Audio

Pope Francis and the Vatican

Speaker: Kurt Martens

Kurt Martens leads a conversation on Pope Francis's leadership of the Catholic Church one year after his papal inauguration, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.

See more in Global; Religion

Transcript

Media Call on President Obama's Trip to Asia

Speakers: Sheila A. Smith and Joshua Kurlantzick
Presider: James M. Lindsay

In April 2014, President Obama left on his rescheduled trip to Asia, making stops in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Senior Fellow for Japan Studies Sheila Smith and Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick discussed the president's priorities in Asia prior to his trip.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Interactive

Timeline: U.S.-Cuba Relations

Following Fidel Castro's ascent to power, U.S.-Cuba ties have endured a nuclear crisis, a long-lasting U.S. economic embargo, and ongoing political hostilities. Well beyond the end of the Cold War, the diplomatic relationship between Washington and Havana remains frozen.

See more in Cuba; Politics and Strategy

Video

China's Maritime Disputes

Speakers: Elizabeth C. Economy, Richard N. Haass, Shen Dingli, Sheila A. Smith, and Simon Tay

The East and South China Seas are the scene of escalating territorial disputes between China and its neighbors, including Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The tensions, shaped by China's growing assertiveness, have fueled concerns over armed conflict and raised questions about Washington's security commitments in its strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Defense and Security

Article

Waste of Space

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Orbit space debris threatens U.S. space assets and assured access to the domain. Micah Zenko argues that the United States has a unique obligation to prevent or mitigate the consequences of dangerous space incidents, which are the primary cause of space debris, because it relies heavily on space and has unmatched space situational awareness.

See more in United States; Space

Op-Ed

Obama Is on the Right Course with His Reorientation Toward Asia

Author: Thomas E. Donilon
Washington Post

Questions have arisen in recent months about the sustainability of the United States' rebalance toward Asia. The costly cancellation of President Obama's trip to the region during the U.S. government shutdown last fall fueled that skepticism, which has only grown as urgent foreign policy challenges have required U.S. leadership in the Middle East and Europe.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Must Read

New America Foundation: Strategic Empathy

Author: Matt Waldman

"Empathy can provide insights into how other actors are likely to perceive and react to what the United States does, and expose false assumptions that sometimes underpin strategic mistakes.This kind of information is critical as the United States weighs options for action–coercive or otherwise–in Syria, Ukraine and beyond. The case of Afghanistan shows that the human, financial and geopolitical costs are too high for empathy to be ignored."

See more in United States; Afghanistan; Politics and Strategy

Primary Sources

Geneva Statement on Ukraine

Foreign ministers from the United States, the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia released a joint statement on April 17, 2014, outlining steps to reduce tensions in Ukraine after President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted and Russia annexed Crimea. The foreign ministers charge Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with enforcing the agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton held a press conference to discuss the agreement.

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Prevention

Contingency Planning Memorandum

Dangerous Space Incidents

Author: Micah Zenko

Dangerous incidents in outer space pose an increasing threat to U.S. assets and risk escalating into militarized crises. Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko details how the Obama administration could reduce the likelihood of such crises, or mitigate their consequences should they occur.

See more in Global; Space

Must Read

World Politics Review: Australia’s Abbott Seeks to Balance Japan, South Korea and China on Asian Trip

Author: Roxana Horton

"Japan and Australia share an important ally in the United States, and lest the U.S. pivot to Asia be forgotten, Japan and Australia reaffirmed the importance of strong U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region and expressed strong support for what the U.S. now calls the rebalance. But how can Australia pull this off without antagonizing Beijing?"

See more in Asia and Pacific; Politics and Strategy