The Obama administration's stated policy since 2011 has been to capture suspected terrorists—such as U.S. citizen Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh in Pakistan—rather than target them with drone strikes. However, as Micah Zenko points out, Al Farekh’s case is the rare exception and, since 2011, the United States has conducted an estimated 215 drone strikes, killing 1,271 individuals.
As the international troop presence in Afghanistan shrinks, the United States and India have a shared interest in a stable future for Afghanistan. CFR Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia Alyssa Ayres writes that the United States should encourage Indian support for Afghanistan in areas of Indian expertise: democracy, economics, and civilian security.
The agreement reached Thursday to limit Iran’s nuclear program is more restrictive and more specific than analysts expected. It serves as strong evidence that persistence and tough diplomacy can create opportunities that mere obstinacy will never see.
U.S. efforts to promote its preferred norms for cyberspace—Internet openness, security, and free speech—suffered a significant setback in the summer of 2013 with the Snowden disclosures. Henry Farrell identifies three steps the United States can take to reinvigorate its norm-promotion efforts.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Dressmaker of Khair Khana comes the poignant and gripping story of a groundbreaking team of female American warriors who served alongside Special Operations soldiers on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
In November 2013, the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) and Iran released a Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which required Iran to stop developing its nuclear capabilities and in return P5+1 would reduce economic sanctions. In March 2015, the P5+1 met again with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland and on April 2, 2015, released a joint statement on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The framework lays out the parameters for the final text of the plan, which is due June 30, 2015.
Whether it’s finding our way around with the help of a GPS, sending large files through e-mail, or flying across the country, we all benefit from technologies that were originally developed for military use. Our lives would be very different without inventions such as the Global Positioning System, network packeting, and the jet engine. These “dual-use” technologies have proven to be winners in both military and commercial contexts—they help us to fight better and live better. As we look to the future, we will undoubtedly see many more of these technologies emerge. The predominant path for their development, however, is changing in a profound way.
The prospect of sanctions relief as part of an Iran nuclear agreement has alarmed some in Congress, but they should see the value of a UN Security Council resolution affirming the deal, says CFR’s John B. Bellinger III.
In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Ray Takeyh argues that the United States must find a way to impose limits on Iran's nuclear ambitions through negotiations while restraining its regional ambitions through pressure.
The Taliban has outlasted the world’s most potent military forces and its two main factions now challenge the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. As U.S. troops draw down, the next phase of conflict will have consequences that extend far beyond the region.
On March 20, 2015, three hundred and sixty-seven House lawmakers signed a letter to President Obama regarding nuclear negotiations with Iran. The letter lists concerns the lawmakers have regarding Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon and the Iranian government's relations with Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
U.S. military and intelligence officials often conceive of the complexity of the world in terms of the volume of total issues, rather than evaluating the prioritization of those issues. CPA's Micah Zenko examines how the U.S. military thinks about complexity.
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.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
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.
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 »