President Barack Obama announced changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba on December 17, 2014. Changes include reestablishing diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, reviewing Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism according to the U.S. State Department, and increasing travel, trade, and commerce between the countries. In a speech to the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States Summit in January 2015, Cuban President Raul Castro describes conditions he wants as the two countries reestablish relations.
Elliott Abrams argues in The Weekly Standard that President Obama’s actions on Cuba today constitute the triumph of ideology over American national interest. Moreover, he writes, reversing a policy of a half-century’s standing in exchange for nothing—no human rights changes in Cuba at all—cannot be reassuring to countries that depend on American policy reliability.
The free flow of information across borders is essential for the modern economy, but a growing number of countries have erected restrictions curtailing a free and open Internet. Karen Kornbluh discusses what diplomatic and policy steps the United States can take to safeguard the free flow of information worldwide.
Joshua Kurlantzick reviews the impact of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report regarding their investigation into CIA interrogation practices on countries around the world, including: Thailand, Afghanistan, Lithuania, and Poland.
Although the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are far from the costliest the United States has ever fought in terms of either blood or treasure, they have exacted a much greater toll than the relatively bloodless wars Americans had gotten used to fighting in the 1990s.
For more than a decade now, U.S. soldiers have been laboring under a sad paradox: even though the United States enjoys unprecedented global military dominance that should cow enemies mightily, it has found itself in constant combat for longer than ever before in its history, and without much to show for it.
In late 2013, Google announced that it had acquired Boston Dynamics, an engineering and robotics company best known for creating BigDog, a four-legged robot that can accompany soldiers into rough terrain.
For much of the twentieth century, leaders and policymakers around the world viewed the strategic importance of trade, and of international economic policy more generally, largely through the lens of military strength.
Talk of the Republican Party’s internal divisions has become a staple of the American news diet. Battles between the conservative establishment and the Tea Party, over matters ranging from foreign policy to immigration, have played out on cable news channels like movie-house serials.
Thanks to the spending bill that House and Senate leaders have negotiated, the federal government will avoid a shutdown. And that's great. Unfortunately, though, that’s the highest praise that can be attached to the deal.
Willem H. Buiter, a renowned macroeconomist and global chief economist at Citigroup, has joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as an adjunct senior fellow. His work will focus on geoeconomics, deglobalization, international financial institutions, and global economic governance.
Max Boot argues that the release of the Senate “torture” report, condemning an interrogation program authorized by the president and congressional leaders, will aid America's enemies and harm our interests.
Craig Mundie recommends changing privacy laws and practices to focus more on preventing and mitigating the misuse of personal data than on limiting the collection and retention of such data (“Privacy Pragmatism,” March/April 2014).
The Senate Intelligence Committee began investigating the use of torture by the CIA to obtain information from detainees about terrorist plots. Their study was completed in December 2012 and was released December 9, 2014, after the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee debated how much information should be released. The CIA released its redacted June 2013 response to the study and the Director of the CIA John Brennan gave a new statement on December 9, 2014. The CIA also prepared a fact sheet on the history of the program and its responses to the Senate Intelligence Committee's main findings.
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.
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.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
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.
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 »