The intervention in Somalia was not an abject failure; an estimated 100,000 lives were saved. But its mismanagement should be an object lesson for peacekeepers in Bosnia and on other such missions. No large intervention, military or humanitarian, can remain neutral or assuredly brief in a strife-torn failed state. Nation-building, the rebuilding of a state's basic civil institutions, is required in fashioning a self-sustaining body politic out of anarchy. In the future, the United States, the United Nations, and other intervenors should be able to declare a state "bankrupt" and go in to restore civic order and foster reconciliation.
Once the land of the unfree and the home of the coup, Latin America now exhibits many of the hallmarks of democracy: free and fair elections, smooth successions, free-market economies, and the birth of political parties. In spite of these recent advances, the region remains haunted by "fracasomania," or an obsession with failure. While Latin America has achieved the broad brushstrokes of democracy, it must confront corruption, protect the rights of indigenous peoples, and distribute wealth more evenly to resolve its crisis of representation.
A reported devastating chemical weapons attack stirs new debate in Washington and global capitals about intervention in Syria. This Issue Guide provides background and analysis.
As the United States and others look for new policy options on intervention and a post-Assad period, this CFR Issue Guide provides expert analysis and background on the escalating conflict in Syria.
In the wake of Egypt's tightly contested presidential election, this CFR Issue Guide provides expert analysis and essential background on the country's evolving political situation as the civilian leadership faces a growing power struggle with the military.
Amid increasing fears of a civil war in Syria following the failure of the UN Security Council resolution, analysts remain divided over the question of intervention and how best to address the crisis.
A potential Taliban office in Qatar has raised hopes for a negotiated end to the Afghan war. But numerous challenges remain even as a new controversy over U.S. troop behavior threatens to derail talks.
Secretary Clinton is in Myanmar to gauge recent reforms by the military-backed regime. Experts are calling for further democratization, including strengthening the rule of law and reconciliation with ethnic minority groups.
As regional players meet in Istanbul to pledge support for building a stable Afghanistan, analysts caution against overstating a regional solution given the conflicting interests of Kabul's neighbors.
The assassination of Afghan government negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani signals the challenges in any reconciliation talks with the Taliban and could exacerbate ethnic divisions, pushing the country into a civil war.
As Libya moves ahead with a leadership transition, it faces challenges including restarting the economy, dealing with humanitarian abuses, and the rising influence of Islamists.
As Libyan rebels press for control of the state and the ouster of Muammar al-Qaddafi, experts warn about the troubles ahead in maintaining security and rebuilding a country emerging from forty-two years of autocratic rule.
The United States and some international partners are pressuring Damascus through the UN and other channels as the Assad regime crackdown on protesters intensifies. Expert opinion remains mixed on whether the Syrian government can be weakened.
The recent killings in Norway highlight the rise of anti-Muslim, anti-immigration feelings in Europe and the U.S. that could impede tackling other forms of homegrown terrorism, say experts.
A crackdown in Hama and Amnesty International's call for reporting Syria's government to the ICC place new focus on the Assad regime's stability, yet international response has been muted.
As Syrian dissidents try to end the current violence, there is mounting concern over the consequences of growing unrest in a region already roiling with protest.
The Syrian regime's intensifying crackdown on protesters has alarmed some countries in the region and stirred international concern, but there is little consensus about how to curb the violence and little appetite for military intervention.
Knopf argues that the only remaining path for South Sudan is for an international transitional administration to run the country for a finite period.
The U.S. relationship with Israel is in trouble. Blackwill and Gordon offer six core policy proposals to repair, redefine, and invigorate the partnership.
To ensure the success of Myanmar's historic democratic transition, the United States should revise its outdated and counterproductive sanctions policy.
The definitive account of the secret war in Laos, which forever changed the CIA from a relatively small spying agency into an organization with vast paramilitary powers. More
CFR President Haass argues for an updated global operating system to address challenges from terrorism to climate change. More
Alden provides an enlightening history of the last four decades of U.S. trade policies and a blueprint for how to keep the United States competitive in a globalized economy. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 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 »