"Flanked by the coca-producing countries of the Andes and the world's leading consumer of illegal drugs—the United States—Central America is a strategic choke point for illicit trade," writes Michael Shifter, president of Inter-American Dialogue, in a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Special Report, Countering Criminal Violence in Central America.
See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; Transnational Crime
The United States will "increasingly seek partnerships with other like-minded countries [in the region] to ensure global stability, security, and prosperity." In a new volume of collected essays, CFR Senior Fellow Scott Snyder writes that one of the strongest partners for the United States is South Korea.
See more in Climate Change; South Korea; Weapons of Mass Destruction; Defense Strategy
The Council on Foreign Relations has launched a new blog, The Candidates and the World, to provide information and nonpartisan analysis on the foreign policy and national security dimensions of the 2012 presidential race.
See more in United States; Elections
The Renewing America initiative has launched a new online channel aimed at broadening the debate on how best to revitalize the country's economy.
See more in United States; Competitiveness
The Robina Foundation has awarded the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) a five-year, $10.3 million grant to expand its activities on international cooperation. This award is one of the largest operating grants in CFR's history and will support its International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) Program.
See more in United States; Global Governance
As the United States confronts a volatile Middle East, Saudi Arabia is "a central player—sometimes in accord with U.S. policy, sometimes not—in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, in the quest for stability in Iraq, in Persian Gulf regional security issues focusing on Iran, and in the global struggle to promote a peaceful vision of Islam over jihadist violence," writes Thomas Lippman in a new book, Saudi Arabia on the Edge: The Uncertain Future of an American Ally.
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The U.S.-Saudi relationship has become strained by increasing mistrust and misunderstanding—most recently over Egypt and Bahrain—and gone are the old foundations of the informal alliance: the Cold War and U.S. operation of Riyadh's oil fields. This is the judgment of F. Gregory Gause III of the University of Vermont, in Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East. The two countries can no longer expect to act in close concert, and the United States should recast the relationship as transactional, one based on cooperation when interests dictate, he argues.
See more in Saudi Arabia; Politics and Strategy; United States
Recent data on organized violence shows that conflicts between a state and one or more nonstate armed groups vastly outnumber interstate conflicts. As a result, argues former international affairs fellow Payton L. Knopf in a new CFR Working Paper, the State Department needs clear guidelines as to why, when, and how its diplomats should conduct outreach to these groups.
See more in Nonstate Actors and Nongovernmental Organizations; United States; Terrorism
For the past three years, the Global Health program at the Council on Foreign Relations has been tracking news reports to produce an interactive map plotting global outbreaks of diseases that are easily prevented by inexpensive and effective vaccines.
See more in Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines; Diseases, Infectious; Global
CFR senior fellow Steven Cook traces the “stirrings of Egyptian nationalism” back to the 1880s and culminates with the events in Tahrir Square in early 2011. He chronicles the end of the British occupation, the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the rise of Nasser and his quest to become a pan-Arab leader in the 1960s, Egypt's decision to make peace with Israel and ally with United States, the subsequent assassination of Sadat in 1981, and the revolution that overthrew Mubarak.
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The latest multimedia feature in CFR's Emmy award-winning series uses expert interviews, interactive timelines, graphs, and images to trace Iran's history, examine its oil-driven economy, and survey its nuclear program.
See more in Iran; Proliferation
With the U.S. military overstretched and Washington facing acute fiscal pressures, the United States must nurture effective international partnerships to help prevent and manage violent conflicts that threaten U.S. interests, concludes a new Council Special Report from the Center for Preventive Action.
See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Conflict Prevention; Global
CFR and Aspen Institute India have cosponsored a U.S.-India Joint Study Group to identify the shared national interests that motivate the United States and India.
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This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton University Press), by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, has won CFR's tenth annual Arthur Ross Book Award for the best book published on international affairs.
See more in Culture and Foreign Policy; United States
A new multimedia interactive from CFR's International Institutions and Global Governance program illustrates the shortcomings of global counterterrorism efforts and offers options for strengthening the regime.
See more in Global; Counterterrorism
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See more in Grand Strategy; Brazil
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Michael Spence explores a convergence between "two parallel and interacting revolutions: the continuation of the Industrial Revolution in the advanced countries, and the sudden and dramatic spreading pattern of growth in the developing world."
See more in Economic Development; Global
In his new book, Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security, Stewart Patrick argues that most fragile states are not a threat to the United States.
See more in Fragile or Failed States; Global