Speakers: Ryan Crocker, Charles W. Dunne, and Paul Pillar Presider: Richard N. Haass
More than three years after the start of the Syrian civil war, debates continue about what role, if any, the United States should play in the conflict. Ryan Crocker of Texas A&M, Freedom House's Charles Dunne, and Paul Pillar of Georgetown University join CFR President Richard N. Haass to outline the courses of action available to the United States and debate whether U.S. intervention would be desirable or effective.
Contrary to appearances, the crisis in Ukraine might be on the verge of resolution. The potentially crucial move came today when interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said that he would be open to changing the country's political system from a republic, with power centered in the capital Kiev, to a federation with considerable autonomy for the regional districts.
"The regime's political goals are to remain in power, restore its control over as much of Syria as it can, and render the political opposition an irrelevant exile movement. Its military goal is to reduce the armed opposition to a manageable terrorist threat. This does not imply that the opposition has to be completely eliminated or that every inch of lost ground has to be recovered. Yet the regime has never shown any intention other than to fight, and it fights essentially everywhere in Syria."
As Russian officials on Thursday announced new military operations in several regions near the Ukrainian border, it becomes clear that the country isn't just dealing with a political crisis. Its economy is also in jeopardy.
"As pro-Russia demonstrations in 11 cities have suddenly erupted where significant populations of ethnic Russians live, the apparent organization of the demonstrators, appearances of Russian citizens and reports of busloads of activists arriving from Russia itself suggest a high degree of coordination with Moscow."
As Washington remains reluctant to take strong action in Syria, Gayle T. Lemmon discusses the limited interventions under consideration for U.S. intervention, including counterterrorism operations inside Syria, increased arms distribution to moderate rebels, and humanitarian aid.
Experts discuss recent developments regarding uprisings in Ukraine. Over the past couple of months, there has been an increase in confrontation with the government which has resultred in violent protests in Ukraine, and specifically in Kiev. Stephen Sestanovich, Alexander Motyl, and Robert McMahon discuss Russia and Putin's role, the current state of Ukraine, and its future.
The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act required an independent assessment of the Afghan National Security Forces. The Department of Defense selected the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), whose Center for Strategic Studies provided this report on January 24, 2014.
To help U.S. officials and policymakers focus on the most important conflict prevention demands, CFR's Center for Preventive Action produced its sixth annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS), which evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. Micah Zenko discusses the process, findings, and utility of the PPS.
"In the national collective consciousness, Boko Haram has become something more than a terrorist group, more even than a movement. Its name has taken on an incantatory power. Fearing they will be heard and then killed by Boko Haram, Nigerians refuse to say the group's name aloud, referring instead to 'the crisis' or 'the insecurity.'"
Secretary of State John Kerry gave this statement on August 30, 2013, to review with the American people the Obama administration's assessment about the August 21 chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilizans and the steps taken to develop a plan with U.S. and international officials to intervene.
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 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 »