Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Karzai agreed on a draft text regarding the U.S.-Afghan security partnership after international combat troops withdraw. The agreement is set to take effect on January 1, 2015 and remain in force through 2024.
We don't know whether relations with Iran will go toward peace or war, but the interim freeze again under negotiations this week holds little risk and much promise. Don't let the hawks on both sides kill it, writes Leslie H. Gelb.
CFR Senior Fellow Joshua Kurlantzick leads a conversation on Myanmar's transition to democracy and the rise of inter-religious violence in the country, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
"'How do you transform into a nation without also transforming the traditional, monarchical, patriarchal system?' [historian Allen Fromherz] asks. As the small but natural-gas-rich country emerges onto the world's stage, this and other questions are unavoidable: Are the American universities actors in the country's future or merely props? Can they teach students to think critically about the contradictions and changes in Qatar while under the patronage of its ruling family?"
"Independent reports by human rights groups back Karzai's contention that there are too many civilian deaths in Afghanistan. But if they have become his rallying cry, it is also because they bring to mind the broader issue of Afghan sovereignty — the feeling Afghans have that they have become colonized subjects."
James M. Lindsay argues that while Congress has no direct role in the conduct of U.S. diplomacy, it can nonetheless still shape what presidents say to foreign governments or if they say anything at all.
In this op-ed for the South China Morning Post, with Margaret K. Lewis, Jerome Cohen says that without recourse to constitutional backing, the move to truly abolish re-education through labor in China faces the same hurdles as in past reform efforts.
Authors: Jagdish Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera-Batiz
Even if immigration reform managed to get through congress, it would do little to stem illegal immigration or improve the plight of the undocumented. So policymakers should shift their focus to a more humane, bottom-up approach: letting states compete for illegal immigrants.
Europe's social democrats hoped that the 2008 economic meltdown would vindicate their politics and strengthen their hand. But they failed to see how badly they had damaged their brand by compromising on core principles during the previous two decades. To find their way forward, they must return to their roots.
All the key barriers to the artificial synthesis of viruses and bacteria have been overcome, spawning a dizzying array of perils and promises. But as the scientific community forges ahead, the biosecurity establishment remains behind the curve.
Instead of hoping that a political miracle will spare the Pentagon from the budget ax, American defense officials need to start preparing for the inevitable. That means bringing personnel costs under control, getting on with strategic planning, and reshaping the forces for today's missions.
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.
2011 Corporate Conference: Recaps and Highlights
To encourage the free flow of conversation, the 2011 Corporate Conference was entirely not-for-attribution; however, several conference speakers joined us for sideline interviews further exploring their areas of expertise.
Former Treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin and Nobel Laureate economist Michael Spence on the global economic outlook.
Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and Edward Morse on energy geopolitics.