The United States is currently pursuing two of the largest trade deals in history, one with Asia and the other with the European Union, but concerns persist over the effects of trade on employment, inequality, national sovereignty, and safety standards.
Robert D. Blackwill and Ashley J. Tellis argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power. This Council Special Report recommends placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
As the international troop presence in Afghanistan shrinks, the United States and India have a shared interest in a stable future for Afghanistan. CFR Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia Alyssa Ayres writes that the United States should encourage Indian support for Afghanistan in areas of Indian expertise: democracy, economics, and civilian security.
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea continue to be a source of tension and potential conflict between China and other countries in the region. Bonnie S. Glaser argues that the United States should help lower the risk of conflict in the region, including the potential for dangerous military incidents involving U.S. and Chinese military forces.
China's new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank has raised questions about United States policy in Asia. Several European nations, South Korea and Australia have signed on to China's initiative, which seeks to raise $50 billion to $100 billion for Asian development. While the U.S. remains cautious about this new China-led effort to fund infrastructure and development, it should welcome the participation of others.
India now faces many of the same environmental challenges that China does. But there are striking differences in how the two countries are confronting environmental issues, says Elizabeth Economy, and both countries have much to learn from one another.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership would help most Americans economically and serve the country's strategic aims, and deserves the support of Congress," write CFR President Richard N. Haass and former deputy Treasury secretary Roger C. Altman.
Janine Davidson and Lauren Dickey, writing in the Diplomat Magazine, assess the military, diplomatic, and economic measures taken in accordance with the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. While the rebalance has so far been a success, they argue that it must be embraced by the next U.S. president in order to become an enduring national policy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced this initiative in 2013, which aims to connect countries along the original Silk Road and other maritime nations. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will lend to countries working on these infrastructure and trade projects. On March 28, 2015, the China's Foreign Ministry released the first edition of the initiative's joint vision and actions.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke to a joint session of Congress on March 25, 2015. He discusses U.S.-Afghan agreements such as the Bilateral Security Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the withdrawl of American combat troops from Afghanistan, and the threat of the Islamic State (or Daesh).
The Taliban has outlasted the world’s most potent military forces and its two main factions now challenge the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. As U.S. troops draw down, the next phase of conflict will have consequences that extend far beyond the region.
For more on the complex challenges that lie ahead for the world's largest and most rapidly changing continent, visit the Asia Program.
CFR Experts Guide
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.
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 »