This report from Eurasianet, part of the Open Society Institute, argues that lingering acrimony in Afghan-Pakistani relations could create a diplomatic opening for Iran to increase its economic and political influence in Kabul. The report says that Afghan-Pakistani tension is rooted in the revived Taliban insurgency: despite repeated denials by Islamabad, the prevailing sentiment in Kabul is that Pakistan is providing critical assistance to the Taliban. Afghan media now openly depict Islamabad as striving to undermine President Hamid Karzai’s administration. Afghan officials evidently believe that Pakistan seeks to recover political leverage in Afghanistan that it lost after the Taliban regime was driven from Kabul in 2001.
The Brookings Institution says that ‘with each passing day, Iraq sinks deeper into the abyss of civil war.’ It considers how the United States could stop the slide into all-out war, and what actions the US should take if it becomes clear that Iraq cannot be saved from such a conflict. The report considers the history of civil wars in the recent past, and draws a set of lessons regarding how civil wars can affect the interests of other countries, even distant ones like the United States, and then used those lessons to fashion a set of recommendations for how Washington might begin to develop a new strategy for an Iraq caught up in all-out civil war.
Conflict in the Horn of Africa is escalating rapidly as power struggles within Somalia are exacerbated by military support that both Ethiopia and Eritrea give to the opposing parties there. Ethiopia backs the weak interim government; Eritrea sponsors the Islamic militants fighting to overthrow it. Because the United States has accused Somalia of harboring al-Qaeda suspects, “the Ethiopian-Eritrean proxy conflict increases the opportunities for terrorist infiltration of the Horn and East Africa and for ignition of a larger regional conflict,” warns a new Council Special Report.
In this report the US Institute for Peace (USIP) details proceedings at its Sudan Peace Forum in December 2006 in which Dr Chester Crocker and Dr Francis Deng co-chaired a discussion of overlapping crises in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic. The meeting was prompted by recent comments of the United Nations Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, who warned that the crises in Darfur, Chad, and CAR are "intimately linked" and could lead to a "dangerous regional crisis."
The assassination of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent anti-Syrian cabinet minister, further destabilizes a shaky political balance in Lebanon. The nation is left teetering at the edge of a crisis, the effects of which could ripple across the region.
The president of the American Council on Germany sees a "definite improvement" in U.S.-German relations since Angela Merkel became chancellor five months ago. Ahead of Merkel's second visit to Washington this year, William Drozdiak says that a key issue for Merkel and President Bush is what to do about Iran's nuclear program.
This briefing paper by Professor Paul Rogers of the Oxford Research Group (ORG) provides an analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran's nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the immediate consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, and also the likely Iranian responses, which the report says would be extensive. An attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would signal the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably grow to involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, as well as the USA and Iran, says ORG. The report concludes that a military response to the current crisis in relations with Iran is a particularly dangerous option and should not be considered further.
This Council-sponsored, independent Task Force points out that nation-building is not just a humanitarian concern, but a critical national security priority that should be on par with war-fighting and urges the United States to equalize the importance of the two. The report argues that the United States must acknowledge that “war-fighting has two important dimensions: winning the war and winning the peace.”
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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.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
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 »