The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) release the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which "identifies major global and operational trends that constitute threats or opportunities, delineates priorities and reforms, to ensure our civilian institutions are in the strongest position to shape and respond to a rapidly changing world." The first QDDR was published in 2010.
The Arctic Council released this Iqaluit Declaration on April 24, 2015. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting and discussed five priorities for cooperation as the United States chairs the council for the year: increased participation in the Arctic Council from indigenous populations, support for the Arctic Economic Council, reduction of emissions, and reduction and response to oil spills.
President Obama established this review on January 9, 2014, which is meant to provide an integrated view of federal energy policy and recommends priorities, actions, and needed tools for new legislation and research. The first report, released April 2015, focused on U.S. energy infrastructures.
On April 23, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered remarks at the Atlantic Council's Conference on Trade and National Security. He discussed the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) and why he supports the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
The first Department of Defense strategy report on cyberspace was released on July 14, 2011 and an update to the strategy was released April 23, 2015. The strategy outlines the three missions in the cyber domain: to defend Department of Defense networks, systems, and information; to defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. national interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and to provide integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced this legislation on April 16, 2015. The legislation allows the White House to continue pursuing trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and allows Congress to vote on the treaties.
U.S. President Barack Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in Panama on April 11, 2015. In December 2014, President Obama announced changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba, including removing Cuba from the U.S. State Department list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
On April 10, 2015, the Pentagon released its map of the self-proclaimed Islamic State's operations in Iraq and Syria. The map also marks areas controlled by other groups in the region, such as Iraqi Kurdish security forces, Iraqi Government, and Syrian Government.
U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released this draft of its report Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States on April 7, 2015, in response to President Obama's Climate Action Plan. The final report, expected to be published in early 2016, is "intended to present a comprehensive, evidence-based, and, where possible, quantitative estimation of observed and projected public health impacts related to climate change in the United States."
In November 2013, the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) and Iran released a Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which required Iran to stop developing its nuclear capabilities and in return P5+1 would reduce economic sanctions. In March 2015, the P5+1 met again with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland and on April 2, 2015, released a joint statement on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The framework lays out the parameters for the final text of the plan, which is due June 30, 2015. The ministers agreed upon the final text on July 14, 2015.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced this initiative in 2013, which aims to connect countries along the original Silk Road and other maritime nations. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will lend to countries working on these infrastructure and trade projects. On March 28, 2015, the China's Foreign Ministry released the first edition of the initiative's joint vision and actions.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke to a joint session of Congress on March 25, 2015. He discusses U.S.-Afghan agreements such as the Bilateral Security Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the withdrawl of American combat troops from Afghanistan, and the threat of the Islamic State (or Daesh).
On March 20, 2015, three hundred and sixty-seven House lawmakers signed a letter to President Obama regarding nuclear negotiations with Iran. The letter lists concerns the lawmakers have regarding Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon and the Iranian government's relations with Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke at UN University on March 16, 2015. He discussed how Japan has worked with the UN on issues such as post-war reconstruction regarding Korean-Japanese relations and Japan's financial contributions to the UN for development, and its efforts in peacebuilding.
On March 16, 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke at UN University on the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations. He discussed the current security landscape, including crises in Syria and Ukraine and tensions in the Asia-Pacific, peacekeeping efforts, and his appointment of the first envoy to youth.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on February 26, 2015, on rules governing regulation of U.S. broadband networks. The FCC published rules (FCC 15-24) regulating this order on March 12, 2015. The rules ban the ability of broadband companies to prioritize traffic from sources that pay more and reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC news release states that the rules are focused on making networks "fast, fair, and open."
Vice President Joseph Biden wrote a response to the May 9, 2015 letter from Republican Senators to Iran, which stated that Congress had to approve international agreements related to Iran's nuclear program. Vice President Biden responded that international negotiations and diplomacy often take place outside of congressional approval.
President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on March 9, 2015, which includes targeted sanctions of individuals who have violated the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014.
Forty-seven U.S. Senate Republicans signed an open letter to leaders in Iran about the U.S. participation in P5+1 talks on Iran's nuclear program. The letter states that any agreement reached must be approved by Congress and that Congress can overturn any agreement reached after President Obama leaves office. Vice President Joseph Biden responded with a statement about the nature of international agreements and Congress's role.
President Barack Obama gave these remarks on March 7, 2015, at an event commemorating the protest march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. He discussed the history of civil rights protests, the passing of the Voting Rights Act, and progress and ongoing challenges in the fight for equal rights and opportunity in the United States.
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.
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Now Available: Foreign Policy Begins at Home
The biggest threat to America's security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in his provocative new book. More