Speakers: Ryan Crocker, Charles W. Dunne, and Paul Pillar Presider: Richard N. Haass
More than three years after the start of the Syrian civil war, debates continue about what role, if any, the United States should play in the conflict. Ryan Crocker of Texas A&M, Freedom House's Charles Dunne, and Paul Pillar of Georgetown University join CFR President Richard N. Haass to outline the courses of action available to the United States and debate whether U.S. intervention would be desirable or effective.
Foreign policy is a critical component in the lives, conduct, and governance of all nation-states. But it has become even more significant in recent years as interstate relations have grown ever more complex.
Contrary to popular myths and conspiracy theories about Washington's desire to control the Middle East, for the past six decades, U.S. policymakers have usually sought to minimize the United States' involvement there.
A SARS-like disease called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that kills a third of those it infects is suddenly, and mysteriously, surging inside Saudi Arabia. Laurie Garrett examines some of the possible causes and analyzes what steps need to be taken to prevent a global outbreak.
The tragedy of Iran is that it may not be able to reach an agreement over its nuclear program even when it knows it needs one. The Islamic Republic's political class knows its hold on power depends on sustained economic growth, and that in turn requires a resolution of the nuclear issue.
"The resurgence of Iraq's Shiites is the greatest legacy of the American invasion, which overthrew Sunni rule and replaced it with a government led by Shiites—the first since the eighteenth century. Eight years after Maliki took power, Iraqis are sorting through the consequences. The Green Zone—still known by its English name—has the same otherworldly feel that it did during the American war: a placid, manicured outpost in a jungle of trouble. Now, though, it is essentially a bastion of Shiite power, in a country shot through with angry Sunni citizens."
Isobel Coleman hosts Everette E. Dennis, dean and chief executive officer of Northwestern University in Qatar, for a discussion on higher education in Arab Gulf countries, and the role of U.S. universities in the region's educational landscape.
"Washington does not have a Yemen policy, much less a progressive vision for the country. Instead, American policies in the Peninsula privilege the permanence and prosperity of the GCC monarchies, notably the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Neither the Bush nor the Obama administrations have regarded Yemen as a real place with real politics."
"Though less popular than in 2010, Maliki believes he will benefit from the fear and chaos, presenting himself as the only one capable of guarding his community and saving Iraq. The sectarian conflict becomes another way of waging politics and outlasting competitors."
"The only way this bleak prognosis could change is if Mr Netanyahu himself were to 'do a Sharon'—that is, to defy his own Likud party, forge a new outfit, reshape his coalition, and—in an expression that often comes up in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv—'cross the Rubicon' on the way to two states."
Speakers: Jaime McAuliffe and Pamela Flaherty Presider: Isobel Coleman
Isobel Coleman hosts Jamie McAuliffe, president and chief executive officer of Education For Employment, and Pamela Flaherty, president and chief executive officer of the Citi Foundation, for a discussion on addressing the challenge of youth unemployment in the Middle East.
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 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 »