Defense and Security

News Release

U.S. Should Sharpen Strategy and Enlist China to Counter Threat from North Korea, Says CFR Task Force

A new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Independent Task Force report, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, finds that the United States’ policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea will neither halt that country’s recurring and dangerous cycle of provocation nor ensure the stability of Northeast Asia in the future. To the contrary, the Task Force warns, “If allowed to continue, current trends will predictably, progressively, and gravely threaten U.S. national security interests and those of its allies.” 

See more in North Korea; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament; Sanctions


How to Deal With North Korea

Authors: Mike Mullen and Sam Nunn
Washington Post

North Korea’s accelerating nuclear and missile programs, including its recent nuclear test, pose a grave and expanding threat to security, stability and peace in Asia and the rest of the world. This threat affects close U.S. allies — South Korea and Japan — and U.S. personnel and facilities in the region. In the coming months and years, it will create increasing danger for the United States.

See more in North Korea; China; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament


North Korea Nuclear Ambition Lives in the Gap Between U.S. and China–So Close It

Author: Scott A. Snyder
The Guardian

Because North Korea thrives in the gap created by Sino-U.S. strategic mistrust and the most dangerous threat to the Kim Jong-un regime’s legitimacy comes from South Korea, the most effective way of conveying to him that his regime’s survival depends on denuclearization would be through coordination of a trilateral strategy among the United States, China, and South Korea., writes CFR Senior Fellow Scott Snyder.

See more in North Korea; United States; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament; Politics and Strategy

Primary Sources

Organization of American States: "A Comprehensive Inter-American Cybersecurity Strategy"

On June 10, 2003, the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly passed a resolution to development a strategy to combat threats to cybersecurity. Built on efforts of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism, Inter-American Telecommunication Commission, and REMJA Governmental Experts Group on Cybercrime, this strategy provides a framework for American states to collaborate in "protecting networks and information systems that constitute the Internet, and for responding to and recovering from incidents."

See more in Americas; Cybersecurity


When Women Lead Soldiers Into Battle

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
The Atlantic

The ban on women in ground combat, which stood in some form ever since women were first permanently integrated into the U.S. military in 1948, has been lifted and all combat roles are now open to women. Since Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the new policy last December, the American military has also seen women ascend to positions in its highest ranks: Air Force General Lori Robinson became the country’s first female combatant commander, and Admiral Michelle Howard became the first female four-star admiral.

See more in United States; Military Operations; Women


The World Next Week: 9/11

In this special edition, CFR's Director of Studies James Lindsay, Managing Editor Robert McMahon, and Adjunct Senior Fellow Carla Anne Robbins examine the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

See more in Global; 9/11 Impact; Terrorism

Expert Roundup

Debating the Legality of the Post-9/11 ‘Forever War’

Authors: Michael J. Glennon, John B. Bellinger III, Elizabeth N. Saunders, and Samuel Moyn

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force, passed by Congress in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks, has been cited by the Bush and Obama administrations as sanctioning far-ranging military operations. Four scholars offer their perspectives on the AUMF’s legacy fifteen years on.

See more in United States; Wars and Warfare