All CFR Reports

Food Price Inflation: Explanation and Policy Implications

Food Price Inflation: Explanation and Policy Implications

Author: Karen H. Johnson

The sharp run-up in food prices has triggered riots in several countries and threatened to push millions of people below the poverty line. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Working Paper, Karen H. Johnson explains the causes and likely future course of food-price inflation and analyzes the implications for central banks, trade negotiators, and agricultural policy.

See more in Food Security; Agricultural Policy; Global

Avoiding Transfers to Torture

Avoiding Transfers to Torture

Author: Ashley S. Deeks

This report analyzes the debate over U.S. use of assurances against torture, explaining the contexts in which they are used, how they can be conveyed, and what they can contain, and recommends a number of ways to respond to criticism so that the United States can continue using assurances.

See more in Terrorism and the Law; United States

Global FDI Policy

Global FDI Policy

Authors: David M. Marchick and Matthew J. Slaughter

In the past three years, many countries have adopted or expanded regimes to review inward foreign direct investment (FDI) for either national or economic security purposes, reducing the quantity and quality of global FDI flows. The policy recommendations in this report aim to correct this protectionist drift by proposing guidelines for how countries can better regulate FDI yet still reap its economic benefits.

See more in Global; Foreign Direct Investment

Confronting Climate Change

Confronting Climate Change

Against the backdrop of increasing attention to climate change in the presidential campaigns, debate of the Lieberman-Warner climate bill in the Senate, and preparations for this summer's G8 summit, this report recommends an overhaul of U.S. domestic and foreign policy to confront the challenges of climate change.

See more in Climate Change; United States

Gulf Trip Report: Richard Haass and Martin Indyk

Authors: Richard N. Haass and Martin S. Indyk

In February, Martin Indyk and Richard Haass engaged leading Gulf policymakers in detailed conversations about what they are looking for from a new American president. While all those with whom they spoke were fascinated by the American presidential primary elections and seem to be following the results closely, few have yet focused on the possibility that a significant change in U.S. foreign policy might result from a new administration in Washington. There was also a significant disconnect between leaders and publics: The leaders are focused on how the next administration will deal with complex regional security challenge posed by Iran, whereas the publics are hoping that a new president will resolve the Palestinian issue and press authoritarian governments to be more open, transparent and accountable.

See more in Presidents and Chiefs of State; Middle East and North Africa

Nonproliferation Trip Report: Bruce Riedel

Author: Bruce O. Riedel

Bruce Riedel traveled to India in February to meet with business leaders, government officials, and members of the media. Riedel notes that much of the conversations revolved around Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities and the Iran-India relationship. Some in the United States have strongly criticized India for maintaining strong economic relations with Iran and for having exchanges of low-level military delegations. Riedel notes that although India opposes a nuclear Iran, its ties with Iran will lead it to oppose use of a military option against Iran.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation; Elections; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Counterterrorism Trip Report: Daniel Byman

Author: Daniel L. Byman

Daniel Byman traveled to Israel and Jordan in March -- a time of crisis in the Middle East. During Byman's trip, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets against the Israeli cities of Sderot and Ashkelon, an attack occurred in the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and Israel took retaliatory measures in the Gaza Strip. In both Israel and Jordan, Byman found that the predominant mood was one of frustration and gloom. Israelis felt trapped between their sense that inaction would encourage more violence and their recognition that the military and political options looked unpromising. Jordanians fretted that the Israeli reaction to the violence would strengthen the radicals politically.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Counterterrorism; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Economic and Political Development Trip Report: Tamara Cofman Wittes and Isobel Coleman

Authors: Isobel Coleman and Tamara Cofman Wittes

In February, Tamara Cofman Wittes and Isobel Coleman met with business leaders, academics, journalists, and civic activists in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Among Wittes and Coleman's key findings are that many Saudis welcomed the emergence of a more open atmosphere, pointing to King Abdullah's ascension to the throne, dynamism in neighboring Gulf states, and a new "post-post-9/11" environment as key catalysts for the change. Yet, there was frustration at the unpredictability and arbitrariness of the newly expanded social and political space. The next U.S. administration may have a new, but narrow, window of opportunity to reintroduce itself to Saudi Arabia. Many Saudis argued for the creation of a deeper, multi-dimensional relationship between both countries that engages civil society, not just the government and business sectors.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Women

Smart Countries, Foolish Choices

Smart Countries, Foolish Choices

Authors: Amity Shlaes and Gaurav Tiwari

Intuition tells us that oil-rich countries are not friendly to the United States, and that entreprenurial—or “smart”—countries are not endowed with oil. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Working Paper, the authors find a triangular relationship between oil wealth, entrepreneurial spirit, and friendliness to the United States. They confirm the idea that “oily” countries are not U.S.-friendly, in contrast to smart countries, which are friendly to the United States and do not have oil. The authors conclude that it is in the U.S. interest to support education and economic diversification in petro-states so those states can become more entrepreneurial and friendly.

See more in Oil; Entrepreneurship; Global

Policy Options Paper—Kenya

Policy Options Paper—Kenya

Author: Michelle D. Gavin

How should the United States respond to Kenya’s political crisis in the wake of the power-sharing deal announced on February 28, 2008? In this POP, Adjunct Fellow Michelle D. Gavin suggests steps the Bush administration could take to promote political and ethnic reconciliation and to restore the viability of Kenya’s governing institutions.

See more in Elections; Kenya

Policy Options Paper—Pakistan

Policy Options Paper—Pakistan

Author: Daniel S. Markey

In this paper, the first of a new publication type from the Council called the Policy Options Paper, Senior Fellow Daniel Markey poses a set of recommendations for the United States to consider in response to Pakistan’s ongoing political crisis—in particular, what position the Bush administration should take with regard to the country’s upcoming national elections.

See more in Pakistan; Elections

Africa-China-U.S. Trilateral Dialogue

Africa-China-U.S. Trilateral Dialogue

Over the course of thirteen months, delegates from Africa, China, and the United States met three times in an effort to identify strategies of cooperation among their respective nations with the goal of accelerating economic development in Africa. This overview describes why the trilateral dialogue was established, how it was implemented, and what it achieved.

See more in China; United States; Africa (sub-Saharan); Politics and Strategy

Planning for Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

Planning for Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

Author: Michelle D. Gavin

Since 2000, President Robert Mugabe’s refusal to tolerate challenges to his power has led him to systematically dismantle the workings of Zimbabwe’s economic and political systems, replacing them with structures of corruption, intimidation, and repression. Michelle D. Gavin surveys the current situation in Zimbabwe, identifying current structural and legal impediments to economic and political recovery.

See more in Zimbabwe; Nation Building

The Case for Wage Insurance

The Case for Wage Insurance

Author: Robert J. LaLonde

A flexible labor market and an open economy are crucial to economic competitiveness, but can sometimes cause prime-aged and older workers to suffer large, long-term income losses. This report explains why existing government programs, which emphasize retraining and insurance for short-term job loss, don't assuage workers' fears about globalization. It also proposes a shift of resources from existing programs to wage insurance.

See more in Business and Foreign Policy; Trade; United States; Labor