Articles

Academic articles by CFR fellows and experts.

Spotlight on Cyber VI: Respecting the Digital Rubicon: How the DoD Should Defend The U.S. Homeland

Author: Robert K. Knake
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

Rob Knake argues that the DoD must coordinate its role with the civilian agencies responsible for domestic security, not replace them. Its job is to conduct operations in cyberspace to blunt threats to the United States when network defenses are overwhelmed, not to operate those defenses. To do so would take our military service across the Digital Rubicon.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity; Defense Technology

Globalization Resets

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
International Monetary Fund

International financial flows have declined significantly since 2008, and world trade is stagnating. Rather than portending a period of de-globalization, Sebastian Mallaby analyzes the data more closely to suggest a reset, not a reversal, of globalization.

See more in Global; Globalization; Economics

How Trump Can Avoid His Predecessors’ Iran Mistakes

Author: Ray Takeyh
Politico

There are important lessons for the incoming Trump administration on Iran they can learn from their predecessors, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh. They should recognize that the Islamic Republic is a unitary nation-state purged of reformers, that it is susceptible to a threat of force, and that Iran is not interested in normalizing relations with the United States.

See more in Iran; Conflict Assessment

America’s Home-Made Raw Deal for Workers

Author: Edward Alden
The Globalist

A few weeks into President-elect Trump’s transition, Edward Alden says, “it is a new day in U.S. trade relations with the world. A nation that has long seen trade as a ‘win-win’—good for American companies, good for Americans, good for the world—is now asking a different question: what’s in it for us?” 

See more in United States; Trade; Labor

A Checklist for Mitt Romney to Consider Before Signing On as Trump’s Secretary of State

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump’s meeting with Mitt Romney this weekend has fueled speculation that the 2012 Republican presidential nominee may be Mr. Trump’s choice for secretary of state. If the president-elect makes the offer, Mr. Romney ought to be ready with a list of conditions for taking the job.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Organization of Government

How to Talk to Donald Trump About Valuing U.S. Allies

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Mr. Trump needs to understand that, in a world where the balance of power is changing, the point of alliances isn’t just to keep large powers from pushing small ones around.  It’s also to keep large powers from pushing us around. If a businessman-turned-president can’t see that, he’s got the wrong job, argues Stephen Sestanovich. 

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Diplomacy and Statecraft

How to Help Workers Laid Low by Trade—and Why We Haven’t

Author: Edward Alden
PBS NewsHour

"The failure to help American workers adjust to the new scale and intensity of global competition is one of the bigger mistakes of U.S. government economic policy in the last half century, one that has resulted in an enormous waste of human capacity and in eroding popular support for international trade and U.S. engagement with the world,” says Edward Alden in PBS NewsHour. 

See more in United States; Trade; Globalization

Post-Election, Will the U.S. Have an Asia Policy?

Author: Sheila A. Smith
East Asia Forum

Among many challenges revealed during the 2016 presidential election to the Obama adminisration’s rebalance to Asia, Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, notes “it is the United States’ own commitment to the region that seems the most fragile.”

See more in United States; Asia and Pacific; Elections; International Organizations and Alliances

How The Next U.S. President Can Contain China In Cyberspace

Authors: Robert K. Knake and Adam Segal
Journal of International Affairs

When transition planning gets underway in earnest this fall, one of the hardest memos to write will be the outbrief from the current National Security Council (NSC) team on what to do about China’s ongoing campaign of cyber espionage targeting the intellectual property of U.S. companies. While long a focus of both the president’s cyber and China teams, there is little chance that in the coming months the issue is going to be brought to any type of resolution. Instead, the next president will inherit a partially implemented plan that has produced positive results in the short term, but its long-term sustainability remains uncertain. He or she would be wise to follow the playbook left by the Obama administration, with a redoubled focus on the investigation and prosecution of cybercrime.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity; China