Publications

President Bush and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

The September 11th terrorist attacks and their aftermath have not altered Saudi Arabia’s fundamental importance in the international arena nor its importance to the United States. Saudi Arabia remains the source of much of the world’s oil reserves, the site of the holiest places in Islam, and the crossroad of strategic lines of communication between Europe and Asia.

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In late November, the leaders of the NATO nations will gather in Riga for “a transformation summit.” Yet, if the agenda develops as currently planned, the Alliance will not even consider a fundamental element of transformation — building a new partnership with the European Union. The failure to establish a strong relationship with the EU has contributed greatly to the intra-Alliance tensions concerning NATO’s purpose and future tasks. As the EU accelerates the development of its security and military component, the potential for overlap with NATO has grown, giving rise to confusion over the relative roles of these two institutions in the transatlantic security architecture. By failing to address this reality, NATO will leave the door open to further tension and rivalry.

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Top Secret

Colonel Daniel Putbrese, USAF, an Atlantic Council Senior Fellow, argues in  "Intelligence Sharing: Getting the National Counterterrorism Analysts on the Same Data Sheet" that it is imperative that national counterterrorism centers be able to access undisseminated  data before it has been analyzed, filtered, and/or packaged and that doing so requires a radical change in the Intelligence Community's professional culture.

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The challenges of winning the peace, as well as winning the war, have gained increasing attention among NATO members. This development reflects hard-learned lessons from Alliance experiences in the Balkans and Afghanistan. Despite attention at all levels, corresponding changes have yet to be institutionalized within NATO. This resistance to change is, in part, normal bureaucratic inertia, but it also reflects a lack of consensus about the extent to which NATO should be involved in establishing and sustaining a peace. Differences within the Alliance on appropriate roles for NATO beyond winning wars are coming to the surface in the debate over the immediate post-war tasks of stabilisation operations and initial reconstruction efforts, which we refer to in this report by the acronym "S&R".
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Russia’s rapidly declining population will soon no longer be able to support the current size of the Russian military. The number of Russian males turning 18-years-old is forecasted to drop by about 50 percent in the next 10 to 15 years. This approaching population decline requires significant structural reform within the Russian military. Yet, Russia’s military leadership has been slow to act and has not taken the kinds of steps required to prepare for this coming change.

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Following the publication of his most recent book, China’s Rise in Asia: Promises and Perils, Dr. Robert Sutter embarked on a research trip in spring-summer 2006 which involved dozens of workshops to explore China’s rise and U.S. leadership in Asia. These workshops were attended by several hundred non-government specialists and elites in 21 cities of eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region; the trip also involved in-depth interviews with 75 government representatives in those countries. The findings of Dr. Sutter’s research are:

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In recognition of the impact China’s and India’s quest for sustainable development will have on the world’s energy markets and the global environmental outlook, the Atlantic Council of the United States undertook a major project in 2000 to conduct a dialogue among prominent experts in China, India, Japan and the United States. This dialogue was to address some of the more significant problems facing China and India due to the existing and increasing level of air pollution that will accompany rapidly growing energy consumption.

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The stunning rout of the proposed EU constitution a year ago in the referenda in the Netherlands and France leads one to wonder, a year later, where Europe goes from here. One must also consider what went wrong and whether circumstances have changed, or will change, sufficiently to allow another approach to a European charter, as proposed by the European Council at their June gathering.

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Over the past several years, the Atlantic Council’s International Security Program has taken a position that, in due course, the United States’ adversarial relationships with countries, such as Libya, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and North Korea will eventually be restructured both in recognition of changes in the nature or policies of these difficult regimes, and in anticipation of a more cooperative dynamic with regard to shared problems. In the case of Libya, there has been a great deal of progress since 2004, but some issues and problems remain.

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This Issue Brief is based in part on an Atlantic Council delegation trip to Taiwan in December 2005, led by Franklin D. Kramer, chairman of the Council’s Committee on Asia and Global Security, and including Jan M. Lodal, president of the Council, and Council board members, Julia Chang Bloch, John L. Fugh, and Helmut Sonnenfeldt, as well as Banning Garrett, director of Asia Programs, Jonathan M. Adams, Asia Programs assistant director, and Ellen Frost, senior fellow at the Institute of International Economics. Banning Garrett, Jonathan Adams and Franklin Kramer wrote this Issue Brief which was endorsed by the other members of the delegation.

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