Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

The 18 Essential Foreign-Policy Questions Clinton and Trump Need to Answer

Author: Laurie Garrett
ForeignPolicy.com

As America prepared for the foreign-policy fireworks in Sunday night’s second presidential debate, a town hall format co-moderated by ABC News’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, columnists posed the questions they’d want to put to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—and why it’s so important that America’s next president have the answer. In no particular order, here are their toughest questions.

See more in United States; Elections

There’s a Way Obama’s White House Can Save Syrian Lives, There’s Just No Will

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Defense One

While increased U.S. military action in Syria may be favored by numerous policymakers, the Obama administration remains unwilling to sanction further intervention. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon writes that “The Obama White House has long argued that it was elected to end wars in the Middle East, not to escalate them…” but meanwhile, Aleppo remains “full of carnage and bunker-busting munitions with rockets falling on children and no hope of escape for anyone.”

See more in Syria; United States; Conflict Assessment

America Is Turning Into a Confederacy of Dunces

Author: Max Boot
Foreign Policy

Why is Donald Trump within a whisker of the White House? Two-thirds of the country can’t even name the three branches of government. If we don’t revitalize civics education, we will be entrusting our future to people who know little to nothing of the way our government works. The way we are going, one of these days a Bernie Sanders or, heaven help us, a Donald Trump will not just be a candidate for president. He will actually become president, writes Max Boot.

See more in United States; Elections; Society and Culture

Republicans Are Paying the Price for Their Addiction to Their Own Media

Author: Max Boot
Washington Post

This election year is memorable for many reasons but among the most important is showing Republicans the cost of their infatuation with “alternative” news sources. The right’s addiction to its own news has become destructive. Whether Trump wins or loses, conservatives need to re-evaluate their infatuation with “alternative” news sources that tell them what they want to hear and join a more mainstream conversation that includes different points of view.

See more in United States; Elections; Media and Foreign Policy

Bill Clinton’s Post-Presidential Adventures in Philanthropy and Legacy Building

Author: Carla Anne Robbins
The Washington Post

The American people tend not to trust Hillary Clinton, despite her and Bill’s best efforts to combat these sentiments. In this review of Joe Conason's book, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, Carla Anne Robbins explores why the Clintons have had trouble with their public image.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Aleppo: Where Children Die, but the World Does Nothing

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

Many experts and policymakers had predicted the humanitarian catastrophe that is underway in Aleppo, but no one is willing to intervene. “There is nothing either timely or decisive about the world’s approach to Syria, which has become the theater in which global and regional actors pursue their own goals,” writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.  

See more in Syria; Humanitarian Intervention

Iran’s Likely Next Supreme Leader Is No Friend of the West

Author: Ray Takeyh
Washington Post

The man most likely to succeed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Iran's supreme leader, Ibrahim Raisi, is neither pragmatic nor friendly to the West, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh. Raisi, who heads one of the Islamic Republic's largest charitable foundations, embodies the repressive and revolutionary values of the regime and would continue Iran's transformation into a police state.

See more in Iran; Presidents and Chiefs of State