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.
A wave of Syrian refugees has caught Europe and the United States flat-footed, leaving the European Union scrambling to devise a plan to deal with those arriving on its shores and Americans debating our role in the matter. A humanitarian reaction is natural–but woefully inadequate, because refugees will keep coming as long as the Assad regime continues to brutally repress Syria’s Sunni majority. Only by bringing the conflict to an end will the flow of ever more thousands of refugees stop.
Ukraine faces two severe and immediate challenges: armed pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country and a sharp, nationwide economic deterioration stemming in no small part from that military threat.CFR convened a group of experts to discuss Ukraine’s economic challenges and identify possible ways for outside actors to support Ukrainian policymakers
The potential for the use of nuclear arms has increased and is likely to rise, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in the Financial Times. Preventing further spread of nuclear weapons and their use may well turn out to be the great challenge of the 21st century.
In an article for Politico, Philip Gordon discusses four big trends that are unraveling the Middle East. He argues that the United States is not the cause of the growing disorder and should not pretend there is an easy fix.
As the 14th annual Asia Security Summit—or the Shangri-la Dialogue, as it has come to be known—gets underway in Singapore, we asked contributors to comment on what appears to be a recent escalation in tensions between the U.S. and China over the two countries’ presence in the South China Sea.
CNN correspondent Barbara Starr interviewed Defense Secretary Ash Carter on May 24, 2015. Secretary Carter stated that the reason the self-proclaimed Islamic State gained territory in Iraq is that "Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight."
The Saudi-led military incursion into Yemen signals a major shift in Saudi policy toward the region, one more suited for a post-American phase, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Perceiving that they are unable to reliably depend upon support from the United States, Saudi Arabia is adopting a more independent and aggressive policy to ensure its security.
In an article for Newsweek, Elliott Abrams discusses the international community’s unfair standards for Israeli military operations and focuses on the slim response to civilian casualties in Saudi airstrikes in Yemen.
The United States is now engaged in yet another military intervention in the Middle East—this time in Yemen. Micah Zenko argues that what has become the standard operating procedure for how the United States goes to war should be alarming, particularly when the latest intervention “lacks clear courses of action, coherent objectives, or an intended end state.”
Yemen is the latest Middle East state to become enmeshed in a costly political and religious conflict that spans borders. The region’s struggles could well last for three decades longer, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.
In an article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams discusses Iran’s transformation into a "front line state" against Israel. This turn of events alarms Israelis and Arabs alike, but not nearly so much as another fact: that Iran's expansionism and military adventurism are being met with approval from the Obama administration.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »