“The United States, through Alaska, is a significant Arctic nation with strategic, economic, and scientific interests,” asserts a new Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored (CFR) Independent Task Force report, Arctic Imperatives: Reinforcing U.S. Strategy on America’s Fourth Coast. With the Arctic “warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet” and melting sea ice opening up this resource-rich region to new trade routes and commercial activities, the report stresses that “the United States needs to increase its strategic commitment to the region or risk leaving its interests unprotected.”
See more in Arctic; Climate Change
“[Vladimir] Putin’s aggression makes the possibility of a war in Europe between nuclear-armed adversaries frighteningly real,” writes Kimberly Marten in a new Council Special Report on tensions between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). She outlines how U.S. policymakers can deter Russian aggression with robust support for NATO, while reassuring Russia of NATO’s defensive intentions through clear words and actions based in international law.
See more in Russia and Central Asia; NATO
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) welcomes two experts on national security, Charles A. Kupchan and Ely Ratner, to its David Rockefeller Studies Program.
See more in Europe; China; Defense and Security
Cyber threats are escalating in sophistication and magnitude, but mistrust between Washington and Silicon Valley continues to stymie progress on cybersecurity. In a new Council Special Report, Adam Segal examines the security risks exacerbated by the divide between government and the technology community and offers policy recommendations to help restore trust.
See more in United States; Russia and Central Asia; Cybersecurity; Business and Foreign Policy
Former United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman will join the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) this month as a distinguished fellow, where his work will focus on international economic policy and trends, trade and investment policy, and globalization and populism.
See more in Global; Trade; Globalization
“Over the course of the war, U.S. bombing of Laos would become so intense that it averaged one attack every eight minutes for nearly a decade,” observes Joshua Kurlantzick in his new book, A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA. Kurlantzick, a Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia, mines extensive interviews and recently declassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) records to give a definitive account of the secret war in the tiny Southeast Asian nation of Laos, which lasted from 1961 to 1973, and was the largest covert operation in U.S. history. The conflict forever changed the CIA from a relatively small spying agency into an organization with vast paramilitary powers.
See more in Laos; Vietnam; Intelligence; Wars and Warfare
“These are no ordinary times. It will not be business as usual in a world of disarray; as a result, it cannot be foreign policy as usual,” writes Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), in his latest book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order—a timely examination of a world increasingly defined by disorder. In three parts, the book contemplates the history of world order from the rise of the modern state system to the end of the Cold War; accounts for the momentous shifts in the last quarter century to shed light on the current state of affairs, and outlines specific steps to tackle the many challenges ahead.
See more in Global; Politics and Strategy
A serious military confrontation between Russia and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member state or a severe crisis in North Korea are among top international concerns for 2017 cited by a new survey of experts. The Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) ninth annual Preventive Priorities Survey identified seven top potential flashpoints for the United States in the year ahead.
See more in Global; Conflict Prevention
Historian Niall Ferguson has won the fifteenth annual Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Arthur Ross Book Award for Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist (Penguin Press), the first in a two-volume biography of the former national security advisor Henry A. Kissinger, and will receive $15,000. On December 14, CFR will honor Ferguson—a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and Harvard University’s Center for European Studies—and the other awardees at a cocktail reception hosted by Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs and chair of the independent award jury.
See more in Global; Society and Culture; Politics and Strategy
Following its independence in 2011, three years of civil war have left South Sudan on the cusp of full-scale genocide, with its sovereignty discredited and undermined by warring elites.
See more in South Sudan; Wars and Warfare; Fragile or Failed States
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is in trouble,” warn Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellows Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon in a new Council Special Report, Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship. Significant policy differences over issues in the Middle East, as well as changing demographics and politics within both the United States and Israel, have pushed the two countries apart. Blackwill, a former senior official in the Bush administration, and Gordon, a former senior official in the Obama administration, call for “a deliberate and sustained effort by policymakers and opinion leaders in both countries” to repair the relationship and to avoid divisions “that no one who cares about Israel’s security or America’s values and interests in the Middle East should want.”
See more in Israel; Diplomacy and Statecraft
In Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, Council on Foreign Relations Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow Edward Alden explains why the political consensus in support of trade liberalization has collapsed, and how to correct the course. The United States has contributed more than any other nation to writing the rules that created the competitive global economy of today, helping support stronger growth in much of the world. Yet successive U.S. administrations have done far too little to help Americans succeed under those rules, says Alden.
See more in United States; China; Globalization; Trade
Acclaimed writer and historian Jay Winik has joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as its first historian-in-residence. A New York Times best-selling author, Winik will spend the year at CFR looking at lessons from history for today’s pressing foreign policy challenges.
See more in Global; Politics and Strategy
Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan was once hailed as the omnipotent “maestro” of the U.S. economy, but his reputation suffered in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. In The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, a new biography based on five years of research and unmatched access to Greenspan, Sebastian Mallaby presents a nuanced assessment of one of the most influential economic statesmen of the twentieth century and issues a warning about the future of finance. The story of Greenspan, according to Mallaby, is the story of the making of modern finance, for good and for ill.
See more in United States; Financial Crises; Banks and Banking
Get up to speed on the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates' foreign policy stances.
See more in United States; Elections
A new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Independent Task Force report, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, finds that the United States’ policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea will neither halt that country’s recurring and dangerous cycle of provocation nor ensure the stability of Northeast Asia in the future. To the contrary, the Task Force warns, “If allowed to continue, current trends will predictably, progressively, and gravely threaten U.S. national security interests and those of its allies.”
See more in North Korea; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament; Sanctions
The results of a survey commissioned by the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Geographic Society highlight significant gaps in what college-aged students understand about the world and what they need to know in order to contend with a world that is more interconnected than ever.
See more in Global; Society and Culture
The 2016 Summer Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this Friday, August 5. To help better understand the full significance of the Olympic games, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Foreign Affairs offer resources on the games' political, economic, and health implications for Brazil and the world.
See more in Brazil; Health
To assist generations of U.S. policymakers to navigate the complexities of cyber and other technological threats, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has launched the Ira A. Lipman Chair in Emerging Technologies and National Security, named for longtime CFR member Ira A. Lipman, the founder and chairman emeritus of Guardsmark, LLC—one of the world’s largest security services companies.
See more in United States; Cybersecurity
Ahead of the United Kingdom's June 23 referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Foreign Affairs offer resources on "Brexit."
See more in United Kingdom; Economics