Wars & Conflicts

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

Securing the Sahel: a Role for NATO?

Paul Pryce writes in NATO Review that the Alliance must develop a new approach toward ensuring security in the Sahel. Though the intervention in Libya in 2011 was successful in bringing stability to the region in the short-term, intervention in the Sahel is not necessarily the right solution. Instead, a Special Representative for the Sahel should be appointed by the Secretary General and NATO should coordinate its efforts with other security actors in the region. View

Security in the Sahel: Call for Articles

The editors at atlantic-community.org would like to invite you to take part in our upcoming Theme Week, on transatlantic policy in Africa. Inspired by recent events in Mali, we are specifically looking for our members to submit Your Opinion articles on how the United States and Europe should react to threats to peace and security in the Sahel region of Africa. This article will provide you with some background on the topic and explain how you can get involved. View

Cooperation and Integrated Militaries will be the Future of NATO

With proposed defense spending cuts in the United States and a deepening financial crisis in Europe, it is imperative that member states divert their attention away from building strong national militaries toward a communal pooling of military resources. This will not only ensure the future of NATO, but also provide member states with enhanced military and security resources that could not be attained by focusing on development at the national level. View

A New Focus for Transatlantic Relations?

With Barack Obama officially inaugurated as President of the United States, now is a good time to assess what the next few years might hold for transatlantic relations. Domestically, attention on both sides of the Atlantic is focused on addressing economic difficulties. US foreign policy priorities, however, have clearly shifted toward Asia. So where does this leave transatlantic relations? An area in which cooperation could prove mutually beneficial is economic policy. View

Qatar: A Rising Player in Middle Eastern Affairs

The deteriorating situation in Syria has brought the significant role that external powers are playing in giving their tacit backing to anti-Assad forces into sharper focus. Qatar has demonstrated its support by allowing the recognized Syrian opposition to stage the majority of their meetings in Doha. Qatar was also one of the first countries to support the international military coalition to remove Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi from power in Libya. 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

The Next Four Years in US Foreign Policy: The Obama Nominations and Transatlantic Relations

As Barack Obama begins his second term in office, what should we expect from the President and his new team? At first glance, Obama's nominations might suggest a renewed enthusiasm within the administration for a reinvigorated transatlantic partnership, but this is open to debate. What follows is a short introduction to Obama's top three appointments and an analysis of what these appointments might mean for Europe and transatlantic relations. View

About Face Needed in Canadian Approach to Mali Intervention

In 2008, Prime Minister Harper stated that ‘a robust military response' would be needed to solve some of the world's more complex problems. Four years later and Canada's experience in Afghanistan has eroded support for foreign military interventions. Global economic woes have become all-consuming, leaving Canada with a foreign/aid policy stripped of its ideological raison d'être. This is aptly illustrated in Canada's approach to Mali. 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

Germany: The Abstention Champion

Germany's present foreign policy has been marked by not taking positions in crucial votes during its two-year membership of the UN Security Council. Whenever there was a decision to make, it was almost certain for Germany to abstain. Germany is the undisputed abstention champion. If Germany wants to be taken seriously in the international community, though, it must be willing to make hard-line decisions on controversial issues at the international level. View

Smart Defense: A Eurosubmarine

The nuclear submarine fleets of Britain and France are in need of replacement. Both countries and their defense industries should build a single co-produced platform. This "Eurosubmarine" might initially be designed to fully replace each nation's fleet in an economical way, but could eventually lead to a joint European nuclear deterrent. In addition, this could set the stage for further join-military projects aligning with the Smart Defense strategy. View

The West Might Regret Taking Sides in Syria

A popular revolt seeking political freedoms has become a civil war in which democratic objectives are increasingly sidelined. If Assad falls before an effective alternative government is available, a power vacuum may exist in which Islamist groups seek to rule the country. For women, liberals and minorities, life after Assad may not bring progress. Therefore, the West must change its stance and promote peace rather than insisting on regime change. View

Defence Specialization: Indispensable or Unachievable?

Logically, one of the best ways to get more bang for fewer bucks - while also deepening cooperation - should be for nations to specialize further in their defence roles on a basis of comparative advantage. Yet there are many obstacles. View

America's Drone Strikes Setting Dangerous Precedent

The Obama administration is setting a very dangerous global precedence for sending drones over borders to kill enemies (sometimes innocents). These drone strikes lack the congressional oversight of the executive branch. At the same time, employing drones qualifies as a “moral hazard.” View

Balancing a Rising China: The Future of Transatlantic Relations

Atlantic-community.org 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

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

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

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

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

How to Reduce Green on Blue in Afghanistan?

The increasing number of insider attacks have been a serious issue for the coalition forces in Afghanistan. However, there are a number of reasons behind these attacks. The issue of cultural sensitivity is one of those major elements. In order to build relationships, the US military should first win the hearts and minds of those who work for them. View

Gaining the Upper Hand Over the Iran-Hezbollah Axis

Syria's civil war has left the region's revolutionary axis vulnerable. Tehran and Hezbollah are pursuing an even more aggressive strategy against their perceived enemies. Apart from putting more pressure on Tehran, designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in the EU would help Western powers dry up financial sources in several European countries. 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

Applying Moscow's Take on Responsibility to Protect to Syria

The Syrian crisis marks the ultimate test for the responsibility to protect norm. The inability of the UN Security Council to reach a timely consensus does not only harm Syrians, but weakens the concept that shields populations from crimes against humanity. Instead of criticizing the vetoing of resolutions, Western powers must persuade Russia and China to propose their own visions of the norm. View

At the Table with Iran: Progress Depends on Right Order of Steps

The order of steps undertaken within the West’s coercive dual-track approach has to be altered; the lifting of sanctions and recognition of Iran's right to nuclear energy is required to reach a diplomatic solution. Refusing to do this will only play into the hands of Iranian hardliners and those who argue that the West is prohibiting outsiders from joining the nuclear club. more View

James Appathurai's Answers on Partnerships in Asia

The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy has responded to your questions and policy recommendations! In this second installment, he discusses NATO’s stance in Asia and how new powers like China and India impact the Alliance’s goals. View

International Women's Day 2012

Atlantic-community.org is proud to launch its first Atlantic Insights ebook. To mark International Women’s Day 2012 we are republishing the three winning articles from our “Women on Transatlantic Security,” competition, in a new downloadable format. View

James Appathurai's Answers on Global Partnerships and the Arab Spring

The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy has responded to your questions and policy recommendations! In this first of two installments, he answers questions about cooperation with countries touched by the Arab Spring, discusses an Atlantic Memo proposal for a Global Partnership Council, and many more. View

Building Partnerships: Q&A with NATO's James Appathurai

Join Atlantic Community for our first Question & Answer session of 2012. NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy James Appathurai will be taking your questions on NATO partnerships and regional initiatives, and answering in a video response. View