All CFR Reports

Eurozone Crisis as Historical Legacy

Eurozone Crisis as Historical Legacy

Author: Mary Elise Sarotte

This essay examines the historical roots of the eurozone crisis, tracing the roots of ongoing political and economic problems back to agreements that were made around German reunification in 1989.

See more in EU; Financial Crises

Electoral Violence in Nigeria

Electoral Violence in Nigeria

Author: John Campbell

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.

See more in Elections; Nigeria

A Third Lebanon War

A Third Lebanon War

Author: Daniel C. Kurtzer

This Contingency Planning Memorandum assesses scenarios and warning signs of renewed Israel-Hezbollah conflict and recommends U.S. action to prevent a "Third Lebanon War."

See more in Conflict Prevention; Lebanon

U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula

U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula

This Task Force report identifies three elements of an internationally coordinated response to the threat posed by North Korea: first, denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and an approach that attempts to resolve rather than simply manage the nuclear issue; second, regional cohesion, enabled by close U.S.-South Korea relations; and third, China's cooperation and active engagement.

See more in North Korea; United States; Politics and Strategy

Energy Security

Energy Security

Author: Michael A. Levi

What is energy security? On April 12-13, the Council on Foreign Relations convened academics, policymakers, and industry experts to assess the security implications of the way the world produces and consumes oil and natural gas. The workshop aimed to explore important issues at the intersection of oil, gas, and national security, and identify areas for future research. The first day focused on assessing the state of knowledge on energy and security, while the second explored U.S. policy options going forward. This summary report presents a broad agenda for energy security research that emerged from the meeting.

See more in United States; Energy Policy

How Dangerous Is U.S. Government Debt?

How Dangerous Is U.S. Government Debt?

Author: Francis E. Warnock

The dollar's status as the world's reserve currency has become a facet of U.S. power, allowing the United States to borrow effortlessly and sustain an assertive foreign policy. But the capital inflows associated with the dollar's reserve-currency status have created a vulnerability, too, opening the door to a foreign sell-off of U.S. securities that could drive up U.S. interest rates. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Capital Flows Quarterly, Francis E. Warnock argues that a sell-off came close to happening in 2009. How the United States uses this reprieve will affect the nation's ability to borrow for years to come, with broad implications for the sustainability of an active U.S. foreign policy.

See more in Financial Crises; Budget, Debt, and Deficits; United States

A Nuclear-Armed Iran

A Nuclear-Armed Iran

Author: Mitchell B. Reiss

How would an Iranian acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability affect U.S. policy in the Middle East? In this discussion paper, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Mitchell B. Reiss enumerates several strategic choices that would face U.S. regional allies and the adverse implications for U.S. interests.

See more in Proliferation; Iran

Divided They Dally?

Divided They Dally?

Author: Michael Young

How would the Arab states of the Middle East react if Iran were to acquire a nuclear weapons capability? In this Working Paper, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Michael Young explores the possible impact of a nuclear Iran on Arab governments' self-perceptions, relations with Iran, relations with one another, and relations with non-Arab actors in the region such as the United States and Turkey. Young concludes that an Iranian nuclear weapon would threaten to drastically alter the regional status quo, empower Iran and its allies, and provoke sectarian reactions from some Arab states.

See more in Proliferation; Iran

Deterring a Nuclear Iran

Deterring a Nuclear Iran

Author: Kenneth M. Pollack

From a military perspective, what would be required for a containment scheme to successfully deter a nuclear Iran? In this Working Paper, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Kenneth M. Pollack presents formal and informal structures requisite to effectively deter a postnuclear Iran. Pollack's robust recommendations take into consideration important lessons learned during the Cold War.

See more in Proliferation; Iran

Deterrence Misapplied

Deterrence Misapplied

Author: Frederick W. Kagan

Given the nature and structure of its government, is it possible to contain an Iran with nuclear weapons? In this discussion paper, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Frederick W. Kagan explores the applicability of deterrence--from a historic and theoretical perspective--to the Iranian regime. Kagan concludes that for numerous structural and strategic reasons, it is impossible to assess with any confidence that the Islamic Republic with nuclear weapons could be contained or deterred.

See more in Proliferation; Iran

From Rome to Kampala

From Rome to Kampala

Author: Vijay Padmanabhan

The controversial relationship between the United States and the International Criminal Court (ICC) is at a crossroads: After an initial period of hostility toward the ICC, the United States has in recent years pursued a policy of cautious engagement. Vijay Padmanabhan offers a backdrop of the U.S.-ICC relationship and policy recommendations for the U.S. delegation attending the Seven-Year Review Conference in May/June 2010.

See more in Courts and Tribunals

Prime Brokers and Derivatives Dealers

Prime Brokers and Derivatives Dealers

Author: Squam Lake Working Group on Financial Regulation

Runs by prime-brokerage clients and derivatives counterparties were a central cause of the global financial crisis. These runs precipitated the failures of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers by substantially reducing the broker's liquidity. This Working Paper, the ninth in the Squam Lake series distributed by the Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies, argues for higher regulatory liquidity requirements for dealer banks that use assets of clients and counterparties as a source of liquidity.

See more in Financial Crises; Financial Regulation; United States

Strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

Strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

Author: Paul Lettow

Violations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by Iran and North Korea threaten to undermine the legitimacy of the nonproliferation regime. Paul Lettow proposes a comprehensive agenda for improvements, including tougher sanctions against transgressors, a criteria-based system to limit the spread of enrichment and processing technologies, and expansion of International Atomic Energy Agency authority.

See more in Global; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation; Global Governance

The Russian Economic Crisis

The Russian Economic Crisis

Author: Jeffrey Mankoff

Since 2008, Russia, like many other countries, has experienced a deep economic crisis. The question is how this crisis might affect Russia's domestic politics and foreign policy and, consequently, whether any change is warranted in U.S. policy toward Moscow. Jeffrey Mankoff argues that Russia's need to focus on repairing its economy during this global crisis gives the West an opportunity to deepen its economic engagement with Russia, which could bind Moscow more firmly to the liberal global economic order and encourage reform in both Russia and neighboring states.

See more in Financial Crises; Russian Federation

Harnessing International Institutions to Address Climate Change

Harnessing International Institutions to Address Climate Change

Authors: Katherine Michonski and Michael A. Levi

Most discussions about using international institutions to address climate change focus narrowly on the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. However, many other international institutions also have a significant role to play in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. This paper examines the existing climate-related efforts and capabilities, as well as the future potential, of a variety of international institutions, including those that deal with environment, energy, and economics. While there are still major shortfalls, the paper argues that there is significant existing institutional capacity to draw from in addressing climate change.

See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Climate Change