As the global community continues to grapple with COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Atlantic Council is open for business. All business, meetings, and events, however, are occurring virtually. For more information, please view a statement from our President and CEO.

Issue Spotlight


Upcoming events

Fri, Jul 10, 2020

Has the time come for a Marshall Plan for Africa?

ONLINE EVENT – As African states face the coronavirus pandemic and the first pan-African recession in twenty-five years, has the time come for a Marshall Plan for Africa?


Fri, Jul 10, 2020

EnergySource Innovation Stream: Artificial intelligence-based cybersecurity for remote critical infrastructure in the energy industry

ONLINE EVENT – Leo Simonovich, Vice President and Global Head for Industrial Cyber and Digital Security at Siemens Energy and Sridhar Sudarsan, Chief Technology Officer at SparkCognition, discuss how artificial intelligence-based technologies can help the energy industry defend remote critical infrastructure from escalating cyberattacks.


Mon, Jul 13, 2020

COVID-19 in the Middle East: An opportunity to improve public health?

ONLINE EVENT – Discussion co-hosted with the United Nations Development Program’s Regional Bureau for Arab States on public health challenges in the Arab world amid COVID-19.


Commentary and analysis

In-depth research and reports

Thu, Jul 9, 2020

Economic might, national security, and the future of American statecraft

Given the many significant challenges America faces today — including high levels of debt, political discord, the rise of China, and the emergence of Asian economies as the drivers of global growth — what is the United States’ plan for preserving its great power primacy?

In-Depth Research & Reports by David H. McCormick, Charles E. Luftig, James M. Cunningham

Thu, Jul 9, 2020

II. The convergence of national security and economics

National security and economics have long been connected, and, since its earliest days, the United States has leveraged that reality to advance its national objectives.

In-Depth Research & Reports by David McCormick, Charles E. Luftig, James M. Cunningham

Thu, Jul 9, 2020

III. A new policy agenda

Balancing economic and national security policy is no easy task. Too often, security concerns related to economic decision-making get short shrift. But there is also an equal and opposite risk that unconstrained, ad hoc efforts to protect national security through economic policy could sap America’s competitive advantage, or worse.

In-Depth Research & Reports by David McCormick, Charles E. Luftig, James M. Cunningham

Flagship events

The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum is the go-to conference on the geopolitics of the energy transformation, where energy and foreign policy leaders come together to set the energy agenda for the year and examine the longer-term geopolitical and geo-economic implications of the changing energy system. Held in Abu Dhabi 10-12 January under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, the forum is held in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry, ADNOC, and Mubadala, and is part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

From the Atlantic Council’s Blogs

Fri, Jul 10, 2020

Nile Basin’s GERD dispute creates risks for Egypt, Sudan, and beyond

Competition for the Nile Basin’s freshwater has been growing markedly for three decades. In 2011, it intensified after Ethiopia started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

MENASource by Amal Kandeel

Ethiopia North Africa

Fri, Jul 10, 2020

A series of unusual events in Iran point to sabotage. How will Tehran respond?

A spate of explosions has struck highly secure and sensitive sites, as well as regular industrial locales, including factories and gas pipelines, and even a clinic in a fancy part of north Tehran.

IranSource by Borzou Daragahi

Iran Middle East

Thu, Jul 9, 2020

Experts dissect Iran regime’s disinformation campaign as COVID-19 worsens

How much Iran’s 84 million people actually know about events inside their own country is debatable, given Tehran’s heavy-handed censorship and a global disinformation campaign that blames all crises, including COVID-19, on foreigners and perceived enemies of the regime.

New Atlanticist by Larry Luxner

Coronavirus Disinformation

Thu, Jul 9, 2020

Cybersecurity can help the energy industry seize this moment to embrace its digital future

Digitally connected oil and gas assets, smart grids, renewables, and intelligent infrastructure promise more efficient, safer, and lower-emissions operations, but truly reimagining the energy sector and fully realizing that promise requires strong cybersecurity. Whether built new, acquired, or retrofitted, future energy assets will rely heavily on digital management and remote access. In these stressful but potentially exhilarating times, the winners will be those who envision more competitive business models based on new technologies.

EnergySource by Leo Simonovich and Sridhar Sudarsan

Energy & Environment Energy Markets & Governance
Program Spotlight

Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative

Critical Issues


The growing threats of climate change, migration, natural disasters, and spillover from violent conflict are forcing policy makers to focus on the resilience of their societies and institutions. While not all crises can be avoided, societies can be made more resilient through proper preparation before, during, and after a disaster or shock occurs. 



The rise of the internet and online social networks has altered the scope and scale at which people access, consume, and communicate information. But the same technologies that have democratized access to information have also enabled malicious actors who seek to undermine our democratic values and processes. Disinformation is false or misleading information spread with the intention to deceive.



NATO is the bedrock of transatlantic security, encompassing nearly thirty democracies across North America and Europe. Created to defend against the Soviet Union, the Alliance today protects member states against conventional attack, engages in peacekeeping and stabilization operations, and leads counterterrorism and piracy efforts. NATO works with partner countries around the world and continues to promise an “open door” for countries to become members if they fulfill the Alliance’s democratic and operational standards.


Critical Regions


A continent of fifty-four nations, Africa holds vast opportunity and promise. Its 1.2 billion population is expected to double by 2050 and become the world’s largest region. Alongside this demographic boom, Africa is home to almost half the world’s fastest-growing economies as its leaders are taking steps to expand the movement of goods, people, and capital within the continent. Demand for democracy is high and protest movements have proven that citizen activism can unseat consolidated African strongmen.


Europe & Eurasia

Stretching from the shores of the Atlantic to the mountains of Central Asia, the European and Eurasian landmass contains both some of the most stable and wealthy countries in the world, as well as some of the poorest and those led by repressive regimes. After centuries of devastating conflicts, new institutions and organizations for economic, political, and security integration provide an opportunity to bring stability


Middle East

Stretching from the Western Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, the Middle East continues to be a region struggling with violent conflict, political repression, and poor development. Numerous pro-democracy protest movements, a burgeoning youth population, and efforts to reform governments and lessen economic dependence on oil, however, are causes for optimism. The United States and the international community must remain engaged with the region to provide support for these positive moves and to address the many remaining challenges.