How Germany and the United States Can Strengthen Cooperation

“Federal governments should no longer be viewed as the sole source for action and solutions both because of the current administration in the US and a continued power shift towards NGOs and local actors. Engagement at the subnational level is ever more critical.” This is one of the key conclusions from the first “Atlantic Expedition”. View

Trump and NATO: Opportunities and Dangers

The Atlantic world is not coming to an end. Not yet, at least. It is facing turbulence, which means serious risks. Change always brings both opportunity and risk. The best way to head off risk is, in most cases, to find and focus on opportunities. On the evidence thus far, the risks from Trump are less, not greater, than they have been from Obama and Bush II. The latter two were very different, but both were bad for the Atlantic Alliance. View

Lessons from Libya: Indecision, Air Power and the Light Footprint

The fall of Colonel Gadhafi’s regime in Libya, brought about in part by a sustained NATO air campaign, was lauded as a triumph by the international community. However, as with every intervention of this kind in recent memory, what replaces such violent rule is the crucial determinant of success. This is where NATO fell short in Libya. Its failure represents a threat not only to the stability of Libya as a nation, but also to the stability of North Africa and the Middle East. View

NATO’s Failure to Tackle Extremist Ideology

Violent extremism has become the most destabilizing threat facing NATO has faced. There has been no coherent, international strategy to counter the narratives that perpetuate the ideology and the violence is causes. We need new structures in NATO to address the ideology as well as a global commitment on education and governance, equipping states to effectively tackle extremism at its roots. View

Enable German Rearmament to Kickstart NATO's Transformation

To transform NATO, rearm Germany. The Euro-Atlantic security community should welcome Germany's military growth, and help turn it into a wider process leading to a necessary and long overdue shift of security responsibilities away from the U.S. and towards major European powers. View

Partnering with China and Stifling ISIS's Funding

By 2026, the rise of China will result in a bipolar international system. NATO can be the vessel through which the US cooperates with China. China can be made a “partner” and the role of partners can be expanded. Meanwhile in 2016, NATO is insufficiently addressing ISIS. NATO should strive to stifle ISIS economically. By leveraging diplomatic and economic influence to deal with state and non-state threats, it can pursue its function of collective defense while preserving peace. 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

Why NATO Should Get Involved with Bitcoin

Bitcoin has the potential to fundamentally transform the global financial system. It also poses a serious threat to international security. NATO needs to play a role in protecting the Bitcoin market economy from cyber-attacks, aggregate the human and technological capital necessary to thwart prevent Bitcoin from being used in the funding and orchestration of terror attacks, and proactively address potential privacy concerns. View

The Importance of Cyber-Security for NATO

In the probable event of an extensive cyber-attack in the next decade, it would be difficult to create a spontaneous and cohesive response. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that NATO and its member states turn their attention in order to prioritize cyber-security policies – they cannot afford to waste time. View

The Internationalization of Far-Right Terrorism in Europe and NATO's Future Role

Out of Ukraine we can see indications of a future threat. It is not the Russian government, it is right-wing extremism. Right-wing terrorism is becoming increasingly international, and hence requires international action through NATO. To mitigate this threat more intelligence cooperation is required and NATO stands as a perfect institution to facilitate this in Europe. 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

The Libyan Chaos: Options for the International Community

High expectations for a short-term solution in Libya are misconceived. Since the deposal of Gaddafi, the country has devolved into a diffused state of anarchy. International efforts to reconcile the Tripoli and Tobruk governments are now faltering. What is needed is more inclusive dialogue between the parties. This will empower actors in the country to find more resilient and sustainable solutions to the conflict. View

In Syria, Russia is Certainly not an Ally

It is almost a common refrain these days. With Russia’s intervention in Syria, is there not a chance to build a new coalition with the Kremlin against a common foe? Such arguments take attention away from an important reality. The Kremlin and the Islamic State share a vested interest in upending the existing international order. But the danger these actors pose vary and prudent foreign policy demands that we set the right priorities and do not fall for false choices. View

A Long View of Transatlantic Crises

Since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, its relations with the US have shaped not only its foreign but also its domestic policy. In the future, too, the US will remain Germany's most important partner outside the European Union. Differences between the US and Germany notwithstanding common interests and values prevail. As repeated periods of discord exemplify, with increasing closeness comes increasing friction in the transatlantic relationship. View

Is Turkey Going Rogue?

Turkey's geo-political maneuvers may urge reconsideration of its NATO membership. While the threat from Daesh grows, Ankara is more focused on the continuing fight with the Kurds. The Erdoğan government is undermining the core values of what NATO stands for, and its anti-Kurdish policy spells problems for its role in the region. NATO has to make a statement and also work behind the scenes to engage Erdoğan to prioritize the war against Daesh. View

Iran: An Enemy to Fear or a Powerful Ally to Acquire?

The Iran nuclear deal is portrayed as weak by many Republican presidential candidates, but in reality the deal allows for the US to gain a new ally in the fight against Daesh. As previous US involvements in the Middle East have shown, there needs to be regional cooperation in order to erect change. Iran has the incentive and the means to destroy Daesh in the region and by securing the nuclear deal, the US and others have given Iran the green light to proceed. View

The Gulf's Cold War: The Return of Guerrilla Warfare?

Iran and Saudi Arabia’s competition for influence in the Middle East is shaping civil wars in the region. At the same time, radical Islamist ideology’s global character provides disparate insurgencies with access to transnational funding and recruitment networks. Both of these factors have the potential to increase the number of irregular civil conflicts and extend their duration in ways similar to the superpower competition of the Cold War. View

The Dismantling of Iraq

History shows that people fight the hardest for their own independence and Iraq should utilize this fact to their advantage. The fight against Daesh (IS) is only intensifying and as the Western Allies do not have a concrete strategy, it's time for Iraq to start trying unconventional stategies. The solution lies in dividing the country into three sovereign states so they can unite in the battle against Daesh and ultimately win while upholding their commitment to reform. View

Intervention in Syria & Iraq is Hopeless

As the Islamic State took the Syrian town of Palmyra, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Frederica Mogherini informed them that destroying Palmyra’s archaeological treasures would constitute a war crime. Mogherini’s words, however, are as irrelevant as they are true. The sad truth is that following an ineffective nine month military intervention by a US-led coalition in Syria and Iraq, her warning is representative of the powerlessness of the West in combatting the Islamic State. 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

Je Suis Charlie, Je Suis Ahmed

Soon after yesterday's terrorist attacks at the office of the satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo", millions of social media users expressed solidarity by declaring "Je suis Charlie". Some added "Je suis Ahmed" in honor of one of the murdered policemen, a French Muslim. What else should be done? How do you think this will play out in policy discussions? 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

The Cost of Ignoring the Plight of Minorities in the Greater Middle East

While the concerted military campaign against the Islamic State (IS) dominates headlines, the international community faces a far greater policy challenge: if it continues to ignore the plight of minorities across the wider Middle East, it will provide ample breeding ground for other radical groups. If state cohesion is eroded through continuous marginalization, political instability, or the disintegration of the state entirely, can be hijacked by extremist groups for their own aims. View

Assessing the Islamic State WMD threat

Available information demonstrates that the Islamic State is seeking materials necessary for the production of weapons of mass destruction. In order to better assess the threat presented by such a search, it must be analyzed in terms not only of whether such materials have been successfully acquired, but also in terms of intention, financial capability, available expertise, and historical record. Taking these factors together, NATO countries should address this threat quickly. View

After Wales: Further Steps for NATO

The NATO summit in Wales last week didn’t do enough to meet its responsibilities in the external world. Its next steps should include taking meaningful steps in Ukraine, placing permanent troops in Eastern Europe, hitting its spending targets, and more. NATO cannot just take care of itself; it has to actively work towards solutions to problems that will inevitably have an effect on the alliance. View

Twitter Highlights: July 2014

With over 4,990 followers on Twitter and counting, we're very close to our summer goal of reaching 5,000 followers. Atlantic-community.org continues to use its social media platforms to share stories relevant to transatlantic relations and to promote published member articles while engaging with the community on both sides of the Atlantic. Our July tweets cover a range of issues, from the foundations of the transatlantic partnership, to ISIS, to energy policy and European security. View

Expert Q&A: Should the US Cooperate with its Adversaries in Iraq?

The crisis in Iraq has brought in not only the United States, but also countries often at odds with Western Interests: Iran, Russia and Syria are now all involved against the Islamic State (formerly ISIS). Is there room for cooperation between the US and Russia, Syria, or Iran? To get a better handle on this question, we asked two policy experts: Should the West cooperate with these countries in combating the Islamic State? View

EU Commission Presents Measures to Counter Radicalisation & Violent Extremism

Jennifer Baker is joined by Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, spokeswoman of the European Commission, to discuss the European Union's response to radicalisation and violent extremism. The Commission presents a communication encompassing various measures to counter and prevent radicalisation to terrorism and violent extremism on Wednesday 15 January. View

Highlights in 2013

We would like to thank all atlantic-community.org members for your contributions and to remind you of the standout achievements of our open think tank this year. Atlantic Community has continued to debate issues that are important to the transatlantic partnership through our Q&A's, Theme Weeks, and Atlantic Memos. Your ideas are making an impact, receiving responses from prominent policy officials, and we look forward to your contributions in the months and years to come. View

Afghanistan isn't Alone

A decade ago Afghanistan was under serious sanctions of the United States and the international community. It was a safe haven for terrorists and Al-Qaeda. But today it is a strong ally of the world community against terrorism and Al-Qaeda. It is not anymore under sanctions, but rather a strategic partner of the US and major Western states. Afghanistan is not yet perfect. After all it has come a long way from where it stood in the 1990s. View

Defining Global Norms on Drone Policy

Memo 46: Atlantic Community members have come to a consensus that, due to current US drone policy, drones need to be regulated to prevent the emergence of a customary law. The latest Atlantic Memo "Defining Global Norms on Drone Policy" seeks reform on both domestic and international levels, resulting in increased transparency and restricted armed drone deployment. View

Draft Atlantic Memo: Defining Global Norms on Drone Policy

Memo 46: The editorial team has written a draft Atlantic Memo, outlining policy recommendations from our Theme Week, on "Defining Global Norms on Drone Policy." The authors, as well as members who contributed insightful comments, are now working together to produce a final draft, which will be sent to experts for feedback. You can still participate in the discussion by commenting below. View

Transparency Key to Reformed US Drone Policy

In order to repair the damage to its reputation, the US needs to reform its current drone policy. Many feel that the Executive Branch of the US Government has been acting without adequate checks and balances. The US Senate should demand more transparency and oversight and move to have explicit restrictions placed on the Executive Branch. A more transparent US drone policy would ease concerns of its allies and could allow the United States to lead the debate on international drone policy. View

Alternative Drone Discourse Needed From Europe

With the counter-terrorism policies of the US Government causing so much concern globally, it is necessary that an alternative discourse is initiated in Europe. This needs to be from the bottom-up and be a true representation of modern societies’ values. Europeans need to engage in the debate about drones in order to preserve key democratic values such as transparency, accountability, and rule of law. View

Civilian Safety Crucial in World of UAVs

With UAS become more and more common place, the necessity to ensure civilian safety is increasing. Regulations are needed to prevent the encroachment of authorities into the private lives of citizens or the endangerment of civilians in conflict situations, ensuring the maintenance of the principle of proportionality. As UAS are adapted to military and law enforcement roles, it is essential that we plan accordingly for the use of autonomous systems in the near future. View

International Watchdog Needed to Monitor Drone Operations

To avoid a scenario such as the proliferation of nuclear weapons during the Cold War, transatlantic partners need to work together to regulate the use of UAVs. In an attempt to curtail countries exploiting the new technology, UAVs should be registered with their respective national aviation authorities and an international watchdog should be set up to monitor their compliance with foreign airspace. Such regulations would prevent the misuse of drones in the future. View

Drones as a Means of a Pre-emptive Security Strategy

In his poem "Little Advice to Damocles," Erich Kästner wrote about that famous mythical sword that not the sharpness of its blade, but the tininess of the string that holds it is what is actually posing the threat. Concerning the necessity of a Western combat drone policy today, his words show their wisdom: The solution lies in strengthening the string, not in blunting the blade. If the regulations imposed on the use of drones are strong enough, then the need for an outright ban can be avoided. View

Developing Drone Norms Through Domestic Legislation

Any constructive debate on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) ought to begin with an assertion that these platforms are here to stay. As such, they are not just an international issue but will very soon become a national issue, raising concerns about privacy and law enforcement. It is therefore necessary for any norms for drones to first of all be initiated at the national level. Domestic principles and norms should then be transferred to international operations. View

The Road to Establishing Global Norms for Drone Policy

The escalation of targeted killings by the US as a prominent counter-terrorism tool has drawn the world’s attention to the use of armed drones. This week, Atlantic Community will turn its attention to drones, asking the question: How can the transatlantic community cooperate to establish global norms for drone policy? We will publish articles on this topic throughout the week and invite you to engage in the debate. View

Engage Lebanon Before it Becomes The Next Syria

Due to the protracted violence in Syria, neighboring Lebanon faces increasing bloodshed. While the West waited too long in Syria, there is still time to help Lebanon. In order to maintain its interests in the Middle East, Western countries must do so before it is too late. American and European military intelligence need to cooperate with the Lebanese government and its Armed Forces in combating an increasing number of terrorist threats from foreign insurgents and Hezbollah's grip on power. 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

Convince Us That 9/11 Was Not Able to Destroy America From Within

Neither Edward Snowden, Wikileaks, nor Bradley Manning pose as the greatest threats to the United States, but rather it is the actions of fear and mistakes made post-9/11 that serve to endanger the US. By not righting the wrongs done at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the US sends the wrong message to the Arab world about its values, and further damage is done. President Obama needs to make a personal visit to Guantanamo and fight al Qaeda as an idea rather than an organization, through democracy. View

Scanning Cargo Containers Is More Important than Scanning Emails

The US has built huge internet surveillance infrastructures, but failed to implement its own 9/11 law about maritime cargo security. The risk of an attack on a US port or the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction (or their components) in shipping containers is great. Compared to the importance of scanning more cargo, the benefits of scanning emails appear quite small. A serious debate about the right priorities for counter-terrorism and cost/benefit analysis of current policies is needed. 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

Thinking Beyond Intervention: A Limited Transatlantic Policy Towards Syria

Memo 45: Arming the opposition, creating a no-fly zone, and intervening in Syria are not feasible options despite currently dominating the headlines. Instead, Western governments should focus on creating political dialogue, inclusive of Assad’s government, that leads to the country’s federalization. They should also secure Syria’s chemical weapons, including through diplomacy with Russia. Lastly, the transatlantic partners should send military and technological support to Turkey’s southern border. View

Cyber Attacks, NATO - and Angry Birds

If any NATO country knows about cyber attacks, it's Estonia. The country suffered a high profile series of attacks on institutions across the country in spring 2007. NATO Review asked Estonia's President what the country learned from this and why he feels the area deserves more attention. President Ilves also describes how computer geeks in Estonia contribute to their country's cyber security by volunteering for the "Defense League". View

Draft Atlantic Memo: Transatlantic Policy on Syria

Memo 45: Based on articles from and comments to our Theme Week, held from June 3-7, the editorial team has produced a draft Atlantic Memo, outlining policy recommendations on "Transatlantic Policy on Syria." The Theme Week authors, as well as members who contributed insightful comments, are now working together to produce a final draft. Upon completion, the memo will be sent to experts for feedback. You can still participate in the discussion by providing your comments below. View

A No-Fly Zone is Necessary

Enforcing a no-fly zone can change the military setback of the opposition. It may also be a chance to create a safe zone that will provide an opportunity for rebel groups to organize and for transatlantic partners to develop a better relationship with them. The demand for the no-fly zone should come from Arab League, but no UNSC resolution should be sought – it will be futile. The US and Turkey should assume leadership in the implementation of the no-fly zone and try to receive support from regional partners. View