Increasingly frequent clashes between China and its neighbors heighten the risk of escalating tensions and military conflict over territorial claims in the East and South China Seas. Policy experts discuss a range of preventive measures aimed at mitigating miscalculations by sea captains or political leaders that could trigger an armed conflict.
In April 2014, at the Western Pacific Naval Symposium held in Qingdao, China, twenty-one Pacific nations including the United States signed the Conduct for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), to reduce tensions between different militaries. CUES is not legally binding.
Foreign ministers from the United States, the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia released a joint statement on April 17, 2014, outlining steps to reduce tensions in Ukraine after President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted and Russia annexed Crimea. The foreign ministers charge Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with enforcing the agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton held a press conference to discuss the agreement.
"Conflict prevention's placement as a policy goal deep within the National Security Strategy (NSS), and the lack of specificity about how this is pursued, says a lot about how the U.S. government thinks about preventing future wars," Micah Zenko writes. Heprovides a series of recommendations to address under-prioritization and under-development of conflict prevention in U.S. policies and strategies.
Robert Satloff and David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy describe conceivable contingencies that pose serious threats to Jordan's stability and provide recommendations on how U.S. policymakers can help manage potentially destabilizing economic and political change in the country.
U.S. drone strike policies undermine the nation's foreign policy objectives and have resulted in the loss of hundreds of innocent civilian lives, according to a report by CFR Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko from the Center for Preventive Action. Zenko calls for greater oversight of U.S. drone strikes from the Obama administration, Congress, and the international community.
The Council on Foreign Relations' fifth annual Preventive Priorities Survey ranks conflict prevention priorities based on their potential impact on U.S. interests and their likelihood of occurring in the coming year.
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 »