North America

Must Read

NYT: Patients' Costs Skyrocket; Specialists' Incomes Soar

Author: Elisabeth Rosenthal

"Doctors' charges — and the incentives they reflect — are a major factor in the nation's $2.7 trillion medical bill. Payments to doctors in the United States, who make far more than their counterparts in other developed countries, account for 20 percent of American health care expenses, second only to hospital costs."

See more in United States; Health

Must Read

BuzzFeed: 60 Words and a War Without End: The Untold Story of the Most Dangerous Sentence in U.S. History

Author: Gregory Johnsen

"Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here's how it came to be, and what it's since come to mean."

See more in United States; Counterterrorism

Op-Ed

Uniform Fix

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

"This habit of policymakers exalting the military as exemplars of accomplishment—in effect, asking generals and admirals to "save us from ourselves"—should be brought to a dignified end," writes Micah Zenko.

See more in United States; Military Leadership

Audio

Economic Policy After the Omnibus

Speaker: Jacob J. Lew
Presider: John C. Bussey

With the 2014 omnibus budget bill nearing completion, U.S. Treasury secretary Jacob Lew outlines his economic policy priorities for the coming year with John Bussey of the Wall Street Journal.

See more in United States; Economics

Transcript

Economic Policy After the Omnibus

Speaker: Jacob J. Lew
Presider: John C. Bussey

With the 2014 omnibus budget bill nearing completion, U.S. Treasury secretary Jacob Lew outlines his economic policy priorities for the coming year with John Bussey of the Wall Street Journal.

See more in United States; Economics

Video

Economic Policy After the Omnibus

Speaker: Jacob J. Lew
Presider: John C. Bussey

With the 2014 omnibus budget bill nearing completion, U.S. Treasury secretary Jacob Lew outlines his economic policy priorities for the coming year with John Bussey of the Wall Street Journal.

See more in United States; Economics

Must Read

New America Foundation: Do NSA's Bulk Surveillance Programs Stop Terrorists?

Authors: Peter Lampert Bergen, David Sterman, Emily Schneider, and Bailey Cahall

"Surveillance of American phone metadata has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism and only the most marginal of impacts on preventing terrorist-related activity, such as fundraising for a terrorist group.... The overall problem for U.S. counterterrorism officials is not that they need vaster amounts of information from the bulk surveillance programs, but that they don't sufficiently understand or widely share the information they already possess that was derived from conventional law enforcement and intelligence techniques."

See more in United States; Defense and Security

Must Read

Al-Monitor: In 'Rumi’s Field': Can U.S. and Iran Meet in a Place Beyond Sanctions and Centrifuges?

Author: John W. Limbert

"Some say Iran and the United States have "crossed the Rubicon," and there is no road back to the old ways. Whatever metaphor one uses, Iran and the United States have ventured into new and unfamiliar territory for which neither side has reliable maps. In this new reality, both sides must use long-neglected tools and exercise atrophied muscles. On this new ground they must put aside the old practices of reflexive bashing and insults and relearn elementary diplomacy: how to listen, how to be patient and how to be careful with language. They must relearn the value of quiet and private contacts, which without the need for posturing can set the stage for more fruitful public events."

See more in Iran; United States; Politics and Strategy

Teaching Module

Teaching Notes: No One's World

These Teaching Notes, by CFR Senior Fellow Charles A. Kupchan, feature discussion questions, essay questions, activities, and additional materials for educators to supplement the use of Dr. Kupchan's book No One's World in the classroom. In this book, Dr. Kupchan argues that the world is on the cusp of a redistribution of power in which no single state or region will dominate—or govern—the international scene.

See more in United States; Globalization

Must Read

New Yorker: The Al Qaeda Switchboard

Author: Lawrence Wright

"Yes, the F.B.I. could have stopped 9/11. It had a warrant to establish surveillance of everyone connected to Al Qaeda in America. It could follow them, tap their phones, clone their computers, read their e-mails, and subpoena their medical, bank, and credit-card records. It had the right to demand records from telephone companies of any calls they had made. There was no need for a metadata-collection program. What was needed was coöperation with other federal agencies, but for reasons both petty and obscure those agencies chose to hide vital clues from the investigators most likely to avert the attacks."

See more in United States; Defense and Security

Must Read

NYT: The House Edge

Authors: David Kocieniewski and Gretchen Morgenson

Articles in this series examine the challenges posed by Wall Street's influence over markets and the prices consumers pay.

See more in United States; Economics

Op-Ed

Words of Unwisdom

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

The past year was filled with unusual, hypocritical, depressing, and inspiring quotes from U.S. policymakers. Micah Zenko has sifted through congressional hearings, press conferences, news articles, and reports to bring you 2014's top 20 notable foreign policy comments from U.S. government.

See more in United States; Politics and Strategy