Listen to CFR Senior Fellow Shannon K. O'Neil and former foreign minister of Mexico Jorge G. Castañeda discuss President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto and the future of U.S.-Mexico relations.
In an op-ed that appeared this week in USA Today, O'Neil argued that the main obstacle to better relations between the two countries is Americans' perceptions of Mexico and its people:
"In Americans' psyches, drugs dominate. When advertising firm GSD&M and Vianovo strategic consultants asked Americans to come up with three words that describe Mexico, nearly every other person answered 'drugs,' followed by 'poor' and 'unsafe.' Other questions reveal Americans see Mexico as corrupt, unstable and violent, more problem than partner. Americans had more favorable views of Greece, El Salvador and Russia."
In the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs, Castañeda and historian Héctor Aguilar Camín claim that there is a political mandate in Mexico that calls for less corruption, greater rule of law, and improved economic justice:
"Mexicans' clamor for prosperity is no longer negotiable, and today, the country is less than a generation away from becoming the full-fledged middle-class society it aspires to be. But only if it gets to work now."
Elliott Abrams says, "The next three to six months in the Middle East will make Obama administration officials look back to 2012 with nostalgia as a quiet time when they were able to focus on the campaign. The coming year will be much tougher—starting now."
Joshua Kurlantzick examines how the Obama administration relies on the Pentagon to serve as diplomatic interlocutor in Southeast Asia and argues against U.S. military cooperation with the region's most oppressive countries.
Analyzing the relevance of the electoral college in the 2012 presidential election, Julia E. Sweig says, "Although slavery has since been abolished and we have universal suffrage, this unfair electoral college system painfully, and somewhat quaintly, lives on."
CFR's James M. Lindsay leads a conversation on what the U.S. president needs to know about foreign policy, how past presidents have navigated their portfolios, and the challenges facing the Obama administration in its second term.
In the Middle East, there is a perception that President Obama and the United States cannot be relied upon. But Obama's reelection is now an opportunity for the president to show his leadership and reliability in the region, says Ed Husain.
Thomas Bollyky assesses President Obama's record in promoting international science in the latest issue of Science. The president has made strides in integrating science into U.S. diplomacy and international development activities, but only modest progress on facilitating the day-to-day scientific exchanges that account for most international research.
Eliot A. Cohen, Eric Edelman, and Meghan O'Sullivan say, "The true audacity of the Obama administration lies less in its proclaimed foreign policy hopes, than in its insistence that its record is one of foreign policy success. It has, rather, been one of embarrassment, failure, and in some cases, disaster."
Peter Orszag proposes a placeholder deal to get around Congressional gridlock over the expiring Bush tax cuts by establishing a temporary tax refund that would last until either a permanent deal was reached or the unemployment rate dropped.
Benn Steil's column in Dow Jones' Financial News, co-authored with Dinah Walker, analyzes Mitt Romney's budget math. Without questioning the candidate's assumptions on growth or available sources of revenue, they estimate a roughly $1 trillion annual budget gap.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says that Monday's debate displayed a rare moment of unity between Obama and Romney, who seem to have decided that, in this most domestic-focused of elections, dwelling on foreign policy would only lose voters' interest.
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.