At the end of September, Russia began conducting air strikes in Syria, ostensibly to combat terrorist groups. The strikes constitute Russia’s biggest intervention in the Middle East in decades. Its unanticipated military foray into Syria has transformed the civil war there into a proxy U.S.-Russian conflict and has raised the stakes in the ongoing standoff between Moscow and Washington.
In an article for National Review, Elliott Abrams explains that the recent High Level Military Group report lauds Israel’s performance in the most recent Gaza war as “exemplary” for other liberal democracies fighting a war on jihadi terror.
Of all the factors currently tearing the Middle East apart, none is more consequential than the war in Syria. Given the dire consequences of the status quo or military escalation, Philip Gordon outlines the best chance for de-escalating the conflict and achieving a cease-fire.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke on August 14, 2015, commemorating the end of World War II. South Korean President Park also spoke on this topic on August 15. See CFR.org's timeline, "Last Days of Imperial Japan" for background information.
The future of the Japan–South Korea relationship depends on the ability of their leaders to address the past and to build a new partnership based on mutual understanding and trust, writes CFR's Scott Snyder.
The seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II is being marked in Northeast Asia by efforts to refresh—and revise—understandings of the brutal twentieth century war that laid the foundations of modern Asia, writes CFR's Sheila Smith.
Over the past decade, a string of war movies emerged in the wake of 9/11: The Hurt Locker, Syriana, The Messenger, Green Zone, Lone Survivor, and American Sniper, to name just a few. Some have performed better than others at the box office, and many have received critical acclaim. Almost none has included portrayals of women in combat.
Japan experienced unparalleled destruction by U.S. military forces in 1945 in the last months of World War II, resulting in its complete capitulation. Washington played a decisive role in Tokyo's postwar reconstruction, but the legacy of Japan's wartime actions continues to be a source of tension with its Asia Pacific neighbors.
On March 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection, thanks in part to a desperate last-minute pledge to his right-wing base that the Palestinians would never get a state so long as he was in power. After the election, he tried to walk his comments back, but Palestinian observers weren’t buying it.
Until recently, most Europeans believed that their post–Cold War security order held universal appeal and could be a model for the rest of the world. This conviction was hardly surprising, since Europe has often played a central role in global affairs. For much of the last three centuries, European order was world order—a product of the interests, ambitions, and rivalries of the continent’s empires.
Department of Defense released a Law of War Manual that applies to all services on June 12, 2015. The document discusses law of war publications produced previously by different services within the military.
Congress is now debating President Obama’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Limited Military Force to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Yet the president’s request for this action from Congress comes more than six months after U.S. aircraft began bombing ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria, and even if passed it is merely an authorization for the use of force, not a full-fledged state of war, which Congress has not passed since World War II.
Imagine President Franklin Roosevelt announcing at the end of 1944, after the liberation of France but before the final defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, that World War II was over and that U.S. forces were ending combat operations. Instead we would support our allies, from Britain to China, in their fight against the Axis powers.
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 »