Laurie Garrett explains what makes sarin gas dangerous to humans and reviews the chemical's deadly history in this op-ed for CNN Opinion. She then discusses the potential political implications of sarin's usage in Syria, concluding that "the Assad regime is playing with regional fire."
CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot and the Brookings Institution's Michael Doran argue that the United States should relearn the Cold War craft of political warfare to promote its interests in the Middle East.
If Operation Overlord failed, the entire Allied enterprise in World War II faced abject collapse. This new history of the events leading up to D-Day explains why, and what the preparations for success actually involved.
War makes for strange bedfellows, and among the oddest pairings that World War II produced was that between "Wild Bill" Donovan's Office of Strategic Services and the emigre German Jewish Marxists he hired to teach Washington about the Nazis.
Syria has been mired in deadly strife since March 2011 and the outlook for resolving what is now a full blown civil war looks increasingly dire. The worst case outcome for Syria is one whereby the country fragments and becomes a failed state in which the Damascus government no longer controls its own territory. Under such a scenario, the glue holding the country together comes unstuck.
According to Micah Zenko, "We are deluding ourselves if we believe that we need more time to "think through" U.S. military intervention options for Syria. We have an excellent understanding of what those options are, and a vast majority of officials, policymakers, and the American people do not believe they are worth the effort."
Micah Zenko examines U.S. President Barack Obama's May 23, 2013 speech on drone strike and counterterrorism policies. "The enduring impact of Mr. Obama's speech will not be what he says, but whether the new policies are reflected in how drone strikes are conducted, and whether his administration will finally and faithfully engage with the public, more than a decade after the operations began," Zenko writes.
"The Administration has given the Syrian opposition more than six hundred and fifty million dollars in nonmilitary aid, but Obama has consistently opposed arming the rebels or intervening militarily on their behalf. The United States has taken a tenuous position: not deep enough to please the rebels or its allies in Europe, or to topple the regime, or to claim leadership in the war's aftermath—but also, perhaps most important, not so deep that it can't get out."
A decade ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the United States chose to immerse itself in the greater Middle East when it had little reason to dive in. But now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away, writes Richard N. Haass.
Foreign ministers from the G8 nations declared "rape and other forms of serious sexual violence in armed conflict are war crimes," violate the Geneva Conventions, and are a priority to address. Adopted on April 11, 2013, the declaration outlines how to investigate and prosecute rape and provide services for victims.
According to Meghan L. O'Sullivan, "Given the several still-undetermined variables and the wide variety of plausible outcomes, it is too early to bring final judgment on American efforts in Iraq even 10 years on."
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.
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 »