Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series

The Atlantic Council Strategy Papers series (ACSP) is the Atlantic Council’s flagship outlet for publishing high-level, strategic thinking. The series seeks to develop and promote sustainable, non-partisan strategies on the most important challenges facing the United States and its allies. The papers are authored by leading authorities and including a range of established and emerging strategic thinkers, from within and outside the Atlantic Council. The series is overseen by the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and works in conjunction with other Atlantic Council Centers to create regional strategy task forces focusing on East Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Iran.

Featured commentary & analysis

The Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative provides strategic insight, trend evaluation and risk analysis to help elevate and sharpen the assessment of our connected, complex, and rapidly evolving world.

Featured in-depth research & reports

The Initiative leverages in-house expertise and cutting-edge tools such as data analytics, modeling, and simulations to provide pioneering research and analysis about the most important challenges of today and tomorrow.

Employment Opportunities

Join our team as we work on identifying the key trends and cutting-edge issues that will drive security policy in the coming decades.




Mon, Sep 9, 2019

Recommendations on 5G and National Security

China’s aggressive attempt to subsidize the development of global 5G networks as a tool of Beijing’s geopolitical and economic power requires an urgent and robust, public- and private-sector response from the United States government, its allies, and partners to bring secure 5G technology to our allies.

Strategic Insights Memo by James L. Jones

China Security & Defense

Fri, Aug 2, 2019

How to break the Japan-Korea impasse

The Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative hosted a strategy session with a small group of top US experts and officials to discuss ways forward and offer actionable, practical policy recommendations to the United States to help mitigate bilateral tensions and resolve the ongoing confrontation between Japan and Korea.

Strategic Insights Memo by Miyeon Oh and Barry Pavel

Crisis Management Japan

Fri, Jul 26, 2019

Lessons from Apollo: industry and great-power competition

The Apollo moon landing was not only a momentous scientific achievement, but also a grand strategic instrument of the Cold War

New Atlanticist by Christian Trotti and Mark Massa

Space Technology & Innovation

Fri, Jun 14, 2019

Dark pharma: Counterfeit and contraband pharmaceuticals in Central America

This working paper, the second in a series on the global illicit economy, focuses on the “dark pharma” trade in Central America, where no country has been spared the problem of counterfeit and contraband pharmaceuticals making their way to consumers.

Issue Brief by Peter Tinti

Latin America Security & Defense

Sun, Mar 10, 2019

Manning in Global Times: All frontline states needed to resolve NK issue

Read the full article here.

In the News by Robert Manning


Fri, Mar 1, 2019

The illicit tobacco trade in Zimbabwe and South Africa

This groundbreaking study of the illicit tobacco trade in southern Africa explores how this trade supports organized crime, helps enable official corruption, and erodes state structures.

Issue Brief by Simone Haysom

Africa Corruption

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Strategic surprises in the first year: principles for preparation and response

Preparing for and responding to strategic surprises is always difficult; that difficulty is often magnified in an administration's first year. Ideas and prerequisites for responding to strategic surprise are laid out in Paul Miller's longer memorandum.

Strategy Consortium by Hal Brands

Central Europe National Security

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Connecting strategy and resources in national security: 10 recommendations for the Trump administration

Connecting strategy and resources is the central tenet of national security strategy. The four-step process proposed by the Atlantic Council should be used by the Trump administration when considering how to connect its strategy to resources.

Strategy Consortium by Stephen J. Hadley, James N. Miller, and Mara E. Karlin

China Korea

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Elements of national security strategy

This paper enumerates the key pieces of a national security strategy and explains their importance. It also explores several additional elements that can be found in some national security strategies; these additional elements are not strictly necessary for the strategy to be viable, but are intended to strengthen the document or the government’s ability to implement it.

Strategy Consortium by Malia DuMont

National Security Security & Defense

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Purpose of a national security strategy

Since the original Congressional mandate and its update in the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act, the purpose of the National Security Strategy has changed in order to better reflect a changing global landscape. Today, there are six broad purposes for a National Security Strategy.

Strategy Consortium by Barry Pavel, Alex Ward

National Security Security & Defense