Policy Innovation Memoranda
Policy Innovation Memoranda target critical global problems where new, creative thinking is needed. Written for policymakers and opinion leaders, these brief memos aim to contribute to the foreign policy debate by providing succinct background, rigorous analysis, and specific recommendations.
Two new revolutions in biology—gain-of-function research and synthetic biology—are forcing policymakers to rethink current national and international surveillance and regulatory systems, and any resolution will require international buy-in since the threat entails all living organisms.
See more in Global; Health
Ed Husain argues for the creation of a global venture to support local and community organizations throughout the Middle East that forward counternarratives to violent extremism.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Radicalization and Extremism; Counterterrorism
Julia Sweig argues that the Obama administration should tighten regulations of firearm sales—both at the domestic and at the import-and-export level—in order to reduce rates of gun violence in Latin America.
See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; North America; Arms Industries and Trade
U.S. policy of isolating Gaza is counterproductive and inadvertently helps entrench the terrorist group Hamas' control. The Obama administration should instead encourage trade and contacts between the West Bank and Gazan people to reestablish national institutions and elections, thereby empowering Palestinian partners for peace.
See more in Palestine; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights
Blake Clayton argues that federal lawmakers should overturn the ban on exporting crude oil produced in the United States.
See more in United States; Trade; Oil
CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot and the Brookings Institution's Michael Doran argue that the United States should relearn the Cold War craft of political warfare to promote its interests in the Middle East.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Wars and Warfare
CFR Senior Fellow Thomas Bollyky argues that new strategies are needed to address the latest treatment-access crisis over patented medications, particularly as noncommunicable diseases continue to rapidly emerge in low- and middle-income countries.
See more in Global; Diseases, Noncommunicable; Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko asserts that shifting lead executive authority for U.S. drone strikes from the CIA to the Pentagon is the essential first step toward greater transparency and oversight.
See more in United States; Drones
Benn Steil offers a neat and innovative way for the Federal Reserve to reverse its monetary stimulus efforts as the economy recovers, without the worrisome economic and political consequences of having to sell off its massive stock of mortgage-backed securities.
See more in United States; Monetary Policy
In looking abroad to promote economic growth, Robert Pastor argues the United States need not go further than its two closest neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Leaders of the three countries can build off of NAFTA to create a more seamless market by negotiating a common external tariff, eliminating restrictions on transportation and services, funding new continental infrastructure, and fostering a sense of community among North Americans.
See more in North America; Competitiveness
Intervening in Pakistani elections is a losing proposition, CFR Senior Fellow Daniel Markey argues. If pro-American leaders win, they will be tainted by association; if their opponents win, the United States will have alienated potential partners.
See more in Pakistan; Elections
President Barack Obama expanded the Merida Initiative beyond its original military scope but, CFR Senior Fellow Shannon O'Neil notes, implementation will require concerted efforts in both bilateral diplomacy and domestic policy.
See more in Mexico; Latin America and the Caribbean; Politics and Strategy
Weak rule of law in the developing world deprives countless people of legal rights and economic opportunity. Bridging the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, a global trust could build developing nations' capacity to implement the rule of law, improving human rights and economic outcomes at little cost.
See more in Global; Rule of Law
As Zimbabwe moves closer to elections, the prospect for political violence grows. CFR Senior Fellow John Campbell argues that coordination on Zimbabwe policy can be the basis of a stronger overall U.S.-South Africa relationship to help promote free, fair and credible elections.
See more in Zimbabwe; Elections
Facing a global economic challenge, the United States should build a multilingual workforce prepared to thrive in today's world market, which would require a national initiative to improve foreign language education.
See more in United States; Education
In anticipation of the pullout of foreign forces—and the bulk of foreign financing—CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot argues that the United States should dedicate resources to maintain security and prevent the reemergence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
See more in Afghanistan; Defense and Security
In an era of global supply chains, the United States should pursue regulatory integration on a regional basis. A new White House initiative provides the opportunity to implement this strategy.
See more in Trade; Global
Medicines are increasingly the product of complex supply chains, introducing vulnerabilities to their reliability and safety. CFR Senior Fellow Laurie Garrett lays out how G8 and G20 nations can help to remedy the drug safety crisis.
See more in Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines; Global
Emerging economies taking advantage of mineral and petroleum wealth often face corruption and conflict rather than benefit from sustainable development. This resource curse can be obviated, CFR Fellow Terra Lawson-Remer argues, if capital-exporting countries, banks, and corporations insist on transparency.
See more in Environmental Policy; Minerals and Rare Earth Elements; Global
CFR Senior Fellow Sheila A. Smith argues that the time has come for Japan and the United States to set priorities for military missions, formalize mechanisms for crisis management coordination, and work toward a long-term basing strategy that consolidates U.S. and Japanese facilities.
See more in Japan