Task Force Reports
Independent Task Force reports offer comprehensive policy prescriptions for major foreign policy issues facing the U.S. government, developed through the deliberations of independent and nonpartisan Task Forces sponsored by CFR.
To learn more about Independent Task Forces, click here.
The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. To support security, innovation, growth, and the free flow of information, the Task Force recommends that the United States and its partners work to build a cyber alliance, make the free flow of information a part of all future trade agreements, and articulate an inclusive and robust vision of Internet governance.
See more in Global; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy
This Independent Task Force asserts that Turkey is an increasingly influential regional and economic power and calls for the United States and Turkey to forge a new partnership.
See more in United States; Turkey; Politics and Strategy
This Independent Task Force report asserts that fixing the nation's underperforming K-12 public schools is critical for strengthening the country's security and increasing its economic competitiveness.
See more in Defense and Security; United States; Education
This Independent Task Force report encourages the Obama administration and Congress to adopt a "pro-America" trade policy that brings to more Americans the benefits of global engagement.
See more in United States; Trade
This Independent Task Force finds that Brazil is a significant international actor whose influence on global issues is likely to increase and recommends that U.S. policymakers and others recognize its global standing and work with Brazil to develop complementary policies. This report is also available in Portuguese.
See more in Brazil; United States; Politics and Strategy
This Independent Task Force report assesses U.S. objectives, strategy, and policy options in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It supports a long-term partnership with Pakistan, calls for a new approach to Afghan political reform, reconciliation, and regional diplomacy, and says that a more limited U.S. mission in Afghanistan would be warranted if the present strategy does not show signs of progress. This report is also available in Italian.
See more in Afghanistan; Pakistan; Nation Building; Politics and Strategy
This Task Force report identifies three elements of an internationally coordinated response to the threat posed by North Korea: first, denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and an approach that attempts to resolve rather than simply manage the nuclear issue; second, regional cohesion, enabled by close U.S.-South Korea relations; and third, China's cooperation and active engagement.
See more in North Korea; United States; Politics and Strategy
This Task Force report offers a strategy for maintaining America's political and economic leadership by attracting skilled immigrants, a program of legalization for those living in the United States illegally, and steps for securing the country's borders in an effective and humane way.
See more in Immigration; United States
This report finds that nuclear weapons will remain a fundamental element of U.S. national security in the near term, and makes recommendations on how to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. deterrent nuclear force, prevent nuclear terrorism, and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
See more in Proliferation; United States
Against the backdrop of increasing attention to climate change in the presidential campaigns, debate of the Lieberman-Warner climate bill in the Senate, and preparations for this summer's G8 summit, this report recommends an overhaul of U.S. domestic and foreign policy to confront the challenges of climate change.
See more in Climate Change; United States
This report recommends reframing U.S. policy around four critical areas--poverty and inequality, public security, migration, and energy security--that are of immediate concern to Latin America's governments and citizens. This report is also available in Spanish.
See more in Mexico; Politics and Strategy; United States
See more in China; United States; Politics and Strategy
This report argues that the lack of sustained attention to energy issues is undercutting U.S. foreign policy and national security.
See more in United States; Defense and Security; Oil
See more in Energy Policy; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Russian Federation; Iran
This CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force finds that Africa is of growing strategic importance to the United States in addition to being an important humanitarian concern, and finds that critical humanitarian interests would be better served by a more comprehensive U.S. approach toward Africa.
See more in Humanitarian Intervention; Africa (sub-Saharan); Grand Strategy
This Council-sponsored, independent Task Force points out that nation-building is not just a humanitarian concern, but a critical national security priority that should be on par with war-fighting and urges the United States to equalize the importance of the two. The report argues that the United States must acknowledge that “war-fighting has two important dimensions: winning the war and winning the peace.”
See more in Conflict Prevention; Conflict Assessment
A Council-sponsored Task Force argues that the United States should support the evolutionary development of democracy consistently throughout the Middle East. It points out that a strategy to promote democracy entails inherent risks, but that "the denial of freedom carries much more significant long-term dangers." This report is also available in Arabic.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Religion; Democratization
While “al-Qaeda’s current and prospective ability to raise and move funds with impunity has been significantly diminished...al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations still have ready access to financial resources, and that fact constitutes an ongoing threat to the United States.” So warns this independent Task Force report, a follow-on to the Council’s 2002 report that concludes individuals and organizations based in Saudi Arabia were the most important source of Qaeda funding.
See more in Global; Terrorist Financing
In the year that has passed since the war in Iraq, the United States and its European allies have done much to repair their relations. Nonetheless, the end of the Cold War, Europe’s continuing integration, and the new array of threats confronting the West continue to test the strength of the Atlantic partnership. To revitalize the Atlantic alliance, Europe and America must forge new “rules of the road” governing the use of force, adapt the North Atlantic Treaty Organizaton (NATO) to meet today’s threats coming from outside Europe, and launch a major initiative to bring about political and economic reform in the greater Middle East. These are the conclusions of an independent Task Force chaired by former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and former Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers.
See more in EU; United States; NATO; Politics and Strategy
Integrating nonlethal weapons (NLW) more widely into the U.S. Army and Marine Corps could have reduced damage, saved lives, and helped limit the widespread looting and sabotage that occurred after the cessation of major conflict in Iraq. So argues this report of a Council-sponsored independent Task Force led by Dr. Graham T. Allison, director of the Belfer Center for science and international affairs at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, General Paul X. Kelley, USMC (ret.), former commandant of the Marine Corps, and former military officers, business executives, academics, diplomats, and congressional staff. Incorporating NLW capabilities into the equipment, training, and doctrine of the armed services could substantially improve U.S. effectiveness in conflict, postconflict, and homeland defense. The Task Force report concludes that equipping U.S.-trained and -supported local forces in Afghanistan and Iraq with NLW would help reinforce authority and be more acceptable to local populations than conventionally armed troops.
See more in Defense Technology