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.
Writing in Defense One, Janine Davidson and Emerson Brooking assess the ramifications of the anti-ISIS air campaign's expansion into Syria. They argue that the campaign will be stymied without robust regional partnerships. They conclude that, should the campaign escalate further, both domestic funding and political authorization will become significant issues of debate.
President Barack Obama spoke on September 23, 2014, about airstrikes in Syria, conducted by the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, and Qatar, to target Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
American leaders repeatedly offer unrealistic and outrageous counterterrorism strategies that are destined to fail. This is no different for the Obama administration's policy to "destroy" the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, says Micah Zenko.
On the eve of President Obama's announcement of his strategy to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon discusses the possibilities for U.S. military involvement in the Middle East.
President Barack Obama held a press conference on August 9, 2014, to discuss U.S. airstrikes and delivery of humanitarian aid in Iraq. On August 11, 2014, President Obama provided an update on military operations in Iraq and the establishment of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Stephen Biddle and Ivan Oelrich argue that accurately defending airspace is more complex than having the right equipment; it requires a well-functioning organization, something the Ukrainian separatists lack.
In mid-February, the United States government's long-standing position that it does not opine on sovereignty disputes in the East and South China Seas was given an important and long-implicit caveat: Washington does insist that all sovereignty claims accord with international law, and as has long been stated, these cannot rely on coercion.
In advance of the presidential election in Afghanistan, Gayle Lemmon writes on why some policymakers are hoping that "things go well – or at least well enough – to keep both the Obama administration and the American public on board."
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The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
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.
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 »