In recent years, Western analysts have become aware of the possibility that Russia may conduct limited nuclear “de-escalation” strikes in a bid to escalate its way out of failed conventional aggression. The United States and its NATO allies, however, have not developed a clear strategy for deterring limited Russian nuclear strikes. Specifically, in the event of a limited Russian nuclear attack, how would the United States and its NATO allies respond?
From cryptocurrencies to blockchain to mobile money, financial technology (“fintech”) is revolutionizing the basic structures of the global economy. Financial services delivered through fintech are becoming more accessible, efficient, and personal. In sub-Saharan Africa, where only 34 percent of adults have bank accounts, fintech companies are already providing financial products and services to millions of unbanked and underserved Africans in ways that traditional financial institutions cannot.
Disruptive technologies—such as the Internet of Things, robotics, and three-dimensional (3D) printing—have been heralded as the future of the global manufacturing sector. However, in Africa, they could hinder industrialization and result in fewer entry points into global supply chains. While it may be possible for African nations to “leapfrog” directly to newer technologies, it is more likely that developing the relevant worker know-how, infrastructure, and corporate capabilities necessary to leverage the potential value of these technologies will be a very gradual process. African policy makers must therefore pursue multipronged strategies to ensure relevance as 3D printing and other disruptive technologies move into the mainstream.
Questions have emerged in the United States about the value of America’s transatlantic alliance in an age when many Americans call for fewer foreign commitments and a stronger focus on domestic issues. NATO’s role and value to the United States was highlighted during the 2016 presidential campaign, and President Donald J. Trump has continued to ask questions about the relevance of the Alliance, calling for better burden-sharing between the United States and its European allies.
This new issue brief by Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Dr. Aaron Stein explores the challenges facing the United States and Europe as Turkish politicians use foreign policy as a tool for populist political gain.
To better understand the relationship between Turkish policy-making and public opinion, the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center worked with Metropoll, a Turkey-based independent polling firm, to gauge public opinion about the country’s relationship with its neighbors and allies.
In the current uncertain and challenging international political environment, the US-Japan alliance has never been stronger or more important than it is now; yet it has never faced as many challenges and hurdles than it does today. Under President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the alliance is steadfast and unwavering. But global instability, renewed geopolitical competition, flashpoints like the Korean Peninsula, and China’s growing strategic footprint and uncertain role in the global order threaten the stability of the Asia-Pacific – and with it—the US-Japan alliance. This new US-Japan Joint Policy Report 2018, released in conjunction with the Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR) and the National Defense University, explores the dynamic relationship between Washington, DC and Tokyo and the future of the US-Japan alliance. Stronger than Ever but More Challenged than Ever: The US-Japan Alliance in the Trump-Abe Era examines the relationship over seven chapters focused on: The Alliance Today; The Evolving International Order; The International Order in the Asia-Pacific Region; Japan, the Alliance, and the Regional Order; Trump and the Alliance; Abe and the Alliance; and Making the Alliance Work. It offers concrete analysis and outlines policy recommendations for decision makers in the United States and Japan as both countries work to uphold the international order, ensure stability in the Asia-Pacific, and reaffirm their commitment to the alliance.
The relationship between France and the United States is heading into a new and uncertain era reflecting the leadership of US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron. With Macron’s April 24-25 state visit to the White House and address to a joint session of Congress as backdrop, The French-American Alliance in an America-First Era explores the contrasting personalities and worldviews of these two presidents to consider whether they will overturn a generation of strengthening bilateral relations or if their unexpected bond will usher in new opportunities.
Oil and fuel theft is a significant global phenomenon, accounting for tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars annually. It typically takes place in the maritime domain, as oil tankers account for a fourth of global trade and law enforcement control over maritime spaces is often lacking. In their report, Oil on the Water: Illicit Hydrocarbons Activity in the Maritime Domain, GEC Senior Fellow Dr. Ian Ralby and I.R. Consilium Head of Research and Analysis Dr. David Soud examine the modalities of maritime hydrocarbons crime around the world.
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.
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.