Issue Briefs

Two new issue briefs from the Rafik Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council evaluate the complex and pernicious effects of Syria’s civil war on Lebanon.

In this issue brief, Hariri Center Fellow Faysal Itani and Research Assistant Sarah Grebowski assess the political, security, and humanitarian implications of the Syria crisis in Lebanon. Events in Syria have sharpened existing fault lines in Lebanon due to Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, an increasingly volatile security situation, and a growing refugee problem.

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This issue brief of the Atlantic Council's Iran Task Force outlines the 179-year history of US contacts with Iran, which have experienced periods of breakdown but currently are continuing at a low level despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties. It also recommends actions to advance these exchanges as a national security imperative—especially as the nuclear dispute with the Iranian government could well persist.

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This FutureScape issue brief, authored by Senior Fellows Peter Engelke and Robert A. Manning, is the first in a series related to The Transatlantic Partnership for the Global Future, a project organized in cooperation with the Government of Sweden, to bring together experts from government, business, and academia to address critical questions relating emerging technologies to global challenges and explore their effects on transatlantic relations in the near- and long-term.

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In the latest Iran Task Force issue brief, authors Yasmin Alem and Barbara Slavin analyze the political climate leading up to the June elections in Iran.

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In the latest issue brief from the Rafik Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council, "Post-revolutionary Politics in Libya: Inside the General National Congress," authors Karim Mezran, Fadel Lamen, and Eric Knecht analyze the evolution of Libya's political landscape since the July 2012 elections for the General National Congress (GNC).

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The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East is pleased to release a new issue brief, Egypt’s Litigious Transition: Judicial Intervention and the Muddied Road to Democracy. Mahmoud Hamad, assistant professor of politics and international relations at Drake University, evaluates to the evolving role of Egypt’s judiciary in the country’s transition since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

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Europe’s energy security discourse has been traditionally preoccupied with concerns about potential physical disruption of Russian gas. Fixation over the possibility of a physical disruption misses the point and misreads current European gas market realities. The real challenge for European-Russian energy relations, and in fact, for European energy security, lies in settling on a price that leaves both sides content.

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China’s new leadership takes office amid growing questions about China’s internal direction and its assertive foreign policy. Conventional wisdom portrays China in the mode of Sun Tzu, far-sighted strategists looking decades ahead. But thus far, it appears that China’s leaders have strategic goals, but no apparent strategy for how to achieve them. This Atlantic Council brief, authored by Robert A. Manning and Banning Garrett, assesses the challenges China faces–worsening pollution, corruption, and a growth model that needs sweeping reforms and examines the difficulties Beijing faces in addressing them.

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The latest Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center issue brief, “Six Months of Georgian Dreams: The State of Play and Ways Forward,” by assistant director Laura Linderman, reviews key developments following Georgia’s October democratic transfer of power.
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The Middle East Peace and Security Initiative is pleased to release a new issue brief, “A Strategy for US Engagement in the Middle East: Contain Threats, Embrace Dignity." Michele Dunne, director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Barry Pavel, director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security evaluate challenges and opportunities for US interests in President Barack Obama’s second term, in light of profound changes in the Middle East and North Africa
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