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.
Jerome A. Cohen discusses the successes of the Shanghai Communique forty years later and says challenges lie ahead for political leaders to preserve both peace in East Asia and freedom for the people of Taiwan.
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.
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.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
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 »