North America

Article

Obama’s Focus Is on Nation-Building at Home

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
The New York Times

Every period of great exertion in American foreign policy — World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the cold war, the post-9/11 wars — has been followed by some sort of downsizing. To many, this feels like weakness; to others, mere realism. But there's no arguing with the pattern. The past few years were going to be a time of retrenchment no matter who was in charge.

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Primary Sources

Department of Defense: Quadrennial Defense Review Report

The Quadrennial Defense Review is mandated by Title 10, Section 118 of the US Code, which states that every four years, the Secretary of Defense, with input from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, must conduct "a comprehensive examination ... of the national defense strategy, force structure, force modernization plans, infrastructure, budget plan, and other elements of the defense program and policies of the United States with a view toward determining and expressing the defense strategy of the United States and establishing a defense program for the next 20 years."

See more in Defense Strategy; Defense Budget; United States

Video

U.S.-Cuba: American Public Opinion Today

Speakers: Glen Bolger and Julia E. Sweig
Introductory Speaker: Jason Marczak
Presider: Adriana Vargas

This roundtable presented and analyzed the results of a national, bipartisan poll conducted by the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, tracking public opinion and attitudes in the United States toward Cuba and U.S. policy toward the island.

See more in Cuba; United States; Global Governance

Primary Sources

Issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year. Other related and supporting budget publications, such as the Economic Report of the President, are included, which may vary from year to year.

See more in United States; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Audio

Fracking Revolution Transforming the Global Energy Landscape

Speakers: Dennis C. Blair and John Browne
Presider: Robert D. Blackwill

Increased petroleum production in the United States, fueled largely by recent technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has had a profound effect on the U.S. economy and global energy markets. CFR's Robert Blackwill sits down with Admiral Dennis Blair and former BP CEO John Browne to outline both the economic and geopolitcal implications of the current U.S. energy boom.

See more in United States; Energy Policy

Video

Fracking Revolution Transforming the Global Energy Landscape

Speakers: Dennis C. Blair and John Browne
Presider: Robert D. Blackwill

Increased petroleum production in the United States, fueled largely by recent technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has had a profound effect on the U.S. economy and global energy markets. CFR's Robert Blackwill sits down with Admiral Dennis Blair and former BP CEO John Browne to outline both the economic and geopolitcal implications of the current U.S. energy boom.

See more in United States; Energy Policy

Primary Sources

GAO Report 14-299: Maritime Infrastructure

The U.S. Government Accountability Office released report 14-299 to congressional requesters in March 2014. The report discusses "(1) current commercial maritime activity in the U.S. Arctic and anticipated activity in the next 10 years, (2) actions taken by government entities in support of planning and developing U.S. Arctic maritime infrastructure, and (3) federal interagency efforts to identify and prioritize Arctic maritime-infrastructure investments."

See more in Arctic; United States; Oceans; Infrastructure

Must Read

Washington Post: Is Hagel Tying America's Hands (And is That a Bad Thing)?

Author: David Edelstein

"In an ideal world, the United States can guarantee the security of its interests without being tempted to undertake occupations and interventions that have little chance of succeeding and promise high costs. The U.S. military will retain substantial air, sea, and ground capabilities even after the proposed cuts. These capabilities ought to be sufficient to deter the most likely adversaries from taking aggressive actions and to reassure allies about the sincerity of America's commitment to their security."

See more in United States; Politics and Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

Running the Pentagon Right

Author: Ashton B. Carter

War inevitably presents unexpected challenges. From Germany's use of mustard gas during World War I to North Vietnam's surprisingly effective use of its air defense system during the Vietnam War, the United States has always faced unanticipated threats in combat that have required agile responses.

See more in United States; Defense and Security