Though violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since 2003, internal and regional dynamics threaten its stability. Douglas Ollivant, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, , argues that despite the U.S. military withdrawal, the United States has a significant stake in helping Iraq overcome threats of ethnosectarian violence and a breakdown of constitutional order.
Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies discusses the significant risk of conflict in the South China Sea and how the United States can prevent becoming involved in an armed clash.
The repercussions of a terrorist attack on the United States originating in Pakistan could be catastrophic. Professor Stephen Tankel outlines policy tools that U.S. decision-makers can employ to prevent an attack and to mitigate the consequences if one occurs.
Electoral instability and insurrectionary violence may once again afflict the Democratic Republic of Congo. Joshua Marks of the National Endowment for Democracy proposes steps the United States can take to prevent these scenarios from occurring and, if they occur, mitigate their potential consequences.
This Contingency Planning Memorandum describes the events and trends that indicate Nigerian elections are following a violent trajectory and recommends U.S. policy options for preventing and containing fragmentation of Nigerian society.
Sudan faces the prospect of renewed violence between north and south over the next twelve to eighteen months. Overwhelmingly in favor of independence, the south will either secede peacefully through a credible referendum process as agreed to in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) or pursue this by force if the CPA should collapse. This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum presents the likely triggers of renewed civil war and discusses the U.S. policy options for preventing it from happening and mitigating its consequences in the event that it does.
India faces the real prospect of another major terrorist attack by Pakistan-based terrorist organizations in the near future, an event that would jeopardize important U.S. security interests in South Asia. This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum examines the factors that would condition India's response; the consequences of Indian military retaliation and Pakistani counterretaliation for the United States; and Washington's policy options for preventing and containing the crisis.
Israel would regard any expansion of nuclear weapons capability within its region as an intolerable threat to its survival, and as such regards Iran's developing nuclear program with concern, in turn causing speculation that the Israeli government may choose to attack Iran's nuclear installations. This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum assesses the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran, the policy options available to diminish that likelihood, the implications should it take place, and measures that can be taken to mitigate the consequences should it occur.
Egypt is now entering a period of political transition with the expectation that President Hosni Mubarak's almost twenty-eight-year tenure will shortly come to an end. This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum assesses the possibility of a troubled leadership succession or an Islamist push for political power, the implications for the United States, and policy steps the U.S. government might take depending on what it determines as its broader policy objectives in Egypt.
This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum examines how crisis scenarios between Ukraine and Russia could unfold, the implications for the United States, and the steps the U.S. government might take both to reduce the prospects of a crisis and manage it should it occur.
Iraq is currently in the early stages of a negotiated end to an intense ethnosectarian war. As such, there are several contingencies in which recent, mostly positive trends in Iraq could be reversed, threatening U.S. national interests. This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum by Stephen Biddle assesses four interrelated scenarios in Iraq that could derail the prospects for peace and stability in the short to medium term and posits concrete policy options to limit U.S. vulnerability to the possibility of such reversals.
The scale of financing needed to support the U.S. fiscal deficit—together with the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping U.S. interest rates low to ward off deflation—has revived concerns about a sudden and sharp depreciation of the U.S. dollar. This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum by Brad W. Setser examines potential triggers and indicators of such a crisis and posits concrete policy options to limit U.S. vulnerability to the possibility of a plummeting dollar.
To ensure the success of Myanmar's historic democratic transition, the United States should revise its outdated and counterproductive sanctions policy, according to Priscilla A. Clapp, former chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar.
Robert D. Blackwill and Kurt M. Campbell analyze the rise of Chinese President Xi Jinping and call for a new American grand strategy for Asia that "seeks to avoid a U.S.-China confrontation and maintain U.S. primacy in Asia."
In a new Council Special Report, Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa, Paul D. Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
Robert D. Blackwill and Ashley J. Tellis argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power. This Council Special Report recommends placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
John Campbell, Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies, 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.