An extraordinary series of events has caused Japan’s nuclear crisis but it appears backup safety systems were flawed, says nuclear expert Charles Ferguson. He expects the disaster to slow some nuclear projects elsewhere but not cause a wholesale stoppage.
Pakistan's floods spell setbacks for the U.S. fight against extremism and its war effort in Afghanistan, says CFR's Daniel Markey. He says beyond humanitarian aid relief, Washington must focus on boosting Pakistan's economy through greater trade opportunities.
Richard C. Holbrooke interviewed by Jayshree Bajoria
The international response to Pakistan's flood disaster has been inadequate so far, says Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special representative to the country. He says Washington is contacting international governments and is sending more aid, including helicopters to assist in relief efforts.
In the wake of the Gulf spill, the United States should craft regional pacts with its neighbors to address pollution and liability issues arising from ever deeper oil and gas exploration, says expert Caitlyn Antrim.
The Obama administration has overreacted to the Gulf oil spill by suspending most new offshore drilling and moving to expand liabilities for future accidents, with implications for U.S. energy security, says Jack Coleman, an energy industry official and legal expert.
"What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I've witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it."
"New research suggests that space rocks as large as the one that fell over Chelyabinsk -- about 19 meters (62 feet) across -- are three to five times more numerous than scientists had realized. The study, led by Peter Brown at the University of Western Ontario, also found that larger and more dangerous ones are unexpectedly abundant. In other words, alien projectiles pose a serious threat. Is it a manageable one?"
Almost a year after the Fukushima disaster, fifty-two of Japan's fifty-four nuclear power plants have been shut down. The reactor explosion destroyed the population's trust in nuclear energy. But the atomic lobby--and the country's industrial needs--could block a possible phase-out, writes Wieland Wagner at Der Spiegel.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 caused the world's largest offshore oil spill. It has also led to a mammoth legal action, as tens of thousands of plaintiffs--and the US government--fight for compensation, writes Ed Crooks.
Before a historic earthquake-tsunami combination killed thousands and triggered a partial meltdown at one of its nuclear power plants, Japan won a reputation around the world for being extraordinarily prepared for disaster. In the aftermath of Fukushima Daiichi, Washington must now evaluate if the United States could do any better than – or even as well as – Japan in similar circumstance.
Tom Zeller Jr. explains the system of a Mark 1 nuclear reactor, like the one currently failing at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. He reveals that experts had long cautioned about the weak design of these reactors and predicted a possible nuclear disaster.
This report from the U.K. House of Commons expresses confidence in the government's regulatory ability over the oil drilling sector, while conceding that some proposed expansions in regulation should be adopted in light of the B.P. spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
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.
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 »