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Council on Foreign Relations The World This Week
Highlights from CFR

March 1, 2013

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Italians Rekindle Euro Jitters

Charles A. Kupchan

Should a functioning government fail to emerge in Italy, the eurozone could slide backward and again be engulfed in expensive and controversial bailouts to avert financial crisis. With Germany headed into its own election season, Chancellor Angela Merkel will be treading very carefully when it comes to putting German taxpayers on the line. Read the First Take »

SEQUESTRATION

A Manufactured Fiscal Crisis

Robert Kahn

Thus far, markets appear to have ignored the onset of the sequester. Recent volatility has reflected renewed fears for Europe in the wake of Italian elections, uncertainty about Fed policy, and currency wars. It's hard to pinpoint an independent sequester effect. Read More on Macro and Markets »

What Do Americans Want from Government?

Edward Alden

With $85 billion set to be cut from non-defense discretionary spending as a result of sequestration, it is important to consider which government services make the most difference to the everyday lives of Americans. Read More on Renewing America »

Debt, Deficits, and the Defense Budget

With sequestration now in effect, many experts suggest that the nation's rising debt poses a long-term threat to U.S. national security. The Pentagon's budget could eventually be crowded out by mandatory social spending programs. Read the Backgrounder »

How Fiscal Uncertainty Will Affect Latin America

Shannon K. O'Neil

Economists are predicting a half percentage point decline in the United States' GDP, and fiscal uncertainty—as a result of the sequester—could reduce Latin America's total GDP growth by 1.2 percent. Read More on Latin America's Moment »

 

The Pope as Diplomat

Edward Pentin

As Pope Benedict XVI abdicates the papacy, retiring to a life of prayer and study, he leaves behind an admirable, if somewhat chequered record in international relations. Read More on ForeignAffairs.com »

Support Process Over Personalities in Pakistan

Daniel S. Markey

Pakistan's most powerful institutions face impending leadership transitions. U.S. officials should consider how they might influence this political environment by suspending drone strikes, making exceptions only for plotters of imminent terrorist attacks. Read the Policy Innovation Memorandum »

Drones in Niger: A Fateful Decision

John Campbell

Given the United States' limited interests in the region, the deployment of one hundred American troops to a U.S. drone base in Niger was likely motivated by fear of the region's quasi-criminal networks, which have adopted the al-Qaeda brand. Read More on Africa in Transition »

Heralding Hope Amid Tough Realities

Scott A. Snyder

South Korean President Park's political resume is one that has been built through resilience and the ability to succeed in the face of political adversity. Park will need to rely on past experience to confront the policy challenges ahead of her. Read More on Asia Unbound »

THE WORLD AHEAD

An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon discuss Kenyan elections, the scramble to assemble a new government in Italy, and the sixtieth anniversary of Stalin's death. Listen to the Podcast »

What Is Egypt?

Steven A. Cook

President Barack Obama has worked hard to keep relations between Washington and Cairo on track as Egypt has lurched from one political crisis to another over the last two years. But where exactly is that track supposed to be leading? It is not at all clear that the president knows. Read More on from the Potomac to the Euphrates »

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights

Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill

Lee has been a mentor to every Chinese leader from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, and a counselor to every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. In their new book, Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill extract the essence of Lee's visionary thinking about critical issues, including U.S.-China relations, India, and globalization. Read the Book »

Abe's Post-Summit Decisions

Sheila A. Smith

Following his first summit meeting with President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces important economic challenges. His ability to appoint a governor for the Bank of Japan and secure participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be contingent on support from both houses of parliament. Read More on Asia Unbound »

Democracy's Decline and the Case of Kenya

Joshua Kurlantzick

There was once a widely shared hope that Kenya would be part of a new, "Fourth Wave" of democracy. But in Africa, Asia, and now the Middle East, we have witnessed the emergence of either dysfunctional democracies or, like Kenya, countries that have turned into elected autocracies. Reversing this decline will require concerted efforts from both the leaders and citizens of once-promising democracies. Read the Expert Brief »

Why Transatlantic Trade Winds Are Blowing

Jeffrey J. Schott

While a free-trade deal has eluded the U.S. and EU for more than twenty years, both have greater incentives to reach an agreement that could stimulate halting economies on both sides of the Atlantic. Read the Interview »

WORLD EVENTS CALENDAR

March 3 - 5: American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee Annual Conference, Washington, DC
CFR Resources on: Israel

March 4: Presidential Election, Kenya
CFR Resources on: Kenya

View the Calendar »

INSIDE CFR

Today in CFR's New York office, CFR fellow Micah Zenko hosted a U.S. drone policy panel with Palantir Technologies' Michael Leiter and the American Civil Liberties Union's Jameel Jaffer. Watch the Discussion

The Battle for Bretton Woods

In a new book, CFR's Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics Benn Steil argues that the U.S.-China monetary standoff makes "a new Bretton Woods" impossible.

 

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