Council on Foreign Relations State and Local Officials Bulletin
March 2014

March 2014

Afghanistan After the Drawdown

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(Courtesy Reuters)


A recent Council Special Report on the U.S. presence in Afghanistan after the 2014 drawdown identifies strategies for managing the complex political, security, and economic challenges that lie ahead. Authors Seth Jones and Keith Crane, both of RAND Corporation, see benefits in leaving a force of eight to twelve thousand troops behind to train Afghan national security forces and quell a resurgence of al-Qaeda. Read the report to understand why a residual force is necessary to ensure that U.S. gains made in the region are not lost.


CFR and State and Local Governments

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CFR President on the Decline of Upward Mobility

CFR President Richard N. Haass writes about inequality, opportunity, and how to promote upward economic mobility in his latest piece for Project Syndicate.

According to Haass, income inequality can only be addressed with policies and programs that foster growth and meaningful opportunities. Getting it right requires understanding that inequality is not so much the cause as the consequence of what ails us.

New CFR Book on China's Resource Quest

China's pursuit of natural resources is restructuring markets, pushing up commodity prices, and transforming resource-rich economies. Authors Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi explore the myths and realities of the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy and the global effects of its meteoric growth in their new book By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest Is Changing the World.

Dennis Blair, former director of national intelligence and commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific region, called the book "the best analysis to-date of the three-way economic and security game among China, other countries, and global market forces. With trenchant policy recommendations, it should be read by all those interested in China's impact on the world."

Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet

The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. To support security, innovation, growth, and the free flow of information, the report recommends that the United States and its partners build a cyber alliance and include the free flow of information in all future trade agreements. Download the report »

Quarterly Update: Foreign Ownership of U.S. Assets

This chart book from CFR's Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies shows the growth in foreign ownership of U.S. assets, which has increased significantly since 1945, and even more rapidly in the past two decades. According to CFR analyst Dinah Walker "this growth is the result of a general increase in cross-border investment, with rising foreign ownership of U.S. assets nearly matched by rising U.S. ownership of assets abroad." View the chart book »



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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 takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.

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The CFR State and Local Officials Initiative seeks to serve as a resource and forum for bipartisan discussion on pressing international issues that affect the priorities and agendas of state and local governments, including the economy, trade and competitiveness, homeland security, public health, immigration, and energy supply and climate policy. For more information, please contact Amy Cunningham, assistant director for the National Program & Outreach, at 212.434.9848 or

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