At the end of September, Russia began conducting air strikes in Syria, ostensibly to combat terrorist groups. The strikes constitute Russia’s biggest intervention in the Middle East in decades. Its unanticipated military foray into Syria has transformed the civil war there into a proxy U.S.-Russian conflict and has raised the stakes in the ongoing standoff between Moscow and Washington.
See more in Russia and Central Asia; Wars and Warfare
After Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, the Obama administration responded with what has become the go-to foreign policy tool these days: targeted sanctions.
See more in Russia and Central Asia; United States; Sanctions
Last October, the European Court of Justice struck down the Safe Harbor agreement, a 15-year-old transatlantic arrangement that permitted U.S. companies to transfer data, such as people’s Google-search histories, outside the EU. In invalidating the agreement, the ECJ found that the blurry relationship between private-sector data collection and national security in the United States violates the privacy rights of EU citizens whose data travel overseas.
See more in United States; Europe; Intelligence
Almost five years ago, mass protests swept the Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power. Most local and foreign observers believed that Egypt was on the path to a democratic future; some even proclaimed that democracy had arrived.
See more in Global; Democratization
Just a few years ago, Latin America was on a roll. Its economies, riding on the back of the Chinese juggernaut, were flourishing. A boom in commodity prices and huge volumes of foreign direct investment in agriculture and natural resources generated a golden decade.
See more in Americas; Economics
The biggest revelation offered by Ben Bernanke’s memoir of his time as chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve is just how much the public, the media, and especially elected officials have misunderstood the real lessons of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession—events that defined Bernanke’s tenure, which began in 2006 and ended in 2014.
See more in United States; Financial Crises
The EU is under siege. The arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria has tested the single-border principle at the core of the union.
See more in Europe; Refugees and the Displaced
If the world is to avoid climate calamity, it needs to reduce its carbon emissions drastically by the middle of this century—a target that is simply out of reach with existing technology. Varun Sivaram and his co-author present the case for a massive investment in clean energy research and development to reach that goal.
See more in Global; Renewable Energy
In this May 2016 Foreign Affairs article Rob Knake looks back at the Obama administration's "cyberdoctrine" and the importance of making cybersecurity a private sector responsibility.
See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Cybersecurity
Why U.S. Trade Deals Haven't Exported U.S. Drug Prices
See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Treaties and Agreements; Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
Robert E. Litan and Hal Singer examine future scenarios and the multiple possibilities for the future of net neutrality regulations.
See more in Global; Internet Policy
The control of Iran’s clerical hardliners over electoral processes has guaranteed the demise of the country’s left-wing movement, writes CFR’s Ray Tayekh with Reuel Marc Gerecht. The country has moved so far to the right that die-hard reactionaries are presented as reasonable conservatives.
See more in Iran; Elections; Political Movements and Protests
In the next five years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will face new challenges as it struggles to come to terms with a rapidly changing global marketplace and with lending rules poorly suited for the crises the institution will likely face. These challenges will force the IMF to scrutinize and adjust its lending rules. A broader issue is also at play: financial markets are becoming bigger more quickly than the institution’s resources are, and IMF rescue alone may be insufficient in the future . How the financing burden is shared with other official creditors will help determine whether the fund is an effective leader of the global effort to prevent and resolve economic crises in the coming decades.
See more in Global; International Finance; International Organizations and Alliances
The U.S.-India defense relationship has entered a new phase that includes the joint development and manufacturing of defense equipment. Both the United States and India stand to benefit from defense collaboration, but the risks of technology transfer involved in the projects require both sides to be clear about their expectations, write Ashlyn Anderson and Amy J. Nelson.
See more in United States; India; Defense Strategy
Benn Steil and Emma Smith’s article explains the difference between using rate hikes and balance-sheet reductions to tighten monetary policy and shows why Richard Koo is mistaken in arguing for the Fed to do the latter.
See more in United States; Monetary Policy
When oil prices plunged in 2014, many analysts predicted that major exporters would have to drastically cut supply or else risk fiscal and geopolitical instability. Michael Levi explains why these predictions have been proven wrong.
See more in Global; Oil; Financial Markets
The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last. Although there are still some fringe terrorist groups in the western Sahel or other rural areas that do not supplement their violence digitally, it is only a matter of time before they also go online.
See more in Syria; Global; Cybersecurity; Counterterrorism
The Islamic Republic of Iran has no real intention to defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with coauthor Reuel Marc Gerecht. The Islamic State’s exacerbation of sectarian divisions is advantageous to Iran as it continues to manipulate Sunni-Shiite relations to extend its power and help its allies.
See more in Iran; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
After generations of authoritarian stagnation punctuated by moments of domestic repression and interstate war, in recent years, the Middle East has begun to move.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Targets for Terrorists
See more in Iraq; United States; Terrorist Organizations and Networks