A new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Independent Task Force report, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, finds that the United States’ policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea will neither halt that country’s recurring and dangerous cycle of provocation nor ensure the stability of Northeast Asia in the future. To the contrary, the Task Force warns, “If allowed to continue, current trends will predictably, progressively, and gravely threaten U.S. national security interests and those of its allies.”
North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in February drew global opposition in the form of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2270 and condemnation by regional leaders. Pyongyang promptly dismissed such calls with a series of short- and mid-range missile launches in March and April.
The confirmation by UN monitors that Iran has complied with the deal to dismantle large parts of its nuclear program lifts major sanctions and ushers in a new era for the Middle East. This issue guide offers analysis and background.
U.S. officials will have to consider the consequences of new sanctions as they weigh how to address Iran's regional policies without derailing implementation of the nuclear accord, says expert Richard Nephew.
The Iran nuclear deal and subsequent UN Security Council resolution do little to bind the United States legally, though policymakers would face political pressure against reinstating sanctions, says CFR's John Bellinger.
The prospect of sanctions relief as part of an Iran nuclear agreement has alarmed some in Congress, but they should see the value of a UN Security Council resolution affirming the deal, says CFR’s John B. Bellinger III.
President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on March 9, 2015, which includes targeted sanctions of individuals who have violated the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014.
In his discussion of German foreign policy’s supposed drift eastward, Hans Kundnani (“Leaving the West Behind,” January/February 2015) suggests that Germany has resisted imposing sanctions on Russia over its undeclared war with Ukraine—a sign, in his view, that Germany might once again desert the West in a flirtation with Russia.
Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz spoke at the Third Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, or CELAC) Summit on January 28, 2015. He discussed how CELAC countries have supported each other through economic, security, and political agreements. President Castro also laid out the conditions he wants as Cuba and the United States reestablish diplomatic relations.
On January 15, 2015,the Treasury and Commerce Departments released amendments to financial sanctions on Cuba, after President Obama announced diplomatic and economic changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba.
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. In a speech to the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States Summit in January 2015, Cuban President Raul Castro describes conditions he wants as the two countries reestablish relations. At the Summit of the Americas in April 2015, which Cuba attended for the first time, President Obama and President Castro began discussions on these policy changes. In March 2016, President Obama traveled to Cuba, the first sitting U.S. president to do so since 1928.
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.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 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 »