North America

Foreign Affairs Article

Hypocrisy Hype

Authors: Martha Finnemore and Michael Cohen

In their essay "The End of Hypocrisy" (November/December 2013), Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore argue that the biggest threat from leakers of classified information such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden is that "they undermine Washington's ability to act hypocritically and get away with it."

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Foreign Affairs Article

Is Cyberwar Real?

Authors: Jarno Limnell and Thomas Rid

Thomas Rid ("Cyberwar and Peace," November/December 2013) describes cyberattacks as somehow separate from conventional warfare because they fail to meet all three of Clausewitz's definitions of war as violent, instrumental, and attributable to one side as an action taken for a political goal.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity

Article

Waste of Space

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Orbit space debris threatens U.S. space assets and assured access to the domain. Micah Zenko argues that the United States has a unique obligation to prevent or mitigate the consequences of dangerous space incidents, which are the primary cause of space debris, because it relies heavily on space and has unmatched space situational awareness.

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Must Read

Radiolab: 60 Words

"In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into lawcalled the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the 'war on terror.'"

See more in United States; 9/11 Impact

Must Read

New America Foundation: Strategic Empathy

Author: Matt Waldman

"Empathy can provide insights into how other actors are likely to perceive and react to what the United States does, and expose false assumptions that sometimes underpin strategic mistakes.This kind of information is critical as the United States weighs options for action–coercive or otherwise–in Syria, Ukraine and beyond. The case of Afghanistan shows that the human, financial and geopolitical costs are too high for empathy to be ignored."

See more in United States; Afghanistan; Politics and Strategy

News Release

New CFR Scorecard Shows U.S. Corporate Tax System Keeps Foreign Profits Abroad

Nearly three decades after the last major tax overhaul, both Democratic and Republican parties and President Barack Obama agree that cutting the corporate tax rate and taxing foreign profits differently would move the tax system in the right direction. The outdated corporate tax system does not raise as much revenue as the systems of most other rich countries, even as U.S. corporate profits have reached record highs, according to a new progress report and scorecard from the Council on Foreign Relations' Renewing America initiative.

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Primary Sources

The Landon Lecture

On April 15, 2014, Thomas E. Donilon delivered the 165th Alf Landon Lecture at Kansas State University. He discusses why "America is not in decline but will continue to be the world's leading and most powerful nation for a long time to come."

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Transcript

Agricultural Technology and Productivity Continue to Make Gains, Ensure U.S. Food Security

Speaker: Tom Vilsack
Presider: Roger C. Altman

With the 2014 farm bill now enacted into law, U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack visits CFR to discuss the USDA's policy priorities with Roger Altman of Evercore Partners. Vilsack credits advanced agricultural technology and the productivity of American farmers with maintaining the country's status as a food-secure nation, despite a growing population and a shrinking agricultural sector.

See more in United States; Agricultural Policy