The U.S. education system is not as internationally competitive as it used to be; in fact, the United States has slipped ten spots in both high school and college graduation rates over the past three decades, according to a new report and scorecard from the Council on Foreign Relations' Renewing America initiative, which examines the domestic foundations of U.S. power. U.S. national security is directly linked to issues such as education because shortcomings among American workers threaten the country's ability to compete with other countries and set a compelling example internationally.
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Over seventy thousand people have been killed in narco-related crimes in Mexico in the past six years. Tales of grisly murders conveyed by American media shape the widespread perception of Mexico as a dangerous place, overrun by brutal drug lords. But there is far more to Mexico's story than this narrative would suggest, writes CFR Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies Shannon K. O'Neil, in Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead.
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Timothy F. Geithner, the 75th Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will join the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as a distinguished fellow. Geithner, who was previously a senior fellow at CFR in 2001, will be based at the organization's headquarters in New York.
See more in International Finance; United States; Financial Crises
U.S. drone strike policies undermine the nation's foreign policy objectives and have resulted in the loss of hundreds of innocent civilian lives, according to a report by CFR Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko from the Center for Preventive Action. Zenko calls for greater oversight of U.S. drone strikes from the Obama administration, Congress, and the international community.
See more in Yemen; Drones; Conflict Prevention
The Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy initiative (CSM&D) of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is launching an online portal to examine opportunity and exclusion in the global economy targeted to a broad audience of policymakers, academics, business leaders, civil society actors, and citizens in the United States and abroad.
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Seven CFR scholars come together to map the objectives, tools, and strategies for dealing with one of the most vexing problems facing the United States and the world today.
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It is incumbent upon the leaders of the United States and Turkey to define a new partnership "in order to make a strategic relationship a reality," says a new Council on Foreign Relations–sponsored Independent Task Force chaired by former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright and former national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley.
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"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.
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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.
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The Renewing America initiative has launched a new online channel aimed at broadening the debate on how best to revitalize the country's economy.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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