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Atlantic Council

Coming to Life: Artificial Intelligence in Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The rapid uptake of disruptive technologies in Africa, such as mobile and financial technologies, is prompting speculation among tech investors about whether artificial intelligence (AI) applications will also take root on the continent.
A new issue brief by Africa Center Senior Fellow Aleksandra Gadzala, “Coming to Life: Artificial Intelligence in Africa,” mostly throws cold water on the idea. She acknowledges that many African nations still lack the statistical capacity, infrastructure, and good governance necessary to see AI take off. However, in a select handful of countries, AI solutions are already being successfully deployed at scale. Gadzala surveys the state of AI in Africa and discovers what these successful investments have in common, and what African governments need to do to strengthen the ecosystem necessary to see these technologies flourish, focusing on ways to foster a culture of research and innovation, improve investment environments, and strengthen policy frameworks so African nations can reap the full benefits of AI.
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12
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Odd Couple: The Future of the Australia-UAE Partnership

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Considering its geographic distance and lack of formal allies, the Middle East has played an outsized role in the history of Australia's global engagement. While Australia's interests in the region are real and increasing, as a middle power with finite resources it must take a smart approach to pursuing them. Australia has a strong track record of effective security partnership and investing in a close relationship with a key partner there offers a range of benefits. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an ideal candidate as the two countries have rapidly built a strong and collaborative relationship, and they share a surprising number of mutual interests. But an expanded relationship faces several natural constraints, and both countries must have a clear-eyed and well-articulated understanding of the benefits and limitations if it is to mature.
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14
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Aftermath of the Arab Spring in North Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 31, 2016
Abstract in English: 
At the outset of the political uprisings that began in North Africa in 2010, the four countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia faced similar economic and political challenges. Over the past almost six years, the countries have adopted different approaches to address these problems, however the overall economic picture today is grim amid varied political environments. In “Aftermath of the Arab Spring in North Africa,” authors Mohsin Khan and Karim Mezran examine whether these four North African countries have been successful in meetings the demands of their populations as expressed in the 2010-11 uprisings and what challenges remain for them in the future.
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16
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Toward a More Flexible NATO Nuclear Posture

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Over the past decade and a half, Russia has placed an increased emphasis on nuclear weapons in its military strategy and doctrine. Moscow’s assertive “escalate-to-de-escalate” nuclear strategy poses a distinguishable threat to NATO nations, and requires greater strategic thinking about NATO’s nuclear posture. After a quarter century of reducing its reliance on nuclear weapons, NATO now lacks a credible deterrent for Russian “de-escalatory” nuclear strikes. To grapple with this possibility, NATO must consider the development of new, more flexible nuclear capabilities of its own.
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14
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Broken Embraces: Is Central Europe Falling Out of Love with the West?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Throughout much of the 1990s, progress was the order of the day. NATO enlargement under the Clinton administration was part of a broader global strategy, presenting democratic and entrepreneurial opportunity. This process was coupled with the prospect of new cooperation with Russia to create an undivided, free, and prosperous Europe. A decade and a half later, Central Europe faces severe challenges and signs of particular vulnerability to backlash against the very ideals this period set out to establish and the values expected to endure.
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10
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Post-Vienna: Prospects for Iran's Oil Production and Exports

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, January 6, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Since the 1979 revolution, recurring rounds of sanctions and eight years of war with Iraq have hammered Iran’s oil production and export capacity. Despite boasting the fourth largest proven oil reserves in the world, Iran’s oil production and exports languished at 4 million barrels per day (mb/d) and 2.5 mb/d, respectively, in 2011.The entrance of the European Union and United States into an even more stringent sanctions regime in 2012 further crippled an already hamstrung industry. Iran’s crude exports dropped 40 percent to 1.5 mb/d in 2012 and sunk to an average of just 1 mb/d by 2014 as foreign markets closed, international investment evaporated, and supply chains withered.Now, as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal ushers Iran back into international energy markets, its oil and gas industry is poised to reach its full potential. The impacts promise to be profound and wide reaching as oil sales provided 80 percent of Iran’s export earnings and 60 percent of its state revenues in 2013. With Iranian oil production and exports already rising following the nuclear deal, this paper examines scenarios for Iran’s full reentry into international oil and gas markets.
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11
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Superpartner: A US Strategy for a Complex World

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The Trump administration should not take up its work under the assumption that the United States, with only 5 percent of the world’s population and around a quarter of the world’s economy, can continue to be an indispensable presence on the world stage. America’s relative decline since 1945 seems to be a byproduct of the post-World War II system it created along with its allies and partners, in which the United States worked to bring millions out of poverty, give other nations incentives to strengthen their governance structures and institutions, and establish global norms of behavior. That effort sought to ensure no worldwide conflicts recurred. However, fostering an environment where states, groups, and individuals could be further empowered naturally eroded America’s once-monopolistic strength; the United States has brought humanity to a new era where many are powerful and many can potentially lead.
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9
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Energiewende: From Germany’s Past to Europe’s Future?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Germany’s historical experience explains how the energy transition (Energiewende) came about, and largely explains the resilience of the policies to abandon nuclear power and to scale-up renewables in the face of the challenges they have posed to Germany’s consumers, utilities, and international competitiveness. Whereas the success of the Energiewende to date has come from the way it takes a unifying approach to energy, environment, and labor policies, its success will require expanding the scope from a German to an EU-wide scale.
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12
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Strengthening the Transatlantic-Pacific Partnership

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Abstract in English: 
In theory, the interests of US allies and partners in Europe and Asia should be aligned. On balance, all have a common stake in sustaining and adapting the current rules-based international order to an increasingly multipolar world. Whether the issue is the global trade and financial system, free access to the global commons—air, sea, space, cyber—or nuclear safety and nonproliferation, there is a shared interest and a pressing need to leverage the combined political weight of like-minded actors.
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6
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NATO and Trump

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Abstract in English: 
A turbulent security environment in Europe and strong rhetoric from President Trump have brought renewed attention to NATO, its role in dealing with shared security challenges, and the future of the United States’ relationship with its allies. Front and center are legitimate questions about commitments to defense burden sharing, as well as NATO’s role in counterterrorism. This serves an opportunity to renew the transatlantic security relationship. As part of the Atlantic Council’s project ‘A New Deal for NATO,’ NATO and Trump: The Case for a New Transatlantic Bargain provides pivotal insight and recommendations on how the United States and European allies can move forward to renew the transatlantic security and defense agenda, and make progress on these crucial areas, with the goal of bolstering our shared security.
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24
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