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  • 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: 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: 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