Transatlantic Security Initiative

  • After Russian Air Defense Deal, Can Ankara and Washington Repair Their Relationship?

    The delivery of a Russian air defense system to Turkey has jeopardized the defense relationship between the United States and one of its most important NATO and regional allies.

    The first components of the Russian-built S-400 air defense system arrived in Ankara on July 12, according to the Turkish ministry of defense, beginning the fulfillment of an agreement Turkey signed with Russia in December 2017.


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  • Baltic Porcupine: Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Defend the Baltic States

    baltic porcupine

    On June 27th, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, part of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, hosted a panel discussion around defense and deterrence in the Baltic states at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters. This event also featured the launch of the Scowcroft Center’s latest issue brief, “The Melians’ Revenge: How Small, Frontline, European States can Employ Emerging Technology to Defend against Russia” by Dr. TX Hammes, distinguished research fellow at the Center for Strategic Research, part of the National Defense University. Atlantic Council board director Stephen Shapiro delivered welcome remarks, followed by keynote remarks by Dr. Hammes,. The discussion was moderated by Barry Pavel, Atlantic Council senior vice president and director of the Scowcroft Center.


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  • The Melians' Revenge: How Small, Frontline, European States Can Employ Emerging Technology To Defend Against Russia

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    Russia’s military modernization and aggressive behavior continues to threaten the security of NATO’s frontline Allies, the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Russia’s proximity to these states and their distance from other NATO Allies presents the Alliance with a fundamental problem: if a crisis were to erupt with little warning in the Baltic States, NATO reinforcements may not be able to arrive quickly enough to stop a rapid Russian advance. At the same time, the Baltic States’ small size and relatively small budgets limit the level of defense investments they can make. How then, can the Baltic States put...

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  • NATO at Seventy: Filling NATO's Critical Defense-Capability Gaps

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    As NATO reaches its seventieth anniversary in 2019, the Alliance is facing new challenges both externally and internally. The reemergence of Russia as a strategic threat has led to the reexamination of NATO’s warfighting capabilities and the gaps that exist to adequately defend and deter. At the same time, both renewed US focus and the emergence of new security threats have placed increased pressure on member states to reach established spending targets.

    The need to outfit and equip NATO for great power competition, as well as increased pressure to invest more in defense,...

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  • Transatlantic Air Power and What to Do Now

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    As a great power competition with Russia plays out in Europe, the United States and its Allies in NATO must reassess the role and importance of the air domain to transatlantic security. While NATO has made notable strides in strengthening defense and deterrence in the land domain, more must be done in the air domain. Reemerging adversaries, including Russia, continue to invest in advanced assets and pursue strategies and risky behavior that test the Alliance and its ability to respond. Russia also poses significant challenges to allied air superiority, including A2/AD networks in...

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  • Former NATO Ambassador Urges Congress to Protect the Alliance

    “NATO is both indispensable and in crisis,” Douglas Lute, a former US ambassador to NATO and Atlantic Council board director, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 13. He described the nearly seventy-year-old alliance as “a cornerstone” of US foreign policy “that we all too often take for granted.” He argued that lawmakers should do more to reaffirm Washington’s commitment to its allies and to enact legislation requiring congressional approval before any alteration or withdrawal of the Untied States from the Alliance.

    “The United States Congress can play a role to reassure allies and check and balance the president,” Lute said.


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  • Twenty Years Later, NATO Allies Remain Strong Members of the Family

    When the foreign ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary finally signed documents completing their nations’ accession to NATO it marked the beginning of a new era for the transatlantic alliance. Twenty years ago, the ceremony held in Independence, Missouri—the hometown of US President Harry S. Truman, who oversaw the creation of NATO—marked the first time former-Communist adversaries had joined the alliance of democracies.

    Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, was a junior desk officer at the US Department of State when then US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright travelled to Missouri to finalize the new enlargement. “For me, less than a year on the job, I was on a professional high,” Wilson recalled. “After watching Washington for years exude ambivalence about whether to welcome more allies into NATO, the compelling case presented by these nations’ extraordinary spokespeople won the day. The determination of Czechs, Hungarians,

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  • Binnendijk in Defense News: German F-35 Decision Sacrifices NATO Capability for Franco-German Industrial Cooperation


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  • Permanent Deterrence

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    North Central Europe has become the central point of confrontation between the West and a revisionist Russia. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is determined to roll back the post-Cold War settlement and undermine the rules-based order that has kept Europe secure since the end of World War II. Moscow’s invasion and continued occupation of Georgian and Ukrainian territories, its military build-up in Russia’s Western Military District and Kaliningrad, and its “hybrid” warfare against Western societies have heightened instability in the region have made collective defense and deterrence

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  • Atlantic Council Names Christopher Skaluba as Director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Atlantic Council announced that Mr. Christopher Skaluba will join the Atlantic Council as Director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative (TSI) in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Mr. Skaluba served for 15 years as a civilian defense official in the United States Department of Defense and, since leaving government service, has worked as a Washington-based Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. At the Council, Skaluba will direct the Scowcroft Center’s transatlantic security portfolio, with responsibility for strategy and policy analysis concerning NATO and European security — core issues of the Council’s founding mission.

    Atlantic Council Senior Vice President and Director of the Scowcroft Center Barry Pavel said, “We are extremely fortunate to have Chris Skaluba joining...

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