The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Countering Terrorism, Ben Emmerson, released an interim report on his study of drone strikes and targeted killings on October 17, 2013. The study, which began in January 2013 and will issue a final report in 2014, reports on the use of remotely piloted aircraft in counter-terrorism operations.
"Poor relations with China might push Southeast Asian nations into joining the US-dominated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that does not include Beijing, and also make them less enthusiastic towards the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that Beijing is supporting."
Michael Spence argues that continued U.S. debt ceiling brinkmanship will reinforce perceptions that American politics are helplessly parochial, encourage other nations to diversify away from holding U.S. sovereign debt, and accelerate the decline of America's global economic influence.
"[R]ecently a new political openness within China itself has allowed a different picture of the war years to emerge. Chiang and Mao are long dead, and the Chinese government has been trying to claim a greater international role by reminding the world of the benefits of its past cooperation with the West."
After Congress passed a budget and raised the debt ceiling after a sixteen day government shutdown, President Obama spoke on three agenda items: passing a budget, reforming immigration, and subsidizing farms.
In his new book, No Exit From Pakistan: America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad, CFR Senior Fellow Daniel Markey explains how the United States should prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes in its relations with Pakistan.
On October 16, 2013, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, France, New Zealand, the United States and The Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union released a joint statement on establishing marine protected areas in Southern Ocean, in the Ross Sea Region and in East Antarctica, for scientific research and ocean conservation.
Because a binding U.S. debt ceiling creates constitutional contradictions that cannot be resolved in a non-destructive way, Martin Wolf writes that the debt ceiling is too dangerous a law to remain on the books.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with the five permanant members of the Security Council (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France) and Germany to discuss nuclear proliferation in Iran, on October 15 and 16, 2013. Foreign Minister Zarif and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton released a joint statement on October 16.
"Although the OPEC embargo seemed to provide proof that the world was running short of oil resources, the move by Arab exporters did the opposite: It provided massive incentive to develop new oil fields outside of the Middle East—what became known as "non-OPEC," led by drilling in the North Sea and Alaska."
"The democratic aspirations of the protesters who filled streets and public squares across Syria in early 2011 were among the conflict's first casualties. If democracy as an outcome of the uprising was always uncertain, democratic prospects have been severely crippled by the devastation of civil war and the deepening fragmentation of Syrian society."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.