The British vote to leave the European Union may come to be seen as a tipping point in global politics, perhaps more consequential than anything since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It may mark the moment when Europe comes face to face with its own constitutional dysfunction, when the idea of the “West” finally ceases to be plausible and when the United States is confirmed in its sense that its interests lie more in Asia than in its traditional Atlantic sphere of influence.
I do not believe that foreigners contribute usefully by issuing strong opinions about how a country’s citizens, or those of a larger unit like the European Union, should decide when faced with an important political choice. Our insights, based on international experience, may sometimes be helpful; but there should never be any confusion about the asymmetry of roles.
In this article, Cohen discusses the preparations in advance of the UNCLOS tribunal’s ruling by parties and non-parties in the South China Sea disputes including China, the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States.
“British citizens will be voting on June 23 on a question that will affect not just the future of Europe, but also the future of the United States, argues CFR President Richard N. Haass in the American Interest.”
An isolationist bent to British politics, what Sebastian Mallaby refers to as “little Englandism,” is not new to the British political tradition. While this perspective has long been counter-balanced by a Gladstonian internationalism, debates around Brexit have been conspicuously devoid of such idealism, speaking in a language that appeals only to pocketbooks rather than to common decency.
Laurie Garrett writes that the organization responsible for international public health is increasing its budget by millions of dollars — but its plan for coming up with the cash to help battle epidemics like Zika isn’t grounded in reality.
"In some ways, the pre-Sykes-Picot Middle East is coming back – but without the order imposed by the Ottoman Empire," writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. "And if no basis for a new regional order emerges, the Middle East stands to suffer far worse in the next century than it did in the last."
Laurie Garrett provides an in-depth analysis of the upcoming election of the next director-general of the World Health Organization and its detrimental impact on the future of global health leadership.
While tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea and the disputing governments nervously await a decision in the Philippines’ arbitration case against China, an important sideshow has arisen between Japan and Taiwan in the central Philippine Sea.
The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement explains little about the contemporary Middle East’s problems, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Assuming it does is bad history and leads to bad assumptions for U.S. foreign policy.
Jerome A. Cohen writes about the impact of the ruling of the arbitration tribunal in the Philippines’ case against China. In this article, Cohen explores potential responses from different Asian nations to the tribunal’s ruling and what China’s reaction might be if the legal basis of the “Nine-Dash Line” is invalidated.
The UN has filled the post of “Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine” with someone whose one-sided, biased track record of bashing Israel should have disqualified him immediately. Elliott Abrams tells the story in National Review.
The government of India filed suit on March 3 in the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking to overturn a new U.S. tax on high-skilled migrants that India says discriminates against its citizens and would damage some of its most successful companies. The case marks the first time that a country's immigration laws have been challenged using the rules of a trade agreement, writes CFR’s Edward Alden.
The UN Human Rights Council is about to choose another “Special Rapporteur” on Palestinian rights, whose job it is to attack Israel. The lead candidates seem to be the two most biased people they could find, as Elliott Abrams explains in National Review.
Next week, at a summit in California, US President Barack Obama will meet with the leaders of the ten countries of Asia’s most important regional grouping: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The event, the first-ever US-ASEAN summit on American soil, is being touted as a sign of America’s growing interest in Southeast Asia. The question is whether the US, by inviting all members of ASEAN, has allowed its interests to overwhelm its principles.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 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 »