Foreign Affairs Article

Drone On

Author: Gretchen West
In the beginning, drones were almost exclusively the province of militaries. At first little more than remote-controlled model planes used in the World War I era, military drones advanced steadily over the decades, eventually becoming sophisticated tools that could surveil battlefield enemies from the sky. Today, the terms “drone” and “unmanned aircraft system” denote a vehicle that navigates through the air from point A to point B and is either remotely controlled or flies autonomously.

See more in Global; Space

Foreign Affairs Article

The Democratization of Space

Authors: Dave Baiocchi and William Wesler IV

Starting with the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik in 1957, early space missions were funded exclusively by national governments, and for good reason: going to space was astronomically expensive. Setting up a successful space program meant making major investments in expertise and infrastructure, along with tolerating a great deal of risk—which only the superpowers could do.

See more in Global; Space

Foreign Affairs Article

The Precision Agriculture Revolution

Author: Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer

housands of years ago, agriculture began as a highly site-specific activity. The first farmers were gardeners who nurtured individual plants, and they sought out the microclimates and patches of soil that favored those plants. But as farmers acquired scientific knowledge and mechanical expertise, they enlarged their plots, using standardized approaches—plowing the soil, spreading animal manure as fertilizer, rotating the crops from year to year—to boost crop yields.

See more in Global; Agricultural Policy

Primary Sources

G7 Leaders' Declaration at Elmau

Group of Seven (G7), which includes leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, met in Schloss Elmau, Germany on June 7-8, 2015. They released a declaration on commitments to low-carbon emission strategies, economic issues, and several foreign policy issues, such as the violence in Ukraine, nuclear safety, and addressing health threats such as Ebola and antimicrobial resistance.

See more in Global; International Organizations and Alliances

Other Report

Fuel Subsidy Reform

CFR convened roughly twenty experts for an all-day workshop in May 2015 to discuss fossil fuel subsidy reform. This report summarizes the highlights of that discussion.

See more in Global; Economics