Back in 2009, during his heavily promoted Cairo speech on American relations with the Muslim world, U.S. President Barack Obama noted, in passing, that "in the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government."
It didn't take long for Congo's transition from Belgian colony to sovereign state to turn ugly. Both the Soviet Union and the United States were keeping a close eye on the mineral-rich country at the heart of Africa when, on June 30, 1960, it gained independence under a democratically elected government headed by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.
On September 9, 1973, I was eating lunch at Da Carla, an Italian restaurant in Santiago, Chile, when a colleague joined my table and whispered in my ear: "Call home immediately; it's urgent." At the time, I was serving as a clandestine CIA officer.
Speakers: Michele Dunne and Michael Wahid Hanna Presider: Isobel Coleman
Michele Dunne, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Michael Wahid Hanna, senior fellow at the Century Foundation, discuss Egypt's turbulent transition, the prospects for stabilization and economic progress in the country, and possible U.S. foreign policy responses toward the ongoing political crisis.
Both tyranny and anarchy are bad political options for a country. The political theorist Thomas Hobbes, looking at the ravages of anarchy during England's civil war in the 17th century, famously concluded that life without government was terrible because "there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; … no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, [is] solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."
Asked by Igbinosa Ojehomon, from Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus Author: Robert M. Danin
The United States' policy toward a post-Assad Syria would largely depend on what political scenario results. A victory by unified rebel forces would generate a vastly different policy than a new govenrnment that includes jihadists. In the more likely event that post-Assad Syria descends into greater sectarian violence, Washington would urge regional partners like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to exert influence with those rebel groups to which they had provided arms and ammunition.
Syria is trapped on a crumbling precipice, and however it might fall will entail significant risks for the United States and for the Syrian people, says this memo written by experts on Middle East at Brookings.
The reported death of Muammar al-Qaddafi marks a dramatic end to his sway over Libya. Libyans now need considerable Western help in securing and rebuilding the country he leaves behind, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Elliott Abrams argues that while the fall of Muammar al-Qaddafi is a victory, President Obama's failure to act sooner and more resolutely in the Libyan conflict has caused NATO to suffer greater damage than necessary.
U.S. calls for Syria's Assad to step down can only be realized if combined with stronger measures to forge a diplomatic coalition and drive a wedge between Assad and his supporters, says CFR's Robert Danin.
Military and popular support for Tunisian President Ben Ali's departure from power could mean pressure on new leadership for reform, and could also lead to modest concessions to reform in Egypt and elsewhere, says CFR's Steven Cook.
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 »