The current nasty atmosphere between Russia and the United States goes beyond one or two disputed issues and will be difficult to improve. There have been regular spikes of tension in the U.S.-Russia relationship for the last fifteen years, and they will likely continue.
After more than a decade of war and several years of a deep financial crisis, many Americans are asking whether the country should focus more of its attention—and more of its resources—at home. That said, the impulse to lead is still strong in both political parties and most polls show that Americans still feel both a moral and strategic imperative to remain fully engaged in the world.
A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: Investigations into the Boston Marathon explosions continue; King Abdullah II of Jordan visits the United States; and the ASEAN summit takes place in Brunei.
Asked by Zahra Fatima, from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad
"Grand strategy" is defined as a coherent plan to use diplomatic, military, and economic instruments in certain ways to achieve national, overarching objectives. Grand strategies are usually identified by simple labels such as "containment," "détente," or "engagement and enlargement." In reality, international politics is complicated, and a democratic political system at home imposes constraints from public opinion, mobilized interest groups, and Congress.
Asked by Elias El Mrabet, from Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Russia today may have less influence in the Middle East than previously, but it continues to have a stake in the region's stability and sees it as an area in which it has important national interests, often at variance with U.S. goals and objectives.
Grounded in a realistic assessment of technology, Matthew C. Waxman and Kenneth Anderson outline a practical alternative with which to evaluate the use of autonomous weaponry that incorporates codes of conduct based on traditional legal and ethical principles governing weapons and warfare.
A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: Britain honors the late Margaret Thatcher; Venezuelans select the successor to Hugo Chavez; and the World Bank and IMF spring meetings begin in Washington.
Linda Robinson writes that the upcoming anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death highlights the continued need for a "more comprehensive approach to special operations as part of U.S. national security policy."
A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits South Korea, Japan and China; President Obama submits a budget to Congress; and the re-trial of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak begins in Cairo.
Secretary of State John Kerry is launching new Mideast shuttle diplomacy, but President Obama's commitment to brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement remains to be seen, says expert Martin Indyk.
The UNSC is unlikely to be altered any time soon. Any resolution to expand the UNSC would need to garner the support of two-thirds of the 193 members of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), or 129 votes, as well as endorsement by the five permanent members to succeed.
North Korea's ratcheting up of tensions requires South Korean and U.S. military forces in Korea to be prepared to defend against North Korean military incursions. Resumption of diplomacy will only be possible when North Korea signals it is ready to resume dialogue and all parties agree on an agenda that includes both tension-reduction and denuclearization.
The Renewing America project explores six major domestic challenges facing the United States that have significant consequences for national security and foreign policy.
CFR Experts Guide
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.