United States

Foreign Affairs Article

Let the People Go

Authors: Michael Clemens and Justin Sandefur

On May 29, 2013, British immigration officers raided the Alternative Tuck Shop, a café just down the road from Oxford University's economics department, where South Asian and Middle Eastern employees serve tea, scones, and sandwiches.

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Foreign Affairs Article

Blind Oracle

Author: Richard Katz

In his recent essay "Never Saw It Coming" (November/December 2013), Alan Greenspan makes two central arguments: first, that virtually no one foresaw the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and, second, that irrational "animal spirits" were the root cause.

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Primary Sources

Department of State: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

These reports, mandated by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974, describe the performance of other governments in practicing their international commitments on civil, political, individual, and worker rights, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN and the Chinese government produce similar reports.

See more in Human Rights; Global; United States

Teaching Module

Teaching Notes: The Power Surge

In The Power Surge, Michael Levi takes readers inside the changes sweeping American energy to separate myth from reality and illuminate what's really happening. His book combines on-the-ground reporting, giving readers fine-grained insight into developments from fracking and shale oil to electric cars and solar power, with in-depth analysis of the consequences of these developments for economics, security, and the environment. The Power Surge introduces readers to ideas from economics, politics, international relations, and climate science helping them make sense of the historic changes that are unfolding. Levi ultimately argues for a new strategy that blends the best of old and new energy while avoiding the real dangers that each poses.

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News Release

Pushback Against U.S. Retrenchment Still Ahead, Argues Stephen Sestanovich in New Book

The Obama administration's search for a less costly, more "sustainable" foreign policy recalls previous presidents who wound down major wars, according to Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. In Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama, Sestanovich argues that the most challenging phase of retrenchment comes after the United States has extricated itself from a stalemated conflict. Postwar cutbacks in the Pentagon budget usually last longer than the surge that preceded them, but political controversies over the direction of American foreign policy begin much sooner.

See more in United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Primary Sources

Executive Order and Framework: Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

President Barack Obama ordered on February 12, 2013 that the U.S. government work with "owners and operators of critical infrastructure" to share information about cyber threats and attacks and to implement common cybersecurity standards. A year later, on February 12, 2014, the National Institute for Standards and Technology issued the framework for improving cybersecurity.

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Transcript

Amid Tighter Budgets, U.S. Army Rebalancing and Refocusing

Speaker: Raymond Odierno
Presider: James Sciutto

With the deployment in Afghanistan winding down and facing significant budget cuts, the U.S. Army finds itself in a period of transition. Army chief of staff Raymond Odierno joins CNN's James Sciutto to discuss the ongoing rebalancing of U.S. forces toward Asia and the challenges of maintaining military readiness in a post-sequestration environment.

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Video

Amid Tighter Budgets, U.S. Army Rebalancing and Refocusing

Speaker: Raymond Odierno
Presider: James Sciutto

With the deployment in Afghanistan winding down and facing significant budget cuts, the U.S. Army finds itself in a period of transition. Army chief of staff Raymond Odierno joins CNN's James Sciutto to discuss the ongoing rebalancing of U.S. forces toward Asia and the challenges of maintaining military readiness in a post-sequestration environment.

See more in United States; Defense and Security

Primary Sources

Federal Reserve Chair Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

These semiannual reports and testimony are required by the Federal Reserve Act and are submitted to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and to the House Committee on Financial Services. The Monetary Policy report and related testimony are the Federal Reserve's analysis of "the conduct of monetary policy and economic developments and prospects for the future."

See more in United States; Financial Crises; Monetary Policy