Key technical, political, and legal issues remain unresolved ahead of the UN climate talks in Cancun. CFR's Michael Levi says the best outcome would be to firm up the Copenhagen Accord commitments on emissions cuts, verification, and financing for developing states.
Cutting the federal deficit is seen as essential for reviving the country's economic standing. CFR's Peter Orszag looks at some of the pros and cons of recommendations by a presidential commission's co-chairs to cut more than $3.8 trillion from national deficits.
GOP election gains make it less likely Congress will enact needed deficit cuts and more fiscal stimulus, and the Fed's quantitative easing plan could create new bubbles, says CFR Distinguished Visiting Fellow Peter Orszag.
The Republican gains in Congress mean complications for President Obama's arms control policy, a stalled climate change agenda, possible movement on trade, and likely more support on Afghanistan, says CFR President Richard Haass.
Despite global tensions over China's currency and trade policies, U.S. businesses stand to benefit from China's waning labor surplus and its growing consumer affluence, says Princeton University's JC de Swaan.
The eurozone fiscal crisis has led many EU members to discount the benefits of European integration, but the bloc is likely to muddle along and focus on inward relations while bonds with Washington weaken, says CFR's Stewart Patrick.
Pakistan's floods spell setbacks for the U.S. fight against extremism and its war effort in Afghanistan, says CFR's Daniel Markey. He says beyond humanitarian aid relief, Washington must focus on boosting Pakistan's economy through greater trade opportunities.
Richard C. Holbrooke interviewed by Jayshree Bajoria
The international response to Pakistan's flood disaster has been inadequate so far, says Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special representative to the country. He says Washington is contacting international governments and is sending more aid, including helicopters to assist in relief efforts.
Sanctions have weakened Iran, but expert Hossein G. Askari says the country's leaders continue to muddle through, in part because of popular support for uranium enrichment--the cause of mounting global pressure.
Washington's new sanctions against North Korea, focusing on international financial institutions and banking systems, are likely to have more impact than trade sanctions, says North Korea economic expert Marcus Noland.
Charles A. Kupchan interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
U.S. President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron share the predicament of leading an unpopular war in Afghanistan at a time of swelling debt, says CFR's Charles Kupchan, who adds that the economic crisis has linked Britain and the continent more closely.
The latest round of UN and U.S. sanctions on Iran are unlikely to push Iran to negotiations, says sanctions expert Meghan O'Sullivan, which means the U.S. and its allies will need to look at options including military force, among others.
In the wake of the Gulf spill, the United States should craft regional pacts with its neighbors to address pollution and liability issues arising from ever deeper oil and gas exploration, says expert Caitlyn Antrim.
The Obama administration has overreacted to the Gulf oil spill by suspending most new offshore drilling and moving to expand liabilities for future accidents, with implications for U.S. energy security, says Jack Coleman, an energy industry official and legal expert.
CFR's Stephen Sestanovich says Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's meetings in Silicon Valley represent the most interesting development of his U.S. trip, which culminates with a Washington summit where a host of issues will be discussed, including the new START treaty.
By ending the yuan's peg to the U.S. dollar, China will deflect pressure over its currency policy at the upcoming G20 meeting. But tensions will persist over the pace of reform, says CFR's Steven Dunaway.
Saving the European Union requires a plan to allow fiscally weak member countries to fail, as well as painful lifestyle changes and some loss of national sovereignty, says the Centre for European Policy Studies' Daniel Gros.
In Market Madness, Blake C. Clayton shows that predictions of dwindling oil supplies and a rise in prices have been empirically proven incorrect. Technological advances and geopolitical shifts have repeatedly prompted sudden, severe drops in oil prices—exactly like the one we are experiencing today.
In By All Means Necessary, Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy. China is now engaged in a far-flung quest, hunting around the world for resources, and deploying whatever it needs in the economic, political, and military spheres to secure them. More
In Money, Markets, and Sovereignty, the authors present a fascinating intellectual history of monetary nationalism from the ancient world to the present and explore why, in its modern incarnation, it represents the single greatest threat to globalization. More
In The Closing of the American Border, Edward Alden goes behind the scenes to tell the story of the Bush administration's struggle to balance security and openness in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. More
In this report, Benn Steil shows that the financial crisis is the inevitable bust of a classic credit boom, and explains how monetary, taxation, and home ownership promotion policy combined with other features of the financial system to fuel an unsustainable buildup in debt. He recommends significant reforms to reverse the debt financing bias and make the system more resilient to falls in asset prices. More
In order for policymakers to tackle today’s global economic crisis, this report argues, they must go beyond bailouts and stimulus packages and focus on one of the crisis's root causes: imbalances between savings and investment in major countries. More