Council Special Reports

Council Special Reports (CSRs) are concise policy briefs that provide timely responses to developing crises or contributions to current policy dilemmas. The Studies Program commissions a CSR when events make a particular situation or conflict ripe for useful intervention and the window of opportunity is likely to close if action is not taken in a timely manner. Because a Special Report can be prepared quickly, it can have an impact when changing events create a space for useful involvement.

Peace in Papua

Author: Blair A. King

This report urges the Indonesia Government to follow through with its commitments to achieve a comprehensive solution to the conflict in Papua by engaging with legitimate representatives of Papuan society, fully implementing special autonomy, improving local governance, and reforming security arrangements.

See more in Indonesia; Conflict Assessment

Preventing Catastrophic Nuclear Terrorism

Author: Charles D. Ferguson

The threat of a nuclear attack—especially a nuclear detonation—by terrorists has never been greater. The United States and the international community must do more to prevent terrorists from buying, stealing, or building nuclear weapons. This report identifies where efforts have fallen short in securing and eliminating nuclear weapons and weapons-usable nuclear materials, and it offers realistic recommendations to plug these gaps in the U.S. and international response.

See more in Russian Federation; Weapons of Mass Destruction

Getting Serious About the Twin Deficits

Author: Menzie D. Chinn

Twenty years ago, the United States was the world’s largest creditor nation, unsurpassed in its ownership of assets outside of its borders, even after deducting what foreigners owned inside its borders. Yet over the past two decades, America has been transformed into the world’s largest debtor nation.

See more in United States; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Forgotten Intervention?

Authors: Major General William L. Nash and Amelia Branczik

This report identifies the principal steps that the United States can take to secure the investment it has made in the western Balkans and facilitate the region's progress toward its rightful destiny within the EU. In doing so, Forgotten Intervention? lays out a straightforward and doable strategy for the United States that will pay dividends.

See more in Conflict Prevention; Kosovo

A New Beginning

Authors: Craig Charney and Nicole Yakatan

The United States can improve its image in the Muslim world. Focus group research in three key Islamic countries--Egypt, Morocco, and Indonesia--shows that the widely held view that nothing can be done about the spread of negative attitudes toward the United States among Muslims in the Middle East and Asia is incorrect. The key to a new dialogue with the Muslim world is a humbler American perspective, based on respectful partnership and agreeing to disagree when necessary.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Polls and Opinion Analysis

Power-Sharing in Iraq

Author: David L. Phillips

This report identifies the principle issues to be addressed in Iraq's constitution. It recommends power-sharing arrangements between Iraq's national government and federal Iraqi state governments. It proposes a role for the United States and the United Nations to play in this process, and suggests ways the Iraqi government can encourage cooperation with Iraq's neighbors.

See more in Iraq

Giving Meaning to 'Never Again'

Authors: Princeton N. Lyman and Cheryl O. Igiri

This Council Special Report decries the tragically slow global response to the unrest in Sudan's Darfur region, stating that it shows that the international community still lacks the capacity to deal effectively with humanitarian crises. Looking at Darfur in the context of lessons learned from Rwanda, the report recommends ways to end the Darfur crisis and avoid future ones.

See more in Sudan

Freedom, Prosperity, and Security

Africa, mired in poverty, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and armed conflict, has rightfully occupied a prominent place in the G8’s agenda over the past several years. This report, written in anticipation of the G8’s June 2004 summit at Sea Island, Georgia, highlights the need for the G8 to maintain a strong partnership with Africa, even as the world’s attention turns increasingly to the Middle East.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Politics and Strategy

Addressing the HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Author: Princeton N. Lyman

The Bush administration’s $15 billion AIDS initiative has received much attention for its boldness and size. But, according to this indispensable Council Special Report, it will not succeed unless it is folded into a broader and longer-term commitment to developing basic health systems in affected countries. To successfully battle AIDS--one of the most pressing threats known to mankind--the effort must also go beyond health to address social and economic factors that drive the spread of the disease.

See more in United States; Diseases, Infectious; Health Policy and Initiatives

Challenges for a Post-Election Philippines

Author: Catherine E. Dalpino

As a victim of terrorism and the strongest supporter of U.S. counterterrorism policy among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines already plays a vital role in preserving American security. With anti-Americanism on the rise in South Korea and Japan, the United States may need to depend more on the Philippines to fulfill its objectives in Asia. This report assesses the political, economic, and strategic situation in the Philippines following the 2004 elections and recommends steps that the United States and the Philippines should take to strengthen their economic and military ties.

See more in Philippines; Defense and Security; Elections

Stability, Security and Sovereignty in the Republic of Georgia

Author: David L. Phillips

Georgia is strategically important to the United States in the war on terror and an indispensable transit point for energy supplies between Asia and Europe. Though the country’s November 2003 “revolution of roses” is the most positive event to have occurred in the countries of the former Soviet Union in more than a decade, Georgia is entering an unstable period of transition as its new government tries to promote national coherence among the country’s ethnic groups and takes steps to dismantle the corrupt power structure that thrived under former president Eduard Shevardnadze. This timely report, written by an expert on conflict prevention in the Caucasus, recommends steps the United States and the international community can to take to bolster President Mikhail Saakashvili as well as moves his government should make in the short and long term.

See more in Georgia; Sovereignty