"[Keeping the phone metadata collection program] was the first in a series of decisions by Obama to institutionalize some of the most controversial national-security policies of the Bush Administration. Faced with a long list of policies to roll back…reining in the N.S.A.'s surveillance programs might have seemed like a low priority. As core members of Al Qaeda were killed, the danger shifted to terrorists who were less organized and more difficult to detect, making the use of the N.S.A.'s powerful surveillance tools even more seductive."
"To join a U.S.-Japanese anti-Chinese coalition would not only antagonize China, it would align Korea with its "ancient foe." Worse, the mutual U.S. alliances mean that nationalists and maximalists in Korea and Japan can make whatever outrageous claims they like about the other, yet face little geopolitical consequence. U.S. alliances are a form of "moral hazard" that ironically worsen the problem by reducing the incentives for rapprochement."
"This boldness is at the heart of the Kerry Doctrine, which involves tackling the issues most likely to make a historic difference -- that is, the world's most festering problems -- and doing so with direct, don't-sweat-the-small-stuff diplomacy. It rests on leveraging long-term, substantive relationships with fellow politicians around the world in order to employ diplomatic intervention as the first choice, not the last resort."
The French newspaper Le Monde interviewed Afghan President Hamid Karzai on December 10, 2013. He discussed the U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement about U.S. military assistance in Afghanistan after 2014 and his conditions for signing it.
On December 10, 2013, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approved the "Prohibitions and Restrictions on Proprietary Trading and Certain Interests in, and Relationships With, Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds," part of the Dodd-Frank Act commonly known as the Volcker Rule.
Benn Steil's latest op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, co-authored with Dinah Walker, shows that developing countries running large current account deficits have seen their economies whipsawed by volatile capital flows triggered by unconventional monetary policy at the Fed and elsewhere in the developed world. The clear lesson for such countries is that they should pursue policies which constitute "currency manipulation" in Washington, thereby setting the stage for rising global trade tensions.
It's time to get tougher with China. That's the refrain heard just a bit louder here and in Asia after China's imposition of an air ID zone over disputed islands and the Biden trip, writes Leslie H. Gelb.
Several U.S. technology companies, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL, published an open letter to the government in newspapers on December 9, 2013. The letter requests an end bulk collection of user data, including email, address books, and video chats, and lists accountability and transparency principles the companies support.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.