Publications

pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

Russia is once again a major player in the Middle East. Moscow has notably backed the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while it has a growing footprint in Iran, Turkey, and the Gulf. Russia's return to the region has posed significant challenges for transatlantic policymaking in this era of renewed great-power competition. This new issue brief by Dr. Mark N. Katz addresses Russia’s growing role in the region and its economic, political, and security implications.


pdfRead the Publication (PDF)
pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

Throughout 2018, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center convened a “Task Force on US Nuclear Energy Leadership,” which comprised civilian and military experts in foreign policy, defense, and nuclear energy. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) served as honorary co-chairs of the Task Force. This report, entitled “US Nuclear Energy Leadership: Innovation and the Strategic Global Challenge,” is the result of these efforts.
The Task Force found that a flourishing domestic nuclear energy sector is critical to US national security, both in the interconnections between military and civilian uses of nuclear energy, as well as in foreign policy. This report recommends maintaining and expanding the current nuclear fleet; creating a conducive regulatory environment for innovation and new technologies; and encouraging and facilitating nuclear energy exports.



pdfRead the Publication (PDF)
pdfУкраїнська Мова/Русский Язык

Ukraine conducted its presidential election in accordance with democratic standards, reflected in the assessments of credible international observers. It did so despite clear Russian interference in Ukraine’s election, though the interference was not extensive enough to affect the election’s outcome or the actual voting process.

Heightened vigilance by Ukrainian authorities and civil society helped to reduce its potential impact.   In contrast to 2014, when Russian cyberattacks compromised the Central Election Commission network, Ukrainian authorities were more prepared for possible attacks in 2019. As a result, during the first and second rounds of the presidential election—despite numerous minor cyber incidents—Ukraine did not suffer a major cyberattack.

Read More

pdfRead the Publication (PDF)
The current model of cybersecurity is outdated. Adversaries continue to grow more sophisticated and outpace advancements in defense technologies, processes, and education. As nation states enter into a new period of great power competition, the deficiencies in current cybersecurity practice, evidenced by the growing number of successful cyber-attacks from Russia, China, North Korea, and others, pose a greater threat.
The need to update the cybersecurity model is clear. An enhanced public-private model – based on coordinated, advanced protection and resilience – is necessary to protect key critical infrastructure sectors. In addition, enhanced action from the federal government, coupled with increased formal cooperation with international allies, are necessary to ensure comprehensive cybersecurity resilience.


pdfRead the Publication (PDF)
pdfRead the Publication (PDF)
In US law, the National Technology and Industrial Base (NTIB) comprises the industrial bases of the United States and three of its closest historical allies, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Canada was included when the original NTIB was established in 1994, and its scope was expanded in 2016 to include Australia and the United Kingdom. That recent expansion has corresponded with a changing threat and technology environment, in which the leading sources of industrial innovation reside outside the defense sector and, increasingly, beyond the US and its Western allies. This new threat and technology environment will require a different a type of NTIB to support future defense-industrial planning and execution. The purpose of this new Atlantic Council report is to promote urgent deliberations over what a modern NTIB should look like, and to encourage Congress and the administration to adopt measures that will enable access to defense-industrial resources that are more responsive to the needs of the National Defense Strategy.
In "Leveraging the National Technology Industrial Base to Address Great-Power Competition," a comprehensive report by William Greenwalt, former deputy under secretary of defense for industrial policy.


pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

Russian information operations are carefully curated for each country that Moscow targets. For their own citizens, Russian media describe their country as all-powerful, yet the victim of constant plots and slander. Moldovans are told a predatory European Union (EU) is impoverishing the country and tearing it from Moscow’s benevolent orbit. The message to Ukrainians is that their country is a corrupt and incompetent state ripe for an extremist coup. In Georgia, Moscow aligns itself with those who claim the EU and NATO are bent on destroying the nation’s social and religious values.

Perhaps the most important US tool for contesting these narratives, directly to the populations Moscow targets, is US international broadcasting. A far cry from the precarious shortwave operations that did battle with Soviet jammers in the Cold War, US government-funded networks now pump out content on television, radio, the web, and social networks, operating in sixty languages. Audiences in the formerly Soviet countries of Eurasia are a particular target of these services. 



This paper will look first at fundamental issues of principle and mission that continue to fuel the debate over US international media. It will then assess the broadcasters’ challenges and performance in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. The paper concludes with recommendations on USAGM operations in those four nations and on the agency’s work as a whole. The recommendations address the perpetual question of whether the networks should be a public diplomacy tool or independent news sources; the value of the networks’ individual brands; the need to make audience research a far more central element of network operations; and the importance of better preparation for worst-case scenarios.


pdfRead the Publication (PDF)
pdfRead the Interactive Report

In this Spotlight, we ask: In what five key ways can the United States and Brazil work more effectively together to strengthen bilateral trade and foreign direct investment?


pdfRead the Interactive Report
pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

As NATO reaches its seventieth anniversary in 2019, the Alliance is facing new challenges both externally and internally. The reemergence of Russia as a strategic threat has led to the reexamination of NATO’s warfighting capabilities and the gaps that exist to adequately defend and deter. At the same time, both renewed US focus and the emergence of new security threats have placed increased pressure on member states to reach established spending targets.

The need to outfit and equip NATO for great power competition, as well as increased pressure to invest more in defense, provides an opportunity to strengthen NATO for the future. Yet the path forward is still unclear. What investments should be prioritized in the land, air, maritime, space and cyber domains? And how should the Alliance’s nuclear deterrent be modernized?

In NATO at Seventy: Filling NATO’s Critical Defense-Capability Gaps Atlantic Council nonresident senior fellow Dr. Wayne A. Schroeder offers a comprehensive menu of options for the Alliance to shape its investments in these critical areas and ensure that NATO retains its fighting mindset well past its seventieth anniversary in 2019.

The report features a foreword by Air Marshall Sir Chris Harper KBE, former director general of the International Military staff at NATO (2013-16).


pdfRead the Publication (PDF)
pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

Himalayan Asia is a shorthand term referring to the Asian countries that depend on river water from the high mountain ranges of the Tibetan Plateau. As the rivers produced by the Himalayas and other mountain ranges on the Plateau are under increasingly serious pressure, water insecurity threatens much of the continent’s peace and security. Himalayan Asia’s transboundary water dynamics threaten to erode interstate cooperation, including among the continent’s major powers, risk worsening geopolitical competition, and heighten the odds of domestic and interstate conflict. Yet there are viable pathways for avoiding such outcomes, the most important of which treat water as a shared resource to be managed cooperatively.

This report focuses on the intersection between Himalayan Asia’s changing ecology and the dynamic competition for geopolitical leadership among its major powers. It seeks to better inform US strategies and policies to preclude the degradation of societal cohesion across Asia and prevent the outbreak of major-power conflict over shared water resources. The goal is to facilitate cooperative, positive-sum solutions to resource use in this critical region of the world.




pdfRead the Publication (PDF)
pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

As a great power competition with Russia plays out in Europe, the United States and its Allies in NATO must reassess the role and importance of the air domain to transatlantic security. While NATO has made notable strides in strengthening defense and deterrence in the land domain, more must be done in the air domain. Reemerging adversaries, including Russia, continue to invest in advanced assets and pursue strategies and risky behavior that test the Alliance and its ability to respond. Russia also poses significant challenges to allied air superiority, including A2/AD networks in Northern Europe, over the Black Sea, and in the Eastern Mediterranean that have the potential to limit allied access to these regions. While the United States and its NATO Allies and partners have enjoyed three decades of air supremacy, the pendulum is now swinging in the other direction. This could have real implications in a potential crisis.
In the latest issue brief from the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, General Frank Gorenc, USAF (Ret.) maps out the challenges facing NATO—those posed by Russia and those stemming from gaps in Allied capabilities—and provides a series of recommendations for NATO to improve its posture in the air domain as a means to ensuring stability in Europe.


pdfRead the Publication (PDF)