Twenty years ago, the United States was the world’s largest creditor nation, unsurpassed in its ownership of assets outside of its borders, even after deducting what foreigners owned inside its borders. Yet over the past two decades, America has been transformed into the world’s largest debtor nation.
People naturally disagree about who is responsible for the partisan tone and tactics in Washington, DC, these days, but most agree on this: It's worse, it's more intense, and it's nastier. And few on either side are enjoying it much.
Authors: Major General William L. Nash and Amelia Branczik
This report identifies the principal steps that the United States can take to secure the investment it has made in the western Balkans and facilitate the region's progress toward its rightful destiny within the EU. In doing so, Forgotten Intervention? lays out a straightforward and doable strategy for the United States that will pay dividends.
The United States can improve its image in the Muslim world. Focus group research in three key Islamic countries--Egypt, Morocco, and Indonesia--shows that the widely held view that nothing can be done about the spread of negative attitudes toward the United States among Muslims in the Middle East and Asia is incorrect. The key to a new dialogue with the Muslim world is a humbler American perspective, based on respectful partnership and agreeing to disagree when necessary.
This report identifies the principle issues to be addressed in Iraq's constitution. It recommends power-sharing arrangements between Iraq's national government and federal Iraqi state governments. It proposes a role for the United States and the United Nations to play in this process, and suggests ways the Iraqi government can encourage cooperation with Iraq's neighbors.
This Council Special Report decries the tragically slow global response to the unrest in Sudan's Darfur region, stating that it shows that the international community still lacks the capacity to deal effectively with humanitarian crises. Looking at Darfur in the context of lessons learned from Rwanda, the report recommends ways to end the Darfur crisis and avoid future ones.
Africa, mired in poverty, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and armed conflict, has rightfully occupied a prominent place in the G8’s agenda over the past several years. This report, written in anticipation of the G8’s June 2004 summit at Sea Island, Georgia, highlights the need for the G8 to maintain a strong partnership with Africa, even as the world’s attention turns increasingly to the Middle East.
The Bush administration’s $15 billion AIDS initiative has received much attention for its boldness and size. But, according to this indispensable Council Special Report, it will not succeed unless it is folded into a broader and longer-term commitment to developing basic health systems in affected countries. To successfully battle AIDS--one of the most pressing threats known to mankind--the effort must also go beyond health to address social and economic factors that drive the spread of the disease.
As a victim of terrorism and the strongest supporter of U.S. counterterrorism policy among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines already plays a vital role in preserving American security. With anti-Americanism on the rise in South Korea and Japan, the United States may need to depend more on the Philippines to fulfill its objectives in Asia. This report assesses the political, economic, and strategic situation in the Philippines following the 2004 elections and recommends steps that the United States and the Philippines should take to strengthen their economic and military ties.
Georgia is strategically important to the United States in the war on terror and an indispensable transit point for energy supplies between Asia and Europe. Though the country’s November 2003 “revolution of roses” is the most positive event to have occurred in the countries of the former Soviet Union in more than a decade, Georgia is entering an unstable period of transition as its new government tries to promote national coherence among the country’s ethnic groups and takes steps to dismantle the corrupt power structure that thrived under former president Eduard Shevardnadze. This timely report, written by an expert on conflict prevention in the Caucasus, recommends steps the United States and the international community can to take to bolster President Mikhail Saakashvili as well as moves his government should make in the short and long term.
Experts at a CFR-Lowy Institute workshop discuss Southeast Asian views of U.S.-China competition across a range of issues, including maritime disputes, trade and investment, and transnational security challenges.
While globalization has intensified the need for global cooperation, the current global order is fraying. New forms of competition are making international cooperation more difficult and will continue to do so. The sixth Princeton workshop on global governance convened scholars and former policymakers to examine the state of global governance and consider how to correct its shortcomings.
China’s leadership of the Group of Twenty (G20) in 2016 comes at a moment when the role of the G20 itself is being challenged. CFR's Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and the Asia Global Institute convened a workshop in Hong Kong to assess the agenda facing the G20, why the group had fallen short of expectations in recent years, and whether China’s leadership in 2016 provides an opportunity for renewal.
The flow of data across international borders creates jurisdictional challenges and causes international tensions. Increasingly, countries have responded by imposing new requirements to store data locally, threatening cross-border data flows, which generate approximately $2.8 trillion of global gross domestic product each year. CFR Senior Fellow for Digital Policy Karen Kornbluh argues that the United States should take the lead in addressing these tensions.
South Asia is in the midst of a geopolitical transformation wrought by several simultaneous developments: China’s rise, India’s rise, and attempts by the United States to recalibrate its own strategy to address new power dynamics across the arc of Asia from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. CFR's Asia program convened a symposium to discuss the new geopolitics of southern Asia.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that the crisis in Venezuela continues to escalate, with no recovery or relief in sight. A messy and chaotic default looms, and the rescue will likely involve a tough adjustment program, large-scale financing from international policymakers, and deep sacrifices from Venezuela’s creditors and, most of all, the Venezuelan people. China’s role, as Venezuela’s largest creditor, will be critical and precedential for other emerging market commodity exporters with too much debt.
What are the ways in which the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) could advance the noneconomic foreign policy interests of the United States, the European Union (EU), and EU member states? The Council on Foreign Relations gathered experts—including current and former policymakers, economists, political scientists, investors, and business representatives—to explore whether and how the still-evolving TTIP could be designed to meet foreign policy objectives.
The global humanitarian regime is not equipped to handle an era of chronic emergencies, accelerating climate change, and revolutions in transportation and information technologies. The International Institutions and Global Governance program held a workshop to assess the shortcomings of humanitarian infrastructure and evaluate prospects for reform.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that the case for strong and effective Group of Twenty (G20) leadership is as compelling as ever. But if the G20 is to be as effective in noncrisis times as it was in 2008–2009, it needs stronger Chinese leadership, working informally yet closely with the United States—a Group of Two (G2) within the G20. Debt policy is one area where China and the United States should cooperate this year.
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
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 »
Now Available: Foreign Policy Begins at Home
The biggest threat to America's security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in his provocative new book. More