Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

Nobody Wants to Be a Politician Now

Author: Peter R. Orszag
Bloomberg View

Young people are disaffected with the political process and lack any interest in running for office, a new book by Jennifer Lawless of American University and Richard Fox of Loyola Marymount University demonstrates. Yet the book itself perhaps unintentionally underscores one of the key reasons why: We know too much about our politicians.

See more in United States; Politics and Strategy

A Constructive Ban-the-Bomb Movement

Authors: Adam Mount and Naomi Egel
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

On Monday, diplomats will gather in New York for a conference to review the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Held once every five years, the Review Conference is an opportunity to assess progress on the treaty’s basic bargain: States without nuclear weapons promise not to build them if the five nuclear states promise to get rid of theirs. This conference comes at a critical time. For 70 years, the nonproliferation regime has limited the spread of nuclear weapons. Today, it is marked by deep discord.

See more in Global; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

From Putin, a New Tune on Ukraine?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show is not where I usually look for important statements of Russian policy. Most of the four-hour event is devoted to semi-comical political pandering (Mr. Putin presenting himself as the friend of struggling dairy farmers, for example). Still, last week’s extravaganza contained unmistakable hints of a new line on Ukraine.

See more in Ukraine; Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Conflict Assessment

Kill > Capture

Author: Micah Zenko

The Obama administration's stated policy since 2011 has been to capture suspected terrorists—such as U.S. citizen Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh in Pakistan—rather than target them with drone strikes. However,  as Micah Zenko points out, Al Farekh’s case is the rare exception and, since 2011,  the United States has conducted an estimated 215 drone strikes, killing 1,271 individuals.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Drones

Analyzing Khamenei's Criticism of the Iran Nuclear Framework Deal

Author: Ray Takeyh
Wall Street Journal

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s demand that all sanctions must be lifted in exchange for an agreement indicates that Iran’s top decision-maker may not be involved in the negotiation process, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. In that case, there is little value in the agreement and little faith that Iran would fulfill its obligations.

See more in Iran; United States; Treaties and Agreements

Why the Iran Framework is Extraordinary

Author: Adam Mount
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

The agreement reached Thursday to limit Iran’s nuclear program is more restrictive and more specific than analysts expected. It serves as strong evidence that persistence and tough diplomacy can create opportunities that mere obstinacy will never see.

See more in Iran; Weapons of Mass Destruction

Regional Institutions Can Be Good for World Policy

Author: Sheila A. Smith
New York Times

China's new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank has raised questions about United States policy in Asia. Several European nations, South Korea and Australia have signed on to China's initiative, which seeks to raise $50 billion to $100 billion for Asian development. While the U.S. remains cautious about this new China-led effort to fund infrastructure and development, it should welcome the participation of others.

See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Banks and Banking; Politics and Strategy