Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

Obama Should Push to Give Workers a Stake

Author: Peter R. Orszag
Bloomberg View

Here's a good idea that I'd like to see prominent in President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech tonight: shared capitalism. That is, stock-ownership plans or simple profit-sharing schemes for corporate employees. These plans have been shown to effectively align workers' incentives with those of the company's equity owners, but they have not received much attention lately.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Somalia: The Next Oil Superpower?

Author: Alexander Dick-Godfrey
National Interest Online

Last month, Soma Oil and Gas, a London based energy company, searching for hydrocarbon deposits off the coast of Somalia, announced that it had completed a seismic survey to ascertain the potential for recoverable oil and gas deposits. Although further details have yet to be released, chief executive Rob Sheppard announced that the results were encouraging. However, Somalia, and potential investors, should proceed with caution when considering entering this frontier market.

See more in Somalia; Oil

What President Obama Should Say About Guantanamo in the State of the Union

Author: John B. Bellinger III
Lawfare

John Bellinger argues that President Obama’s categorical dismissal of Guantanamo as a “facility that should have never been opened” needlessly politicizes the issue, alienating the congressional Republicans whose support he will need to close it.  President Obama should use his State of the Union address the most compelling reason for Guantanamo’s closure: that its existence has now become a recruiting tool for terrorists around the world.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Match Workers to Jobs

Authors: Edward Alden and Robert Maxim
The Hill

The United States once had the world’s most efficient market for matching willing workers with available jobs. As recently as 2000, scarcely one-in-ten unemployed workers had been out of a job for more than six months, compared with more than half of unemployed workers in the major European nations.

See more in United States; Labor

Iranian Reformers Oppose Government's Nuclear Ambitions

Author: Ray Takeyh
Los Angeles Times

While the supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains Iran’s most consequential decision-maker, many of Iran’s most popular yet purged opposition leaders have decried the nuclear program as not economically beneficial, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Given that these reformers could win open and free elections, it is important to pay close attention to their arguments.

See more in Iran; Nuclear Energy

A Consequential Terror Attack in Paris

Author: Max Boot
Commentary

The U.S. has 9/11. Spain has 11-M (the March 11, 2004, bombings of the Madrid commuter trains which killed 191). Britain has 7/7 (a reference to the July 7, 2005 bombings which killed 52 people taking public transportation in London). And now, on a slightly smaller but still horrific scale, France has 1/7: the assault by three masked gunmen on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which left 12 people dead.

See more in France; Terrorist Attacks

Will Voters Choose the ‘Nixon’ Candidate in 2016?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

With Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee about to enter the 2016 presidential race, I’m reminded of a friend’s joking prediction that next time around the American people may be looking for Richard Nixon. He meant that after a fling with more interesting leaders, the voters could decide on someone seasoned, predictable, and reliable–even someone they don’t feel too good about. That was Nixon in 1968–a political figure long out of office, associated with a distant administration, his career seemingly over but able to make a comeback in hard times.

See more in United States; Elections