The president of the American Council on Germany sees a "definite improvement" in U.S.-German relations since Angela Merkel became chancellor five months ago. Ahead of Merkel's second visit to Washington this year, William Drozdiak says that a key issue for Merkel and President Bush is what to do about Iran's nuclear program.
This briefing paper by Professor Paul Rogers of the Oxford Research Group (ORG) provides an analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran's nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the immediate consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, and also the likely Iranian responses, which the report says would be extensive. An attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would signal the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably grow to involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, as well as the USA and Iran, says ORG. The report concludes that a military response to the current crisis in relations with Iran is a particularly dangerous option and should not be considered further.
This Council-sponsored, independent Task Force points out that nation-building is not just a humanitarian concern, but a critical national security priority that should be on par with war-fighting and urges the United States to equalize the importance of the two. The report argues that the United States must acknowledge that “war-fighting has two important dimensions: winning the war and winning the peace.”
Authors: Major General William L. Nash and Amelia Branczik
This report identifies the principal steps that the United States can take to secure the investment it has made in the western Balkans and facilitate the region's progress toward its rightful destiny within the EU. In doing so, Forgotten Intervention? lays out a straightforward and doable strategy for the United States that will pay dividends.
Despite years of involvement by the United States and its allies, the Balkans region is suffering from economic stagnation and high unemployment; hundreds of thousands of refugees still await resettlement; prominent war criminals remain at large; and political and legal reform is impeded by endemic corruption, organized crime, and in some cases, a lack of political will. Yet after a decade of extensive involvement and peacemaking in the Balkans, the United States and its allies are winding down their commitment to the region. At this critical juncture, warns this independent Task Force report, if the problems besieging the Balkan states are left unresolved, they will lead to serious social and economic instability for southeastern Europe.
Barnett R. Rubin concludes that preventive action should be a much higher priority for the United States, other governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) than it currently is.
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.