Policymakers are currently debating the appropriate level of U.S. military spending given increasingly constrained budgets and the winding down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The following charts present historical trends in U.S. military spending and analyze the forces that may drive it lower.
Japan's new politics challenge some basic assumptions about U.S.-Japan alliance management. CFR Senior Fellow Sheila A. Smith explores this new era of alternating parties in power and reveals the growing importance of Japan's domestic politics in shaping alliance cooperation.
In this Council Special Report, Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko and Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow Sarah Kreps argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones. By doing so, they predict, the United States will create standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Catherine Powell argues that the advances made by Afghan women since the 2001 U.S.-led intervention remain fragile. She recommends that the United States bolster gender equality before the drawdown is complete and continue working with Afghanistan to maintain these gains in the future.
Curbing child marriage has become increasingly important to the global development discussion, but it has yet to become central to the discussion about security and stability. Senior Fellow Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reviews child marriage trends in fragile countries affected by natural disasters and/or armed conflict, and offers policy recommendation on how the United States can ensure that girls and women are still able to reach their full potential even in times of social instability and insecurity.
This memo assesses the impact of spillover from the ongoing civil war in Syria on Lebanon's security and proposes several steps the United States should take to lessen the likelihood of sectarian violence and instability in Lebanon.
Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick details the region's startling democratic regression, assesses the reasons behind this recent stagnation, examines the role of the United States, and offers recommendations for policy options to help support the foundations of democracy in Southeast Asia.
Each year, U.S. state and local governments waste tens of billions of taxpayer dollars competing to lure or retain business investment, with little impact on business behavior. Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss lay out incremental steps for curbing the subsidy war, beginning with greater disclosure and cost-benefit analyses, and building up to a multistate agreement that creates strong disincentives for continuing subsidies.
Dangerous incidents in outer space pose an increasing threat to U.S. assets and risk escalating into militarized crises. Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko details how the Obama administration could reduce the likelihood of such crises, or mitigate their consequences should they occur.
By developing a stronger understanding of what works and what does not in combatting child marriage, policymakers and civil society leaders will be better equipped to end child marriage. Senior Fellow Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Research Associate Lynn S. ElHarake identify the drivers of child marriage and the factors that can curb it.
The U.S. system for taxing corporate profits is outdated, ineffective at raising revenue, and creates perverse incentives for companies to shelter profits overseas. It is also, for most U.S. companies most of the time, a pretty good deal, which is one of the big reasons why any serious overhaul will be so difficult to achieve.
CFR Senior Fellow Steven A. Cook outlines the risk factors and warning signs of a solvency crisis in Egypt in this Contingency Planning Memorandum and offers policy options to prevent such a crisis or mitigate its consequences.
To advise state and local government on how best to use private investment and build more critical infrastructure in a cost-effective way, Heidi Crebo-Rediker recommends the federal government create a new advisory unit within the Treasury Department called "Infrastructure USA."
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 Independent Task Force outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell 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.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 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