Turkey has chosen not to play a constructive role in combating extremism and resolving the Syrian conflict, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Instead, Ankara has gone after securing its own interests, that of securing the power of the ruling party and undermining Syria’s Kurds.
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.
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 Minsk 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."
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 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 »