Council on Foreign Relations The World This Week
Highlights From CFR

January 24, 2014

The World This Week

Reorienting U.S.-Pakistan Strategy

Daniel S. Markey

A U.S. strategy for Asia that does not contemplate Pakistan's role is incomplete, and a U.S. strategy for Pakistan that primarily considers its role in the context of Afghanistan is shortsighted. The United States should help Pakistan defend against security threats and support economic growth and normalized relations with its neighbors. Read the Council Special Report »

The Decline of Upward Mobility

Richard N. Haass

Inequality is real. But it can be addressed effectively only with policies and programs that foster growth and meaningful opportunities to benefit from it. Getting it right requires understanding that inequality is not so much the cause as it is the consequence of what ails us. Read the op-ed »

Geneva II Talks on Syria

The Diplomatic Headaches Have Just Begun

Stewart M. Patrick and Claire Schachter

The most likely diplomatic outcomes of this long awaited "peace conference" are likely to be pretty thin gruel. At best, the summit will mark another phase in a protracted negotiating process that may continue for years, unless circumstances on the battlefield result in a clear victory for one side. Read more on The Internationalist »

Hope Springs in Syria?

Hassan Hassan

While there is reason for pessimism about this week's conference in Geneva, local efforts to end the violence and aid the starving have led to numerous small-scale cease-fires in Damascus suburbs. The best strategy going forward would be to build peace in Syria, neighborhood by neighborhood, and prepare for Assad's departure. Read more on ForeignAffairs.com »

Small Steps to Transition?

Edward P. Djerejian

The prospects for the conference's intended political transition are slim. Efforts to move the agenda forward should focus on limited cease-fires in specific localities, possible prisoner exchanges, and aid corridors in an attempt to alleviate the country's humanitarian crisis. Read the interview »

Issue Guide: What Geneva II Means

After prolonged discord over who would participate in the Geneva II peace talks on Syria, negotiators from President Bashar al-Assad's government and the political opposition in exile have convened along with world powers in the Swiss town of Montreux. The following background and analysis offers a guide to the talks, which resumed on Friday. Read more »

 

Ukraine's Big Three

Annabelle Chapman

In recent weeks, three opposition politicians have attempted to guide the protests in Ukraine: Vitali Klitschko, Oleh Tyahnybok, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk. With violence now rising in Kiev's Independence Square, they must decide what to do next. Read more on ForeignAffairs.com »

Crisis in Central African Republic: Three Things to Know

John Campbell

The recent uptick in violence in the Central African Republic's ongoing crisis is threatening regional stability and will require a strong interim government to ensure a peaceful transition. Watch the video »

The World Ahead

An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

In this week's audio preview, Lindsay and McMahon preview President Barack Obama's upcoming State of the Union address. Listen to the podcast »

Erdogan for the Win

Steven A. Cook

Despite Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's vulnerability amid a corruption scandal, he is too good a politician and his opponents face too many challenges to rule out his ability to succeed in Turkey's upcoming elections. Read more on From the Potomac to the Euphrates »

The Global Grip of Cigarette Smoking

Thomas Bollyky

Fifty years after the U.S. surgeon general's report on the dangers of tobacco, the percentage of Americans who smoke has dropped by more than half, but the tobacco industry's expansion to poorer countries has led cigarette consumption to triple in developing nations. Read the op-ed »

Thai Royalty's Involvement in Politics

Joshua Kurlantzick

Despite officially being a constitutional monarchy, Thailand's royal family has always been closely involved in Thai politics. As the monarchy loses some degree of public trust, other democratic institutions will eventually assume the role of mediator and allow for the development of a true constitutional monarchy. Read more on Asia Unbound »

The Constancy of Contest With Okinawa

Sheila A. Smith

The reelection of Susumu Inamine as mayor of Nago, Japan, furthers the city's opposition to U.S. military bases in Okinawa; however, the future of Inamine and his supporters' opposition platform will rely heavily on its long-term sustainability. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Ask CFR Experts

Ahner Abdullah asks, how will the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan affect U.S.-Pakistan relations? CFR Senior Fellow Daniel S. Markey says the Obama administration faces other pressing challenges and would put Pakistan on the back burner, reducing diplomatic attention and resources. Read the full answer and submit your question

World Events Calendar

January 27: Russia-EU Summit, Brussels
CFR Resources on: Europe

January 28: State of the Union Address, Washington, DC
CFR Resources on: The United States

View the Calendar »

Inside CFR

At CFR's New York headquarters, the International Monetary Fund's Olivier Blanchard reflected on the status of the world economy and the role of the IMF. Watch the discussion

An Interactive Map of Vaccine-Preventable Outbreaks

The Global Health program at the Council on Foreign Relations has been tracking news reports on outbreaks of diseases that are easily preventable by inexpensive and effective vaccines since Fall 2008. Use this interactive map to view outbreaks.

 

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