Vital primary sources underpinning the foreign policy debate.
President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon met on August 4, 2015, to discuss several international initiatives that the United States is addressing with the UN, including climate change, humanitarian crises, political violence, and economic development.
President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency announced the Clean Power Plan on August 3, 2015. The plan provides a toolkit for states to implement to reduce the carbon emissions from existing fossil-fueled power plants. This plan is an update of the 2014 proposed plan and a step in the larger Climate Change Plan.
President Barack Obama spoke at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa on July 28, 2015. He discussed the ten year renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and additional reforms and other assistance the United States and African leaders work on to increase trade, investment, and growth on the continent. He also addressed the need for presidents to respect term limits and transfer power peacefully and for nations to provide equal treatment for women and girls.
The United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) released this consensus report (A/70/172) on rules of behavior in cyberspace, particularly during peacetime. The report recommends that nations should not use information and communication technologies to attack critical infrastructure or interrupt the information systems of emergency services.
In July 2015, foreign ministers from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (E3/EU+3) met with the foreign minister of Iran in Vienna to negotiate the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), developed in April 2015. On July 14, the foreign ministers agreed to the plan, which involves limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and lifting of some United Nations Security Council and other multilateral and national sanctions on Iran related to its nuclear program. The JCPOA includes a main text and annexes on nuclear, sanctions, civil nuclear energy cooperation, a joint commission, and implementation.
Leaders of euro member states held a special Euro Summit on Greece. On July 12, 2015, the leaders "agreed in principle that they are ready to start negotiations on an ESM [European Stability Mechanism] financial assistance programme for Greece."
Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa met on July 9, 2015, in Ufa, Russia for the Seventh BRICS Summit, which marked the entry into force of the BRICS's New Development Bank (NDB), which the leaders expect to begin accepting investment requests in the beginning of 2016. The declaration also states the leaders' concerns on international security issues such as corruption, nuclear weapons, instability and conflict, and terrorism, and their commitments to social issues like global health and education.
National People's Congress of China released this draft text on July 6, 2015, and it will be available for public comment through August 2015. The law outlines the Chinese government's goals for security standards for technical systems, networks, and user data. It requires companies with operations in China to comply with government requests for regulating and restricting technology use. See also the broader National Security Law passed on July 1, 2015.
National People's Congress in China passed this law on July 1, 2015. It outlines the government's authority to respond to threats to China's assets and activities in its borders and territories, as well as in cyberspace, space, the deep sea, and polar regions. The law also establishes a national security leadership system for crisis management. On July 6, 2015, the National People's Congress released the text of its proposed Cybersecurity Law that provides additional guidance on technology security standards.
Finance ministers from fifty-seven countries met in Beijing in October 2014 and signed a memorandum to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which will focus on funding infrastructure to boost economic development in the Asia Pacific region. The Articles of Agreement were opened for signature on June 29, 2015 and must be ratifed domestically by December 31, 2016. The AIIB was inaugurated on January 16, 2016 with the first board of directors meeting and began accepting investment projects.
These reports, mandated by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974, describe the performance of other governments in practicing their international commitments on civil, political, individual, and worker rights, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN and the Chinese government produce similar reports.
Pope Francis released this document on June 18, 2015. The encyclical states that humans have made "irresponsible use" of the Earth, that climate change affects most people living in poverty, and that all must unite to protect the planet.
On December 31, 2014, the NATO mission in Afghanistan was replaced by a non-combat mission for training and advising the Afghanistan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) and Afghan security ministries. This report from the U.S. Department of Defense, prepared in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act 2015, describes the progress of the ANDSF and how the United States is providing support. See also previous reports on "Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan."
Department of Defense released a Law of War Manual that applies to all services on June 12, 2015. The document discusses law of war publications produced previously by different services within the military.
Group of Seven (G7), which includes leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, met in Schloss Elmau, Germany on June 7-8, 2015. They released a declaration on commitments to low-carbon emission strategies, economic issues, and several foreign policy issues, such as the violence in Ukraine, nuclear safety, and addressing health threats such as Ebola and antimicrobial resistance.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a 10-year defense framework agreement on June 3, 2015. The agreement follows up on part of U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's joint statement from January 2015.
This legislation was introduced to Congress on April 28, 2015, as H.R. 2048 Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015. President Obama signed it into law on June 2, 2015. The act is an overhaul of the National Security Council's intelligence gathering program, the largest reform of the program since the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff released this military strategy document in June 2015; this strategy was updated previously in 2011.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke on May 30, at the 2015 International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue. He discussed the United States' interest in economic development and security infrastructures in the Asia and Pacific region.
In The Hacked World Order, CFR Senior Fellow Adam Segal shows how governments use the web to wage war and spy on, coerce, and damage each other. More
Red Team provides an in-depth investigation into the work of red teams, revealing the best practices, most common pitfalls, and most effective applications of these modern-day devil's advocates. More
Through insightful analysis and engaging graphics, How America Stacks Up explores how the United States can keep pace with global economic competition. More
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This report 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.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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