Our pillars

Defense and deterrence in Europe

Developing policy recommendations for deterring and defending against Russian aggression aimed at allies and partners in the European theater.

Emerging challenges to transatlantic security

Creating strategies to harness emerging and disruptive technologies to maintain NATO’s competitive advantage and cohering a transatlantic approach to hybrid threats from Russia and China.

China and transatlantic security

Identifying areas of divergence and convergence between the United States and Europe with respect to China and proposing ideas to collectively counter China’s malign activities.

NATO and the new south

Analyzing the security impacts of great power competition in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions and developing strategies to improve stabilization missions beyond Europe’s borders.

Arctic security

Assessing the unique geopolitical and defense challenges of the High North to bridge perspectives between European and North American allies and partners on Arctic security issues.

NATO in America

Identifying bold policy ideas that demonstrate the enduring value of NATO to US interests in order to engage a new community of American champions for the Alliance.

NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas to reimagine the Alliance after the 2020 US election

More than two decades after NATO’s inspired decision to invite former adversaries to join its ranks, the Alliance is in need of equally captivating ideas.

Read More

Explore the podcast series

NATO 20/2020 Podcast

NATO 20/2020 is a weekly podcast that explores 20 bold ideas to push NATO to be more visionary, more capable, and more self-evidently valuable to the security of more people.

Read More

Employment opportunities

Mon, Feb 22, 2021

Transatlantic Security Initiative – Summer 2021 Young Global Professionals


Based on the fundamental understanding that today’s most pressing global security challenges are most effectively managed with allies, the Transatlantic Security Initiative conducts research and project activities on topics related to NATO and European security and defense.

Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security Transatlantic Security Initiative

Subscribe for events and publications

Sign up for updates from the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, covering the debate on the greatest security challenges facing the North Atlantic Alliance and its key partners.




Tue, Apr 20, 2021

The new challenge for NATO: Securing a climate-changed world

Allied countries are becoming increasingly aware of the nexus between climate change and security. But there is so much more work to be done in this field—and NATO should set an example in achieving it.

New Atlanticist by Ahmet Uzumcu, Tacan Ildem, and Fatih Ceylan

Climate Change & Climate Action NATO

Mon, Apr 19, 2021

Binnendijk, Kirchberger, Kramer, and Skaluba on DEFAERO Report Podcast: The need for a transatlantic China Plan

China Plan authors Hans Binnendijk, Sarah Kirchberger, Franklin D. Kramer, and Chris Skaluba joined DEFAERO Report Founder and Editor Vago Muradian to discuss the China Plan's key analysis and findings.

In the News by Hans Binnendijk, Sarah Kirchberger, Franklin D. Kramer, Christopher Skaluba

China Europe & Eurasia

Fri, Apr 9, 2021

Listen to women: NATO 20/2020 podcast

Twenty years after its creation, NATO should affirm the strategic significance of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda and define what it means for an era of great power competition.

NATO 20/2020 by Cori Lynne Fleser

Europe & Eurasia NATO

Sat, Apr 3, 2021

Binnendijk in Defense News: NATO’s focus on China is too narrow

Hans Binnendijk published an article that urges Europe and NATO to acknowledge China’s multi-dimensional threats, and suggests how Europe can be better positioned to avoid Chinese aggression.

In the News by Hans Binnendijk

China Europe & Eurasia

Fri, Apr 2, 2021

Stefanini in The New York Times: Vaccine ‘Fiasco’ Damages Europe’s Credibility

Stefano Stefanini was quoted in the New York Times on how the EU’s reputation has been impacted by its handling of the pandemic and its vaccination program.

In the News by Stefano Stefanini

Coronavirus Europe & Eurasia

Fri, Apr 2, 2021

Digitalize the enterprise: NATO 20/2020 podcast

If NATO is to unlock new frontiers of innovation and harness emerging technology, digitalizing how it does business is the key.

NATO 20/2020 by Barry Pavel, Jeffrey Lightfoot

Defense Technologies Digital Policy

Fri, Mar 26, 2021

Opportunity knocks for NATO and its partners in the Asia-Pacific

Although NATO and its Asia-Pacific partners have developed their relations over the past two decades, various constraints have limited the ambition and potential of these relationships. But there may be a change of the status quo on the horizon.

New Atlanticist by Mirna Galic

East Asia Indo-Pacific

Tue, Mar 23, 2021

Design a Digital Marshall Plan: NATO 20/2020 podcast

NATO allies, led by the United States, must cooperate in securing national 5G communications systems in Europe and beyond against malign Chinese influence.

NATO 20/2020 by The Hon. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)

Cybersecurity Digital Policy

Tue, Mar 23, 2021

How Russia, China, and climate change are shaking up the Arctic

The Kremlin’s increasing military activities in the Arctic are worrying Norway—the only NATO member country that borders Russia north of the Arctic Circle. Frank Bakke-Jensen, Norway’s minister of defense, outlined his concerns.

New Atlanticist by Larry Luxner

Crisis Management Defense Technologies

Tue, Mar 23, 2021

The Arctic is a place of unusual international cooperation. Can that last?

For decades, Norway’s policy towards neighboring Russia has balanced “between deterrence and reassurance” and combined “firmness and predictability,” says Ine Eriksen Søreide, the country’s minister of foreign affairs. “This policy remains unchanged. But it has become an ever more challenging task in the face of a steadily deteriorating security environment.”

New Atlanticist by Larry Luxner

Crisis Management Defense Technologies


Fri, May 14, 2021

Transforming the British Army: A conversation with General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith

Online Event General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, Chief of the General Staff of the British Army, discusses global security trends and challenges, and how the British Army is transforming for the future.

9:00am Defense Policy Defense Technologies Security & Defense United Kingdom