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The United States is increasing its engagement with the Western Balkans on issues including security, energy and good governance. The administration is trying to reduce instability in the region, improve economic development and counter outside influence from countries like Russia and China. If these efforts are successful, U.S. capital investment will increase and the Balkans will move closer toward NATO membership.
Dr. James Jay Carafano
Dr. Frank Umbach
OPEC's influence in the global oil market has greatly diminished in recent years, mainly due to the shale revolution in the United States, but also because of diverging interests among its members. It has pledged to cut production, but doing so may prove difficult. There are still some scenarios where OPEC could rise to prominence, but the most likely scenario is for it to be further marginalized.
In December 2015, the European Union and Kazakhstan signed a new “enhanced partnership and cooperation agreement,” which, among other things, calls for greater collaboration on energy issues. Closer ties – whether in the form of natural gas supplies or green technologies – could benefit both sides. However, the success of the initiative depends on how they approach...