Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

How to Clean Up the Mess in Venezuela

Author: Shannon K. O'Neil
USNews

To stop the worst hemispheric crisis in decades, President Donald Trump needs a policy that includes not only tough words but also concrete actions. But the United States can’t do it alone. To help rather than hurt U.S. interests, the United States should assemble a diplomatic effort against Venezuela's increasingly repressive regime, writes Shannon O’Neil.

See more in Venezuela; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Conflict Assessment

Don’t Abdicate America’s Leadership Role at the IMF

Authors: Douglas A. Rediker and Heidi Crebo-Rediker
ForeignPolicy.com

During his campaign, Donald Trump persuaded voters that he would look after “America First.” It would be hard to find an institution that plays a greater role in supporting the economic and strategic interests of the United States than does the IMF. Therefore, it would be in the United States’ and the world’s interests if Secretary Mnuchin were to deliver a strong and clear statement of support for the IMF from its biggest beneficiary.

See more in United States; International Organizations and Alliances

The Second Year of Europe

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate

French election results could mean the end of the country's membership in both the European Union and NATO, raising existential questions for both organizations, and for all of Europe, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.

See more in France; EU; Politics and Strategy

How Will Trump Get Us From Tomahawks to the Peace Table?

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Defense One

While numerous questions remain as to how the Syrian conflict will end, all sides agree that talks should continue in Geneva. “The Geneva process is exhausting and frequently has felt futile,” writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, “…but it still exists and offers a framework to end these wars.”

See more in Syria; Russian Federation; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights; Treaties and Agreements

The Trump Doctrine Was Written By CNN

Author: Max Boot
ForeignPolicy.com

Far from decisive, Trump’s decision to fire cruise missiles against a single air base in Syria was reminiscent of the kind of low-risk cruise missile attacks that Republicans have mocked in the past for their symbolic, ineffectual nature. While it is a good thing Trump did act, it is hard to know what larger lessons about U.S. policy in the world or in Syria itself one can draw from this decision. The Trump doctrine appears to be: The United States reserves the right to use force whenever the president is upset by something he sees on TV.

See more in Syria; Defense and Security; Media and Foreign Policy

How Trump Can Help Cripple the Iranian Regime

Authors: Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh
Washington Post

The United States can cripple the Iranian regime if it doesn’t compromise the battle on the ground for fear of compromising arms control, argue Reuel Gerecht and CFR’s Ray Takeyh. America should fight Iran’s proxy militias in the regions, support popular movements against the Islamic Republic, and make human rights a priority for its Iran policy.

See more in Iran; Human Rights; Politics and Strategy

What Was the Legal Basis for the U.S. Air Strikes Against Syria?

Author: John B. Bellinger III
Lawfare

The United States has just launched a missile attack against Syrian air bases, apparently in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.  (The attack apparently was launched in the middle of President Trump's dinner with Chinese President Xi, and is not likely to make the Chinese very happy.) 

See more in United States; Syria; Defense Strategy; Military Operations