Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

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

2014: The Year in Cyberattacks

Author: Sharone Tobias
Newsweek

While Sony may have dominated the news toward the end of 2014, three major cyberattacks against U.S. companies shook the corporate world earlier this year: Target opened the year by announcing in January that hackers had stolen personal information from an estimated 110 million accounts; hackers accessed approximately 83 million J.P. Morgan Chase accounts in August; and Home Depot confirmed that its payment system was breached in September, compromising an estimated 56 million accounts. Here’s a look back at the details of each of those attacks, and how they affected the conversation about cybersecurity in the United States and the corporate sector.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity

The Best Worst Quotes of 2014

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

The rise of purported threats such as Ebola and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, military intervention in Syria, and shifting military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2014 resulted in numerous notable quotes—whether puzzling, hypocritical, factually incorrect, or revealing—from U.S. officials and policymakers. In his annual article, Micah highlighted the top twenty foreign policy quotes of the year.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures

1959 to 2014

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

Follow President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro's near simultaneous announcements to recast U.S.-Cuba relations, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on potential changes that may occur in the next five to ten years. 

See more in Cuba; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Why Air Disasters Keep Happening in Southeast Asia

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
BusinessWeek

In the past year, Southeast Asia has suffered an unprecedented number of air travel-related tragedies. Josh Kurlantzick posits that the weak safety regulations of new low-cost carriers, air traffic controllers, and airspace in that part of the world, may lend insight into why several such tragedies have occurred in such close proximity to one another. 

See more in Asia and Pacific; Development

Rebrand It However You Want, but Afghanistan Is Still at War

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

Imagine President Franklin Roosevelt announcing at the end of 1944, after the liberation of France but before the final defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, that World War II was over and that U.S. forces were ending combat operations. Instead we would support our allies, from Britain to China, in their fight against the Axis powers.

See more in Afghanistan; United States; Wars and Warfare; Terrorist Organizations and Networks

How the Fed Flubbed It

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
The Atlantic

CFR Senior Fellow Sebastian Mallaby reviews economic historian Barry Eichengreen's newest book Hall of Mirrors, which argues that history should have guided U.S. and European central bankers toward better decisions during the 2008 financial crisis.

See more in United States; Financial Crises

Sorry, But North Korea Isn’t a State Sponsor of Terrorism

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Senior administration officials have discussed the possibility of placing North Korea on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list after the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Micah Zenko argues that North Korea is not a state-sponsor of terrorism and “rather than misapplying this outdated punishment against countries that the United States has non-terrorism-related disagreements with, an entirely new designation is necessary.”

See more in United States; North Korea; State Sponsors of Terrorism

Castro, Cuba, Obama-and Iran

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

Elliott Abrams argues in The Weekly Standard that President Obama’s actions on Cuba today constitute the triumph of ideology over American national interest. Moreover, he writes, reversing a policy of a half-century’s standing in exchange for nothing—no human rights changes in Cuba at all—cannot be reassuring to countries that depend on American policy reliability.

See more in Cuba; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft