As of this week, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is into its eighth round of negotiations in Brussels, Belgium, and American businesses have a lot to gain in the adoption of an agreement, as the EU remains a critical market for the United States. 

Having recently concluded its seventh round of negotiations, TTIP, unlike the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, is still in an early enough stage that it is possible to have influence over what issues are included in its text.

But, there must be an awareness among business leaders and policymakers of how those standards and regulations affect different industries, and an active approach should be taken now to educate decision-makers about potential implications.

The Facts

Last year, American businesses exported $2.3 trillion in goods and services to the world, $471 billion, or 20 percent, of which was sent to the EU. This makes the EU, as a region, our second largest export market after Canada. In 2013, the flow of trade between the United States and the EU represented 33 percent of global trade. In services, the United States has a trade surplus with Europe,

Think tanks occupy an in-between space in Washington — neither government agency nor business nor media outlet — and yet they play in all three spaces. Usually nonprofit, they are a source of policy recommendations and personnel for government, they work frequently with businesses and industry, and they both generate their own content for the media and serve as regular sources for journalists. 

An organization with advocacy goals in Washington or other major hubs like New York, London and Brussels can benefit in both the short term and long term by effectively identifying, working with and even partnering with think tanks to support the convening of high-level conversations with policymakers, fund academic research and cultivate allies.

In an annual survey released this month, the Brookings Institution was named the top think tank in the world for the seventh consecutive year. Given Brookings’ entrenched position in Washington since the 1920s, the news comes as no surprise. It attracts many former (and future)

It’s not a slow-motion train wreck, or death by a thousand cuts, or a self-inflicted calamity. It’s all of that. And unless Sony changes course, it could get a lot worse.

Yes, Sony is the victim of one of the worst hacking attacks ever on a private company. It lost valuable, copyrighted, creative material. Private financial data and the medical records of employees were stolen from the company, given to the media and shared on the Internet. Embarrassing emails written by senior Sony officials dissing major stars and speculating about President Barack Obama’s movie habits showed them to be indiscreet and racially insensitive.

For Sony, it’s been a daily ritual of public humiliation, fueled by corporate panic, financial vulnerability, legal maneuvering and the public’s insatiable appetite for a salacious Hollywood scandal.

It is that train wreck – just try to avert your eyes! It is death by a thousand cuts – the drip-drip-drip isn’t stopping, and the perps are promising a sequel. And while Sony didn’t invite the hack attack (though some say making a comedy about the attempted assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un came close), much of the continuing negative

In this latest issue of PG TV, PG strategists David Adams and Lauren Maddox are disputing what many have reported as the stagnation that persists in Washington. Here, they discuss some of the many advocacy opportunities and tactics that exist - no matter the climate on Capitol Hill - for organizations pursuing a legislative agenda in Washington. 


As operations in Afghanistan wind down and we begin to consider the consequences of the past decade of war, force ratio for counterinsurgency (COIN) is coming under increased scrutiny. For pedestrians, in short, we're talking about troop levels and the age-old question for policymakers, "How many does it take to get the job done?" The answer has been pondered by the US military, academia and think tanks, with a host of responses.The result is typically 'plug-and-play' equations for minimum force rations in COIN operations, made more complicated by the inability to precisely predict the numbers of insurgent forces. 

Podesta Group international security strategist, Riley Moore, tackles this issue in a recent white paper titled, "Counterinsurgency Force Ratio: Strategic Utility or Nominal Necessity," and published by Routledge of Taylor & Francis. An executive summary is provided by Riley below.

In order to read the entire article, you can download it for purchase here.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Counterinsurgency Force Ratio: Strategic Utility or Nominal

In this latest issue of PG TV, former aide to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Randall Gerard, and former policy director for Democratic leader Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), AJ Jones, both now PG strategists, sit down to walk through the politics behind the shutdown and the changing dynamic on Capitol Hill that has helped create this mess.