Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that 2016 looks set to be a volatile year in which geopolitics and hard-to-quantify policy dilemmas create significant uncertainty in markets. Policymakers will be asked to make tough decisions about where and when to intervene in markets at a time when their capacity to deal with crisis is increasing challenged, suggesting the road ahead could continue to be bumpy.
The Center for Preventive Action's annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. The PPS aims to help the U.S. policymaking community prioritize competing conflict prevention and mitigation demands.
Unification would constitute one of the most decisive changes in the history of Northeast Asia since the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, with far-reaching implications for the United States and the balance of power in the region. Sue Mi Terry outlines steps that the United States should take to increase the likelihood that the U.S.-South Korea alliance would survive the disappearance of North Korea.
Fifty years after the establishment of official diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, continued animosity between the United States’ two Northeast Asian allies remains a problem for Washington, hampering its ability to deal with the challenges posed by North Korea, China, and a host of nontraditional security threats. Mark E. Manyin argues that, for the United States, the costs of nonintervention are rising.
Over the past half century, South Korea and Japan have established themselves as firm and reliable allies of the United States, contributing to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. But despite increasing cultural exchange and deepening economic ties between the two countries, Korea-Japan relations have shown deteriorated. Cheol Hee Park explains that, given the deteriorating security situation in East Asia and the emergence of an assertive China, the United States has an interest in repairing Korea-Japan relations.
The U.S. government's effort to persuade other countries to adopt norms of responsibility for cyberspace faces a significant obstacle: computers located in the United States host much of the malicious software used to carry out cyberattacks. Robert K. Knake explains.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that the European Union (EU) faces rising populist pressure, reflecting long-term challenges to economic policymaking that can only partly be addressed by a cyclical recovery and debt relief. By strengthening the credibility of economic policy and the region’s resilience to shocks, better policy coordination and a faster path to economic union would go far toward securing a better economic future for Europe and addressing some underlying causes of populism.
Fiscal "breakeven" oil prices have become popular among analysts and decision-makers as indicators of oil-producing countries' economic and political stability, but there are limits to the insights that breakeven prices provide. Blake Clayton and Michael A. Levi assess the potential value and most important pitfalls involved in using fiscal breakeven oil prices.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that the concerns driven by China's economic problems are modest compared to the 1997 Asian financial crisis or the Great Recession. However, there are reasons for concern: large financial imbalances, weak global growth, inadequate official resources, and political pressures. While a severe global financial crisis remains a tail risk, policymakers need to be prepared to respond.
Fuel economy standards are a central element of U.S. energy security and climate change strategy. Varun Sivaram and Michael A. Levi explore the case for maintaining stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
Policymakers around the world are increasingly concerned about the security of information and communications technology (ICT) supply chains. Danielle Kriz explains how the U.S. government can defend its ICT supply chains against counterfeit products, malicious code, and cyberattacks.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that China's growth prospect lies somewhere between hard-landing and muddle-through scenarios. However, uncertainty remains and is already being felt strongly and likely to put increasing pressure on emerging markets through trade contraction and financial contagion. For the United States, fragility in emerging markets is the critical risk and will dominate economic decision-making for months if not years to come.
As a 2009 Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Contingency Planning Memorandum "Crisis Between Ukraine and Russia" argued, a major Ukraine-Russia confrontation has significant implications for the United States. Despite ongoing diplomatic efforts, few aspects of the Minsk II agreement have been implemented and heavy fighting could resume, precipitating an even deeper crisis between Russia and the West.
Ukraine faces two severe and immediate challenges: armed pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country and a sharp, nationwide economic deterioration stemming in no small part from that military threat.CFR convened a group of experts to discuss Ukraine’s economic challenges and identify possible ways for outside actors to support Ukrainian policymakers
Deforestation is a major man-made source of greenhouse gas emissions, and is especially significant in countries with large tropical forests. CFR hosted a workshop designed to draw lessons from Brazil’s recent success at limiting deforestation, understand why countries such as Indonesia have so far struggled, and identify ways to further reduce deforestation.
As offensive cyber activity becomes more prevalent, policymakers will be challenged to develop proportionate responses to disruptive or destructive attacks. Tobias Feakin outlines the variables that each state should consider in determining the appropriate response to a state-sponsored cyber incident.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that China’s request to include its currency, the renminbi (RMB), in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) currency basket, known as special drawing right (SDR), is political as much as economic in intent and effect. The inclusion would signal a milestone in China’s transition to a less-regulated economy.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that if Greece exits the eurozone, introducing a new currency could occur quickly; getting broader economic policies right is the more difficult challenge facing the country.
For decades, oil prices have influenced the outlook for alternatives to oil and policies that support those alternatives. Expensive oil makes substitutes more appealing; cheap oil makes the economic case for alternatives that much more difficult. High prices in the 1970s kick-started clean energy, including the first modern electric vehicles, while the oil slump beginning in the 1980s pummeled sources like wind and solar power and undermined the push for more fuel-efficient cars.
In recent years, frugal and reverse innovation have gained attention as potential strategies for increasing the quality and accessibility of health care while slowing the growth in its costs. Thomas J. Bollyky argues that the demand for these types of innovation is increasing and outlines three practical questions for policymakers seeking real investments and results.
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