Policymakers are currently debating the appropriate level of U.S. military spending given increasingly constrained budgets and the winding down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The following charts present historical trends in U.S. military spending and analyze the forces that may drive it lower.
Senior administration officials updated the press regarding negotations between the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany) and Iran on nuclear nonproliferation, held July 2-20, 2014. The discussions are a continuation of deal reached in November 2013, which provided sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for limiting its nuclear activities by July 20, 2014.
President George W. Bush and President Hu Jintao initiated the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in 2006, where leaders from both nations meet twice a year to seek opportunities for bilateral cooperation. From 2009, President Barack Obama continued this series as the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), though on an annual basis and with separate "tracks," the Treasury Department leading the Economic Track and State Department leading the Strategic track. The sessions conclude with a jointly-produced "Fact Sheet" detailing the agreements reached at that round of the SED.
Janine Davidson discusses three misconceptions about the United States' increasing deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles: that they "cause" disproportionately high civilian casualties, that they inherently cost less than manned aircraft, and that most of them are weaponized (in fact, less than one percent carry weapons at any given time).
This U.S. Court of Appeal's Second Circuit ruled that this redacted version of a 2010 Justice Department memo, which "signed off on the effort to target Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen deemed a terrorist, for killing without a trial," had to be released, in response to FOIA requests filed by the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The popularity of e-cigarettes presents an enormous opportunity for public health, which the United States is at risk of squandering by regulating these products as tobacco, writes CFR's Thomas Bollyky.
In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.
Princeton University's Robert P. George leads a conversation on U.S. international religious freedom policy fifteen years after the International Religious Freedom Act, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
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.