"Despite the headlines about bombings in Baghdad, the situation has improved immeasurably," writes Max Boot, referring to the better security in Iraq on his most recent trip. Nevertheless, he cautions that, "there is no room to be complacent," as there is much work yet to be done.
Authors: Charles A. Kupchan and Steven Simon Financial Times
"General Stanley McChrystal's plan to pursue counterinsurgency in the countryside is a bridge too far," write Steve Simon and Charles Kupchan, arguing, instead, that Afghanistan policy should be focused on establishing control in strategic locations.
Leslie H. Gelb comments, "The president's decision to send Georgian troops to Afghanistan will infuriate Moscow -- and reveals his lack of appreciation for exactly what it takes to accomplish big priorities."
Linda Robinson says the turnaround in Iraq was not due to a single silver bullet, but rather a multifaceted strategy crafted and carried out by those in Baghdad -- not, despite recent claims, in Washington.
On September 30, 2014, the United States and Afghanistan signed a bilateral security agreement, which allows some American and NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan after December 31, when the the international combat mission formally ends. These remaining troops's main focus is training the Afghan security forces. The previous version of this agreement stalled after disagreements on troop levels. See also the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA)'s Independent Assessment of the Afghan National Security Forces.
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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 »