Central Asia

Smaller and Larger Nations: Concert of Big Powers or Fair Balance of Interests?

The destiny of the people living in Europe has been shaped for many years by the interests of the great powers. For centuries, the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg empires, as well as France and Britain, have dominated the European continent. From the nineteenth century until the end of World War II, first Prussia and then Germany—directly and indirectly—joined this competition for influence. Indeed, during the Yalta Conference, the great powers of the time shaped the European political landscape for decades to come. View

Enhancing NATO Cohesion: A Framework for 21st Century Solidarity

Memo 52: A diverse set of policies is needed to unify a diverse set of peoples against a diverse set of threats. NATO should reorganize itself, develop a shared clean-energy grid and strengthen links between different national publics. View

Georgia and Russia: Smoldering Conflict at a Geopolitical Intersection

Georgia can be a strategic pillar of stability in an otherwise volatile region and we should consequently place it much higher on our political agenda. Georgians want nothing more than NATO membership and the West cannot deny the evident successes of democratization and economic reform. The internal logic of realist politics however demands other factors also be considered. Georgia joining NATO would further exacerbate the conflict with Russia. View

Future-Proofing NATO: A Forthcoming Decade of Change

Memo 50: NATO must adopt hybrid models of national defense, coordinate efforts on economic and electronic warfare, and secure its space-based infrastructure. The Alliance should also establish a partnership with China and strengthen its presence in the Arctic. View

A Holistic Approach to Defeating the Islamic State

NATO and its allies are insufficiently addressing the Islamic State, which will significantly backlash in the next 10 years. In order to sufficiently tackle this huge threat, we need a more comprehensive approach that addresses not only the Islamic State, in Iraq and Syria, but worldwide. The key to a successful strategy lies in a holistic two-fold approach – using special forces and the establishment of non-democratic governments. View

Shaping our NATO: Young Voices on the Warsaw Summit 2016

Our new policy workshop competition gives students and recent graduates the opportunity to reflect on the most pressing issues facing NATO today and to shape the future of the Alliance. Five winners will receive a trip to Berlin to present the collective ideas to decision-makers. View

Bibliography on NATO: Some Guidance for Getting Started

As a think-thank comprised mainly of Political Science students, we are keenly aware of the endless activities that foment procrastination when writing an article. In order to get the proverbial mental ball rolling for the "Shaping our NATO" competition, we have compiled some recent publications regarding NATO. These articles range from introductory texts to more area-focused and technical papers. View

Political Risks Threaten the Global Economy

Political risks have increased in recent years, while policy makers, including central banks, have less power to mitigate those risks. Global stock prices, however, do not reflect these developments as the markets have been distracted by cheap and abundant liquidity. "Great Power Sclerosis" and the weakness of Pax Americana have created a vacuum in global governance. The bank Citi raises awareness about the "new convergence between geopolitical and vox populi risks". View

The EU's Peter Pan Syndrome

The EU's refusal of Indian Prime Minister Modi's request for a summit level meeting in Brussels has damaged the relationship between India and the EU. If the EU hopes to build upon its strategic partnership with Modi's reform minded government, it must stop treating the relationship as being of secondary importance. To convince New Delhi of its commitment to their continued partnership, Brussels should seek out high level talks and be more receptive to Indian interests. View

The EU Eastern Partnership Needs More Attention to Security

On March 6-7, 2015, the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs reached the conclusion that the EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) requires transformation and further development. The current situation in the EaP Region, frozen conflicts, and aggression against Ukraine demands more attention to the security dimension of the EU initiative and it is very important for the Eastern partner-countries to find ways to meet these key challenges. View

Holding Putin over a Barrel

Authors Sijbren de Jong, Willem Th. Oosterveld, Willem Auping and Daniel Fiott write that the collapse of the price of oil has masked the fact that Europe's response to the Ukraine crisis has been vacillating, slow, and toothless. Yet worsening economic conditions in Russia should not tempt Europeans to consider prematurely easing sanctions. Rather, European states should remain vigilant in their military preparedness and mindful of the dangers of internal divisions with regard to Russia. View

Russia's Policy Toolbox

The current diplomatic disconnect between Russia and US-EU is monumental. Having returned from the Munich Security Conference former German Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger stated at the Hertie School of Governance, "Trust between the two sides is virtually at zero." With the recent crisis in Ukraine it is vital that the Atlantic community assess Russia's policy toolbox on the European continent. Thus, it is necessary to plan and familiarize ourselves to the tools at Putin's disposal. View

Defending the Rules-Based Multilateral Order against Putin's Multipolarism

The Ukrainian crisis represents the clashing of world orders; Putin's multipolarism with European multilateralism. Principles such as the rule of law, democracy, individual rights and civil liberties have no place in Putin's world of power politics and spheres of influence, but Europe should work hard to preserve them, and stand up to Russian aggression. Power matters always, but in a rules-based multilateral order law and institutions are the framework that organize and limit power. View

Counterinsurgency and Tribal Politics

Findings of this research are focused on NATO capabilities in the light of requirement and planning assumptions required to conduct missions tailored to certain operations within tribal society. The key aspects are related to the strategies of the International Organizations and its implementation while facing an unpredictable threat in hostile environment relevant to the hybrid wars and asymmetry. View

NATO Enlargement: Why a Fourth Round is Long Overdue

The events in the Ukraine over the last year and a half have led to some calls for a ceasing of NATO's successful enlargement process. However, this would be detrimental to the future stability and security of the Western Balkans region. As of 2015, Albania, Croatia and Slovenia are formal members of NATO. Why, therefore, should Montenegro and Macedonia not be the next states to join the alliance from this region? The fourth phase of NATO's enlargement should occur for a third time in the Western Balkans. View

Possible Impacts of TTIP on Turkey

The impacts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US are very crucial for their economies, but it is also obvious that TTIP will impact non-members as well. If Turkey is a part of TTIP, the relationship between Turkey and the EU would be more active. On the other hand, if Turkey is excluded from TTIP, there will be negative impacts for Turkey. In this article, the possible impacts of TTIP on the Turkish economy are examined. View

When Solving Ukraine Focus on Ukraine, not Russia

When trying to solve the Ukraine crisis, the United States and its European allies concentrated their efforts on punishing Russia. While Moscow is a major stakeholder in the crisis, the keys to peace are in Ukraine. The transatlantic partners must turn to Kiev, Donetsk, and Lugansk in their attempt to bring the country back to normality. There are no more concessions Russia would be willing to make with respect to the crisis, but those are not needed. Instead, the transatlantic partners must exercise their full influence with Kiev. View

Afghanistan's Best Asset: Its Youthful Optimism

Afghanistan of 2001 is not comparable with the Afghanistan of 2015. With 352,000 strong Afghan National Security Forces, backed by the US and NATO, an increasingly vibrant civil society sector, and a large youth population, Afghans are hopeful that their country will never return to the dark era. For this to remain effective, Afghanistan and its partners must continue to broaden those achievements over the next decade, ushering in a new era of transformation. View

The CIA Torture Report: Et tu, Europe?

The Senate's report has rightly caused outrage around the world. In the United States, the discussion of guilt and its consequences (or lack thereof) is impossible to avoid. Europe should also now look into the mirror and ask itself what portion of guilt it shares. There must be consequences for those who helped orchestrate the crimes against the very principles that Europe's post-WWII order was supposedly built upon. View

Kabul's Military Hospital

A look inside Kabul's premier military hospital, Dawood, run by the Afghan Ministry of Defence, where casualties are brought from the frontlines all over Afghanistan for treatment. We follow an IED casualty brought in via medevac and interview key personnel at the hospital. Healthcare standards have drastically improved in recent years, and continue to do so. Standards of cooperation between NATO and the Afghan military remain high. View

The Commandos - The Special Forces Unit in Afghanistan's Army

Ready for deployment any time of the day or night, the Commandos make up a formidable force within the Afghan Army. We take a look at what it takes to be a member of this elite force. This 12 week long programme, comprised of intensive physical and mental tests, provides the Afghan Special Forces with the skills to counter insurgent threats anywhere in the country. View

The Secretary General's Annual Report 2013

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Annual Report 2013 focuses on NATO's achievements in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Turkey and against piracy and the ways to ensure an efficient and capable NATO for 2014 and beyond. He concentrates on the areas of Active Engagement, Broad Partnerships and Modern Defence. His emphasis lies on fiscal constraints in Europe and how NATO can remain strong despite these conditions. View

NATO's Military Transformation: Q&A with General Palomeros

Atlantic-community.org invites you to participate in our Q&A session with the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. General Jean-Paul Paloméros leads NATO's Allied Command Transformation (ACT), which drives, facilitates, and advocates continuous improvement of Alliance capabilities to maintain and enhance NATO's military relevance and effectiveness. Submit your questions by Sunday, October 27, 2013 and get answers from one of the most senior military leaders. View

Modern Defense: Better Smart Than Sexy?

A huge array of equipment that has flowed into Afghanistan over more than a decade must now leave in more or less 12 months. This means calling in some specialist kit to get the job done, including massive air transport planes. There are 14 countries (12 of them NATO members) who participate in a programme named Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS). NATO Review looks at how several countries have worked together to share this kit, saving money and time. View

Towards a Zero Footprint Camp

Quite apart from cost, the energy dependence of the armed forces has an impact on operational effectiveness. Alliance operations involve an increasingly complex and costly logistical organisation. Transporting large quantities of fuel also creates risks to the safety of the soldiers. Reducing the energy footprint of operations is a priority. NATO and individual Allies are working on alternative energy sources and developing multinational ‘smart energy’ projects. View

Delegates Seek Innovative Solutions at Y8 and Y20 Summit

Policy Innovation e.V. and Atlantic Community collaborated in May 2013 for a Theme Week on the Y8 and Y20 summits that would take place in June. Through Atlantic Community members' commentary on the policy papers of the German Delegation to the Y8 and Y20, Atlantic Community had the unique ability to help shape the positions of the delegation. Policy Innovation's Press-Delegate Matthias Kaspers presents an overview of the experience and recommendations yielded by the summits. View

Countering Terror with Trade: The Silk Route to Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan is critical to China’s push to control sea-lanes in the Indian Ocean and it has the potential to become the locus of various anti-American forces, including the Taliban. Sole reliance on militaristic strategies has led to closed borders, a weakened regional economy and the emergence of safe havens for militants. A winning solution for both the people of the region and the United States is to reduce the military’s footprint and replace it with economic development and trade. View

Gilgit-Baltistan Holds Importance Beyond Kashmir

While it may be a lesser-known region, Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a buffer between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. The development of water resources flowing from Gilgit-Baltistan could improve the livelihood of rural Pakistan and thus lessen manpower heading towards extremist groups. Empowerment of the region could be accomplished through development assistance and encouragement of the local population by the transatlantic community. View

Afghanistan: A Story Untold

Three decades of war have made Afghanistan one of the world’s poorest countries. Military intervention after the 9/11 attacks has fuelled an internal conflict between Islamic extremists and a government struggling for legitimacy. This has led to huge numbers of casualties. However, despite the grim history of the conflict, there is evidence for optimism. Western publics should be made aware of the achievements made in integrating the country back into the region during the past twelve years. View

Innovative Proposals for the G20 Summit

This week, Atlantic Community will turn its attention to the G8 and G20 summits. Every day, we will publish policy papers written by members of the German Delegation to the Y8 and Y20 summits, the official G8 and G20 youth events. Their Final Communiqué will be presented to the real heads of state of all G20 and G8 countries. By commenting on their ideas, you have the unique chance to influence the positions of the German Delegation and the Final Communiqué. View

Balochistan: Pakistan's Next Headache?

The international community is anxiously waiting to see if the forthcoming elections in Pakistan can provide a solution to Islamic insurgency and stabilize the country. While the impact of Pakistan’s instability on post-NATO Afghanistan is widely discussed, it is important to examine sources of domestic instability in Pakistan that are not directly related to Afghanistan but which might have implications for the transatlantic community. View

Top Brit Reflects on a Changing Afghanistan

The transition process in which Afghan security forces will take primary responsibility for their country's security is now well underway. Today, 87 percent of the country has transitioned to Afghan lead, with ISAF forces taking a supporting role. Lieutenant General Nick Carter, Deputy Commander of ISAF, talks about the progress that has been made in some parts of the country and what this progress means for ordinary Afghans, Afghan security, and the future of the Taliban. View

International Women's Day with NATO's Mari Skaare

In celebration of International Women's Day, the NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for Women Peace and Security, Mari Skaare, answers questions from atlantic-community.org members on NATO's implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Alliance and its missions, specifically in Afghanistan. Ms. Skaare addresses the role of female soldiers, the presence of women in decision-making, and NATO's long-term commitment to gender issues in Afghanistan. View

Afghanistan: From Commitment to Action

The Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, agreed to by both the Afghan government and the international community in July 2012, sets out the conditions by which Afghanistan will receive aid between 2012 and 2015. These conditions include increased transparency and accountability, and reduced corruption. If Afghanistan is to meet these conditions, both the Afghan government and the international community will need to work together to establish peace and justice in Afghanistan. View

Women, Peace and Security: Q&A with Special Representative Mari Skaare

In celebration of International Women's Day on 8 March, atlantic-community.org invites you to participate in the next of our Q&A series, which will be with the NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security. Mari Skaare will be taking questions from Atlantic Community members on NATO's implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and related Resolutions. View

Afghanistan 2013 and Beyond

As NATO forces continue to wind down the operation in Afghanistan, Afghan National Security Forces are taking on increasing responsibility for their country's security. In addition to the withdrawal of NATO forces, Afghans will go to the polls in 2014, to elect a new President. In this video, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Maurits Jochems, explains the challenges ahead in 2013, one year ahead of complete security transfer to the Afghans. View

The Information Gaps in the Secretary General's Second Annual Report

The NATO Secretary General's second annual report substantiates earlier fears that the initiative is more PR gloss than a useful contribution to greater accountability. The report is reduced to little more than a public relations device through adopting an overly optimistic view on transition in Afghanistan and perpetuating myths about defense spending. NATO should do more in the area of public disclosure reform, using the annual report as a means by which to truly assess and present its performance story. View

Top Ten Issues on the Transatlantic Agenda

What issues do you think will prove important in transatlantic relations this year? In this article, the editorial team presents our top ten topics for 2013. We identify what we think the big issues for 2013 might be, as well as where potential for transatlantic and global cooperation might lie. These ten topics will form the inspiration for some of our theme weeks and competitions over the coming months, so make sure to let us know what interests you. View

International Cooperation Needed to Regulate Drone Policy

Now is the time to review US drone policy. The US has over 8,000 drones in service and these aircraft dominate R&D funding. Meanwhile, discussion on the use of drones is beginning to intensify in the US, raising questions surrounding the ethics and legality of their use. As NATO and other states around the world begin to develop and acquire their own drones, the US must enter into a more comprehensive dialogue with its partners concerning their responsible use in the years to come. View

Battlefield Earth? The Tradeoffs of US Counterterrorism

In an attempt to prevent another terrorist attack, the US is faced with many difficult choices in combating an adversary that hides in plain sight, targets noncombatants, and has shown a propensity to sacrifice itself in the name of a cause. No matter how effective these choices may be, one should not forget there is a steep price to pay. View

Russian-US Relations Better than They Seem

During the Russian presidential elections in spring 2012, Vladimir Putin used anti-American rhetoric to strengthen his image as a great defender against the West. Yet, when political conversations were not for public viewing, Moscow’s dialogue with the Obama administration was much friendlier and more attuned to cooperation. View

Georgia and Russia: Radical Poltical Reset?

The unexpected Georgian elections opened up discussion on the possible future of Georgian-Russian relations. Anticipating Georgian withdrawal from its western ambitions is largely exaggerated; there are numerous reasons why a radical change in relations cannot and should not be expected with the new government in power. View

Jonathan Granoff Discusses Transatlantic Security

Jonathan Granoff is currently the president of the Global Security Institute, an international organization dedicated to nuclear disarmament. As a lawyer and international advocate, he has been a vocal opponent of nuclear proliferation, serving on the advisory boards of the NGO Committee on Disarmament at the United Nations and the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy as well as being the UN Representative of the Lawyer's Alliance for World Security. View

Renewable Energy as an Incentive for Peace

The US can eliminate Iran’s incentives for developing nuclear technology without becoming militarily involved by creating an economic agreement that establishes Iran as a leader in renewable energy. Such an agreement would be less expensive than a military operation against Iran. View

Georgia's Road to the West & the Russian Obstacle in its Way

What should Georgia expect from its relationship with Russia even if the West gets nothing but aggressive energy policy and a disregard for international law? Four years after the August War in 2008 the road to the West for the young democratic country remains dynamic and filled with geopolitical struggles. View

Flying Home - The Road to Recovery

For many of the soldiers injured in Afghanistan their war is over, some of them will make a full recovery while others require round-the-clock care. The dedicated team of staff and volunteers at the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility, or CASF, work tirelessly to make sure these soldiers return to their families. View

NATO Assistant Secretary General Responds to Member Questions

Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović has answered ten questions from atlantic-community.org members and friends. Read her responses on NATO policy on women’s rights, UN resolution 1325, Afghanistan, Arab spring, and the Balkans. View

Exclusive Q&A with Ambassador Grabar-Kitarovic on Women, Peace and Security

In celebration of the 12th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, atlantic-community.org invites you to participate in our next Q&A session with NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. She will be answering questions on "Women, Peace and Security". View

The Deputy Secretary General of NATO Responds to Your Questions

Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Alexander Vershbow, has answered your questions! Here we have published his responses to ten of your questions, on a broad range of topics covering NATO's post-summit agenda. These topics include the NATO presence in Afghanistan, the conflict in Syria, relations with Russia, the operation in Libya, Smart Defense, missile defense, and NATO's role in the Caucasus. Make sure to let us know what you think. View

The New Great Game in Central Asia

Managing Editor Jonathan Tepperman interviews Professor Alex Cooley on the geopolitical role of Central Asia, and how outside powers - Russia, China, and the United States - are competing for influence in the region, as the British and Russian empires did a century ago. View