Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

Drone Proliferation: What We Have to Fear

Author: Sarah E. Kreps
The Hill

Serious questions about drone proliferation and the United States' role must be answered," writes Sarah Kreps. She discusses a recent report coauthored with Micah Zenko, including the threat and consequences of proliferation, and policies the Obama administration should implement to regulate the export and use of armed drones.

See more in Global; Drones

The US Can Still Help Save Syria — and Iraq

Author: Elliott Abrams
Standpoint

After the 20th century's list of events of mass murder — from the Ukraine famine of the early 1930s and the Holocaust in the 1940s, to the Balkans wars and the Rwanda genocide of the 1990s — the cries of "never again" and the assertion of a "responsibility to protect" gave some hope that mass killing would not recur in the 21st century. Then came Darfur in the new century's first decade, and now Syria in the second. Mass killing has very clearly not been eliminated, nor has the "international community" developed a response that will avert it or bring it to a quick end.

See more in Syria; Iraq; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

How Taiwan’s Constitutional Court Reined in Police Power: Lessons for the People’s Republic of China

Authors: Jerome A. Cohen and Margaret K. Lewis
Fordham International Law Journal

For over six decades, police in Taiwan could lock up people they deemed "hooligans" (liumang) for years with at most a cursory review by the courts. This article by Margaret K. Lewis and Jerome A. Cohen discusses the detailed process by which judges, officials, and legislators—spurred by civic groups, lawyers and academics—brought about annulment of the relevant legislation, the Act for Eliminating Liumang.

See more in Taiwan; Rule of Law

The Man Who Broke the Middle East

Author: Elliott Abrams
Politico

The Middle East that Obama inherited in 2009 was largely at peace, for the surge in Iraq had beaten down the al Qaeda-linked groups. U.S. relations with traditional allies in the Gulf, Jordan, Israel and Egypt were very good. Iran was contained, its Revolutionary Guard forces at home. Today, terrorism has metastasized in Syria and Iraq, Jordan is at risk, the humanitarian toll is staggering, terrorist groups are growing fast and relations with U.S. allies are strained.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

In Iraq, Obama Has Two Terrible Choices

Author: Meghan L. O'Sullivan
Politico

In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.

See more in Iraq; United States; Defense Strategy

Rebooting China

Author: A. Michael Spence
Project Syndicate

A. Michael Spence urges China's leaders to be steady-handed and sensible in their foreign policy and domestic reform agendas so as to maintain the kind of economic stability necessary for complex structural changes to work their way through the Chinese economy with minimal disruption.

See more in China; Financial Markets; Economic Development

Just Dating is Enough

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

Following the meeting between Dilma Rousseff and Joe Biden on the margins of the World Cup, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on the significance of the thaw in U.S.-Brazil relations after a year marked by the Snowden revelations, cyberspying, and postponements.

See more in Brazil; Diplomacy and Statecraft

When All You've Got Is an F-16...

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

U.S. policymakers are calling for airpower and bombings in Iraq, just two days after the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham captured territory in the north. Micah Zenko discusses why policymakers so quickly resort to bombing as a policy option, and the unfortunate consequences of this limited discourse.

See more in United States; Defense Strategy