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.
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
CFR Director of International Economics Benn Steil argues that the "Volcker rule" ban on bank proprietary trading won't prevent financial crises, and that the troubled effort to implement it should be abandoned in favor of controls on bank leverage.
See more in Financial Crises; United States
At a time when the country's infrastructure needs are more pressing than ever, Scott Thomasson offers pragmatic solutions for working around current congressional gridlock and unlocking modest yet critical infrastructure investment.
See more in United States; Infrastructure
CFR Senior Fellow Stephen Biddle considers ways to adapt governance ambitions in Afghanistan to the constraints of diminishing time and resources.
See more in Afghanistan; Nation Building; Politics and Strategy
As Cuba drills its first offshore oil well, the United States should anticipate the possibility of an oil spill, implementing policies that would help both countries stem and clean up a spill in a way that is minimally disruptive to the United States' Cuba strategy.
See more in Cuba; Oil; Pollution
Unlike its Arctic neighbors, the United States is failing to take full advantage of the tremendous economic potential of the Arctic region. Captain Melissa Bert argues for U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention; international polar shipping standards; and an aircraft, icebreaker, and shore-based infrastructure acquisition program funded by Arctic oil and gas lease proceeds.
See more in Arctic; Oil; United States
David Marchick calls for new U.S. government efforts to increase the small share of Chinese direct investment in the United States, including combating perceived prejudices, removing policy impediments, and encouraging U.S. businesses to partner with their Chinese counterparts.
See more in Trade; China
Edward Alden and Liam Schwartz recommend a visa screening system that will benefit U.S. security and the economy by focusing scrutiny on high-risk travelers and speeding approval for low-risk ones.
See more in Border and Port Security; United States; 9/11 Impact; Immigration
As countries around the world increasingly rely on space, orbital space debris poses a rapidly growing threat to civil, military, and commercial satellites. Micah Zenko argues for an international code to define interstate behavior and promote sustainable conduct in outer space.
See more in Space
CFR Senior Fellow Elliott Abrams argues that the United States should work to bring down Bashar al-Assad by isolating his regime from Syria's Alawite and business communities.
See more in Syria; United States; Politics and Strategy