Two journalist reports first published in The Independent newspaper in the UK and the Philadelphia Inquirer in the US on the proliferation of mercenary forces in Iraq and elsewhere with a “licence to kill”. The Independent’s report says that the immunity enjoyed by civilian security contractors in Iraq is generating a daily series of “legal” murders of Iraqis. The Philadelphia Inquirers report argues that the increasing use of mercenary forces is on the verge of threatening US civil liberties in the name of protecting homeland security.
Report from The Stanley Foundation that examines the interrogation, detention, and trials of detainees in the US ‘War on Terror,’ and argues that issues of detainee treatment raise profound questions of American values.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine performs an audit of freight rail security and finds large stores of hazardous chemicals left completely unguarded in the heart of major cities.
This report summarizes Amnesty International’s concerns that the United States’ ‘war on terror’ has led to the executive exercising excessive powers to detain individuals and engage in covert operations in numerous countries.
Since September 11, Congress has appropriated nearly $180 billion to protect Americans from terrorism. Total spending on homeland security in 2006 will be at least $50 billion—roughly $450 per American household. But far from making us more secure, the money is being allocated like so much pork.
Report of a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the policy challenges in balancing homeland security and wider freedoms. The discussion focuses upon domestic surveillance activities in the US and the implication for civil liberties.
"On July 22, 2004, the 9/11 Commission released 41 recommendations to make our country safer and more secure. These recommendations were unanimous and bipartisan. They flowed directly from the findings of our investigation of the September 11 attacks.
...Four years have passed without another major attack on American soil. That is a credit to the diligence of many courageous Americans. But the threat has not abated.
Today we reconvene as former Commissioners, in accordance with a promise we made last year: to begin to assess the status of our recommendations. What steps have been taken – and not taken – to make our country safer and more secure?
This is the first of several reports we will issue over the next three months. Future reports will assess the status of recommendations on institutional reform, foreign policy, and securing nuclear materials."
A national survey conducted by Western Carolina University's Institute for the Economy and the Future reveals that America's state officials remain doubtful about federal security and preparedness in several critical areas in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and the response to Hurricane Katrina.
The consequences of a 9/11-scale terrorist attack or a major natural disaster can be minimized if “America makes building national resiliency from within as important a public policy imperative as confronting dangers from without,” says Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies Stephen E. Flynn in The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation.
If Congress does not approve the U.S.-India nuclear deal, “it would damage the bilateral relationship,” concludes a new Special Report. Congress should adopt a two-stage approach: formally endorsing the deal’s basic framework, while delaying final approval until it is assured that critical nonproliferation needs are met.
“The federal government is not doing enough to harness the capabilities, assets, and goodwill of the private sector to bolster our national state of preparedness,” concludes a new Council on Foreign Relations Special Report.
While the "threat of a nuclear attack by terrorists has never been greater," the U.S. government has yet to make prevention the highest priority, says a new Council on Foreign Relations report that outlines ways to reduce the possibility of nuclear terrorism.
Despite perceptions among Americans that the country is unsafe and a terrorist attack is "likely," the real threats don't emanate from actors like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Rather, as Micah Zenko argues, self scrutiny is needed among U.S. policymakers to recognize the true threat of terrible domestic crimes, generally not labeled as "terrorism," as they are more likely to occur, and do so frequently.
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 »