Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

The Wisdom of The Hague’s South China Sea Decision

Author: Jerome A. Cohen
Wall Street Journal

Jerome A. Cohen discusses the verdict in the Philippines’ case against China in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In this op-ed, Cohen writes about the importance of the decision both in drawing greater attention to the role of arbitration in international relations and in ruling that none of the Spratlys are entitled to an exclusive economic zone. 

See more in Asia and Pacific; Politics and Strategy

U.S. Needs New South China Sea Strategy To Contain Beijing

Author: Jennifer M. Harris
Newsweek

On Tuesday, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration issued its final ruling in a landmark case between the Philippines and China over disputed maritime claims in the South China Sea. The object of intense global interest, the three-year-old case has come to serve as a bellwether for the kind of rising power China intends to be.

See more in China; United States; Regional Security

How Little Do U.S. Allies in NATO Spend on Defense?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

When President Barack Obama sits down with the leaders of allied governments in Warsaw on Friday, there will be much talk of the revitalization of NATO. Much of it will even be justified: The alliance is making its security guarantees more meaningful by deploying more troops with better equipment to front-line Eastern European states.

See more in United States; Defense Budget; International Organizations and Alliances

New International Energy Forum Focuses on Innovation

Authors: Varun Sivaram and Graham Pugh
The Hill

Last month, energy ministers from around the world gathered in San Francisco for the annual Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), which for the past seven years has focused on deploying existing clean energy technologies around the world. But for the first time, clean energy innovation was on the gathering’s agenda as well. In a parallel “Mission Innovation” Ministerial (MIM), twenty countries and the European Union — accounting for over 80 percent of the world’s public energy research and development (R&D) funding — committed to collectively double R&D funding to $30 billion by 2021.

See more in Global; Energy Policy; Climate Change

Turkey’s in a Terrible Spot

Author: Steven A. Cook
Slate

Security in Turkey has deteriorated in recent years as the country’s leadership seeks to influence conflicts around its borders, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Turkish policies toward Syria, the Kurds, Iraq, and the fight against the self-declared Islamic State has contributed to the rise of terrorism in Turkey, including the attack on the Istanbul airport.

 

See more in Turkey; Politics and Strategy

Why Brexit Alarms Britain’s Baltic Allies

Author: Max Boot
Washington Post

The world is transfixed by Britain’s referendum Thursday over whether to stay in the European Union. Some of the most interested and anxious spectators of the “Brexit” debate are in the Baltic republics, where I recently spent a week meeting with political and military leaders as part of a delegation from the Jamestown Foundation.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances

After Orlando, a Long War

Author: Max Boot

The massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando—the worst act of terrorism on American soil since the attacks of 9/11—had barely ended when the debate over its significance began. As usual, the political class divided into competing camps, with liberals predictably claiming that the real issue is gun control and conservatives just as predictably claiming that the real issue is radical Islam. There wasn’t even agreement over whether this was a hate crime or an act of terrorism. (Why couldn’t it be both?)

See more in United States; Terrorism

Under Russia’s Shadow

Author: Max Boot
Weekly Standard

In the 20th century, few nations suffered as much as the Baltic republics—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Their brief taste of freedom, made possible by the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917-1918, was snuffed out in 1940 when Russian armies marched back in, this time under the banner of the commissars rather than the czars. When the German Army invaded the following year, many Balts saw them as liberators. But the cruel nature of Nazi rule soon became apparent. 

See more in Russia and Central Asia; Defense and Security