With over 40 percent of the world's population now online, the Internet has revolutionized the way the world communicates. But with fast evolving technology, a proliferation of actors with access to the Internet, and an absence of international consensus on what should be permissible, the gap between existing world arrangements and the challenges posed by the Internet is in fact widening.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal concluded on Monday puts the US in a place it has not been in more than two decades — out in front in the competition to write the rules for the next generation of global trade.
"The Chinese often point out that in their language the character for crisis and opportunity are one and the same," writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. "But, while it is indeed true that crisis and opportunity often go hand in hand, it is difficult to see much opportunity in Europe’s current circumstances."
The UN’s sweeping new development agenda aims to “provide the overarching narrative” of sustainable growth for the next fifteen years, yet critics say the Sustainable Development goals are broad, unfocused, and unrealistic.
Critics of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East strategy often complain that Obama lacks a strategic vision. This is almost exactly wrong. Obama came to office with a conviction that reducing the United States’ massive military and political investment in the Middle East was a vital national security interest in its own right.
China’s rise poses two broad challenges for U.S. foreign policy: how to deter the People’s Republic from destabilizing East Asia and how to encourage it to contribute to multilateral global governance. Although China is not yet a military peer competitor of the United States, it has become powerful enough to challenge U.S. friends and allies in East Asia and to pose serious problems for U.S. forces operating there.
Even now, gazing back through the jaundiced lens of subsequent experience, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign speech in Berlin still seems an extraordinary occasion. Tens of thousands of mostly young Germans gathered in the center of the city to listen to the American presidential candidate, in an atmosphere The Guardian described as “a pop festival, a summer gathering of peace, love—and loathing of George Bush.”
In April 2009, just three months after he took office, U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Trinidad and Tobago for the Summit of the Americas. There, he told Latin America’s leaders that he wanted to begin “a new chapter of engagement” and an “equal partnership . . . based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values.”
When Barack Obama was elected U.S. president in 2008, the news was greeted with enormous hope in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as among the small coterie of Americans who follow the region closely. This son of a Kenyan father would not only understand the continent better than his predecessors in the White House, the thinking went, but he would also treat it as a strategic priority and direct more resources its way.
The latest UN development initiative calls for achieving universal health coverage by 2030, a goal widely supported in the global health community but one that is possibly too ambitious, writes CFR’s Laurie Garrett.
The way the world trades has changed since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established. Fewer goods and services originate from any one supplier or country. Components and intermediate services are increasingly sourced and assembled from specialist suppliers around the world. Regulation also plays a more significant role in this era of international trade. The adequacy of regulatory oversight has become more important as complex, unbundled global supply chains have become harder for businesses and customers to monitor.
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 »