Defense and Security

Primary Sources

Northern Ireland Executive Proposed Agreement

Between July 2013 and December 2013, Dr. Richard Haass led peace process negotiations on how five political parties in Northern Ireland commemorate historical events related to regional conflict. The conflict, sometimes called The Troubles, began in the 1960s regarding the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and its two main communities; the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 addressed some of these issues.

See more in Ireland; Territorial Disputes; Political Movements and Protests

News Release

CFR Conflict Prevention Survey Ranks Spillover from Syrian War, Instability in Afghanistan Among Top 2014 Priorities

Spillover from Syria's civil war and violence in Afghanistan as coalition forces draw down are among next year's top conflict prevention priorities for U.S. policymakers, finds the annual Preventive Priorities Survey from the Council on Foreign Relations. The most urgent concerns also include terror attacks or cyberattacks on the United States, military strikes against Iran, and a crisis in North Korea.

See more in United States; Defense and Security

Video

The Decline and Fall of Colonial Vietnam

Speaker: Fredrik Logevall
Presider: Gideon Rose

Fredrik Logevall, winner of the 2013 Arthur Ross Book Award, discusses his prize-winning book, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. Logevall traces the long decline of French colonial power in Indochina and links it to the increasing involvement of the United States in the region.

See more in Global; Wars and Warfare

Transcript

The Decline and Fall of Colonial Vietnam

Speaker: Fredrik Logevall
Presider: Gideon Rose

Fredrik Logevall, winner of the 2013 Arthur Ross Book Award, discusses his prize-winning book, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. Logevall traces the long decline of French colonial power in Indochina and links it to the increasing involvement of the United States in the region.

See more in Global; Wars and Warfare

Audio

The Decline and Fall of Colonial Vietnam

Speaker: Fredrik Logevall

Fredrik Logevall, winner of the 2013 Arthur Ross Book Award, discusses his prize-winning book, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. Logevall traces the long decline of French colonial power in Indochina and links it to the increasing involvement of the United States in the region.

See more in Global; Wars and Warfare

Primary Sources

President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies: Liberty and Security in a Changing World

The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies released this report on December 18, 2013. The document details forty-six recommendations for protecting national security and foreign policy interests while continuing to value privacy, civil liberties, and the public's trust.



See more in United States; Privacy; Intelligence

Ask CFR Experts

Does North Korea pose a credible threat to the United States?

Asked by Jonathan Crouse, from Coastal Carolina University

North Korea's capability to threaten the United States comes in two forms:

The possibility that North Korean-origin fissile material could be sent to the United States, either through sale to terrorist groups or by delivering a nuclear device to a U.S. harbor by boat, or;

The ability to threaten U.S. interests abroad, including through renewed conflict on the Korean peninsula, where 28,000 U.S. forces are stationed with the mission of defending South Korea from North Korean aggression.

Read full answer

See more in North Korea; Defense and Security

Article

Political Parties at War: A Study of American War Finance, 1789–2010

Authors: Sarah Kreps and Gustavo A. Flores-Macias
The American Political Science Review

Sarah Kreps and Gustavo Flores-Macias study the history of war finance in the United States and show that politics does not stop at the water's edge and that instead, partisan politics is a key determinant for whether the United States has financed wars through taxes or alternatives such as borrowing.

See more in United States; Wars and Warfare; Economics

Primary Sources

UN Report on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

The United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic submitted an investigative report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday, September 15, 2013. The "Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013" concludes that "chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale, resulting in numerous casualties, particularly among civilians and including many children." On December 12, 2013, the final report on the investigation was released. It includes a timeline of events in Syria and actions of the UN and evidence that led to the conclusion that chemical weapons were used.

See more in Syria; Weapons of Mass Destruction; International Organizations and Alliances

Must Read

New Yorker: State of Deception

Author: Ryan Lizza

"[Keeping the phone metadata collection program] was the first in a series of decisions by Obama to institutionalize some of the most controversial national-security policies of the Bush Administration. Faced with a long list of policies to roll back…reining in the N.S.A.'s surveillance programs might have seemed like a low priority. As core members of Al Qaeda were killed, the danger shifted to terrorists who were less organized and more difficult to detect, making the use of the N.S.A.'s powerful surveillance tools even more seductive."

See more in United States; Intelligence

Must Read

The Diplomat: U.S.-Japan Alliance Sparks Korean Grand Strategy Debate

Author: Robert E. Kelly

"To join a U.S.-Japanese anti-Chinese coalition would not only antagonize China, it would align Korea with its "ancient foe." Worse, the mutual U.S. alliances mean that nationalists and maximalists in Korea and Japan can make whatever outrageous claims they like about the other, yet face little geopolitical consequence. U.S. alliances are a form of "moral hazard" that ironically worsen the problem by reducing the incentives for rapprochement."

See more in Asia and Pacific; Defense and Security