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  • Author: Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Afghanistan will undergo three major transitions in 2014: from a Hamid Karzai–led government to one presumably headed by another president following the 2014 election; from a U.S.-led to an Afghan-led counterinsurgency; and from an economy driven by foreign expenditures on military support and assistance to one more reliant on domestic sources of growth, as the United States and other countries reduce their presence. The United States and its allies will need to shape each of these transitions in ways that safeguard their interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Rachel B. Vogelstein
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The practice of child marriage is a violation of human rights. Every day, girls around the world are forced to leave their families, marry against their will, endure sexual and physical abuse, and bear children while still in childhood themselves. This practice is driven by poverty, deeply embedded cultural traditions, and pervasive discrimination against girls. Yet in many parts of the world, this ancient practice still flourishes: estimates show that nearly five million girls are married under the age of fifteen every year, and some are as young as eight or nine years old.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Harold Hongju Koh, Michael Doyle
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In “The War of Law” (July/August 2013), Jon Kyl, Douglas Feith, and John Fonte purport to explain the state of international law and how it “undermines democratic sovereignty.” Their portrayal, however, hardly rises above caricature. Their legal prescriptions ignore constitutional history and, if followed, would drastically weaken U.S. foreign policy. The authors may not like the contemporary practice of international law, but their own ideas are painfully antiquated, better suited to an insular nineteenth-century nation than the great power the United States has become.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Law, Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry, Daniel Deudney
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Over the past half-century—what is often called the “American century”—the United States enjoyed extraordinary success, growth, and influence. It was not only the pivotal “arsenal” in the defense of democracy but also the principal exemplar of democratic capitalism that held enormous appeal around the world. During this era, the United States was simultaneously locked in a geopolitical and ideological bipolar struggle with the Soviet Union and, within the free world community, acknowledged as the leader and defender of a broad community of democratic capitalist countries. Not surprisingly, therefore, the United States pursued a multifaceted grand strategy. It played the role of Cold War leader of a coalition in global great power rivalry. It was also the indispensable leader in building order and cooperation within the free world camp. At the same time, the United States often employed its immense influence to advance a universalistic program of human betterment centered on political democracy, market capitalism, free trade, human rights, national self-determination, and international law and organization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Stephen J. Hadley, Steven A. Cook, Madeleine Albright
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Among the most important developments in international affairs of the past decade is the emergence of Turkey as a rising regional and global power. Turkey has long been an important country as a stalwart member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an aspirant to European Union (EU) membership, and an important link between the West and the East. Yet the changes in Turkey over the past decade have been so dramatic—with far-reaching political and economic reforms, significant social reforms, and an active foreign policy—that the country is virtually unrecognizable to longtime Turkey watchers. Today Turkey is more democratic, prosperous, and politically influential than it was five, ten, and fifteen years ago.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Democratization, Economics, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Max Boot
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Afghanistan is approaching a major inflection point in its long and turbulent history. In 2014 most of the foreign military forces are due to pull out. With them will go the bulk of foreign financing that has accounted for almost all of the state's budget. Twenty fourteen is also the year that Afghanistan is due to hold presidential elections. Hamid Karzai, the only president the country has known since the fall of the Taliban, has said he will not seek another term in office. Thus Afghanistan is likely to have a new president to lead it into a new era. This era will be shaped by many factors, principally decisions made by Afghans themselves, but the United States has the ability to affect the outcome if it makes a sustained commitment to maintain security, improve the political process, and reduce Pakistani interference so as to build on the tenuous gains achieved by the U.S. troop surge since 2010.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Islam, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Taliban
  • Author: Isobel Coleman, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Global demographic and health trends affect a wide range of vital U.S. foreign policy interests. These interests include the desire to promote healthy, productive families and communities, more prosperous and stable societies, resource and food security, and environmental sustainability. International family planning is one intervention that can advance all these interests in a cost-effective manner. Investments in international family planning can significantly improve maternal, infant, and child health and avert unintended pregnancies and abortions. Studies have shown that meeting the unmet need for family planning could reduce maternal deaths by approximately 35 percent, reduce abortion in developing countries by 70 percent, and reduce infant mortality by 10 to 20 percent.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Environment, Health
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Markey, Paul B. Stares, Evan A. Feigenbaum, Scott A. Snyder, John W. Vessey, Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If past experience is any guide, the United States and China will find themselves embroiled in a serious crisis at some point in the future. Such crises have occurred with some regularity in recent years, and often with little or no warning. Relatively recent examples include the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1996, the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999, and the EP-3 reconnaissance plane incident in 2001, as well as several minor naval skirmishes since then. The ensuing tension has typically dissipated without major or lasting harm to U.S.-China relations. With China's rise as a global power, however, the next major crisis is likely to be freighted with greater significance for the relationship than in previous instances. Policymakers in both Washington and Beijing, not to mention their respective publics, have become more sensitive to each other's moves and intentions as the balance of power has shifted in recent years. As anxieties and uncertainties have grown, the level of mutual trust has inevitably diminished. How the two countries manage a future crisis or string of crises, therefore, could have profound and prolonged consequences for the U.S.-China relationship. Given the importance of this relationship to not only the future evolution of the Asia-Pacific region but also to the management of a host of international challenges, the stakes could not be higher.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: F. Gregory Gause III
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: There is arguably no more unlikely U.S. ally than Saudi Arabia: monarchical, deeply conservative socially, promoter of an austere and intolerant version of Islam, birthplace of Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Consequently, there is no U.S. ally less well understood. Many U.S. policymakers assume that the Saudi regime is fragile, despite its remarkable record of domestic stability in the turbulent Middle East. “It is an unstable country in an unstable region,” one congressional staffer said in July 2011. Yet it is the Arab country least affected in its domestic politics by the Arab upheavals of 2011. Many who think it is unstable domestically also paradoxically attribute enormous power to it, to the extent that they depict it as leading a “counterrevolution” against those upheavals throughout the region. 2 One wonders just how “counterrevolutionary” the Saudis are when they have supported the NATO campaign against Muammar al-Qaddafi, successfully negotiated the transfer of power from Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, and condemned the crackdown on protestors by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and how powerful they are when they could do little to help their ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Oil, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Andrei Shleifer, Daniel Treisman
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Too often over the last decades, policymakers in Washington have viewed Moscow's resistance to U.S. policies through the lens of psychology. In fact, Russia's foreign policy has been driven by its own rational self-interest.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington, Moscow
  • Author: Sanjay Basu, David Stuckler
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In arguing that treating HIV/AIDS threatens U.S. foreign policy interests, Princeton Lyman and Stephen Wittels ("No Good Deed Goes Unpunished," July/August 2010) neglected medical data and repeated spurious arguments.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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: Thomas J. Christensen
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Over the past two years, China's foreign policy has become more belligerent. But Washington should not wish for a weaker Beijing. In fact, on problems from nuclear proliferation to climate change, the United States needs a more confident China as a partner.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: It's tempting to see the 9/11 attacks as having fundamentally changed U.S. foreign policy. It's also wrong. The Bush administration may have gone over the top in responding, but its course was less novel than generally believed. A quest for primacy and military supremacy, a readiness to act proactively and unilaterally, and a focus on democracy and free markets -- all are long-standing features of U.S. policy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Middle East
  • Author: Paul K. MacDonald, Joseph M. Parent
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States can no longer afford a world-spanning foreign policy. Retrenchment -- cutting military spending, redefining foreign priorities, and shifting more of the defense burden to allies -- is the only sensible course. Luckily, that does not have to spell instability abroad. History shows that pausing to recharge national batteries can renew a dominant power's international legitimacy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Washington
  • Author: Daniel Markey
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: U.S.-Pakistani relations are in crisis. For Washington, Osam a bin Laden's safe haven in Abbottabad raises questions about Pakistan's complicity and/or incompetence. For Islamabad, bin Laden's killing shows its vulnerability to U.S. operations on its own soil .
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, War, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Washington
  • Author: Joshua Marks
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) led by President Joseph Kabila faces the prospect of collapse. Popular disaffection has grown as a consequence of endemic corruption and a failure to provide broad and sustained economic growth. The possibility of widespread violence around national elections scheduled for November 2011 as well as the emergence of antigovernment movements in the Kivus, Bas Congo, Katanga, or Equateur provinces could precipitate a major political and humanitarian crisis with destabilizing consequences for the region. Having provided billions in foreign assistance and UN peacekeeping support to the DRC and eager to avoid another violent catastrophe in central Africa, the United States faces a looming foreign policy challenge.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: James Lindsay
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: James Lindsay discusses how bin Laden's death will influence U.S. foreign policy, President Barack Obama's public opinion, and the war in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Barack Obama
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For 220 years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They've done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they've done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, War, Labor Issues, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Charles L. Pritchard, John H. Tilelli Jr., Scott A. Snyder
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Korean peninsula simultaneously offers dramatically contrasting opportunities for and dangers to U.S. interests in Northeast Asia. On the one hand, a democratic and free market–oriented South Korea has developed enhanced military capacity and political clout and an expanded set of shared interests with the United States. This enables more active cooperation with the United States to respond to North Korea's nuclear challenge and promote regional and global stability and prosperity. On the other hand, a secretive and totalitarian North Korea has expanded its capacity to threaten regional and global stability through continued development of fissile materials and missile delivery capabilities, and has directly challenged the global nonproliferation regime and U.S. leadership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Phoenix
  • Author: Micah Zenko
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama has made reductions in the United States' nuclear arsenal and a decreased reliance on nuclear weapons major foreign policy priorities for his administration. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), signed in April 2010 by President Obama and Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, represents concrete movement toward these goals—goals that both presidents share. This follow-on accord to the 1991 START Treaty limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear and conventional war - heads, 800 strategic launchers, and 700 deployed strategic missiles and bombers. Yet while the New START Treaty represents a substantial decrease from Cold War levels, the United States will retain around 2,000 deployed strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and Russia will maintain approximately 3,500 deployed strategic and tactical nuclear weapons—which together will constitute over 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Richard L. Armitage, Samuel R. Berger
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Al-Qaeda's attack on September 11, 2001, was the deadliest terrorist assault on the United States in history. In the hours and days that followed, Americans learned more about the perpetrators and their links to bases and networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Less than a month later, President George W. Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom. Much changed nearly overnight as the United States focused military, economic, and diplomatic attention squarely on the region for the first time since the end of the Cold War. In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime—al-Qaeda's sympathetic host—was toppled. In Pakistan, the Pervez Musharraf regime was drafted into Washington's Global War on Terror.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Kay King
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Much has been written, blogged, and broadcast in the past several years about the dysfunction of the U.S. Congress. Filibusters, holds, and poison pill amendments have become hot topics, albeit intermittently, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have increasingly exploited these tactics in pursuit of partisan or personal ends. Meanwhile, such pressing national issues as deficit reduction, immigration reform, and climate change have gone unresolved. To be fair, the 111th Congress has addressed many significant issues, but those it has addressed, such as health-care reform and economic stimulus, exposed Americans to a flawed process of backroom deals that favors obstruction over deliberation, partisanship over statesmanship, and narrow interests over national concerns. Although partisan politics, deal making, and parliamentary maneuvering are nothing new to Congress, the extent to which they are being deployed today by lawmakers and the degree to which they obstruct the resolution of national problems are unprecedented. This may explain why Congress registered a confidence level of only 11 percent in July 2010, marking its lowest rating ever in the annual Gallup institutional confidence survey and ranking it last among sixteen major U.S. institutions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Barack Obama's foreign policy has generated more expectations than strategic breakthroughs. Three urgent issues -- the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran's nuclear ambitions, and the Afghan-Pakistani challenge -- will test his ability to significantly change U.S. policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States
  • 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: Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Secretary Clinton discusses U.S. leadership and diplomatic efforts, as well as the global challenges of climate change, Middle East peace, conflict in Darfur, and the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes, Foreign Aid, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Darfur, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations on July 8, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed U.S.-Israel relations, the threat of a nuclear Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the possibility of extending a temporary settlement freeze in the West Bank. Netanyahu was unclear on whether or not he will extend a ten-month moratorium on settlement expansion in the West Bank beyond the September deadline. When asked, he said: "I think we've done enough. Let's go on with talks." Yet Netanyahu was cautious when assessing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's ability to achieve a final status agreement. "I will not do what some of my colleagues do to President Abbas," Netanyahu said, "I won't rule out the possibility of leadership." On the subject of Iran and its uranium enrichment program, which Israel regards as a grave threat, Netanyahu was supportive of recent Obama administration moves. "The statement that the president has made that all options are on the table is probably the most effective pressure that you could direct at Iran," Netanyahu said, addressing the possibility of using military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. "They have in the past backed off when they thought the U.S. would act in a more forceful way." Addressing recent strains in U.S.-Israel relations, Netanyahu emphasized Israel's strategic value to the United States. "In the heart of the Middle East, Israel is the source of the greatest stability," he said, "the service that Israel does in the Middle East is below the swirl of public debate, is real and much appreciated by the governments that are actually acting to stabilize the Middle East, chief among them the United States."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Paul B. Stares, Joel S. Wit
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: For most of the 1990s, North Korea was under what can only be called a prolonged deathwatch, so common and confident were predictions of its demise. Despite suffering acute economic stress from the loss of its principal economic patron—the Soviet Union—in 1991, the sudden death of its founding father––Kim Il-Sung––in 1994, and then soon after a devastating famine that may have claimed as many as a million lives, North Korea managed to survive. By decade's end, North Korea's extraordinary resilience, combined with its defiant and at times belligerent attitude to the rest of the world, had convinced most experts that this was not a country about to pass either quickly or quietly into the history books. Since then, the conventional wisdom among most if not all North Korea watchers is that it will muddle through indefinitely even if its long-term future remains doubtful.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea
  • Author: Laurie A. Garrett
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Though the United States of America faces its toughest budgetary and economic challenges since the Great Depression, it cannot afford to eliminate, or even reduce, its foreign assistance spending. For clear reasons of political influence, national security, global stability, and humanitarian concern the United States must, at a minimum, stay the course in its commitments to global health and development, as well as basic humanitarian relief. The Bush administration sought not only to increase some aspects of foreign assistance, targeting key countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) and specific health targets, such as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President's Malaria Initiative, but also executed an array of programmatic and structural changes in U.S. aid efforts. By 2008, it was obvious to most participants and observers that too many agencies were engaged in foreign assistance, and that programs lacked coherence and strategy. Well before the financial crisis of fall 20 08, there was a strong bipartisan call for foreign assistance reform, allowing greater efficiency and credibility to U.S. efforts, enhancing engagement in multilateral institutions and programs, and improving institutional relations between U.S. agencies and their partners, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), recipient governments, corporate and business sector stakeholders, faith-based organizations (FBOs), academic-based implementers and researchers, foundations and private donors, United Nations (UN) agencies, and other donor nations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Debt, Development, Economics, Health, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye Jr, Philip D. Zelikow
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Stephen C. Freidheim Symposium on Global Economics Transcript: Joseph Nye, Philip Zelikow, Sebastian Mallaby, and Richard Medley discuss the global consequences of the financial crisis This session was part of the Stephen C. Freidheim Symposium on Global Economics: Financial Turbulence and U.S. Power, which was made possible through the generous support of Stephen C. Freidheim.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Globalization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Charles D. Ferguson, Brent Scowcroft, William J. Perry
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: For more than sixty years, the United States and the world have benefited immeasurably from a de facto taboo on the use of nuclear weapons. Today, however, this period of nonuse may come to an end, given the rise of a new type of terrorist who seeks to acquire and would not hesitate to detonate nuclear weapons. Moreover, the emergence of more states with nuclear weapons capabilities has raised the likelihood of the use or loss of control of nuclear weapons or the materials used to make them. The imperative before the Obama administration, therefore, is to use all available tools to prevent the use and further acquisition of nuclear weapons. This Task Force report identifies how to leverage U.S. nuclear weapons posture and policy to achieve that objective. It focuses on near-term steps, primarily over the next four years.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Barack Obama
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: President Obama gave this address on December 1, 2009 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, War, Armed Struggle, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, New York
  • Author: Matthew C. Waxman
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The collective international failure to stop genocidal violence and result - ing humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan prompts the familiar question of whether the United States or, more broadly, the international community has the political will and capabilities necessary to deter or stop mass atrocities. It is well understood that mobilizing domestic and international political support as well as leveraging diplomatic, economic, and maybe even military tools are necessary to stop mass atrocities, though they may not always be enough. Other studies have focused, therefore, on what steps the United States and its international partners could take to build capabilities of the sort needed to prevent, stop, and remedy these crimes. This report approaches the problem from a different angle and asks whether the current international legal regime with regard to the use of military force—that is, international law regulating the resort to armed intervention—is appropriate and effective in deterring and stopping mass atrocities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Genocide, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Sudan
  • Author: Paul B. Stares, Micah Zenko
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since taking office, the Obama administration has repeatedly affirmed its intent to prevent potential future international crises from becoming the source of costly new U.S. military commitments. In one of the earliest foreign policy pronouncements of the new administration, Vice President Joseph R. Biden declared: “We'll strive to act preventively, not preemptively, to avoid whenever possible or wherever possible the choice of last resort between the risks of war and the dangers of inaction. We'll draw upon all the elements of our power—military and diplomatic; intelligence and law enforcement; economic and cultural—to stop crises from occurring before they are in front of us.” Not long afterward, General James L. Jones, in his first speech as national security adviser, echoed much the same objective: “We need to be able to anticipate the kind of operations that we should be thinking about six months to a year ahead of time in different parts of the world to bring the necessary elements of national and international power to bear to prevent future Iraqs and future Afghanistans.” And in a major speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in August 2009, President Barack Obama also declared that “one of the best ways to lead our troops wisely is to prevent the conflicts that cost American blood and treasure tomorrow.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: J. Anthony Holmes
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If it hopes to achieve its foreign policy agenda, the Obama administration will need to undo the damage to the Foreign Service wrought by the Bush administration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stephen R. Graubard
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The next U.S. foreign affairs agenda needs to be more imaginative in considering what the United States will value tomorrow.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Rachel L. Loeffler
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Financial sanctions have become a key tool of U.S. foreign policy. Measures taken against Iran and North Korea make clear that this new financial statecraft can be effective, but true success will require persuading global banks to accept a shared sense of risk.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, North Korea
  • Author: Elizabeth C. Economy, Adam Segal
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A heightened bilateral relationship may not be possible for China and the United States, as the two countries have mismatched interests and values. Washington should embrace a more flexible and multilateral approach.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, Israel, Palestine
  • 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: John Newhouse
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Lobbies representing foreign interests have an increasingly powerful -- and often harmful -- impact on how the United States formulates its foreign policy, and ultimately hurt U.S. credibility around the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Armenia
  • Author: Catherine Bertini, Dan Glickman
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Hunger remains one of world's gravest humanitarian problems, but the United States has failed to prioritize food aid and agricultural development. Washington must put agriculture at the center of development aid -- and make it a key part of a new U.S. foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Robert B. Oakley, Edward Marks
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: J. Anthony Holmes ("Where Are the Civilians?" January/February 2009) makes a number of persuasive points concerning the military's domination of U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, fixing U.S. foreign policy requires a comprehensive, long-term approach. An excellent beginning would be to implement fully the proposals contained in a recent joint report by the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Henry L. Stimson Center. They are ambitious enough to make rapid implementation hard work, but they are probably only the minimum necessary to meet today's requirements.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ronald D. Asmus, Jeremy D. Rosner
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: We are troubled by the assertions made by John Newhouse ("Diplomacy, Inc.," May/June 2009) about NATO enlargement -- an initiative in which we both played direct roles -- as well as by his broader thesis about the role of ethnic population groups in shaping U.S. foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Markey
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama publicly unveiled his administration's so-called AfPak (Afghanistan-Pakistan) strategy on March 27, 2009. Over the subsequent weeks, the White House has also briefed relevant congressional leaders and committees, the media, NATO allies, and other regional and international partners. The U.S. House of Representatives has moved ahead with its own legislative debate (the PEACE bill), and the administration recently submitted a 2009 supplemental budget request consistent with its new strategy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Mona Yacoubian, Scott Lasensky
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Punctuated by conflict in Iraq, an ascendant ran, and continued instability in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, rising volatility in the Middle East threatens U.S. interests in the region. Meanwhile, sectarianism, al-Qaeda–inspired terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) all serve as troubling overlays to this complex mix. Mired in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has yet to develop a comprehensive strategic framework that addresses these interrelated challenges. Instead, U.S. policy has been largely crisis-driven, attempting to put out fires by confronting issues on an ad hoc basis rather than seeking to respond to the underlying forces and tensions that catalyze conflict and instability in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This Task Force report takes stock of the current situation in Latin America and the main challenges and opportunities for U.S.-Latin America relations. Latin America has benefited greatly in recent years from democratic opening, stable economic policies, and increasing growth. Many countries are taking advantage of these developments to consolidate democratic institutions, broaden economic opportunities, and better serve their citizens. Yet Latin American nations face daunting challenges as they integrate into global markets and work to strengthen historically weak state institutions. These challenges increasingly matter for the United States, as deepening economic and social ties link U.S. well-being to the region's stability and development.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Bruce W. MacDonald
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On January 11, 2007, China launched a missile into space, releasing a homing vehicle that destroyed an old Chinese weather satellite. The strategic reverberations of that collision have shaken up security thinking in the United States and around the world. This test demonstrated that, if it so chose, China could build a substantial number of these anti- satellite weapons (ASAT) and thus might soon be able to destroy substantial numbers of U.S. satellites in low earth orbit (LEO), upon which the U.S. military heavily depends. On February 21, 2008, the United States launched a modified missile-defense interceptor, destroying a U.S. satellite carrying one thousand pounds of toxic fuel about to make an uncontrolled atmospheric reentry. Thus, within fourteen months, China and the United States both demonstrated the capability to destroy LEO satellites, heralding the arrival of an era where space is a potentially far more contested domain than in the past, with few rules.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Anthony W. Gambino
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR carries out its mission by maintaining a diverse membership, with special programs to promote interest and develop expertise in the next generation of foreign policy leaders; convening meetings at its headquarters in New York and in Washington, DC, and other cities where senior government officials, members of Congress, global leaders, and prominent thinkers come together with CFR members to discuss and debate major international issues; supporting a Studies Program that fosters independent research, enabling CFR scholars to produce articles, reports, and books and hold roundtables that analyze foreign policy issues and make concrete policy recommendations; publishing Foreign Affairs, the preeminent journal on international affairs and U.S. foreign policy; sponsoring Independent Task Forces that produce reports with both findings and policy prescriptions on the most important foreign policy topics; and providing up-to-date information and analysis about world events and American foreign policy on its website, CFR.org.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Washington, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 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: Vincent A. Mai, Frank G. Wisner, William L. Nash, ArthurMark Rubin
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Outside the continent's crisis areas, few African countries are more important to U.S. interests than Angola. The second-largest oil producer in Africa, Angola's success or failure in transitioning from nearly thirty years of war toward peace and democracy has implications for the stability of the U.S. oil supply as well as the stability of central and southern Africa. Consequently, the United States has an interest in helping Angola address its numerous and significant national challenges.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Angola