Listening to President Obama’s penultimate State of the Union address last night, I was more struck by what was missing rather than by what was included. The speech, naturally, featured a long wish list of domestic policy proposals (free community college, etc.) that have no chance of passing a Republican Congress.
Here's a good idea that I'd like to see prominent in President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech tonight: shared capitalism. That is, stock-ownership plans or simple profit-sharing schemes for corporate employees. These plans have been shown to effectively align workers' incentives with those of the company's equity owners, but they have not received much attention lately.
The State of the Union is a speech given annually by the president to Congress, in which the president outlines the current condition of the United States and national priorities for the coming year, based on the U.S. Constitution, Article Two, Section Three. President Obama has delivered his State of the Union Address speeches on January 27, 2010, January 25, 2011, January 24, 2012, February 12, 2013, January 28, 2014, and January 20, 2015.
As President Obama prepares for his 2015 State of the Union, Stephen Sestanovich looks back at last year’s address to Congress. He argues that the president will need to explain why his policies have changed on Syria, Iran, and trade promotion.
In this excerpt from his CFR Working Paper The Pivot in Southeast Asia: Balancing Interests and Values, Joshua Kurlantzick analyzes the Obama administration's Southeast Asia policy, and assesses how it has gone wrong.
John Bellinger argues that President Obama’s categorical dismissal of Guantanamo as a “facility that should have never been opened” needlessly politicizes the issue, alienating the congressional Republicans whose support he will need to close it. President Obama should use his State of the Union address the most compelling reason for Guantanamo’s closure: that its existence has now become a recruiting tool for terrorists around the world.
The CIA accountability board produced this report in response to accusations from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the CIA had accessed without authorization the Committee's shared computer drive and removed some files, potential violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Wiretap Act. The computer drive contained files related to the Committee's investigation of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" practices. The CIA's report overturned the CIA inspector general's July 31 report that agents had acted improperly in accessing the shared drive.
Peter Mandaville, director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and professor of international affairs at George Mason University, and Sara Silvestri, senior lecturer in international politics at City University London, discuss the challenges and opportunities of diplomatic engagement with religious communities.
Scott Snyder, senior fellow for Korea Studies and director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, and Woo Jung-yeop, research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, suggest that Washington should support the Seoul Process under NAPCI and Seoul should support the U.S. rebalance, given the two allies' overlapping goals of promoting cooperation and strengthening respect for international norms in Asia.
Joshua Kurlantzick analyzes the effects of the Obama administration's pivot on Southeast Asia and its relation to the region's democratic regression. Kurlantzick recommends that the United States prioritize the countries of peninsular Southeast Asia and restore the emphasis on democracy and human rights in the region.
With Jeb Bush andMike Huckabee about to enter the 2016 presidential race, I’m reminded of a friend’s joking prediction that next time around the American people may be looking for Richard Nixon. He meant that after a fling with more interesting leaders, the voters could decide on someone seasoned, predictable, and reliable–even someone they don’t feel too good about. That was Nixon in 1968–a political figure long out of office, associated with a distant administration, his career seemingly over but able to make a comeback in hard times.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
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 »