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

China vs US or China vs Law: How Europe Can Make the Difference

Terrorism, a belligerent Russia, and the refugee crisis are no excuses for Europe forgetting its international duties, like the preservation of the rules-based world order. The EU must affirm its commitment to international law by supporting the Permanent Court of Arbitration's ruling that China has no claim to expanded control of the South China Sea. The EU and the international community can show that this conflict is not China vs USA, but China vs international law. 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

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

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

Europe and the US-China Rivalry

While President Xi Jinping aims to establish a “new type of great power relations” with the United States and Washington is responding with a policy of cooperation and containment, Europe still needs to define a common and coherent approach to China and its foreign policy. Germany could and should play a leading role in the formulation of this strategy. But in order to do so effectively, Berlin will need to overcome its aversion to geopolitics and power plays. View

Thomas Friedman on the World's Most Disruptive Forces

The Market, Moore’s Law and Mother Nature are the three biggest forces shaping the world today. That was Thomas Friedman’s central thesis at a recent event hosted by the American Academy in Berlin. He described how the expansion and speed of globalization (the market), the exponential acceleration of computing power (Moore’s Law), and climate change, the extinction of biodiversity, and population growth (Mother Nature) affect individual careers, national economies, and entire civilizations. View

Book Review: "Want, Waste, or War?"

The authors of this book, Philip Andrews-Speed et al., present a compelling case for taking a resource nexus approach in analyzing global resource use by considering the interconnectedness among natural resources. This approach helps to understand the potential implications across regions. Without a fairer and more effective approach to resource governance, risks for increased waste, want and war will likely become more pressing in the future. View

Divided They Stood

The “Umbrella Revolution” in Hong Kong became popular through media-winsome pictures of civil disobedience against both the Hong Kong government and China’s perceived supremacy. Protests in 2014 have exposed the city’s split in terms of future of business and governance. It may appear as Tiananmen revisited—it was rather a conflict about Hong Kong’s identity and “Occupy Central’s” credibility. View

Technology Is Key to Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change

Clean technology is vital to the challenge of preventing dangerous climate change. As negotiators prepare for make-or-break international talks, developments in China may help make a stronger global climate deal possible. The challenge of rolling out low emissions and climate adaptation technology is becoming ever more urgent. China's role in the emergence of economical alternatives to carbon-intensive development in the Global South may be as important as its own commitments to global mitigation. View

What the West Should Do About the BRICS

Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (the BRICS) launched the New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement, challenging World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. If transatlantic leaders don't act both decisively and with humility in the years ahead, the institutions they created 70 years ago at Bretton Woods are doomed to lose a lot of their might in international affairs. Giving the BRICS a bigger role in the IMF & World Bank could be a necessary step for preserving these institutions. View

Will the Dragon Follow the Bear?

Putin's tactics have caused a crisis in the European security order and could be copied by rising powers in Asia dissatisfied with their neighborhood's geopolitical status quo. Beijing could cite Ukraine as a precedent for settling border disputes with force. China does not yet feel it is in its national interest to openly defy America's arrangements in East Asia, yet it is confident enough to openly harass and intimidate its regional neighbors when it feels they threaten Chinese interests. View

Infographic Guide to NATO Funding and Defense Expenditure

The Atlantic Council Canada has produced various infographics on defense spending, which show that the United States allocates a higher percentage of its GDP on defense than any other NATO member. The US is also the largest contributor to common funding, with Germany as the second greatest. Taking into account worldwide defense expenditure, the US spends $669 billion, while China spends $158 billion and France $63 billion. 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

Call for Articles: Defining Global Norms on Drone Policy

In cooperation with the Politisch-Militärische Gesellschaft (pmg) e.V., Atlantic Community is launching its fifth Theme Week in 2013, addressing the international debate on whether we should, or how to, utilize drones for military purposes. We cordially invite you to submit your opinion on how the transatlantic partners can define globally recognizable norms for deploying drones in and outside of official war zones. View

Global Norms Needed for Drones

The United States has received a lot of criticism both at home and abroad for its use of armed drones, to conduct strikes against persons that it deems to be plotting terrorist attacks against the US. While the US uses the logic that it is in a perpetual war against Al Qaeda, most countries do not recognise this argument. The use of armed drones to carry out killings has raised many questions about the ethics, legality, and necessity of this type of operation. View

China's Dueling National Dialogues

While the Chinese government has promoted one dialogue of xenophobic nationalism, based on old wounds and memories of Western "cultural imperialism," another dialogue exists as well. China's other, confident and cosmopolitan nationalism can be encouraged through Western public diplomacy and avoidance of gratuitous China-bashing by Western politicians and media. Reaching out to the future of China, its young people, would make inroads towards a positive Sino-Western relationship. View

China Needs Soft Power

The popular thesis of a Chinese 21st century has proven to be over-hyped, as the US has made it to the top again as one of the most competitive countries. Paradoxically, China’s adoption of the 2013 PR-slogan “Chinese Dream,” bears similarity to the US’s strategy of soft power. Despite its attempts, the “Chinese Dream” fails to incorporate a foreign policy strategy or effectively convey that the nation has peaceful intentions. China must adopt policies that express greater global cooperation. 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

The World Braces Itself As North Korea Flexes Its Muscles

Since the beginning of 2013, North Korea has successfully carried out three nuclear tests and has launched a satellite into orbit. Although the rogue nation has a history of threats and provocative actions, there is growing concern in the transatlantic community, especially in the United States, over what North Korea can and will do. While some suggest that Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s young new leader, is simply trying to assert control over his country, others argue that we should take the threats at face value. View

Frozen Politics in the Far North

The Arctic Council represents politics frozen in time, out of touch with both the modern world and new Arctic actors. While it remains a model of international co-operation, it ignores new interest groups. The member states must recognize the changing times or risk becoming dangerously redundant in the face of political and climatic crisis. The Council can do this by opening its doors to new observer states such as China, South Korea, and the European Union. View

The Primacy of Economic Interests

In an article for our partner IP Journal, the German Council on Foreign Relations' English language magazine, NATO's Michael Rühle argues that, as traditional security policy is superseded by economic and energy interests, we must begin to discuss the "economization of security policy." He describes what needs to be done to ensure that this commercialization of security will still allow the friendly member countries of NATO and the EU to avoid 21st century conflicts and to continue to act collectively. 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

Strengthening EU-China Relations

The European Union’s strategy in its economic relations with China needs to be coherent, feasible and more interest-based. The EU could take on several initiatives, including granting China market economy status, negotiating a bilateral investment agreement, and improving EU-China relations within international institutions.This will improve the EU's negotiation position with China and assert the EU's presence in emerging markets in Asia. View

Balancing a Rising China: The Future of Transatlantic Relations has received numerous outstanding articles from its community of over 7,000 members in the past several years. Our members have contributed to the think tank’s debates, theme weeks, and policy workshop competitions. A recurring discussion in our community revolved around a rising China and the challenges it poses to the West. View

Climate Change is Everyman's Problem

While deniers cite that climate change is only a rich man’s problem, in reality the issue transcends class. Both the rich and the poor, and the believers and the skeptics, will benefit from the job creation and economic boosts of promoting green technology. View

Divided We Fall: The Case of ASEAN

The unprecedented disunity within ASEAN can be attributed to both internal and external factors. With rising tensions between China and the Philippines, and neighboring states picking one side or the other, the emerging US-Chinese rivalry for regional influence further threatens the institutional cohesion and economic collaboration of ASEAN. View