Over the past two months, the Center for Preventive Action (CPA) has produced a considerable volume of commentary on a number of important foreign policy issues including the unveiling of President Obama’s National Security Strategy, the use of drones along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and the challenges of incorporating foresight into national security decision-making. As always, we continue to focus on conflict prevention strategies in regions of particular importance to U.S. interests, most recently with a Contingency Planning Roundtable on the possibility of renewed conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. We thank you for your interest in CPA and hope you find the information in this newsletter useful.
Director, Center for Preventive Action
by Princeton N. Lyman and Stephen B. Wittels
The United States' commitment to helping treat HIV patients is limiting Washington's leverage over recipient countries and undermining other development goals....
by Micah Zenko
New York Times (Web-only)
June 24, 2010
President Obama’s decision to relieve Gen. Stanley McChrystal and replace him with Gen. David Petraeus will not change the outcome of the war in Afghanistan, but it was the right thing to do....
by Micah Zenko and Rebecca R. Friedman
June 21, 2010
In an annual rite of spring inside the Beltway, Congress is contemplating a $4 billion cut to President Barack Obama's foreign affairs budget. Fearing the legislative scalpel, senior decision-makers vehemently oppose reduced funding for the State Department and USAID....
by Micah Zenko (Interviewee) and Greg Bruno (Interviewer)
CFR's Micah Zenko, who has studied the use of drones in the Afghan-Pakistan region, says while unmanned drone technology does have its place in war, the Obama administration must shed new details on the tactic to justify their continued use. "Predator strikes are the worst kept covert secret in the history of U.S. foreign policy," Zenko says. "[S]ince they are such a significant part of U.S. national security strategy, they should be debated, not simply applauded."....
by Paul B. Stares
Los Angeles Times
May 30, 2010
The lack of good options to punish North Korea for the unprovoked sinking of a South Korean warship that cost the lives of 46 sailors is causing much hand-wringing. Military retaliation risks precipitating another Korean war, while additional economic sanctions and U.N. condemnations will only work if China agrees to giving them real teeth, which it won't. What is there then to deter North Korea from doing something similar again?....
by Paul B. Stares
CFR First Take
May 28, 2010
Sprinkled throughout the National Security Strategy are declarations of intent to prevent the emergence of new threats, including dangerous instability and violent conflict in "At-Risk States." The imperatives of preventing such threats from becoming the source of costly new military commitments hardly need to be stated with U.S. forces already overstretched around the world. The question now is whether such declarations will be translated into more timely and effective action. The NSS offers a compelling vision of how this will be accomplished, but doubts remain about its practical implementation....
by Rebecca R. Friedman
Christian Science Monitor
May 18, 2010
When officials from 47 countries met in Washington last month for the Nuclear Security Summit, they sent a subtle but unmistakable message to the United Nations: You don't matter as much as you used to....
by Mican Zenko
Christian Science Monitor
May 13, 2010
When most people talk of a world free of nuclear weapons, they generally focus discussion on the states that possess nuclear weapons. Ninety-five percent of the world, however, has decided not to pursue nuclear weapons, and they overwhelming view the bomb as inherently dangerous and destabilizing....
For more conflict prevention analysis, visit CFR's Center for Preventive Action.
In this CSR, coauthored by Paul B. Stares and Micah Zenko sponsored by the Center for Preventive Action, evaluates the U.S. system for foreseeing and heading off crises and assesses in detail current U.S. practices with regard to different types of preventive action. More
This report, authored by Bronwyn E. Bruton and sponsored by the Center for Preventive Action, argues that the current U.S. policy of supporting the TFG is unlikely to succeed and ineffective foreign meddling threatens to prolong and worsen the conflict. Instead, the United States should pursue a strategy of "constructive disengagement" while still maintaining support for localized development initiatives and humanitarian assistance. More
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