains an important part of the US energy mix, accounting for 20 percent of electricity and 60 percent of carbon-free electricity. However, following years of underinvestment, US nuclear power is in decline. Meanwhile, China and Russia are ramping up investment both at home and abroad, most notably in states that are key players in current geopolitical issues, such as Turkey, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

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“Since the annexation, Russia has carried out extensive confiscation of public and private property, which it has referred to as ‘nationalization’ under Russian Federation legislation,” writes Dr. Anders Åslund, in Kremlin Aggression in Ukraine: The Price Tag, a new report by the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. If Kyiv loses the occupied Crimea and Donbas forever, the total asset value lost would be an estimated $98.4 billion for Ukraine. These two cases of military aggression were quite different, and their differences have persisted in relation to both the damage caused and how the territories have been governed. While conditions are bad in both territories, they are far worse in the Donbas.

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Since 2000, the United States has taken steps toward developing strategic stocks of emergency oil product reserves to safeguard supply from international crises and local events such as natural disasters. In recent decades, many International Energy Agency member states, including the United States, have emphasized product stockholding to facilitate rapid local emergency supply distribution. In his report, Strategic Oil Product Stockholding: International Experience and American Prospects, Global Energy Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Phillip Cornell provides in-depth analysis of the US case and identifies strategic product stockholding practices of countries around the world, from the Netherlands to India and China.

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Venezuela is in a state of desperation as its oil industry – for years the foundation of the country’s economy – spirals out of control. With elections on the horizon, the United States speeding up its drumbeat of sanctions, and Russia and China’s influence increasing in the country, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center today releases The Collapse of the Venezuelan Oil Industry and its Global Consequences, a new policy brief detailing what’s ahead for the crisis-ridden country and its oil industry.

Written by Atlantic Council author Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute and founding director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Management Studies Institute in Venezuela, the brief lays out the factors leading to the oil collapse, details sanctions options and their impact, measures Russia’s and China’s increasing presence, and presents various short and long-term scenarios for the industry against a potential default.

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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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