CFR scholars provide expert analysis and commentary on international issues.
U.S. lawmakers' brinkmanship over raising the debt ceiling could have prompted a series of moves--the downgrading of U.S. debt by Standard and Poor's being one--that could cause a selloff of U.S. securities and an end to the primacy of the dollar, writes CFR's Francis Warnock.
See more in United States; Financial Crises
Scaling back the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan will yield a peace dividend, but only when Social Security and Medicare spending are controlled will the U.S. be able to refocus on domestic priorities, says CFR'S Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
See more in Afghanistan; United States; Military Operations
The process that led to South Sudan's independence offers lessons for avoiding a new, devastating conflict in the region and underscores the importance of sustained and vigorous U.S. diplomacy, writes CFR's Payton Knopf from the new country's capital.
See more in Sudan; South Sudan; Peacekeeping
South Sudan's independence July 9 could encourage secession efforts elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, but elites in those countries will likely stymie those attempts at challenging colonial borders, at least for now.
See more in Sudan; South Sudan; Border and Port Security
Gridlock over raising the debt ceiling has already tarnished Washington's image and failure to address the problem in one month could cause enormous global financial upheaval, writes CFR's Sebastian Mallaby.
See more in Financial Crises; United States; Budget, Debt, and Deficits; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures
New IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has to move quickly to establish independence from the European authorities who got her the job, enhance the IMF's legitimacy, and display her ability to manage the fund, says CFR's Steven Dunaway.
See more in International Organizations and Alliances; France; International Finance
There is little doubt Prime Minister Erdogan's AKP party will retain power in Turkey's June 12 elections. The focus will be on whether he uses his mandate to consolidate Turkish democracy under a new liberal constitution, says CFR's Steven A. Cook.
See more in Turkey; Elections
Thailand's general elections in July could mark a crucial step toward reconciliation but are likely to fuel further resentments that have roiled the country and eroded regional stability, says CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick.
See more in Thailand; Elections
Hostilities in Sudan might be relieved by a deal hammered out by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, but ethnic and religious divides, resource battles, and looming southern independence remain contentious issues, says CFR's John Campbell.
See more in Sudan; South Sudan; Conflict Prevention
The G8 summit affirmed the group's importance as a U.S. partner as it seeks a common front on the "Arab Spring" uprisings, and in forging collective action on human rights and security matters, says CFR's Stewart Patrick.
See more in Global Governance; Middle East and North Africa; Political Movements and Protests; International Organizations and Alliances
The events convulsing the Middle East should prompt supplier states to place a moratorium on most nuclear cooperation with the region and devise long-term plans for better safeguarding major nuclear sites around the world, writes CFR's Jonathan Pearl.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Proliferation
The Obama administration's plan to seize frozen Libyan assets and use them for Libyan aid is a dramatic, and probably unilateral, exercise of U.S. power that is likely to yield a relatively modest sum of money, says CFR's Stuart Levey.
See more in Global Governance; Libya; Sanctions
The United States should see family planning as a foreign policy priority that leads to healthier and more prosperous societies, and should increase funding, resources and support for those countries with the highest unmet need, argues CFR's Isobel Coleman.
See more in Children; Women; United States; Nation Building; Maternal and Child Health; Global
In this Markets and Democracy Brief, CFR's Elizabeth C. Economy and Jared Mondschein assess the rise of online activism in China and what it means for the country's political system.
See more in Political Movements and Protests; China
Syria's Ba'athist regime has responded to widening pro-reform protests by tightening its crackdown, but this approach is unlikely to quiet restive Syrians like it has in the past, writes CFR's Mohamad Bazzi.
See more in Syria; Political Movements and Protests
A summit hosted by the Obama administration one year ago has spurred momentum on global nuclear security measures. But the United States must lead efforts to redouble commitments on preventing the proliferation of nuclear materials, writes CFR's Emma Belcher.
See more in Proliferation; Weapons of Mass Destruction; Terrorism; Global
The crisis in U.S.-Pakistani relations followed mounting mistrust over the U.S. war in Afghanistan, in particular. But Washington should seize the chance to reinvigorate ties rather than look elsewhere for partners, says CFR's Daniel Markey.
See more in Pakistan; United States; Politics and Strategy
Japan's ability to rebound from its triple disaster in March will require more than just rebuilding; it will demand restructuring in areas from energy and farm policy to decentralization of power, write Brian P. Klein and CFR's David S. Abraham.
See more in Japan; Disasters; Pollution
Peru's presidential elections are shaping up as a four-way race of familiar faces with major consequences for the country's reformist path, writes CFR's Joel Hirst.
See more in Peru; Elections
Uncertainty pervades Cairo as the country weighs its post-Mubarak democratic options. Washington should stand ready to assist an Egyptian-led transformation, writes CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Democratization; Egypt