"The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty."
The United Nations said that in 2005 about its "responsibility to protect." It's the concept that "if a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations."
And here is what UN officials said this week when describing what is happening in Syria: "A complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo."
The Middle East will not find peace so long as President Bashar al-Assad rules over a truncated Syria, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Assad’s victory over the rebels in Aleppo will not result in stability for the rest of the country or the region.
The Arab world's stirring for political change in 2011 failed dramatically, but support for building democratic institutions still represents one of the region's best hopes for reform, writes CFR's Elliott Abrams.
There are important lessons for the incoming Trump administration on Iran they can learn from their predecessors, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh. They should recognize that the Islamic Republic is a unitary nation-state purged of reformers, that it is susceptible to a threat of force, and that Iran is not interested in normalizing relations with the United States.
The Obama obsession with Israeli settlement activity ruined his policy toward Israel, prevented the negotiations he wanted, and was not based on the facts. The Trump administration should take a very different approach, Elliott Abrams argues in Foreign Policy magazine.
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is in trouble,” warn Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellows Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon in a new Council Special Report, Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship. Significant policy differences over issues in the Middle East, as well as changing demographics and politics within both the United States and Israel, have pushed the two countries apart. Blackwill, a former senior official in the Bush administration, and Gordon, a former senior official in the Obama administration, call for “a deliberate and sustained effort by policymakers and opinion leaders in both countries” to repair the relationship and to avoid divisions “that no one who cares about Israel’s security or America’s values and interests in the Middle East should want.”
While Donald Trump was getting himself elected president, various factions of the American Left were fighting over just how much to boycott Israel. Elliott Abrams explains their ludicrous debate in The Weekly Standard.
CFR's Ray Takeyh reviews Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Michael Doran's new book, Ike's Gamble: America's Rise to Dominance in the Middle East, which sheds new light on the history of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's foreign policy in the Middle East.
At climate talks in Morocco, negotiators will try to move forward on issues left unresolved by the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, developed and developing countries still remain far apart on major issues, write CFR’s Varun Sivaram and Sagatom Saha.
Partitioning Syria under a weak federal structure with a massive Western force to enforce a power-sharing agreement is the only real option the United States and its allies has for solving the Syrian conflict, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
Iraq’s campaign to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State and restore the Iraqi government’s authority requires coordination among numerous armed groups with competing interests, says CFR’s Philip H. Gordon.
A missile attack on a U.S. warship in the Bab al-Mandeb strait, off the coast of Yemen, illustrates how the U.S. Navy responds to an array of threats while patrolling the world’s waterways, says CFR visiting fellow Captain Clint Carroll.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »