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  • Author: Walter Russell Mead
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: What does rise of the Tea Party movement mean for U.S. foreign policy? Since today's populists have little interest in creating a liberal world order, U.S. policymakers will have to find some way to satisfy their angry domestic constituencies while also working effectively in the international arena.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael E. Mandelbaum
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Leslie H. Gelb
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States is declining as a nation and a world power. This is a serious yet reversible situation, so long as Americans are clear-eyed about the causes and courageous about implementing the cures, including a return to pragmatic problem solving.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Monty G. Marshall
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A public debate over the threat posed by weak, fragile, failing, and failed states and what can or should be done about them has become increasing visible and vocal since the attacks of September 11, 2001. As President George W. Bush declared in his 2002 National Security Strategy report: “America is now threatened less by conquering states than ... by failing ones.” This debate has grown particularly acute as the United States' prolonged military response to the war on global terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq has revealed the difficulties of controlling militancy and extremism by direct military intervention and enforced democratic change. The challenges associated with weak or failing states have garnered increase d attention by the policy community, but major differences about how to assess the level of risk in any given case remain.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Development, Diplomacy, Government, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Stephen Cook
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The growing schism between the West and the Islamic world is one of the primary challenges confronting American foreign and defense policymakers. As a consequence, the relationship between the United States and Turkey—a Western-oriented, democratizing Muslim country—is strategically more important than ever. Turkey has the potential to be an invaluable partner as Washington endeavors to chart an effective course in its relations with the Muslim world. However, to achieve this level of cooperation, U.S.-Turkey relations must be repaired and modernized.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Turkey, North America
  • Author: Menzie D. Chinn
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Twenty years ago, the United States was the world's largest creditor nation, unsurpassed in its ownership of assets outside of its borders, even after deducting what foreigners owned inside its borders. Yet over the past two decades, America has been transformed into the world's largest debtor nation. At the end of 2004, its debts to the rest of the world exceeded its assets by about $2.5 trillion—21 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). This proportion is unmatched by any other major developed economy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Bob Graham, Brent Scowcroft
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In November 1999, the Council on Foreign Relations and Inter-American Dialogue established an independent task force to review and offer recommendations on U.S. policy toward Colombia. The co-chairs of the task force have decided to issue this interim report to make an impact on deliberations in Congress, as well as respond to an immediate opportunity to shape the current debate about U.S. policy. We plan to publish a final report in June 2000 that will provide a more comprehensive and systematic examination of U.S. policy toward Colombia. That report will, for example, discuss the wider challenge of addressing a serious drug problem in which many countries—the United States includedare involved, and which calls for shared responsibility and joint action. On January 11, the Clinton administration put forward a bill that seeks an "emergency supplemental appropriation" to provide some $950 million in assistance to Colombia this fiscal year, and a total of $1.6 billion through fiscal year 2001. The administration's bill was formulated in the context of Plan Colombia, a mutually agreed framework between the Colombian and U.S. governments. The plan identifies the country's critical needs and makes clear that the Andean nation's interrelated problems—powerful insurgent and paramilitary forces, massive narcotrafficking, widespread human rights abuses, and deep economic recession—have reached crisis levels. It further indicates that the Colombian government is prepared to tackle these problems, and is committed to addressing all of them together. While the Colombian government is prepared to contribute $4 billion of the $7.5 billion the plan will cost, Colombia has also asked for immediate help from the international community. In response, the Clinton administration has put together a two-year aid package that emphasizes equipment and training for the military and police to carry out counter-narcotics operations. Other elements of Plan Colombia are supported to a much lesser degree. In focusing the aid package in this way, the administration recognizes the close linkages that have developed between Colombia's illegal narcotics industry and the country's insurgent and paramilitary forces. As such, it deals with key concerns for both the United States and Colombia. Security assistance aimed at reducing drug production and trafficking is but a piece of a broader effort that seeks to extend legitimate authority in the country. For this reason—coupled with the fact that such support would signal strong US commitment to help a troubled country at a critical moment—we urge Congress to move quickly and approve the administration's aid package. We also suggest that Congress make two adjustments in the proposed package: strengthen a regional approach to the drug problem, and improve Colombia's economic situation by enhancing its trade benefits. Although it will make a contribution, the administration's aid proposal responds only partially to the formidable policy challenge posed by Colombia. An effective package must get beyond the current emphasis on fighting drugs. The main emphasis should, rather, be on helping the Colombian government strengthen its capacity to protect its citizens and effectively exercise control and authority over its territory. But a lack of consensus within the U.S. government has made it difficult to focus on that overall objective in U.S. policy toward Colombia. As currently formulated, the bill is an essential first step, but more is required, both from Washington and Bogotá. With its proposal, the administration has affirmed that the stakes for the United States are high. We agree. We therefore urge the White House to develop an integrated, long-term plan that has a broader focus than merely the drug problem. The administration and Congress must recognize that a serious policy response to the challenges posed by Colombia implies a U.S. commitment to the country beyond the two-year period of the proposed bill. A successful approach will require high-level, sustained engagement, supported by a bipartisan majority in Congress, during at least a half dozen years. As part of a longer-term policy, the main focus in the security area should be on reforming Colombia's armed forces and making them more professional, thereby establishing the conditions under which the United States could provide effective military assistance. Training is particularly crucial to upgrade the military capability of the armed forces and improve their human rights performance. Professionalization would also enhance the Colombian government's moves toward a political solution to the conflict, and reinforce efforts to deal more successfully with both insurgent and paramilitary forces. Under no circumstances should U.S. combat troops be deployed in Colombia for military intervention. Levels of support above those reflected in the current bill should be considered for other critical areas in addition to security. Extension of current preferential trade arrangements for Colombia should benefit its economy. Special efforts are needed to improve the country's judicial system and help Colombia strengthen its ability to undertake alternative development strategies. The United States should encourage a multilateral approach, working in concert with Colombia's hemispheric partners, European friends, and relevant multilateral institutions. A more balanced U.S. policy (that is, one less narrowly focused on drugs) would make other governments and institutions more inclined to join in a common effort. Finally, Colombia's problems demand strong, focused leadership from Bogotá that reflects a Colombian commitment and national consensus behind a set of realistic policies. The United States can and should respond to Colombian initiatives in accordance with its own national interests. It cannot, however, solve Colombia's problems.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Colombia, South America, Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 03-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Ms. ELLEN FUTTER (President, American Museum of Natural History): Welcome to a panel discussion on 21st Century Surprises and Threats at the Council on Foreign Relations. I'm Ellen Futter, president of the American Museum of Natural History and moderator for this panel.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Mickey Kantor
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The challenges of the era of interdependence will constitute the greatest foreign policy test of the 21st century. The war over globalization and interdependence is at an end. Only the battles are yet to be fought. Those who cower behind walls of fear and fail to accept responsibility do so at their own peril, and will not turn containment into engagement, or mutual assured destruction into mutual assured prosperity. The approach of the new millennium finds us at the intersection of three epochal events: in politics, the end of the Cold War; in economics, the emergence of a global economy; and in technology, the rise of the Information Age. The intersection of economics, strategic issues, and political concerns is creating the glue which will bind together an updated U.S. foreign policy. Vast opportunities lie before us, and more than a few pitfalls. We face fewer serious military threats but an increasing number of competitors. The rise of competition, the need to create new opportunities, and the confluence of major economic and political changes create a need to intensely focus on U.S. priorities and goals. Despite this urgency, we have yet to fully articulate a foreign policy that matches the era in which we now live, especially the appropriate role of international economics. We need to direct our focus toward the lessons we have learned over the past five years. Seekers of universal truths or simple catch phrases should prepare in advance for disappointment. U.S. leadership in both the public and private sectors must accept the challenges represented by these enormous changes. Our willingness to take responsibility, clearly define our goals, and recognize our limitations but pursue U.S. leadership at every opportunity will dictate the success or failure of promoting a stronger United States and a less dangerous world. The goals and objectives are clear: U.S. leadership must pursue peace, stability, economic progress, basic human rights, and sustainable development. In order to address these goals we need to create foreign-policy tools and institutions that are pragmatic, practical, and resilient reflecting the speed with which events, opportunities, and challenges now confront us as a nation. There is no question that global economics has fundamentally changed the nature of foreign policy. Today, economics and foreign policy are no longer separable, and economic security and national security have become synonymous. We live in an interdependent, globalized world. No longer are we self-contained, nor is it in our interest to be so. We can no longer take for granted our global economic dominance and turn our back on foreign markets. It is self-defeating in the short run and impossible in the long run to ignore the problems which occur across the border or across the world, and we cannot overlook our responsibility as the world's remaining superpower. Driven by technological change, freed of Cold War conflicts and connected by economic and strategic interests, the era of interdependence demands negotiation, engagement, and leadership. Interdependence dictates that our foreign policy and economic future are increasingly connected to international trade. Interdependence dictates that terrorism, weapons proliferation, environmental concerns, the drug trade, and economic opportunity are now cross-border issues. These issues profoundly affect the everyday lives of people around the globe. Cross-border issues directly influence policies, laws, and regulations of the countries in question, raising issues such as the rule of and respect for law, regulation and deregulation, privatization, and other concerns heretofore thought to be strictly internal. This new era requires a redefinition of global leadership. Being the only remaining superpower does not simply mean that we are the strongest military power, nor does it mean only that we are the most economically competitive nation on earth. Both of those statements are true, of course. But holding the position of the world's only remaining superpower in the era of interdependence means that we have the opportunity to take advantage of the vast economic potential which is being created around the globe to the benefit of all Americans, and we have a corresponding obligation to rally other nations to pursue common long-term interests, such as strategic and political stability, economic progress, and sustainable development. There are other examples which support the notion of new multidimensional international relations. Brazil has dramatically increased its international standing and influence using its potential economic strategic position. During the Cold War and prior to the dramatic growth of economic power and industrialization, Brazil's strategic position would have been defined and dictated by its ability or inability to have an influence over strategic and political issues especially those concerning East-West relations. But today, and in the foreseeable future, not only do countries increase their influence based on economic potential and achievement, but economic considerations and relationships tend to bring entities together which in other circumstances could not or would not cooperate. The recent Middle East Economic Conferences and the participation of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are obvious examples.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Taiwan, Asia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Madeleine Albright, Jeane Kirkpatrick
  • Publication Date: 09-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Presider: Dr. LESLIE GELB:: (President, Council on Foreign Relations): Pundits and pollsters tell us that the American people aren't paying much attention to foreign policy, and we can all understand that. But I think you will agree with me that if Americans would hear our guests tonight, they'd pull out their earplugs because our guests are two masters of statecraft and two possible Secretaries of State: Jeane Kirkpatrick and Madeleine Albright.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, America