"Democracy is going through a difficult time. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes. Even in established democracies, flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife. Yet just a few years ago democracy looked as though it would dominate the world."
The NSC staff has emerged as a major factor in the formulation (and at times in the implementation) of national security policy. Similarly, the head of the NSC staff, the National Security Adviser, has played important, and occasionally highly public, roles in policymaking. This report traces the evolution of the NSC from its creation to the present
In the Wall Street Journal, George P. Shultz writes that unaccountable White House aides are a product of a broken cabinet-nomination process, and this is not the form of government the Founders intended.
The Atlantic's James Fallows reacts to fears of American decline, pointing to unwarranted cries of imminent doom throughout American history, but also worries that the system of government needs fixing in order for the U.S. to maintain its strength.
The United States may be the largest donor of foreign assistance in the world, but it ranks among the lowest in terms of quality and effectiveness of its aid, according to a report by the Center for Global Development (CGD), in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, that assesses more than 150 countries' foreign aid money.
This special report from the United States Institute of Peace says that Iraq’s neighbors are playing a major role—both positive and negative—in the country’s worsening crisis, and reviews the interests and influence of the countries surrounding Iraq and the impact on U.S. bilateral relations.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has some of the most extensive acquisition needs within theU.S. government. This report summarizes GAO reports and testimonies, which have reported on various aspects of DHS acquisitions. It examines areas where DHS has been successful in promoting collaboration among its various organizations, challenges it still faces in integrating the acquisition function across the department, and DHS' implementation of an effective review process for its major, complex investments. Since its establishment in March 2003, DHS has been faced with assembling 23 separate federal agencies and organizations with multiple missions and cultures into one department. This mammoth task involved a variety of transformational efforts, one of which is to design and implement the necessary management structure and processes for the acquisition of goods and services. The report highlights the need for improved oversight of contractors and adherence to a rigorous management review process.
The president of the United States has vast power—nearly unlimited in the realm of foreign affairs. He can order U.S. troops into combat. He can bomb any country he wants. He can round up illegal immigrants. He can spy on millions of people. Soon all that power will be in the hands of Donald J. Trump, hardly the most sober and restrained individual ever to occupy the Oval Office. Checks and balances on a president's national security powers have never been more important, writes CFR's Max Boot.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 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 »