It is not clear how the interim Geneva agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers will affect Iran's relationship with Lebanon-basedHezbollahor Hezbollah's regional influence. According to the IAEA'smost recent report, Iran's stockpile of medium-enriched uranium has decreased substantially from its prior levels, suggesting that Iran is implementing the Geneva agreement, at least for the time being. One could certainly argue that if Iran continues to comply with the deal and forecloses its nuclear option, it will no longer be able to easily project influence with the threat of nuclear weapons acquisition or a latent nuclear capability. By this logic, Iran may choose to rely more heavily on Hezbollah to make its presence felt throughout the region. This is certainly a concern of other Gulf States, whofear that the nuclear deal does not address the threat that proxy groups may pose to their regimes.
As Washington remains reluctant to take strong action in Syria, Gayle T. Lemmon discusses the limited interventions under consideration for U.S. intervention, including counterterrorism operations inside Syria, increased arms distribution to moderate rebels, and humanitarian aid.
Speakers: Elliott Abrams, Suzanne Maloney, Gideon Rose, and George Perkovich
Experts discuss the challenges, opportunities. and future of the Iranian nuclear talks and whether these talks will succeed or fail. Elliot Abrams, Suzanne Maloney, Gideon Rose, and George Perkovich focus on the future of the nuclear energy talks and how that will affect foreign policy regarding U.S. involvement or the possibility of Iran going nuclear.
"China has long maintained a no-strings-attached approach to doing business in Africa, with little involvement in conflict resolution. But the friction in recent years between Sudan and South Sudan, and now within South Sudan, has resulted in a marked change because of China's interest in maintaining its oil supply."
"The UN's current polio vaccination program—sponsored by UNICEF and delivered in UN-financed convoys and flights—is fully orchestrated by the Syrian government, and in opposition-held areas, it is dependent for administration on volunteers from the government-dominated Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). SARC's president, Abdul Rahman Attar, is closely tied to the government, and even has his own pharmaceutical company, which has influenced the preference given to regime territory in the administration of polio vaccines during these last three years."
Three contributors to the Foreign Affairs ebook Iran and the Bomb 2: A New Hope—CFR Senior Fellow Elliott Abrams, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Suzanne Maloney, and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Vice President George Perkovich—discuss the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 over Iran's nuclear program, including the debate about potential U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Charles Berger argues that the United States should fund the establishment of a permanent terrorist rehabilitation institution in Yemen, providing a critical counterterrorism partner with a needed strategic capability to counter al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and forming the cornerstone of a strengthened intelligence-sharing relationship.
This is an idea first proposed by Vice President Biden in 2006 when he was a senator. It was a non-starter then and it won't work any better today. While the Kurdish region in the north is already almost an independent country, neither Shiites nor Sunnis are interested in splitting up the rest of Iraq—something that would be hard to do, in any case, because the two sects are intermingled in Baghdad and other areas. Just as the solution to Iraq's last major bout of bloodletting, in 2003-2007, wasn't partition, so it isn't today.
"Since 2006, tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution in their country have ended up in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without problems and crossed into Israel. But over the past three years, Sinai has increasingly represented a dead-end comprised of captivity, cruelty, torture, and death."
In his testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Steven A. Cook addresses the current state of Egypt, the situation in the Sinai Peninsula, its potential to affect American national security interests, and what the United States can do to help the Egyptians meet the challenges they confront.
Isobel Coleman writes that the emphasis on vocational education and training (VET) in Egypt's new constitution's has merit, but other countries' struggles with training the workforce of tomorrow are sobering. Put simply, effective VET programs are hard to do.
"The government, for its part, is wary of clamping down on the mutaween for fear of inciting a conservative backlash and is walking a fine line between the religious police and an increasingly angry populace. While dismantling of the force is unrealistic, this delicate moment opens a window of opportunity for Saudis. By continuing to voice anger and disapproval, the public may provide Riyadh with the leverage it needs to demand police adherence to regulations already in place, and slowly weaken the commission's influence."
"Of the approximately hundred thousand Jews in Iran at the time of the revolution, only twenty thousand remain. They…no longer felt welcome in their homeland. Today, despite promises by the new president, Hassan Rouhani, to protect the freedom of ethnic and religious minorities (and the appointment of an aide to focus on their affairs), the persecution continues."
Max Boot writes that Obama's Syria policy has contributed to what may be the worst humanitarian crisis in two decades, and that the U.S. could do far more short of sending in ground troops to ameliorate the situation.
On February 7, 1984, President Ronald Reagan withdrew the U.S. Marines from Lebanon—an action that was "perhaps the most purposeful and consequential foreign-policy decision of his presidency," Micah Zenko writes. In this article, Zenko discusses the unclear and unachievable mission of the United States in Lebanon, and Reagan's subsequent decision to withdraw.
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The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
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.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 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 »