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.

Nuclear Energy

Author: Charles D. Ferguson

This report examines the contributions that an expanded use of nuclear energy can make to improving energy security and reducing global warming while balancing these benefits against the risks and lingering questions over nuclear energy’s safety and security.

See more in United States; Nuclear Energy


Author: Robert I. Rotberg

This report describes what steps might be taken by Nigerians and the international community to avoid a breakdown of democracy, and possibly stability, in the wake of Nigeria’s April 2007 electoral contest and to tackle Nigeria’s fundamental challenges of governance, security, and development in the longer term.

See more in Nation Building; Nigeria

The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration

Author: Gordon H. Hanson

This report examines the economics of illegal immigration and finds that the fiscal benefits of illegal immigration offset its costs. Further, the report finds that the flexibility provided by the illegal immigration system that benefits the U.S. economy cannot be provided by the legal immigration system.

See more in Immigration; United States

After the Surge

Author: Steven Simon

This Council Special Report concludes that only if the United States disengages militarily will it minimize the strategic costs of its failure in Iraq.

See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare

Darfur and Beyond

Author: Lee Feinstein

This report argues that the new UN secretary-general should take the General Assembly's endorsement of responsibility to protect as a mandate and as a mission statement. And the United States and others must take steps to bolster UN action and be available when the UN is not.

See more in Sudan; Humanitarian Intervention

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