Among developed economies, the United States has performed uniquely well in the past decade. The key characteristic of this outstanding growth has been a post-1995 acceleration in U.S. productivity—that summary measure indicates the ability of an economy to produce the same goods more cheaply, generate a greater standard of living than in the past from the same people, factories, and equipment, and to use innovation to produce different and higher-quality goods than in the past. In short, productivity is the single-best summary measure of the overall long-term performance of an economy and the United States stands out in recent years.
Stephen Flynn, CFR senior fellow for national security studies, discusses the Department of Homeland Security's controversial distribution of grant money and proposes better practices for securing critical infrastructure.
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.
In this speech President Bush responds to a May, 2006 newspaper story about the National Security Agency collecting the phone call records of millions of U.S. citizens. He defends the NSA's actions, saying the "privacy of ordinary Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities" and that the "efforts are focused on links to al Qaeda and their known affiliates."
Speakers: Thomas Lockwood and Edward Reiskin Presider: Stephen E. Flynn
The nation's capital is a target-rich area by both absolute and symbolic measurements. Yet security officials at this CFR meeting warn that the DC region's ability to respond to terrorism remains limited.
“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.
The 2002 National Security Strategy from the George W. Bush Administration revealed a shift in the U.S. Government's former strategy of deterrence to a pre-emptive strategy toward terrorism and rogue states. Issues include terrorism, regional conflicts, weapons of mass destruction, free trade, the building of partnerships, and plans for national security institutions. The 2006 National Security Strategy declared its intent to "seek and support democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
Speakers: Kenneth Damstrom, Daniel B. Prieto, and Nancy J. Wong Presider: Stephen E. Flynn
Listen to Stephen Flynn, the Council's senior fellow for National Security studies and author of America the Vulnerable, lead a discussion on the role of the private sector in homeland security as part of the 2006 Corporate Conference.
Youssef Ibrahim, managing director of Dubai-based Strategic Energy Investment Group, and a former Middle East correspondent for the New York Times, says the pending deal for Dubai Ports World to administer the ports in major U.S. cities is not a security concern in a technical sense. But he says it is worthwhile for the 45-day study to go ahead. "Some good will come out of this. It may even be good for Dubai," says Ibrahim, who is also a former senior fellow in Middle Eastern studies at CFR.
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.
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 »