Critical infrastructure enables modern society. It includes our communications and Internet, our banking systems, the means of safely delivering our supplies of food and water, health systems, defense installations, transportation networks, air traffic control systems, and logistics and port facilities. It also includes our energy and electricity supply. Power generation plants, electricity grids, and diesel, gasoline, oil, and natural gas distribution networks underpin our entire infrastructure. Critical energy infrastructure is the single most important part of the complex web of critical infrastructure. Without energy—particularly the regular supply of gasoline and diesel—no other element of our critical infrastructure can operate. This was clearly seen in the northeastern United States during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. That is why the priorities in the wake of the storm were first to reestablish power, and second to restore transit systems (buses and subways). Governments and relief organizations quickly realized that only then could other infrastructure, such as hospitals, become operational again. Threats to our energy infrastructure increasingly take different forms. They can arise from environmental hazards (as in the case of Hurricane Sandy, or the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan); industrial accidents; deliberate sabotage; and “consequential sabotage.” The latter two examples are closely connected, and will be explored further below.
Significant changes in the global strategic landscape over the past two decades include the fall of the Iron Curtain and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, accelerated globalization, increasing reliance on digital information technologies in all aspects of life, the rise of China and India, global financial crises, the political revolutions of the Arab Spring, and the emergence of violent Islamist extremism as a key feature of the geopolitical landscape. Yet at the same time, many of the key dynamics of the international arena remain unchanged from twenty years ago, including the volatility and instability of the Middle East, the lack of development in most of Africa, the ever-increasing integration of the global economy, and the preeminence of the United States as an actor in global affairs, with other states, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Russia also playing key roles. Among all that has changed and all that remains the same, new issues have emerged, few of which merit consideration in isolation. Rather, the complex and interconnected nature of today’s international system demands analysis that accounts for the relationships between actors and issues and considers the multiplicity of effects that their interaction unavoidably creates. Two key features of the current strategic environment—the two that are the focus of this article—are the indispensability of information technology in all aspects of modern life and the continued significance of Russia as an actor on the global stage. Driven by the growing dependence of modern society on digital technology and the vulnerability of digital systems to cyber threats, cybersecurity has emerged as a critical national security issue, spawning a growth industry that researches solutions to the technical, legal, and policy challenges of the day.
It is no secret that NATO exerts global influence, and is an organization without which the international security architecture would be difficult to imagine. Its capacity to exert influence ranges from the very material dimension of military power to the elusive and intangible effects of functional professionalization. Its unifying power was recognized long before the fall of the Berlin Wall, motivating Karl Deutsch to assign to it the quality of the “Community” in the North Atlantic area. The paradigm of the Cold War heavily influenced the way scholarship evaluated the Alliance. Despite numerous and valuable attempts, the majority of academic contributions to the study of NATO remained policy-driven. The discussion was subsumed by broader regional security studies and
international relations scholarship that repeatedly brought up the question of the Alliance’s organizational purpose and durability, leaving other significant questions unexamined. This article will attempt to address the existing scholarly deficit by focusing on a particular aspect of NATO analysis: the Alliance’s capacity to influence aspirant countries’ policy making (formulation and implementation) in the defense area and, by doing that, to ensure compliance with commonly agreed norms and standards.
 
The case of Georgia would serve here as the best example of a country that eagerly stated its willingness to join NATO (as early as the Prague Summit in 2002) and since then has firmly followed the chosen path towards full membership.

The essay analyses the role of NATO in the post Cold War period by conducting a comparison of the cases of NATO’s operations in Kosovo and Libya. The article reveals the enhanced weight of the Alliance member states and the European countries’ active role in protecting their regional interests and also show how the state interests of the USA and Russia played a significant role in the two cases. This analysis of the behavioral patterns of the former Cold War adversaries could provide a useful interpretation and perhaps an explanation of the current events in Ukraine. The pursuit of power continues to dominate the international relations arena as the confrontation between the USA and Russia is far from over.

This is a compilation of the presentations and discussions of the seventh workshop of the Regional Stability in the South Caucasus (RSSC) Study Group, that convened from 14 to 16 March 2013 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Under the overarching title of “Building Confidence in the South Caucasus: Strengthening the EU's and NATO's Soft Security Initiatives” it explored initiatives that aimed to build confidence in the South Caucasus, via the activities of the civil society, the EU and NATO.
These study notes were produced by the Regional Security in the South Caucasus Study Group, which held its 6th workshop at Reichenau, Austria, from November 8-11 2012. The format of the workshop was based on the successful Regional Stability in South East Europe Study Group, and its thematic concept aims at gradually bringing parties from the region to discuss and form policy recommendations on security issues and conflict resolution ideas starting from a high-level strategic outlook towards resolving particular issues of tension.

PfPC's Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Working Group seeks enhancements to ADL capabilities, improving NATO e-learning platforms as well as new initiatives.

Published in News
This policy paper examines the status of Macedonia's EU and NATO aspirations. Considered by many as the only success story of peaceful transformation in the Western Balkans in the early 2000s, Macedonia managed to emerge from the shades of the 2001 armed conflict and acquire EU candidate status in just four years. The first among the countries from the Western Balkans to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement in 2001, Macedonia today, however, is considerably lagging behind on its EU/NATO accession path.
Published in Policy Papers
This policy paper examines the geopolitical dynamics of conflicts in the South Caucasus and offers policy recommendations that consider the geopolitical realities. Additionally, the policy recommendations take into account perspectives of various internal and external players, thereby representing recommendations that can be be viewed as attractive by various parties.
Published in Policy Papers
This policy paper examines the positive attributes of NATO and EU soft security initiatives and offers recommendations on how the continuation and expansion of such initiatives can foster regional stability.
Published in Policy Papers
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