Testing Putin in Syria

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate
There has been no shortage of scrutiny of what Russian President Vladimir Putin is up to in Syria and why, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. Much of the analysis, though, has been narrowly focused on the short term and may be too negative in assessing his actions’ likely long-term consequences.

See more in Syria; Russian Federation; Conflict Assessment


Is Russia an ‘Existential Threat’?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Russia last week to address this question: How should we think about Russian actions in the Middle East and Europe? Having been invited to speak, I found that one theme of my testimony stirred up an argument—among other witnesses, senators, staff, and even (in follow-on e-mails) administration officials.

See more in Russia and Central Asia; United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Other Report

Global Economics Monthly: October 2015

Author: Robert Kahn

Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that China's growth prospect lies somewhere between hard-landing and muddle-through scenarios. However, uncertainty remains and is already being felt strongly and likely to put increasing pressure on emerging markets through trade contraction and financial contagion. For the United States, fragility in emerging markets is the critical risk and will dominate economic decision-making for months if not years to come. 

See more in Global; Economics

Other Report

Crisis Over Ukraine

Author: Steven Pifer

As a 2009 Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Contingency Planning Memorandum "Crisis Between Ukraine and Russia" argued, a major Ukraine-Russia confrontation has significant implications for the United States. Despite ongoing diplomatic efforts, few aspects of the Minks II agreement have been implemented and heavy fighting could resume, precipitating an even deeper crisis between Russia and the West. 

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment; Territorial Disputes


Obama’s ‘Atrocity Prevention Board’ — Abandoned, but Not Forgotten

Author: Elliott Abrams
National Review

In April 2012, Barack Obama went to the Holocaust Museum to declare, in solemn tones, that the lessons of the Holocaust and other episodes of genocide must be learned — and under his leadership American would learn them. Never again! he said. And he called that day for establishing a new government body called the Atrocity Prevention Board.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State