Original pieces written by Atlantic Council staff or affiliates.
  • Narendra Modi Wins Big. What’s Next for India?

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led his party to a resounding electoral victory on May 23. Modi, who leads the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), defied most predictions by expanding his party’s presence in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s Parliament. The BJP is projected to win 303 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. The main opposition alliance, led by the Indian National Congress, has admitted defeat.

    The big question now is how Modi will use his second five-year term at the helm of the world’s largest democracy. India faces plenty of challenges: a high unemployment rate, slow economic growth, changing geopolitical relationships, border security issues, and a deepening religious divide.

    Here is a quick look at how Modi handled these issues in his first term and what he will need to focus on in the next five years.

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  • Bullseye on Brussels: Can EU Defeat Disinformation in Parliamentary Elections?

    The vast amount of foreign meddling in the 2016 US presidential election was a wakeup call for the European Union (EU). It was obvious the next big target of malign actors would be Europe, with twenty-eight countries electing more than 750 lawmakers in May 2019.

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  • Crossing the Cyber Rubicon: Views from Both Sides of the River

    On the weekend of May 5, a month after a truce was agreed between Israel and Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip, violence again rose to levels not seen since 2014. Reports indicate that over 600 rockets were fired into Israel by Palestinian militants and were met by Israeli airstrikes on more than 300 targets. Upwards of twenty-three Palestinians and four Israelis were killed.

    But the headlines from the weekend—at least in cybersecurity circles—focused on a single strike by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) against an office building in Hamas territory. According to a May 5 tweet from the IDF, after successfully preventing an alleged Hamas cyberattack against Israeli civilian targets, IDF forces targeted and destroyed the building housing Hamas’s cyber capability.

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  • With Tariffs Lifted, the Future Looks Bright for the North American Trade Deal

    Over the past two years, the US-Mexican relationship has been marked by challenges on trade, immigration, and security. In June 2018, the United States, citing national security concerns, placed tariffs on Canadian and Mexican aluminum and steel. These tariffs cast a shadow over negotiations on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the subsequent processes to ratify the trade deal. The Trump administration’s May 17 decision to lift the tariffs is good news for the ratification of the USMCA.

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  • Nuclear Power Could Be the Key to a Secure Future, Senators Say

    The potential for nuclear power plants to provide substantial emissions-free energy on a reliable and cost-effective basis will be key to addressing a range of challenges facing the United States, from climate change to economic competition, US Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said on May 21.

    Speaking at the launch of an Atlantic Council report, “US Nuclear Energy Leadership: Innovation and the Strategic Global Challenge,” at the US Senate Visitor Center in Washington, Crapo said that while “nuclear energy provides over half of our nation’s emissions-free energy… the United States is scheduled to lose a significant amount of its nuclear generation in the next decade.” Put simply, “Nuclear energy has been in need of a reboot for many years,” he said.

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  • Theresa May’s Last Chance

    British Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled on May 21 a supposed new deal for Britain’s departure from the European Union that looks remarkably like the deal Parliament has already rejected three times.

    There were some important differences, the most notable of which is that May was outlining an actual government bill to implement Brexit whereas previous votes were rejections of the specific Withdrawal Agreement which the prime minister agreed with the European Commission last November.

    There were also some olive branches to the opposition Labour Party, notably concerning options for Parliament to consider two key demands ­– a customs union with the European Union (EU) and a referendum on any deal approved by Parliament – made by Labour negotiators in recent cross-party talks. She also repeated previous pledges when she said the bill would include provisions to align workers’ rights and environmental protections with those of the EU.

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  • How to Push Back Against Kremlin’s Malign Influence

    Atlantic Council’s Michael Carpenter tells lawmakers the United States needs to do more

    The United States needs to do more to push back against Russia’s attempts to disrupt democratic societies around the world, Michael Carpenter, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, told US lawmakers on May 21.

    “Today, Russia is doubling down on malign influence operations across Europe and North America, but we remain unprepared, underfunded, and often ignorant of the threat,” Carpenter told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment. He testified in a hearing on “Undermining Democracy: Kremlin Tools of Malign Political Influence.”

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  • The Drums of War

    If your allies and your own military and intelligence experts are telling you you’re wrong, they may have a point. 

    The Trump administration’s warning about an imminent attack by Iran in the Middle East appears to be unfounded and its escalation of pressure on Tehran part of a strategy to win concessions from the Islamic Republic.

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  • The Christchurch Call and the Failure of US Leadership

    The Christchurch Call, signed by eighteen national governments and eight major technology companies on May 15, represents a significant development in the fields of counterterrorism and Internet policy. The statement comes two months after a white ethno-nationalist terrorist used a Facebook livestream to broadcast his massacre of fifty-one worshippers in a Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque. It commits its signatories to explore legal, regulatory, and technical solutions to counter the online spread of terrorist and violent extremist content. The Trump administration refused to sign, citing unspecified free speech concerns.

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  • European Elections Are a Win, of Sorts, for Greece

    This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

    In Greece, European parliamentary elections on May 26 are being viewed as a litmus test ahead of national elections later this year. Domestic politics have dominated the debate and the opposition has framed the election as a referendum against the government. The fact that European elections are to be held at the same time as local elections for mayors and regional governors has further obscured European issues.

    At the national level, the campaign has been polarized by high political drama and unrelenting personal attacks. This culminated in a vote of confidence in parliament, which Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won on May 10. In anticipation of national elections in October 2019, Tsipras’ governing Syriza party is playing its last political cards. On May 7, the prime minister announced new measures to ease the austerity policies favored by Greece’s creditors.  Meanwhile, the main opposition party, New Democracy, which is ahead in the polls for both European and national elections, has been asking for early national elections, accusing Tsipras of pandering to voters.

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