Venezuela is in a state of protracted crisis. Ambassador Patrick Duddy updates his 2012 Contingency Planning Memorandum to reflect the current likelihood of significant political instability in Venezuela and the options available to the United States.
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea continue to be a source of tension and potential conflict between China and other countries in the region. Though the United States takes no position on sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, it is deeply interested in maintaining maritime security, upholding freedom of navigation, and ensuring that disputes are settled peacefully. Bonnie S. Glaser, senior advisor for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, assesses the possibility of renewed conflict in the South China Sea and offers U.S. policy recommendations in this new Contingency Planning Memorandum Update.