Contingency Planning Memoranda

Contingency Planning Memoranda, from CFR's Center for Preventive Action, identify plausible scenarios that could have serious consequences for U.S. interests and propose measures to both prevent and mitigate them.

Renewed Confrontation in Georgia

Author: David J. Kramer

With U.S.-Russia relations already at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, renewed confrontation between Russia and Georgia would make matters considerably worse. David J. Kramer analyzes the likelihood of conflict between the two countries in the next twelve to eighteen months.

See more in Georgia; Conflict Prevention

Growing Stress on Jordan

Authors: Robert Satloff and David Schenker

Although the Hashemite Kingdom has vitiated its most potent tribal and Islamist domestic political opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood. But as the risk of domestic unrest has diminished, the potential for spillover from the Syrian conflict has grown, posing an increasing threat to Jordan.

See more in Jordan; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Refugees and the Displaced

Armed Confrontation Between China and India

Author: Daniel S. Markey

Although China and India have repeatedly demonstrated a mutual desire to prevent conflict, the potential for their relationship to deteriorate is ever present. A border clash, conflict with Pakistan, maritime skirmish, or crisis over Tibet could raise tensions to the point of armed confrontation. Daniel S. Markey explains how the United States can promote peaceful relations between the world's two largest countries.

See more in China; India; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Regional Security

Strategic Risks of Ambiguity in Cyberspace

Author: Benjamin Brake

Ambiguity in cyberspace—in terms of who is responsible for and the intent of a cyberattack—poses a growing risk of unnecessary military escalation in and outside the cyber domain. Benjamin Brake details how the Obama administration can strengthen its ability to correctly and efficiently attribute an ambiguous attack, reduce the likelihood of its escalation, and mitigate the consequences.

See more in Global; Cybersecurity

Renewed Conflict in Lebanon

Author: Mona Yacoubian
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.

See more in Lebanon; Conflict Prevention; Regional Security

Dangerous Space Incidents

Author: Micah Zenko

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.

See more in Global; Space

Political Instability in Jordan

Authors: Robert Satloff and David Schenker

Robert Satloff and David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy describe conceivable contingencies that pose serious threats to Jordan's stability and provide recommendations on how U.S. policymakers can help manage potentially destabilizing economic and political change in the country.

See more in Conflict Prevention; Jordan; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Electoral Violence in Kenya

Author: Joel D. Barkan

In the run-up to Kenya's March 2013 elections, the United States can take measures to prevent a repeat of the electoral violence that broke out across the country in 2007.

See more in Kenya; Elections

Political Unrest in Venezuela

Author: Patrick Duddy

In Venezuela's upcoming elections, President Hugo Chavez—suffering from poor health—faces his strongest challenger yet. Former ambassador Patrick D. Duddy argues that the United States should prepare for political unrest.

See more in Elections; Venezuela

Renewed Violence in Iraq

Author: Douglas A. Ollivant

Though violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since 2003, internal and regional dynamics threaten its stability. Douglas Ollivant, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, , argues that despite the U.S. military withdrawal, the United States has a significant stake in helping Iraq overcome threats of ethnosectarian violence and a breakdown of constitutional order.

See more in Iraq; Nation Building; Defense and Security

Post-Qaddafi Instability in Libya

Author: Daniel P. Serwer

Public disorder and instability in Libya could emerge if the Qaddafi regime falls. The United States should support a stabilization effort to prevent the potential consequences of regime failure.

See more in Libya; Conflict Prevention

Crisis in the Congo

Author: Joshua Marks

Electoral instability and insurrectionary violence may once again afflict the Democratic Republic of Congo. Joshua Marks of the National Endowment for Democracy proposes steps the United States can take to prevent these scenarios from occurring and, if they occur, mitigate their potential consequences.

See more in Elections; Congo, Democratic Republic of