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Highlights from CFR

February 8, 2013


Syria's Regime Change Challenge

Ed Husain

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will fall eventually, but the Syrian opposition now realizes he can't be defeated on the battlefield. That explains the recent offer by opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib to negotiate with Assad. Read the Interview »

Brennan Nomination Hearing

Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies

Micah Zenko

Drone strikes undermine U.S. foreign policy objectives and have potentially resulted in the loss of hundreds of civilian lives. The use of drones requires greater transparency and oversight from the Obama administration, Congress, and the international community.  Read the Council Special Report »

Targeted Killings of Americans: Three Things to Know

Matthew C. Waxman

The leaked government memo providing legal justification for the targeted killings of American citizens correctly asserted that the U.S. president has the authority to detain and kill enemy fighters. However, the fact that something is legal does not make it wise. Watch the Video »

What Brennan's Nomination Means

Micah Zenko and Sarah Holewenski

Selecting John Brennan as CIA Director cements the institutionalization and codifying of the process of targeted killings, as the person who managed and oversaw the various kill lists is now the lead executive authority over all CIA drone strikes. Read the Breaking News Call »

Do Less Harm

Sarah Holewinski

As the U.S. military increasingly relies on drone strikes and raids by special forces, it needs a formal, permanent policy to protect and compensate civilians in wartime. Read More on »


What To Do About Chinese Cyber Espionage?

Adam Segal

The conflict between the U.S. and China over Chinese cyber espionage is occurring primarily in the media, and public accusations by both sides are not helping to solve the problem. Unless the U.S. finds a better medium than major newspapers to signal its disapproval, the conflict could escalate. Read More on Asia Unbound »

President Obama's Reset Opportunity with Israel

Robert M. Danin

During the president's upcoming visit to Israel, he should focus more on re-establishing mutual trust and reaffirming a core U.S. connection to Israel, than on specific policies. Read More on Middle East Matters »

Will China Change its Direction in North Korea?

Scott A. Snyder

If diplomatic efforts fail to stop North Korea from conducting its third nuclear test, China might align itself with the international community and against North Korea.  Read More on Asia Unbound »


An Audio Preview of The World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon discuss Barack Obama's fourth State of the Union Address; European Central Bank head Mario Draghi's speech before the Spanish Parliament; and possible negotiations between Bahrain's leadership and opposition. Listen to the Podcast »

Using Oil Taxes to Improve U.S. Fiscal Reform

Daniel P. Ahn and Michael A. Levi

Under the right conditions, incorporating an oil tax into a deficit reduction package would increase economic output, reduce unemployment, and cut U.S. oil consumption. Read the Energy Brief »

Is the International Community Growing Apart?

Isabella Bennett and Stewart M. Patrick

The fragmentation of the international community—as evidenced by the Group of 20's inability to forge multilateral cooperation on financial regulation, humanitarian intervention, and cybersecurity—raises concerns about the future of global governance. Read More on The Internationalist »

Global Goals for Human Rights and Governance After 2015

Terra Lawson-Remer

What should be on the international development agenda after the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals passes in 2015? This series of posts explores the criteria for selecting goals, targets, and indicators for governance and human rights. Read More on the Development Channel »

Germany's Central Bank and the Eurozone

Germany's Bundesbank remains an influential actor in eurozone policymaking, and its recent disagreements with the European Central Bank raise concerns about the management of the zone's debt crisis. Read the Backgrounder »


February 12: State of the Union Address, Washington, DC
CFR Resources on: The Presidency »

February 13: EU-China Summit, Beijing
CFR Resources on: Chinese Trade Policy »

February 14 - 15: G20 Finance Ministers to Meet, Moscow
CFR Resources on: The G20 »

View the Calendar »


U.S. Treasury Secretary Joins CFR as Distinguished Fellow: Timothy F. Geithner, the 75th secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will join CFR later this month as a distinguished fellow. Geithner, who was previously a senior fellow at CFR in 2001, will be based at the organization's headquarters in New York.

Upcoming Live Stream: Watch Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, address CFR live on Monday, at 6:00 p.m. ET:

Seeking Applicants for the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship

The program enables a distinguished foreign correspondent or editor to engage in sustained writing, expand his or her intellectual and professional horizons, and participate in meetings at CFR's NY headquarters. Application deadline is March 1. Learn More


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