Defense and Security

Primary Sources

UN General Assembly 2015: Select Speeches

The seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly was held September 28 through October 3, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz were among the speakers of the September 28 session and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke on September 29. Speeches discussed the conflict in Syria, the terrorism of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, economic development, and territorial disputes.

See more in Global; Regional Security; Economic Development

Other Report

Rebuilding Economic and Political Stability in Ukraine

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

See more in Ukraine; Territorial Disputes; Conflict Assessment

Foreign Affairs Article

The Scholar as Secretary

Ashton Carter has an unusual background for a secretary of defense. Before assuming the United States’ top military post in February, he studied medieval history and particle physics as an undergraduate at Yale, got a Ph.D. in physics as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, and taught international affairs at Harvard. He also served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Clinton administration and as an undersecretary and then the deputy secretary of defense under President Barack Obama. 

See more in United States; Defense Strategy


Buying More Time

Author: Daniel S. Markey
The Cipher Brief

For the past several years, the Obama administration’s strategy for Afghanistan has rested on the basic assumption that although no reasonable amount of U.S. money or troops could win the war against the Taliban outright, a limited American commitment to Afghanistan’s security forces and government would enable Kabul to hold on long enough to reach a negotiated truce with insurgent leaders.

See more in Afghanistan; United States; Military Operations; Presidents and Chiefs of State