Is the U.S. trade deficit a problem for the United States? If so, does it reflect competitiveness problems that are in part due to trade policies, or is it caused by factors that have nothing to do with trade policies? What are the proper policy responses?
Benn Steil’s Forbes op-ed with Dinah Walker examines why Walmart is raising its minimum starting wage. Contrary to arguments from popular commentators, there is no logical reason to suggest hidden motives related to political pressure. Walmart remains as relentless on costs as ever; wage pressures in the retail sector, we show, are wholly sufficient to explain the company’s move.
Concern about inequality in the U.S. is getting well-deserved attention. Unfortunately, though, discussions of the problem too often rest on three misconceptions: that capital is rising as a share of the economy, that most of the rise in wage inequality is explained by growing gaps within companies between higher and lower paid workers, and that workers are increasingly moving from one job to another.
In article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams discusses the dangers that may result when diplomats become more concerned about their personal relationships with charming colleagues than about the nature of the regimes those colleagues (such as Iranian foreign minister Zarif) represent.
The United States is now engaged in yet another military intervention in the Middle East—this time in Yemen. Micah Zenko argues that what has become the standard operating procedure for how the United States goes to war should be alarming, particularly when the latest intervention “lacks clear courses of action, coherent objectives, or an intended end state.”
The new House budget sets a deadline of October 1 to “cut waste, eliminate redundancies and end the abuse or misuse of taxpayer dollars,” and it specifically targets the Department of Defense (DOD) for spending “part of their budget studying climate change.” Varun Sivaram highlights how the military’s broad portfolio of climate change adaptation efforts should not be considered redundant or wasteful because it bolsters American national security interests.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke to a joint session of Congress on March 25, 2015. He discusses U.S.-Afghan agreements such as the Bilateral Security Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the withdrawl of American combat troops from Afghanistan, and the threat of the Islamic State (or Daesh).
U.S. military and intelligence officials often conceive of the complexity of the world in terms of the volume of total issues, rather than evaluating the prioritization of those issues. CPA's Micah Zenko examines how the U.S. military thinks about complexity.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on February 26, 2015, on rules governing regulation of U.S. broadband networks. The FCC published rules (FCC 15-24) regulating this order on March 12, 2015. The rules ban the ability of broadband companies to prioritize traffic from sources that pay more and reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC news release states that the rules are focused on making networks "fast, fair, and open."
It is often said that academics could do a better job speaking to the general public. It can probably also be said that academics could use a dose of looking at the forest as well as the trees. In the area of regulatory management, both appear to be true.
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 the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »