In mid-February, the United States government's long-standing position that it does not opine on sovereignty disputes in the East and South China Seas was given an important and long-implicit caveat: Washington does insist that all sovereignty claims accord with international law, and as has long been stated, these cannot rely on coercion.
As protests roiling developing countries have spiraled into government collapse, general instability, and—in the case of Ukraine, at least—possible war, numerous observers have blamed the Obama administration for its seeming passivity.
Sheila A. Smith and Research Associate Charles T. McClean argue that U.S. interests are affected by all three of Japan's territorial disputes with its neighbors. While the United States cannot resolve these disputes, it can and should do all that it can to promote peaceful dispute resolution and a lessening of military tensions.
With Ayatollah Khamenei set to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a "fawning admirer" of his choosing, Ahmadinejad may be missed for his ability to challenge the Islamic Republic's ruling religious hierarchy.
With widespread protests in Istanbul and a dozen other cities throughout Turkey, Steven A. Cook argues on the Washington Post that the European Union should reengage Turkey's stalled membership bid as a way to encourage Prime Minister Erdogan to implement democratic reforms at home.
Grounded in a realistic assessment of technology, Matthew C. Waxman and Kenneth Anderson outline a practical alternative with which to evaluate the use of autonomous weaponry that incorporates codes of conduct based on traditional legal and ethical principles governing weapons and warfare.
Stewart Patrick writes about the theoretical and practical implications of significant changes to the international political system over the past two decades in Geir Lundestad's International Relations Since the End of the Cold War: New and Old Dimensions.
With the recent revelation of a United Nations inquiry into U.S. drone strikes policies and practices, Micah Zenko says the UN has actually been investigating U.S. drones for ten years—but to no effect.
In the third of threeexcerpts from his new book, Democracy in Retreat, Joshua Kurlantzick says that emerging powers like India, Brazil and South Africa were supposed to be democracy's greatest proponents, but that it hasn't worked out that way at all.
Jerome A. Cohen says, "Beijing's pending prosecution of deposed Politburo member Bo Xilai and the recent murder conviction of his wife, Gu Kailai , have again brought China's criminal justice system to world attention."
With the passing of International Human Rights Day, Jerome A. Cohen says China still has no effective means of enforcing the rights enshrined in its constitution. Yet, once again, new Communist Party leaders reignite hopes for bringing government and the party under the rule of law.
Kenneth Anderson and Matthew C. Waxman say some view automated technology developments as a crisis for the laws of war. But provided we start now to incorporate ethical and legal norms into weapons design, the incremental movement from automation to genuine machine autonomy already underway might well be made to serve the ends of law on the battlefield.
Jerome A. Cohen says that while Bo Xilai and Chen Kegui "hail from opposite ends of China's political, economic and social hierarchies, they now have much in common, including the determination of the authorities to punish them for political reasons."
Matthew C. Waxman argues that international law still plays a powerful role in justifying or delegitimizing the case for military action. Just like in the Cuban missile crisis, the United States needs to present a plausible case for self-defense in order to strike Iran.
Tikki Pang and Laurie Garrett argue that the World Health Organization is facing an unprecedented crisis that threatens its position as the premier international health agency, and to ensure its leading role, it must rethink its internal governance and revamp its financing mechanisms.
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 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 »