United States

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Radiolab: 60 Words

"In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the 'war on terror.'"

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Article

The Power to Threaten War

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
Yale Law Journal Online

Matt Waxman shows that congressional influence operates more robustly—and in different ways—than usually supposed in legal debates about war powers to shape strategic decision-making. In turn, these mechanisms of congressional influence can enhance the potency of threatened force.

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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."

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News Release

New CFR Scorecard Shows U.S. Corporate Tax System Keeps Foreign Profits Abroad

Nearly three decades after the last major tax overhaul, both Democratic and Republican parties and President Barack Obama agree that cutting the corporate tax rate and taxing foreign profits differently would move the tax system in the right direction. The outdated corporate tax system does not raise as much revenue as the systems of most other rich countries, even as U.S. corporate profits have reached record highs, according to a new progress report and scorecard from the Council on Foreign Relations' Renewing America initiative.

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Primary Sources

The Landon Lecture

On April 15, 2014, Thomas E. Donilon delivered the 165th Alf Landon Lecture at Kansas State University. He discusses why "America is not in decline but will continue to be the world's leading and most powerful nation for a long time to come."

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Transcript

Agricultural Technology and Productivity Continue to Make Gains and Ensure U.S. Food Security

Speaker: Tom Vilsack
Presider: Roger C. Altman

With the 2014 farm bill now enacted into law, U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack visits CFR to discuss the USDA's policy priorities with Roger Altman of Evercore Partners. Vilsack credits advanced agricultural technology and the productivity of American farmers with maintaining the country's status as a food-secure nation, despite a growing population and a shrinking agricultural sector.

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Other Report

The U.S. system for taxing corporate profits is outdated, ineffective at raising revenue, and creates perverse incentives for companies to shelter profits overseas. It is also, for most U.S. companies most of the time, a pretty good deal, which is one of the big reasons why any serious overhaul will be so difficult to achieve.

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Video

Agricultural Technology and Productivity Continue to Make Gains and Ensure U.S. Food Security

Speaker: Tom Vilsack
Presider: Roger C. Altman

With the 2014 farm bill now enacted into law, U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack visits CFR to discuss the USDA's policy priorities with Roger Altman of Evercore Partners. Vilsack credits advanced agricultural technology and the productivity of American farmers with maintaining the country's status as a food-secure nation, despite a growing population and a shrinking agricultural sector.

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Primary Sources

Secretary Hagel's Remarks at People's Liberation Army National Defense University

Secretary Chuck Hagel traveled to China and Japan as part of the Obama administration's rebalance to the Asia Pacific region. On April 8, 2014, he spoke at the PLA's National Defense University about military-to-military relations and took questions about the U.S. stance on East China Sea and South China Sea disputes, the status of Taiwan, and the rapid economic development in China.

See more in China; United States; Regional Security; Grand Strategy

Audio

Agricultural Technology and Productivity Continue to Make Gains and Ensure U.S. Food Security

Speaker: Tom Vilsack
Presider: Roger C. Altman

With the 2014 farm bill now enacted into law, U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack visits CFR to discuss the USDA's policy priorities with Roger Altman of Evercore Partners. Vilsack credits advanced agricultural technology and the productivity of American farmers with maintaining the country's status as a food-secure nation, despite a growing population and a shrinking agricultural sector.

See more in United States; Agricultural Policy