Founded as a loose confederation of states in 1945, the Arab League has struggled to overcome dysfunction and disunity among its members. The Arab revolts of 2011 offer the League a new opportunity to pursue necessary reforms, increase legitimacy, and prove its relevance.
The three major credit rating agencies have been accused of contributing to the global financial crisis, drawing increased oversight from regulators in the United States and Europe. Nonetheless, investors continue to rely on the largely unchanged ratings services.
With oil supplies tight, regions most vulnerable to oil supply disruptions present a significant economic concern, particularly threats to the Strait of Hormuz and unrest in Nigeria, explains this Backgrounder.
Kim Jong-il's death has prompted discussion about the future of the isolated country and its nuclear weapons program. Experts cited in this CFR Backgrounder believe a post-Kim regime in North Korea would remain a tough nuclear negotiator.
President Obama vowed in January 2009 to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. Two years later, the White House continues to face challenges to that promise, leaving critics to suggest the facility will remain open for the foreseeable future.
Lawmakers are considering sharp cuts to defense spending as part of mandated deficit-reduction efforts. This Backgrounder discusses the effects of such major cuts and implications for U.S. military strategy.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has emerged as one of the most dangerous al-Qaeda affiliates, strengthening amid political unrest in Yemen. This Backgrounder examines the group and U.S. counterterrorism operations.
The longstanding U.S.-South Korea alliance, created as a bulwark against a communist North Korea, has expanded to include tighter trade ties and cooperation on global issues from climate change to international development.
NCDs such as cancer and heart disease are becoming leading causes of death in the developing world and will be the focus of a September UN meeting. But health experts and others are divided about how much funding should go into a global campaign aimed at preventing NCDs and whether infectious disease programs will suffer as a result.
Interest in natural gas is growing for political, environmental, and economic reasons. But the industry faces challenges to adding pipelines, increasing international LNG trade, and exploiting newly found shale gas reserves.
The global drug industry has fought to prevent developing nations from making low-cost, generic versions of drugs under patent, but the demand for such alternatives is could rise with increasing healthcare costs and growing incidence of chronic disease.
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 Independent Task Force outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »
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