Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

3 Things to Watch for in Putin’s State of the Union Speech

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Senior Fellow Stephen Sestanovich argues that to understand where Vladimir Putin will lead Russia, viewers should look to three things in his state of the union address: how he defines the country’s present problems, what he proposes as solutions to them, and how he sets out his long-term vision for Russia.

See more in Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State

What to Expect from Obama?

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

Following Barack Obama's executive action to give as many as five million immigrants legal status in the United States, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on other potential areas where the President could leave his mark during his last two years in office.

See more in United States; Climate Change; Immigration

Reading Pyongyang’s Intentions with Japan

Author: Sheila A. Smith
38 North

Sheila Smith examines how domestic pressure in Japan, the release of U.S. citizens detained by North Korea, and a new UN resolution referring North Korean leaders to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity could potentially shape Tokyo’s ongoing efforts to learn the fates of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang decades ago.

See more in Japan; North Korea; Treaties and Agreements

China’s ADIZ at One Year: International Legal Issues

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

Matthew Waxman reflects on the international legality of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), declared by China one year ago. Importantly, this zone includes a large area of the East China Sea, including islands the legal possession of which China disputes with Japan. Waxman discusses the somewhat ambiguous and developing legal field surrounding ADIZs in this particular context and beyond.

See more in China; Regional Security; International Law

Should the U.S. Take Unilateral Action on Climate Policy?

Authors: Michael A. Levi and Andrew P. Morriss
Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal asks Michael Levi and Andrew P. Morriss whether the U.S. should act unilaterally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Levi answers “yes,” arguing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions now would enhance public health and the international credibility of the United States, and that reasonable action now would reduce long-term costs.

See more in United States; Environmental Policy

Exaggeration Nation

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

The threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is being overblown to a dangerous and untruthful degree by U.S. government officials, who are getting away with it without question. Micah Zenko argues that U.S. officials must envision America’s enemies “more accurately and honestly.”

See more in United States; Terrorist Organizations and Networks

I’m Back From Liberia and Under a (Self-Imposed) Quarantine in Brooklyn

Author: Laurie Garrett
ForeignPolicy.com

Going from Monrovia, Liberia to Belgium to New York meant enduring power outages, fever checks, Ebola questionnaires, and the hallway from hell. But the hysteria that dominated America's view of Ebola and the open disdain for travelers from the hard-hit region that was the norm in the United States in late October have yielded to what seems a very rational, smart way of keeping track of returnees

See more in Liberia; United States; Public Health Threats and Pandemics

The Death of Strategy

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

Julia Sweig reflects in her column this week on the challenges in U.S.-Latin American relations, and the failure of Washington to create basic guideposts based on a realistic assessment of the political, economic, security and demographic dimensions of our interdependence, our fault-lines and the opportunities therein

See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; Politics and Strategy