Winter/Spring 2008

Letter from the Editor

Transatlantic Solidarity Starts at Home

America’s power is waning, at least temporarily. Under the next President, the country will have a diminished ability to shape a stable international order and maintain global prosperity. Will that trend create an opening for Europe to emerge with a larger global presence? Or is it liable to cause losses all around?

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Transatlantic Convergence Passenger Data Questions

Michael ChertoffA curious notion has emerged about how the United States has tried to navigate the seas of global security since the September 11 terrorist attacks. It depicts Washington as charting a solitary course characterized by premises, principles, and policies which diverge dramatically from those of other nations – notably its European allies.

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NATO Caveats Can Be Made To Work Better for the Alliance

Robert E. HunterThe NATO allies are now being required to face the possibility that they may not prevail in Afghanistan. Facing new challenges from Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, the Afghan government and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are by no means certain of success. Equally at risk are economic, political, and social developments to give the average Afghan a sense that supporting the government in Kabul and its ISAF allies is the best bet for the long haul. Militarily, NATO commanders have made it clear that they need more troops – at least two more combat brigades – and more helicopters. But they also need greater flexibility in the use of those forces that are available, and limitations here are posing difficulties at least as troubling as shortfalls in numbers.

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Cyber War I: Estonia Attacked from Russia

Kertu RuusSuddenly, the lights go out. Communication lines fall silent. Internet connections are lost. People venturing into the congested streets discover that banks are closed, ATMs are malfunctioning, traffic lights are jammed. Radio and TV stations cannot broadcast. The airports and train stations are shut down. Food production halts, and the water supply starts rapidly diminishing as pumps stop working. Looters are on the rampage; panic grips the public; the police cannot maintain order.

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Faraway Afghanistan Brings Home Tensions Among Allies

A growing sense of crisis about NATO’s mission in Afghanistan crystallized in Washington early this year with the release of near-simultaneous reports on the outlook there – all similar-sounding warnings to the effect that the campaign to restore government authority against insurgent Taliban forces and pacify the country has been neglected, under-resourced and damaged by conflicting views about the mission’s purpose.

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  • World Radio Conference Outcomes

    By Patricia Paoletta, Washington DC

    The latest World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) wrapped up in late November after four long weeks of negotiations between 3400 delegates from around 165 Member States. All in all, the WRC resulted in positive outcomes for both 5G and Wi-Fi, and will benefit both the U.S. and Europe's communications agendas, particularly with respect to the decisions on spectrum to be allocated for the all-important 5G service. The effect will be to ensure the more rapid development of the next generation of mobile broadband in a manner consistent with U.S. planning and existing development.  Debates on 5G dominated the conference, but allocations for high-altitude platform stations (“HAPS”) sought by U.S. based firms were also favorable. As a result, plans to provide additional internet service to underserved areas may be accelerated.

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UMD Jean Monnet Research Project

Infrastructure Planning and Financing: Lessons from Europe and the United States

The University of Maryland has received a Jean Monnet grant from the EU to conduct a series of policy exchanges between Europe and the US on filling infrastructure needs and the utility of public/private partnerships as the financing mechanism. If interested in participating in or receiving more information about these exchanges, please contact Rye McKenzie (rmckenzi@umd.edu).

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New from the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

"Edge of a Precipice" by Nathan Crist

"Newpolitik" by Emily Hruban

 

Summer Course