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.

A Global Trust for Rule of Law

Author: Mark P. Lagon

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

Authors: Terrence G. Wiley, Sarah Catherine Moore, and Margaret S. Fee

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

Author: Thomas J. Bollyky

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

Beating the Resource Curse: Global Governance Strategies for Democracy and Economic Development

Author: Terra Lawson-Remer

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

A Strategy for the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Author: Sheila A. Smith

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

Author: Scott Thomasson

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

Addressing the Risk of a Cuban Oil Spill

Authors: Captain Melissa Bert, USCG and Blake Clayton

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

A Strategy to Advance the Arctic Economy

Author: Captain Melissa Bert, USCG

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

Author: David M. Marchick

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

A Code of Conduct for Outer Space

Author: Micah Zenko

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