Americas

Op-Ed

How Little Do U.S. Allies in NATO Spend on Defense?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

When President Barack Obama sits down with the leaders of allied governments in Warsaw on Friday, there will be much talk of the revitalization of NATO. Much of it will even be justified: The alliance is making its security guarantees more meaningful by deploying more troops with better equipment to front-line Eastern European states.

See more in United States; Defense Budget; International Organizations and Alliances

News Release

CFR Establishes Lipman Chair to Focus on Emerging Technologies and National Security

To assist generations of U.S. policymakers to navigate the complexities of cyber and other technological threats, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has launched the Ira A. Lipman Chair in Emerging Technologies and National Security, named for longtime CFR member Ira A. Lipman, the founder and chairman emeritus of Guardsmark, LLC—one of the world’s largest security services companies.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity

Article

Puerto Rico Debt Legislation Provides Fiscal Oversight Without Overreaching

Author: Brad W. Setser
The Hill

The core of any deal to address Puerto Rico’s imminent debt default long has been clear:  strong fiscal oversight, paired with powerful tools to facilitate a necessary debt restructuring.     But oversight should not overreach, and the new restructuring tools should respect the differences created by existing contracts.   The legislation (PROMESA) that emerged from the House achieves the needed balance; it needs to pass the Senate quickly.

See more in Puerto Rico; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Article

The Reality Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Ignores

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

In the wake of the horror in Orlando, discussion has once again focused on the idea of placing a 'ban' on all Muslims entering the United States. The idea is to keep Muslims out of America and to go further by banning all entrants from countries with a "proven history of terrorism" against this country.

See more in United States; Religion

Article

Will Brexit Affect U.S. Consumer Confidence? The Outcome May Determine Our Next President

Authors: Benn Steil and Emma Smith
PBS NewsHour

Benn Steil’s June 24 op-ed on the PBS NewsHour Making$ense site, co-authored with Emma Smith, shows the strong relationship between consumer confidence and presidential elections going back to 1952. Current readings suggest an 80% chance of a Clinton victory, but the Brexit aftermath threatens to knock that down significantly.

See more in United States; United Kingdom; Elections; International Organizations and Alliances

Foreign Affairs Article

American Political Decay or Renewal?

Author: Francis Fukuyama

Two years ago, I argued in these pages that America was suffering from political decay. The country’s constitutional system of checks and balances, combined with partisan polarization and the rise of well-financed interest groups, had combined to yield what I labeled “vetocracy,” a situation in which it was easier to stop government from doing things than it was to use govern­ment to promote the common good.

See more in United States; Elections

Foreign Affairs Article

The Case for Offshore Balancing

Authors: John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt

For the first time in recent memory, large numbers of Americans are openly questioning their country’s grand strategy. An April 2016 Pew poll found that 57 percent of Americans agree that the United States should “deal with its own problems and let others deal with theirs the best they can.” 

See more in United States; Grand Strategy

Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 57

Reconfiguring USAID for State-Building

Authors: Max Boot and Michael Miklaucic

The United States needs a civilian capacity to foster better-functioning institutions in chaotic countries, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) should lead that effort. To embrace a state-building mission, however, USAID will have to be transformed. Max Boot and Michael Miklaucic argue that the agency will need to do less but do it better, and limit its efforts to strategically important states while enhancing its focus on building core state functions. 

See more in United States; Foreign Aid; Nation Building