All CFR Reports

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

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Energy

Author: Charles D. Ferguson

This report examines the contributions that an expanded use of nuclear energy can make to improving energy security and reducing global warming while balancing these benefits against the risks and lingering questions over nuclear energy’s safety and security.

See more in United States; Nuclear Energy

Nigeria

Nigeria

Author: Robert I. Rotberg

This report describes what steps might be taken by Nigerians and the international community to avoid a breakdown of democracy, and possibly stability, in the wake of Nigeria’s April 2007 electoral contest and to tackle Nigeria’s fundamental challenges of governance, security, and development in the longer term.

See more in Nation Building; Nigeria

The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration

The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration

Author: Gordon H. Hanson

This report examines the economics of illegal immigration and finds that the fiscal benefits of illegal immigration offset its costs. Further, the report finds that the flexibility provided by the illegal immigration system that benefits the U.S. economy cannot be provided by the legal immigration system.

See more in Immigration; United States

Somalia's Future

Somalia's Future

Authors: Jennifer Cooke and David Henek

This report is a collaborative effort drawn up in a response to a request from Congress to examine the situation in Somalia, namely options for diplomacy.

See more in Somalia; Conflict Prevention

After the Surge

After the Surge

Author: Steven Simon

This Council Special Report concludes that only if the United States disengages militarily will it minimize the strategic costs of its failure in Iraq.

See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare