Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

America Is Turning Into a Confederacy of Dunces

Author: Max Boot
Foreign Policy

Why is Donald Trump within a whisker of the White House? Two-thirds of the country can’t even name the three branches of government. If we don’t revitalize civics education, we will be entrusting our future to people who know little to nothing of the way our government works. The way we are going, one of these days a Bernie Sanders or, heaven help us, a Donald Trump will not just be a candidate for president. He will actually become president, writes Max Boot.

See more in United States; Elections; Society and Culture

Republicans Are Paying the Price for Their Addiction to Their Own Media

Author: Max Boot
Washington Post

This election year is memorable for many reasons but among the most important is showing Republicans the cost of their infatuation with “alternative” news sources. The right’s addiction to its own news has become destructive. Whether Trump wins or loses, conservatives need to re-evaluate their infatuation with “alternative” news sources that tell them what they want to hear and join a more mainstream conversation that includes different points of view.

See more in United States; Elections; Media and Foreign Policy

Bill Clinton’s Post-Presidential Adventures in Philanthropy and Legacy Building

Author: Carla Anne Robbins
The Washington Post

The American people tend not to trust Hillary Clinton, despite her and Bill’s best efforts to combat these sentiments. In this review of Joe Conason's book, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, Carla Anne Robbins explores why the Clintons have had trouble with their public image.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Aleppo: Where Children Die, but the World Does Nothing

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

Many experts and policymakers had predicted the humanitarian catastrophe that is underway in Aleppo, but no one is willing to intervene. “There is nothing either timely or decisive about the world’s approach to Syria, which has become the theater in which global and regional actors pursue their own goals,” writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.  

See more in Syria; Humanitarian Intervention

Iran’s Likely Next Supreme Leader Is No Friend of the West

Author: Ray Takeyh
Washington Post

The man most likely to succeed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Iran's supreme leader, Ibrahim Raisi, is neither pragmatic nor friendly to the West, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh. Raisi, who heads one of the Islamic Republic's largest charitable foundations, embodies the repressive and revolutionary values of the regime and would continue Iran's transformation into a police state.

See more in Iran; Presidents and Chiefs of State

How to Deal With North Korea

Authors: Mike Mullen and Sam Nunn
Washington Post

North Korea’s accelerating nuclear and missile programs, including its recent nuclear test, pose a grave and expanding threat to security, stability and peace in Asia and the rest of the world. This threat affects close U.S. allies — South Korea and Japan — and U.S. personnel and facilities in the region. In the coming months and years, it will create increasing danger for the United States.

See more in North Korea; China; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

Who's Better for His People? Putin or Obama? The Answer Is Obvious.

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

Donald Trump has gotten a lot of well-justified criticism for his paeans to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s anti-American dictator. But Trump isn’t backing down from his effusive praise of Putin, and neither are his supporters. On both foreign and domestic policy there is simply no comparison between the democratically elected president of America and the thug who has seized control of Russia. Putin is not serving Russia’s interests, only his own and those of his crooked cronies and it’s terrifying that Trump sees Putin as an admirable leader, and shameful that his supporters have fallen in line to defend his indefensible views.

See more in United States; Russian Federation; Elections; Presidents and Chiefs of State