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Election 2024

The U.S. national debt has not been an issue on the 2024 campaign trail, but it could prove a challenge to whoever wins in November.

Economics

   

Budget, Debt, and Deficits

After years of steadily increasing debt, federal spending has skyrocketed, taking U.S. debt to levels not seen since World War II.   
Israel-Hamas

Israel

Israel has made eliminating the threat from the Gaza-based militant group a central war aim, but it’s not entirely clear at what point that condition will be met.  

 

Iran

Iran’s web of armed partners such as Hezbollah and the Houthis serves to strengthen its influence in the Middle East and could pose a significant threat to the United States and U.S. allies in the region, especially Israel.  
G7

Russia

Outright seizure of the Russian Central Bank’s hundreds of billions in frozen assets is currently off the table, but it is still possible to obtain large sums for Ukraine from the interest income on these assets.

Diplomacy and International Institutions

The Group of Seven (G7) has been a forum to coordinate global policy for fifty years, but experts are increasingly questioning the group’s relevance.

Ukraine

Russia has caused unprecedented damage in Ukraine. And with no diplomatic end in sight to the conflict, many Ukrainians are wondering when, if ever, they will be able to go back to their homes. According to many experts, the answer is actually sooner rather than later. Can reconstruction begin before a war ends? Who pays, and where should world leaders begin?
Health

 

 

Public Health Threats and Pandemics

A global surge in avian flu outbreaks in birds and some mammals is worrying poultry farmers, scientists, and health experts. The trend is provoking questions about the future of the disease and global public health.
Ukraine

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

The war in Ukraine marks a new era of instability in Europe. Countering Russia’s efforts will require a stronger, more coordinated NATO.

Ukraine

Russia’s early setbacks in its invasion of Ukraine could have foreclosed on some of President Vladimir Putin’s sweeping war objectives, but he is unlikely to relent given the conflict’s momentum.  

Ukraine

Nine charts illustrate the extraordinary level of support the United States has provided Ukraine in its war against Russian invaders.
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Events

United States

The World Economic Update highlights the quarter’s most important and emerging trends. Discussions cover changes in the global marketplace with special emphasis on current economic events and their implications for U.S. policy.This series is presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and is dedicated to the life and work of the distinguished economist Martin Feldstein.Please note there is no virtual component to the meeting. The audio, video, and transcript of this in-person meeting will be posted on the CFR website.

Middle East and North Africa

In The End of Ambition, Steven A. Cook boldly claims that despite setbacks and moral costs, the United States has had a record of success in the Middle East. Yet, beginning in the 1990s, those achievements bred ambitious policies to remake the region that ended in failure and regional instability. While making the case that retrenchment is not the answer to America’s problems in the Middle East, Cook highlights how America’s interests in the region have begun to change and examines alternative approaches to U.S.-Middle East policy. The John B. Hurford Memorial Lecture was inaugurated in 2002 in memory of CFR member John B. Hurford, and features individuals who represent critical new thinking in international affairs and foreign policy.  

United Nations

Cindy McCain shares her vision to combat hunger and malnutrition around the world. The World Food Programme (WFP) works in the most challenging contexts around the world, reaching more than 150 million people a year. As food becomes an increasingly important issue for stability and peace, she will discuss how WFP navigates crises and works to put in place a more stable and resilient future for the most vulnerable communities. The Sorensen Distinguished Lecture on the United Nations was established in 1996 by Gillian and Theodore C. Sorensen to highlight the United Nations and offer a special occasion for its most distinguished and experienced leaders to speak to the Council membership.

Russia

David E. Sanger discusses U.S. rivalry with the other two great nuclear powers—Xi Jinping’s China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia—the choices that lie ahead, and what is at stake for the United States and the world. This special event is being held to honor the memory of Leslie H. Gelb, CFR’s president from 1993 to 2003 and a dedicated member for forty-six years. Gelb modernized the institution to reflect the changing realities of the post-Cold War era, and was a passionate advocate of common sense and strategy in U.S. foreign policy.  

Explainers

Europe’s Migration Dilemma
Hundreds of thousands of migrants made the dangerous journey to Europe in 2023, fleeing war, poverty, and natural disasters. The increase in arrivals has fueled support for far-right political parties.

Expert Spotlight

Matthew C. Waxman
Matthew C. Waxman

Adjunct Senior Fellow for Law and Foreign Policy

International Law Cybersecurity U.S. Foreign Policy

War Powers Reform: A Skeptical View

Alice C. Hill
Alice C. Hill

David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment

Climate Change Infrastructure Food and Water Security

Hill: Extreme Weather Is an Underappreciated Threat to Elections

Featured Publications

Asia

Robert D. Blackwill and Richard Fontaine evaluate the limitations of the Pivot to Asia and offer a compelling vision for the future of U.S. foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific.

Middle East and North Africa

A clear-headed vision for the United States' role in the Middle East that highlights the changing nature of U.S. national interests and the challenges of grand strategizing at a time of profound change in the international order.

Colombia

Paul J. Angelo provides the first headlining case studies of Plan Colombia and the Mérida Initiative.