Outside of a humanitarian crisis—such as a famine or a natural disaster—it is hard to make the case that any country deserves another's economic support. To paraphrase Britain's Lord Palmerston, countries do not have permanent friends, only permanent interests.
Gregory Koblentz argues that the United States' best option for a response to the conflict in Syria is not simply arming the rebels, pushing for UN sanctions, indicting Assad, or pressuring Russia—rather, it is a combination of all four.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held this press conference after their meeting on May 7, 2013, focused primarily on U.S.-Russian cooperation in regards to Syria.
The Administration has given the Syrian opposition more than six hundred and fifty million dollars in nonmilitary aid, but Obama has consistently opposed arming the rebels or intervening militarily on their behalf. The United States has taken a tenuous position: not deep enough to please the rebels or its allies in Europe, or to topple the regime, or to claim leadership in the war's aftermath—but also, perhaps most important, not so deep that it can't get out.
The political standoff between the Shiite government of Nuri al-Maliki and Sunni protestors is fueling growing instability in Iraq, which recorded its most violent month in five years, explains Iraq expert Ned Parker.
Asked by Jake C., from University of Texas at Tyler
A number of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Qatar, have been providing support to the opposition in various forms, ranging from humanitarian aid to military supplies, such as weapons, armor, and communication devices. However, these efforts have not been enough to turn the tide, and after three years of fighting, a diplomatic solution still seems unlikely.
In light of recent reports of chemical weapons being used against Syrian civilians, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon highlights frustrations felt by some State Department employees at the lack of response from the White House.
The UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was passed on March 28, 2013, and seeks to regulate and limit trade in arms in circumstances of human rights violations. Unfortunately, it will have minimal effect on the Syrian conflict. Syria's own vote against the treaty, along with Iran's and North Korea's, sounded the death knell for a universally applicable treaty to limit small arms, ammunition, and conventional weapons technology.
The article also provides a detailed case study of Hossam Yaacoub—the convicted Hizb Allah operative now serving time in a Cypriot prison for his role in a plot targeting Israeli tourists—to show how Hizb Allah has resurrected its terrorist capabilities. Drawn from the police depositions of interviews with Yaacoub after his arrest, the case provides unique insights into how Hizb Allah recruits and trains new operatives.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden met with a delegation of the Arab League on April 29, 2013. The group discussed the conflict between Israel and Palestine and the Arab Peace Initiative.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel held a press conference in Abu Dhabi to wrap up his five day trip to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. He discussed U.S. intelligence on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
The United States tried to convince Israel to join the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) when the treaty was first introduced and before it was widely believed that Israel had nuclear weapons. The NPT's objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and further the goal of universal disarmament.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is not an actual government, nor is Palestine a universally recognized nation. Therefore, it makes little sense to speak of the PA's "foreign policy." However, when it comes to the PA's relations with its neighbors, the Arab Spring revolutions have been a mixed blessing.
Robert M. Danin, CFR's Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies, leads a conversation on the significance of Israel's new coalition government and President Obama's recent trip to the region, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
Anti-Americanism might have ebbed momentarily thanks to U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and support for the Arab Spring. But hostility is once again mounting in the Arab world. In Amaney Jamal's new book, she tries to determine why.
Authors: William Luers, Iris Bieri, and Priscilla Lewis
It is time for Washington to rebalance its dual-track policy toward Iran, strengthening the diplomatic track in order to seize the opportunity created by the pressure track. The United States should now dedicate as much energy and creativity to negotiating directly with Iran as it has to assembling a broad international coalition to pressure and isolate Iran. Only by taking such a rebalanced approach might the United States achieve its objectives with respect to Iran's nuclear program.
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.