"On November 11, it is worth remembering that the investments involved in preserving peace in Europe are peanuts compared to the price of war. In terms of value for money, the EU is a bargain. So too is NATO. Even the largely dysfunctional UN is, on balance, a cheap asset. Today's anniversary can still offer quite a few political lessons. Unfortunately, they are all about hard work."
"One problem with economics is that it is necessarily focused on policy, rather than discovery of fundamentals. Nobody really cares much about economic data except as a guide to policy: economic phenomena do not have the same intrinsic fascination for us as the internal resonances of the atom or the functioning of the vesicles and other organelles of a living cell. We judge economics by what it can produce. As such, economics is rather more like engineering than physics, more practical than spiritual."
Julia Sweig reflects on Washington's inconsistent response to outrage from foreign leaders at revelations of NSA spying, and on the roots and the implications of the United States' Euro-centric diplomacy.
The NSA revelations have already resulted in policy changes, but this will not be Edward Snowden's most meaningful impact. Rather, "The default appeal to 9/11 and vague warnings of terrorism that Bush and Obama administration officials relied upon to shape opinions and silence critics is no longer sufficient or acceptable," writes Micah Zenko.
A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: Talks over Iran's nuclear program resume in Geneva; the U.S. Senate discusses the impact of sequestration on defense; and India hosts the World Chess Championship.
"As money has rushed into emerging markets in recent years, this has created an image of abundant liquidity. But this image may be dangerously illusory, some policy makers fear, as one of the little-noticed ironies of the 2013 financial system is that there may now be fewer–not more–shock absorbers in the markets than there were before 2008. This factor may explain why this summer's gyrations in emerging market assets were so dramatic."
Compared to previous years, the Obama administration has wisely reduced the number of drone strikes that it conducts. Micah Zenko discusses why the United States' restraint in conducting strikes and rejection of demands for U.S. drone strikes on behalf of other countries are wise policy choices.
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 author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.