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Highlights from CFR

February 15, 2013


Winning the Next Immigration Battle

Edward Alden

The 1986 immigration reform bill failed to secure American borders and stem illegal immigration, so those currently pushing for comprehensive reform should address these failures in order to persuade skeptics in Congress. Read More on »

Mexico's Drug War

Shannon K. O'Neil, Stewart M. Patrick, Alejandro Hope, and Laura Vargas

Despite Mexico's strengthening democracy and booming economy, the country's security crisis rages on. The United States should play a role in helping Mexico crack down on money laundering and gun trafficking, and engage in a major discussion about drug demand in the U.S. Watch the Issue Primer »


Where Was Foreign Policy in the Speech?

Isobel Coleman

Just 15 percent of President Barack Obama's speech was devoted to foreign policy and he offered few new directions, other than proposing a free trade agreement with Europe. But unpredictable international crises have a way of derailing the best-laid plans to stay above the fray of the world's messiest problems. Read More on Democracy in Development »

A Long Road for U.S. Fiscal Reform

Robert Kahn

The president's annual address set the stage for more political wrangling over U.S. fiscal policy at a time when decisiveness is crucial for the economy. Read the Expert Brief »

A Plan for New and Old Energy

Michael A. Levi

President Obama's proposal to earmark revenues from new oil and gas drilling for spending on clean energy innovation could unite proponents of fossil fuels and of clean energy. Read the Breaking News Call »

The President's Defense of Targeted Killings

Micah Zenko

President Obama's address included the most expansive definition yet of terrorists who can be legally targeted by the United States. If he is serious about increasing accountability, holding closed-door briefings with Congress would be a good start. Read More on Politics, Power, and Preventive Action »


North Korea's Provocations Increase International Concern

Scott A. Snyder

International sanctions have not succeeded in deterring North Korea's nuclear program. International cooperation is needed in order to increase the cost of North Korea's defiance. Read More on Asia Unbound »

Papacy in Transition

James P. McCartin

Pope Benedict XVI's resignation was spurred, to a large extent, by his close relationship with the late Pope John Paul II, whose last years were marred by very serious illnesses. Read the Interview »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

This week's podcast discusses Italy's upcoming elections, the NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels, and the UN Security Council's discussion on North Korea. Listen to the Podcast »

Bringing Iran Back to the Negotiating Table

Carla Anne Robbins

The United States and its allies have essentially agreed to allow Iran to enrich uranium as long as it is shipped out of the country to be processed into fuel. But Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's intransigence over nuclear negotiations despite crippling international sanctions does not bode well for a deal.  Read the Interview »

Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: Ripe for Resolution?

Steven A. Cook

John Kerry's first phone calls as secretary of state were to Israeli and Palestinian leaders and there are rumors that the Obama administration is interested in a new push for peace negotiations. The deadlock between the Israelis and Palestinians, however, may mean Kerry's time could be better spent elsewhere. Read More on From the Potomac to the Euphrates »

More College Grads Equals Faster Economic Growth

Peter Orszag

Over the last thirty years, the number of Americans attaining a college degree has declined, exacerbating inequality and crimping growth. Reforming financial aid can foster economic growth by raising college graduation rates. Read More on Renewing America »

How to Gauge Spain's Scandal

Alfredo Pastor

Foreign investors are worried about a corruption scandal involving Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. This could temporarily delay Spain's economic recovery, but it won't create major complications for the eurozone. Read the Interview »


February 17: Presidential Election, Cyprus
CFR Resources on: Cyprus »

February 17: Presidential Election, Ecuador
CFR Resources on: Ecuador »

February 18: Presidential Election, Armenia
CFR Resources on: Armenia »

View the Calendar »


On Monday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed the challenges and responsibilities facing the international community, highlighting the conflict in Syria and the increasing threat of climate change. Watch the conversation.

On Thursday, Dr. Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, participated in a media call to discuss ways to cut U.S. defense spending in order to address the federal budget crisis. Read the transcript.

On Tuesday, Nicholas Berggruen, Ian Bremmer, and Stewart M. Patrick, CFR's senior fellow and director, International Institutions and Global Governance Program, discussed the G-20 and the prospects and challenges of global governance.

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