Judged by the standard of protecting U.S. interests, things have worked out quite well for the Obama administration; judged by the standard of midwifing a new global order, they remain a work in progress.
A pair of books by Charles Mann describe life in the Americas before and after Columbus linked the hemispheres and kicked off the first era of globalization. It turns out that the New World was far more technologically advanced than subsequent generations have realized, with plenty to teach the Old -- especially about how to simultaneously exploit and preserve key natural resources.
Gone are the days when the United States led major powers in the decisions that ruled the planet, writes Ian Bremmer at the Daily Beast. Could Obama or Romney make the most of our new reduced role in international affairs?
Obama's recent foreign policy has focused on asking for space to delay or stop history until after the 2012 elections. But Jackson Diehl points out that the problem with making space is that it tends to get filled by others.
CFR's James M. Lindsay remembers President Harry Truman's announcement on April 11, 1951, that he had dismissed General Douglas MacArthur as commanding general of U.S. forces in Korea, and discusses the principle of civilian control of the military.
CFR's James M. Lindsay remembers the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, DC, on April 4, 1949, and discusses the difficulty inherent in pursuing fundamental changes to a nation's foreign policy.
Historical precedent shows that fears of Romney following a popularly dictated foreign policy are unjustified; as president, Romney would have leeway in fashioning popular opinion, especially on war policy, writes Robert W. Merry in The National Interest.
CFR's James M. Lindsay remembers Adolf Hitler's announcement in 1935 that he would reintroduce conscription in Germany, and discusses instances when a country should be confronted rather than accommodated.
Authors: Jeremy D. Rosner and Sanford D. Greenberg
At Foreign Policy, Jeremy Rosner and Stanley Greenberg argue that Americans believe in President Barack Obama's foreign policy competence, and that Republican candidates' attacks on his national security record will likely have limited resonance.
Francis Fukuyama shot to fame with a 1989 essay called "The End of History?" which he expanded into a 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man. His thesis was a reworking of the "end of ideology" argument propounded in the 1950s by Daniel Bell and others, with an even more emphatic twist.
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 »