The executive order signed Friday by President Trump banning refugees from the US may have been designed to put America's safety first, but it defies America's promise to leave no one behind. And in the process, the order sows confusion and leaves American lives hanging in the balance, write Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
Cyber threats are escalating in sophistication and magnitude, but mistrust between Washington and Silicon Valley continues to stymie progress on cybersecurity. In a new Council Special Report, Adam Segal examines the security risks exacerbated by the divide between government and the technology community and offers policy recommendations to help restore trust.
Speaker: Patrick Cammaert Speaker: Youssef Mahmoud Presider: Jamille Bigio
As civilians increasingly are targeted in armed conflict, more peace operations have been mandated to protect civilians from physical violence, including sexual violence. Peacekeeping forces around the world have struggled to meet these responsibilities. In one recent example, peacekeepers in South Sudan failed to respond when civilians in a refugee camp were subjected to gross human rights violations and aid workers at a hotel compound were raped. The independent special investigation led by Cammaert found that the peace operation failed to “respond effectively to the violence due to an overall lack of leadership, preparedness, and integration among the various components of the mission.” Drawing on lessons from South Sudan and beyond, Cammaert and Mahmoud will reflect on what’s needed to ensure that peace operations around the world are better able to protect civilians from violence.
Since the Snowden disclosures in 2013, the relationship between the U.S. government and the tech community has been strained. This Council Special Report offers recommendations for repairing the relationship and moving forward on issues such as encryption, data localization, and cybersecurity.
“Over the course of the war, U.S. bombing of Laos would become so intense that it averaged one attack every eight minutes for nearly a decade,” observes Joshua Kurlantzickin his new book, A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA. Kurlantzick, a Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia, mines extensive interviews and recently declassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) records to give a definitive account of the secret war in the tiny Southeast Asian nation of Laos, which lasted from 1961 to 1973, and was the largest covert operation in U.S. history. The conflict forever changed the CIA from a relatively small spying agency into an organization with vast paramilitary powers.
South Korea’s domestic political vacuum following the impeachment of Park Geun-hye on December 9 overshadows prospects for renewing China-ROK relations in the year ahead. While the current cycle of DPRK provocations and international sanctions has drawn attention to vital Chinese interests in ensuring stability on the peninsula, Beijing’s deteriorating bilateral relationships with the two Koreas and the United States impede immediate regional efforts to break this cycle.
The Trump team should no doubt develop their own strategy for securing the nation in cyberspace but, in doing so, they should build off of the many successes and lessons learned from Obama’s eight years in grappling with these issues, writes Rob Knake.
The new administration is poised to accelerate the agency's transformation from one focused on spying to a paramilitary organization with a central role in violent conflicts, writes CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick.
Thousands of key policymakers — from State to the Department of Defense — still need to be appointed to new positions. But nothing’s happening. Days before Trump steps into office, he has failed to announce enough capable replacements for the 4,000 political appointments that any president must make.
"For much of Japan’s modern history, the sea has protected the Japanese from their neighbors,” yet today they are alarmed by the increasing evidence that “China may have a far greater appetite for risk in Asia’s near seas,” says CFR Senior Fellow Sheila Smith
After Russia’s hacking to influence November’s election, Rob Knake argues that we should expect to see Russia use its cyber exploitation capabilities against the U.S. for even darker and more frightening purposes in the year ahead.
Speaker: Joseph S. Nye Jr. Speaker: Kori Schake Presider: Gideon Rose
Gideon Rose discusses the January/February 2017 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine with contributors Joseph S. Nye Jr. and Kori Schake. The latest issue of Foreign Affairs takes an in-depth look at the future of the liberal international order, and the role of the United States within it.
If Mr. Trump’s slavish devotion to Putin persists in office, it will continue to raise questions about the exact nature of their relationship. If the president-elect wants to put such suspicions to rest, he should get as tough with the Kremlin as he vows to do with America’s other enemies.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 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 »