Original pieces written by Atlantic Council staff or affiliates.
  • May's Brexit Deal Stumbles in Parliament. Now She is Fighting to Save Her Government.

    A little over two months remain until the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union (EU) and yet the manner of Britain’s exit seems more unclear than at any time since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

    The UK Parliament on January 15 rejected by a vote of 432 to 202 the Withdrawal Agreement British Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU.

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  • #StrongerWithAllies: Danish Sergeant Wants to ‘Help Make a Change’

    Sgt. Kenneth Willander vividly recalls the day his comrade and friend, Pte. Steffen Bloch Larsen, was shot and killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Willander, who was injured in the Taliban ambush on September 19, 2009, and Larsen traveled together in a helicopter to the Camp Bastion Field Hospital in Helmand province. “Sitting in the Black Hawk helicopter holding his hand during the flight is the strongest memory I have,” he said. “We tried everything to save him.”

    “It is a hard job to maintain your focus every day when your closest friends die,” Willander added.

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  • The Brexit Uncertainty that Worries Ireland

    DUBLIN — What does breastmilk have to do with Brexit? If you’re in Ireland, it’s an unexpectedly symbolic illustration of past and prospectively future divisions within the island of Ireland – and between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

    The South West Acute Hospital at Enniskillen, in the British province of Northern Ireland, hosts the only bank of breast milk for neonatal units both in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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  • OPEC Production Cuts Defended

    OPEC’s secretary general and its former president on January 13 defended the group’s decision to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day from criticism that the cut is insufficient to address the slowdown in the market.

    The United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Al Mazrouei, who concluded his term as president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on January 1, said there was no immediate need to cut oil production further.

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  • Can the US Shale Revolution Maintain Its Momentum?

    Although US shale production reached 11.7 million barrels per day in 2018, shale oil and natural gas experts caution that the days of rapid expansion for US shale could be numbered as concerns mount about global economic growth in the short-term, easy access shale sources are depleted, and capital markets decrease their investments.

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  • Taking Stock of Energy Security Risks in the Twenty-First Century

    Climate change, geopolitics, economic development, energy transitions and security of supply are just some of the challenges facing energy security in the twenty-first century.


    “It doesn’t take more than a glance at newspaper headlines to recognize that the current period is a time of great change and volatility,” said Richard L. Morningstar, founding chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center.


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  • Can China's Belt and Road Initiative Build Growth and Stay Green?

    China’s massive global energy and infrastructure investment is already paying off.

    Five years ago, “Pakistan was suffering from large amounts of brownouts [and] huge challenges in infrastructure,” according to Ali Siddiqui, an adviser with Pakistani financial services company JS Group and former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States. But after engaging closely with China’s Belt and Road Initiative “there is a large amount of investment that has been made in the power sector, in roads, and soon there will new investment from China in rail. Once that is done, our entire infrastructure shortage will be completed,” Siddiqui said.

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  • Taking the Carbon Out of Climate Change

    Decarbonization—the reduction or removal of carbon dioxide from energy sources—has become increasingly significant in light of the threat posed by global warming as illustrated in a United Nations report that looks at the dire consequences of an increase in the Earth’s temperature above 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    As a consequence, countries and companies around the world have undertaken a diverse set of strategies in their quest to cut emissions. Saudi energy giant Saudi Aramco, for example, decided in the 1970s to end the practice of flaring—the process by which natural gas is burned off in a controlled manner when extracting oil.

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  • Saudi Minister Says Oil Market Volatility 'Unjustified'

    Khalid Al-Falih says he’s convinced ‘the oil market will quickly return to balance’

    On January 13, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih sought to assuage market concerns about potential oil demand as producers try to reverse massive dips in price at the end of 2018.

    “Market sentiment today is being shaped by undue concerns about demand, underestimation of the impact of agreed supply cuts, and a misreading of the supply-demand trends which causes counterfactual actions by financial players,” Al-Falih said. “In other words, if we look beyond the noise of weekly data and vibrations in the market, and the speculators’ herd-like behavior, I remain convinced that we are on the right track and that the oil market will quickly return to balance.”

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  • The Five Historic Shifts That Will Shape 2019

    Fresh back in DC from a Colorado ski vacation, it strikes me that the treacherous year ahead that we confront – littered with political, economic and security risks – presents all the challenges of a double black diamond ski run.
    Such slopes are signposted as such to warn skiers of an approaching terrain that is steeper, narrower, and bumpier than all but the most expert skiers can navigate, made even more unpredictable by frequent weather changes. Their bone-rattling obstacles are seen (trees) and unseen (snow-covered boulders). 

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