The United States should help others crush ISIS, and not much else.
Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.
The United States should help others crush ISIS, and not much else.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reflecting on a speech by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Janine Davidson considers the most effective steps to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from further aggressive acts against Ukraine. She concludes that there are concrete military options that can deter without provoking—and these are the ones NATO should follow.
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.
Ed Husain outlines a vision for a new Middle East, in which "Arabs, Turks, Kurds, and other groups could find relative peace in ever closer union.
Max Boot argues that the U.S. needs special operations forces on the ground to call in airstrikes and advise Iraqi security forces. At the same time, President Obama must pressure the Iraqi government to make more inclusive reforms.
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.
Boot and Doran argue that there is more to Iran's relationship with ISIS than meets the eye, and that cooperating with Iran to defeat ISIS would in fact further the goals of the U.S.'s long-time enemy.
It was and is wrong for the United States to decide to pull out its military based on calendars rather than local conditions.
Shannon K. O'Neil outlines how the World Cup has brought attention to Brazil's economic problems and how Brazilians are mobilizing to tackle them.
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.
Mosul has fallen, and al Qaeda is on the march towards Baghdad.
Shannon K. O'Neil explains that despite Eric Cantor's loss, the current flood of undocumented children across the southern border only increases the urgency for immigration reform.
Peter R. Orszag writes that slow economic growth, low interest rates, and diminishing returns for share buybacks may explain the recent uptick in mergers worldwide.
Yanzhong Huang argues that the BRICs grouping of countries, which makes sense in the coordination of global macroeconomic policy, cannot be assumed to be relevant in the development of any global health policy.
On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, Elizabeth Economy writes that the Chinese government needs to openly address the events of June 4, 1989, to claim the legitimacy it desires at home and the leadership it seeks abroad.
On the heels of the EPA's announcement of new carbon emission rules, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on the need for leadership from major economies to tackle climate change and on the prospects for cooperation between the United States and Brazil.
Maximalist finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light. More
This clear and authoritative book presents a sweeping account of China's global resource quest and the unrivaled expansion of its economy. More
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
This Independent Task Force asserts that elevating and prioritizing the U.S.-Canada-Mexico relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
This Independent Task Force report finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
The authors assess the political, security, and economic challenges facing U.S. policymakers in Afghanistan and evaluate a range of policy options.
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