Op-Eds & Articles

Article

Theresa May Must Contain the Brexit Damage — and More

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

Three months ago, before Britain descended into its “Game of Thrones”-esque madness, Theresa May delivered a speech on her country’s place in Europe — on sovereignty, prosperity and the dilemma of a midsize nation in an era of globalization. Unlike those campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union, she wielded real statistics, not fake ones.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances

Op-Ed

New International Energy Forum Focuses on Innovation

Authors: Varun Sivaram and Graham Pugh
The Hill

Last month, energy ministers from around the world gathered in San Francisco for the annual Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), which for the past seven years has focused on deploying existing clean energy technologies around the world. But for the first time, clean energy innovation was on the gathering’s agenda as well. In a parallel “Mission Innovation” Ministerial (MIM), twenty countries and the European Union — accounting for over 80 percent of the world’s public energy research and development (R&D) funding — committed to collectively double R&D funding to $30 billion by 2021.

See more in Global; Energy Policy; Climate Change

Article

Puerto Rico Debt Legislation Provides Fiscal Oversight Without Overreaching

Author: Brad W. Setser
The Hill

The core of any deal to address Puerto Rico’s imminent debt default long has been clear:  strong fiscal oversight, paired with powerful tools to facilitate a necessary debt restructuring.     But oversight should not overreach, and the new restructuring tools should respect the differences created by existing contracts.   The legislation (PROMESA) that emerged from the House achieves the needed balance; it needs to pass the Senate quickly.

See more in Puerto Rico; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Article

Will Brexit Affect U.S. Consumer Confidence? The Outcome May Determine Our Next President

Authors: Benn Steil and Emma Smith
PBS NewsHour

Benn Steil’s June 24 op-ed on the PBS NewsHour Making$ense site, co-authored with Emma Smith, shows the strong relationship between consumer confidence and presidential elections going back to 1952. Current readings suggest an 80% chance of a Clinton victory, but the Brexit aftermath threatens to knock that down significantly.

See more in United States; United Kingdom; Elections; International Organizations and Alliances

Article

Britain’s Awful Vote May Be a Tipping Point

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

The British vote to leave the European Union may come to be seen as a tipping point in global politics, perhaps more consequential than anything since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It may mark the moment when Europe comes face to face with its own constitutional dysfunction, when the idea of the “West” finally ceases to be plausible and when the United States is confirmed in its sense that its interests lie more in Asia than in its traditional Atlantic sphere of influence.

See more in United Kingdom; Treaties and Agreements

Article

America Must Play the Geoeconomics Game

Author: Robert D. Blackwill
National Interest Online

Ambassador Robert Blackwill discusses the rise of geoeconomics in modern statecraft. Blackwill argues that the United States, historically a geoeconomic powerhouse, is no longer adept at pursuing its national interests through the use of geoeconomic instruments, and suggests a path to restore geoeconomics to its rightful role in American grand strategy.

See more in United States; Economics; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Article

Brexit in Context

Author: A. Michael Spence
Project Syndicate

I do not believe that foreigners contribute usefully by issuing strong opinions about how a country’s citizens, or those of a larger unit like the European Union, should decide when faced with an important political choice. Our insights, based on international experience, may sometimes be helpful; but there should never be any confusion about the asymmetry of roles.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances

Op-Ed

The Economic Shock of a ‘Brexit’

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

For the first time since the start of Britain’s referendum fight over Europe, the polls predict “Brexit.” The four most recent national surveys put the “Leave” side ahead with margins of between one and 10 percentage points. Most people, including many disaffected Britons who want to shake up the system by backing a Brexit, understand that this would mean a political and economic shock. But they underestimate its severity.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances; Economics

Article

E.U. Referendum Exposes Britain’s Political Decay

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

An isolationist bent to British politics, what Sebastian Mallaby refers to as “little Englandism,” is not new to the British political tradition. While this perspective has long been counter-balanced by a Gladstonian internationalism, debates around Brexit have been conspicuously devoid of such idealism, speaking in a language that appeals only to pocketbooks rather than to common decency.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances; Politics and Strategy

Article

America’s Fatal Flaw in its Competition With China Is Thinking Militarily, Not Economically

Author: Jennifer M. Harris
The WorldPost

Last week, Washington attempted two important policy feats aimed squarely in Beijing’s direction. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter grabbed headlines by visitingthe South China Sea, after earlier announcing he would scrap a visit to Beijing amid rising tension over territorial disputes in the region.

See more in United States; China; Economics; Military Operations

Article

India's Landmark WTO Challenge to U.S.

Author: Edward Alden
Nikkei Asian Review

The government of India filed suit on March 3 in the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking to overturn a new U.S. tax on high-skilled migrants that India says discriminates against its citizens and would damage some of its most successful companies. The case marks the first time that a country's immigration laws have been challenged using the rules of a trade agreement, writes CFR’s Edward Alden.

See more in India; United States; Trade; International Organizations and Alliances

Op-Ed

Forging a New Check on China

Author: Jennifer M. Harris
U.S. News and World Report

U.S. leaders still haven't quite figured out the right formula for the greatest geopolitical challenge facing the United States this century: managing China's rise. But that may have changed Monday, when President Barack Obama welcomed leaders from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for a two-day summit at Sunnylands in California, the so-called Camp David of the West.

See more in United States; Asia and Pacific; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Regional Security