American voters still favor an active U.S. role in the world but disagree more than they used to about how that role should be exercised. They are increasingly at odds about two big issue clusters—globalization and military intervention. These divisions will not keep a new president from trying to build bipartisan support for foreign policy, but the poll numbers are clear—the job is getting harder.
Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan was once hailed as the omnipotent “maestro” of the U.S. economy, but his reputation suffered in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. In The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, a new biography based on five years of research and unmatched access to Greenspan, Sebastian Mallaby presents a nuanced assessment of one of the most influential economic statesmen of the twentieth century and issues a warning about the future of finance. The story of Greenspan, according to Mallaby, is the story of the making of modern finance, for good and for ill.
In the aftermath of the leaked tapes that showcase Donald Trump’s lewd comments on women, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon addresses the intersection of “how we see women; how we treat women; how we promote women; and whether or not we see them as people we respect or people we lunge for.”
Trump’s rhetoric at the debate was more dictator than leader of the free world. The grass-roots fervor for Trump suggests that the Republican Party may be beyond salvation — and that the republic itself could be in peril if in the future we see some demagogue who is smoother than Trump and devoid of his debilitating personal flaws.
Despite evidence that shows that women make unique contributions to peace and security processes, they remain severely underrepresented in military, policy, and peacekeeping forces around the world. Jamille Bigio highlights a new bill led by Senators Barbara Boxer and Jeanne Shaheen that would “require the U.S. State Department to encourage other countries to increase the number of women recruited and promoted in their security forces.” She also argues for better quality training among security forces and conversation of the U.S. National Action Plan on women, peace, and security into legislation.
As America prepared for the foreign-policy fireworks in Sunday night’s second presidential debate, a town hall format co-moderated by ABC News’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, columnists posed the questions they’d want to put to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—and why it’s so important that America’s next president have the answer. In no particular order, here are their toughest questions.
Congress should amend the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act to give the president authority to waive the new international terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, says CFR's John Bellinger.
While increased U.S. military action in Syria may be favored by numerous policymakers, the Obama administration remains unwilling to sanction further intervention. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon writes that “The Obama White House has long argued that it was elected to end wars in the Middle East, not to escalate them…” but meanwhile, Aleppo remains “full of carnage and bunker-busting munitions with rockets falling on children and no hope of escape for anyone.”
Why is Donald Trump within a whisker of the White House? Two-thirds of the country can’t even name the three branches of government. If we don’t revitalize civics education, we will be entrusting our future to people who know little to nothing of the way our government works. The way we are going, one of these days a Bernie Sanders or, heaven help us, a Donald Trump will not just be a candidate for president. He will actually become president, writes Max Boot.
This election year is memorable for many reasons but among the most important is showing Republicans the cost of their infatuation with “alternative” news sources. The right’s addiction to its own news has become destructive. Whether Trump wins or loses, conservatives need to re-evaluate their infatuation with “alternative” news sources that tell them what they want to hear and join a more mainstream conversation that includes different points of view.
The American people tend not to trust Hillary Clinton, despite her and Bill’s best efforts to combat these sentiments. In this review of Joe Conason's book, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, Carla Anne Robbins explores why the Clintons have had trouble with their public image.
In this intriguing prequel to his upcoming book, Sebastian Mallaby reveals a new side to controversial former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan. Greenspan was often accused of trusting too much in markets and being blind to the effects of bubbles, but Mallaby shows that Greenspan, in fact, was the man who knew.
Trade Policy Has Become Politically Unpopular. These Steps Could Help Rehabilitate It. This piece is based on a new CFR discussion paper authored by Edward Alden and Robert E. Litan, titled “A Winning Trade Policy for the United States.”
Tragedies keep occurring in war, despite the best intentions of U.S. troops. Micah Zenko provides recommendations to reduce the inevitable human errors in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq that have led to avoidable civilian casualties.
Congress overrode a presidential veto to enable the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. But the law will be a thorn in U.S. foreign relations, and plaintiffs will not likely get justice, says expert Stephen I. Vladeck.
President Obama and his defenders are trumpeting the new aid agreement with Israel as proof that he is the best friend Israel ever had in the White House. In fact, it’s a bad deal and should be treated the same way Obama treated prior agreements he didn't like: It should be forgotten by the next president.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 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 »