President Barack Obama announced changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba on December 17, 2014. Changes include reestablishing diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, reviewing Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism according to the U.S. State Department, and increasing travel, trade, and commerce between the countries.
Countries are increasingly turning to sanctions and other economic tools to advance their geopolitical interests. Jennifer Harris explains how attitudes toward these economic techniques of statecraft have evolved over the years.
On July 31, 2014, EU published rules for implementing new sanctions on Russia, after Russia's annexation of Crimea. The sanctions freeze accounts of certain officials and organizations and apply to dual-use goods, technology, and other military arms supply services.
President of the United States Barack Obama and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel held a press conference on May 2, 2014. They discussed the situation in Ukraine, potential additional sanctions against Russia, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), and negotiations on rules for intelligence collection.
Robert Kahn argues that the West should be ready to impose more robust economic sanctions against Russia, in order to deter it from further infiltrating or destabilizing Ukraine. Russia's economic complexity means sanctions would meaningfully reduce Russian wealth and growth, since Russian oligarchs and business leaders have significant financial stakes in the West.
The Foreign Policy Initiative organized fifty-two former U.S. government officials and foreign policy experts to sign a bipartisan letter to President Obama regarding policy to respond to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
"Industry lobbies estimate that 300,000 German jobs at 6,000 companies are dependent on trade with Russia. Exports to Russia totalled €36bn last year, with machinery, vehicles and vehicle parts together accounting for 40 per cent."
Broad-based international economic sanctions on Iran have significantly impaired its economy and brought the regime to the negotiating table, but the recently concluded interim nuclear agreement remains controversial among many members of Congress.
The P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) met with Iran in Geneva to discuss a diplomatic resolution regarding Iran's nuclear program. They released an initial plan of action November 24, 2013. The State Department released updates on January 12, 2014, and on July 22, 2014.
The UN Security Council's Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea submitted this report on July 12, 2013, pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea and in accordance with paragraph 13 (m) of Security Council resolution 2060 (2012). These resolutions address how the UN Security Council will monitor peace and security efforts in the region and report on violations such as trading arms and charcoal or funding terrorist organizations.
Cuba has entered a new era of economic reform that defies easy comparison to post-Communist transitions elsewhere. Washington should take the initiative and establish a new diplomatic and economic modus vivendi with Havana.
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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 »