Two new revolutions in biology—gain-of-function research and synthetic biology—are forcing policymakers to rethink current national and international surveillance and regulatory systems, and any resolution will require international buy-in since the threat entails all living organisms.
"[N]ot all the refugees who have arrived in Zaatari want to live in the camp, with its common toilets and kitchens, disease and crowding. As a result, the sleepy village that is home to 12,000 Jordanians has been transformed by the arrival of several thousand refugees."
"A strengthened security relationship between these unlikely partners would be mutually beneficial and allow the sides to combine their assets to counter shared threats while minimizing the risks of international blowback."
"As the European Union has emerged as a regulatory superpower affecting 28 countries that collectively form the world's largest economy, its policies have become ever more important to corporations operating across borders. In turn, the influence business in Brussels has become ever larger and more competitive, rivaled only by Washington's."
"America's borrowing costs are on the cusp of exceeding the rest of the world for the first time since 2010 after a political stalemate over public funding triggered a 16-day government shutdown and jeopardized the nation's ability to pay its debt. Yields on Treasuries, which averaged less than 1 percent as recently as May, are now within 0.2 percentage point of the 1.57 percent for sovereign debt outside the U.S., according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes."
"Next year's elections to the European parliament also look like a possible breakthrough moment for a European Tea Party. The parliament has traditionally been the most federalist institution in Europe, acting as a lobby group for the transfer of more powers to Brussels. But next May's elections are likely to show a surge in votes for eurosceptic parties across the continent."
Asked by Justin McDowell, from Minnesota State University Moorhead
Counterinsurgency (COIN) operations will continue to be a viable option in future conflicts, particularly given rising instability in areas of interest to the United States and its allies. However, the relative feasibility and ability to support large COIN operations is very much in question.
"In the national collective consciousness, Boko Haram has become something more than a terrorist group, more even than a movement. Its name has taken on an incantatory power. Fearing they will be heard and then killed by Boko Haram, Nigerians refuse to say the group's name aloud, referring instead to 'the crisis' or 'the insecurity.'"
Peter Orszag and John Bridgeland argue that the federal government needs to do a better job of figuring out what programs work, giving more funding to the programs that are effective, and cutting funding from that programs that are not.
Ed Husain hosts Maajid Nawaz, author and co-founder of Quilliam Foundation and Khudi, in a discussion of what makes Islamist extremism attractive to youth internationally and how this phenomenon can be countered.
A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: Budget and debt ceiling concerns in Washington end for now; Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh visits Beijing; and Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif travels to the United States.
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.
2011 Corporate Conference: Recaps and Highlights
To encourage the free flow of conversation, the 2011 Corporate Conference was entirely not-for-attribution; however, several conference speakers joined us for sideline interviews further exploring their areas of expertise.
Former Treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin and Nobel Laureate economist Michael Spence on the global economic outlook.
Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and Edward Morse on energy geopolitics.