Walter Russell Mead interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
Walter Russell Mead, CFR's senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy, says that when British Prime Minister Tony Blair meets with President Bush on Thursday, the timing of allied troop withdrawals will probably loom large in the conversation. "I wouldn't be surprised if we started to hear some things, slightly better news, about the chance for troop withdrawals to begin at some point," says Mead, an expert on U.S. foreign policy.
Ray Fisman and Eduard Miguel look at which countries' diplomats at the United Nations rack up the most parking tickets and why. They find two strong determining factors: countries with high measures of official corruption and anti-Americanism are far more likely to amass such tickets.
Last year, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad looked ready to topple after it was linked to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. But as international attention shifts to crises in Iran and Iraq, Assad seems to have dodged a bullet.
An interview with Belarusian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich about the effectiveness of the EU's policies in the country, the next steps of the Belarusian opposition, and the future of the country's relations with Russia.
Gunmen loyal to Hamas clash with Fatah militia members, highlighting the strains between the Palestinian parties. One month after Hamas leaders took office, their refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel has caused the Palestinian Authority severe difficulties: The PA is effectively broke, aid pledges from Arab nations will not cover the budget shortfall, and chaos is spreading.
Patrick Moore, who helped found Greenpeace in the 1970's, makes the argument that nuclear energy is the only large-scale, cost-effective energy source that can reduce greenhouse emissions while satisfying a demand for power. Moore has changed his views since the 1970's when nucelar energy was synonymous with "nuclear holocaust." Moore compares different sources of energy to come to his conclusion.
Ray Takeyh, CFR's top Iran expert, says the only way Tehran might slow down or halt its nuclear program is for the United States to become more directly engaged in negotiations with the Iranians and offer some broad concessions.
Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, recommends a three-part diplomatic package for resolving the Iran crisis. It should include carrots, such as economic benefits and limited security guarantees, Haass says, as well as a clear threat of sanctions or military force if Iran fails to halt nuclear development.
Israel's election took place against the backdrop of a vastly transformed political climate. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima party took the most Knesset seats and seems poised to follow the path set by its founder, Ariel Sharon.
Amid signs of slipping popularity, Belarus' authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenka is expected to win a new presidential term on March 19. An official with a prominent Western polling group tells cfr.org Lukashenka is gaining less support from educated, urban youth but will still likely claim a commanding victory.
Speakers: Salman Haidar, Ashley J. Tellis, and Michael Krepon
Ashley Tellis, who helped craft the recent civil nuclear pact between India and the United States, discusses the pros and cons of the deal with Salman Haidar, a former senior Indian foreign service member, and Michael Krepon, founder and president of the Henry L. Stimson Center.