Authors: Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh Washington Post
Contrary to his image as a “pragmatist,” former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died last week, brandished a moderate image that concealed the reality of his militancy, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with Reuel Gerecht. Instead, Rafsanjani was the most consequential architect of the theocracy’s machinery of repression and regional ambitions and a primary sponsor of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear aspirations.
Last week’s rollout of new sanctions against Russia by the Obama administration answered many questions about Moscow’s alleged hacking activities. But it didn’t address one crucial question, writes Stephen Sestanovich.
Jay Winik commends President-elect Trump’s irrepressible spirit and boldness while simultaneously cautioning him to be mindful of the unique demands put upon the occupant of the Oval Office, as demonstrated through a collection of past presidencies.
After responding to Syria’s war with strong rhetoric but mostly tepid action, the United States must now set limited goals if it is going to accomplish even a limited amount of good, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Last week the Obama administration abandoned Israel at the United Nations, allowing the passage of a damaging and hostile Security Council resolution. In an op-ed entitled “The United States Just Made Middle East Peace Harder” in The Washington Post, Elliott Abrams explained his views.
This was a serious strategy pursued energetically by leaders of both the United States and Russia. For many years it seemed to work. That it has lately yielded to acrimony and division does not mean there was a better choice, argues Stephen Sestanovich.
Authors: Varun Sivaram, Colin McCormick, and David Hart Morning Consult
Varun Sivaram builds the case for energy innovation under the Trump Administration. He argues that President Trump should focus the government on technology-specific missions, reform the sprawling set of energy-focused federal institutions, and invest in research and development.
"The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty."
The United Nations said that in 2005 about its "responsibility to protect." It's the concept that "if a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations."
And here is what UN officials said this week when describing what is happening in Syria: "A complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo."
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is by all accounts a shrewd, pragmatic, and successful dealmaker. In another administration, he might have made an excellent secretary of State. Serving a president with a strong moral grounding and certain fixed principles, he might have been successful in sanding off the rough edges and making the compromises necessary to get things done. But under Donald Trump, a man of few if any discernible principles beyond a desire for self-aggrandizement, he would be a dangerous choice because his role will be not just to implement policy but—more than most previous secretaries of State—to shape it.
The Middle East will not find peace so long as President Bashar al-Assad rules over a truncated Syria, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Assad’s victory over the rebels in Aleppo will not result in stability for the rest of the country or the region.
When the Chinese Foreign Ministry expresses “serious concern” about things Donald Trump has said about Taiwan—and a party-controlled newspaper calls him “as ignorant as a child”—it’s clear that Beijing is alarmed. Yet after spending last week in China, I came away struck by the overall complacency of Chinese attitudes toward the president-elect, writes Stephen Sestanovich.
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »
The Fall 2016 issue of CFR's member newsletter, the Chronicle, is a guide to CFR's most important news since August 2016, and includes announcements about new programs, partnerships, fellows, meetings, publications, and members. Read it now.
Now Available: Foreign Policy Begins at Home
The biggest threat to America's security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in his provocative new book. More