"The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty."
The United Nations said that in 2005 about its "responsibility to protect." It's the concept that "if a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations."
And here is what UN officials said this week when describing what is happening in Syria: "A complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo."
The Middle East will not find peace so long as President Bashar al-Assad rules over a truncated Syria, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Assad’s victory over the rebels in Aleppo will not result in stability for the rest of the country or the region.
The Arab world's stirring for political change in 2011 failed dramatically, but support for building democratic institutions still represents one of the region's best hopes for reform, writes CFR's Elliott Abrams.
A serious military confrontation between Russia and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member state or a severe crisis in North Korea are among top international concerns for 2017 cited by a new survey of experts. The Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) ninth annual Preventive Priorities Survey identified seven top potential flashpoints for the United States in the year ahead.
The Center for Preventive Action's annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. The PPS aims to help the U.S. policymaking community prioritize competing conflict prevention and mitigation demands.
There are important lessons for the incoming Trump administration on Iran they can learn from their predecessors, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh. They should recognize that the Islamic Republic is a unitary nation-state purged of reformers, that it is susceptible to a threat of force, and that Iran is not interested in normalizing relations with the United States.
Partitioning Syria under a weak federal structure with a massive Western force to enforce a power-sharing agreement is the only real option the United States and its allies has for solving the Syrian conflict, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
For the first time ever, the United States abstained in the annual United Nations General Assembly vote to condemn the U.S. embargo of Cuba. The vote was bad enough; the explanation of vote offered by our envoy at the UN was in many ways even worse. Elliott Abrams explains the problem in National Review.
The assumptions held by those advocating military action in Syria are weak, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Military punitive measures are not likely to make Russia, Iran, the Syrian regime, or militant forces back down from their current stances, either on the battlefield or in negotiations.
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 »