Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

The Self-Contradictory 'Stand' Against the PATRIOT Act

Author: Max Boot
Commentary

“Had the program been in place more than a decade ago, it would likely have prevented 9/11. And it has the potential to prevent the next 9/11.”So wrote Mike Morrell, the CIA’s former acting director, about section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes the National Security Agency to search telephone “metadata” (i.e., connections between telephone numbers not the content of calls) to ferret out terrorists. Now section 215 is no more.

See more in United States; Intelligence

Will China Close Its Doors?

Authors: Jerome A. Cohen and Ira Belkin
The New York Times

In this op-ed, coauthored with Ira Belkin, Cohen argues that a draft law targeting foreign institutions — including universities, museums, athletic and cultural groups, professional associations and all nonprofit social organizations established outside of mainland China — makes clear that Beijing has become much less welcoming.

See more in China; Nonstate Actors and Nongovernmental Organizations; Politics and Strategy

Did the Game Just Change in the South China Sea? (And What Should the U.S. Do About It?)

Author: Jerome A. Cohen
China File

As the 14th annual Asia Security Summit—or the Shangri-la Dialogue, as it has come to be known—gets underway in Singapore, we asked contributors to comment on what appears to be a recent escalation in tensions between the U.S. and China over the two countries’ presence in the South China Sea.

See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Conflict Assessment

America's Virulent, Extremist Counterterrorism Ideology

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

There has been a recent shift in America’s counterterrorism ideology, argues Micah Zenko, which accepts the idea that the United States is in a perpetual war with terrorism and fails to recognize that the U.S. counterterrorism policy is failing. “The only ideology that the United States can influence or control is its own.

See more in United States; Counterterrorism

A Constructive Ban-the-Bomb Movement

Authors: Adam Mount and Naomi Egel
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

On Monday, diplomats will gather in New York for a conference to review the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Held once every five years, the Review Conference is an opportunity to assess progress on the treaty’s basic bargain: States without nuclear weapons promise not to build them if the five nuclear states promise to get rid of theirs. This conference comes at a critical time. For 70 years, the nonproliferation regime has limited the spread of nuclear weapons. Today, it is marked by deep discord.

See more in Global; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament