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Highlights from CFR

March 8, 2013


A First Draft of the Third War

Micah Zenko

Despite recent interest in U.S. drone policy, in general, there has been relative indifference to the history of the United States' "Third War"—the 10-year campaign of targeted killings in non-battlefield settings that have killed an estimated 3,500 to 4,700 people. A broad range of reforms have been suggested for the Obama Administration's targeted killings policies. But before any changes are made, an official government study of the history and evolution of non-battlefield targeted killings is needed. Read the Op-Ed »

IBM’s CEO on Big Data

Ginni Rometty

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty says that data are a new "natural resource" in her discussion of how predictive analytics and other new tools will change the competitive landscape. Watch the Discussion »


New Era for U.S.-Venezuela Relations?

Shannon K. O'Neil

Although Hugo Chavez's death will create much uncertainty in Venezuela, stronger ties with the United States may be on the horizon. Read More on Latin America's Moment »

A Transitional Figure in Venezuelan History

Julia E. Sweig

The fourteen years of Hugo Chavez's tenure coincided with the period when the region as a whole adopted an ethos of economic growth with social inclusion, a political consensus for democratic practice, and a posture in foreign policy that was independent of U.S. national security priorities. Chavez embraced these principles, but his taste for the stage was out of sync with the region's preference for more practical problem-solving. Read the Op-Ed »

Authoritarian, But Also Elected

Joshua Kurlantzick

Chavez will be remembered as a hero by many Venezuelans in spite of the violence, botched economy, and divided society that marred his reign. Although he was popularly elected three times, Chavez demonstrated little dedication to constitutionalism or the rule of law once in office. Read More »

Where Does Venezuela Go?

Michael Shifter

Chavez was not single-handedly responsible for deflating the hopeful spirit that prevailed two decades ago. But his relentless defiance of Washington and its chief allies—often accompanied by aggressive, even belligerent, rhetoric—polarized the region. Read More on »


What Kerry Must Do in the Middle East

Richard N. Haass

John Kerry was right to begin his first voyage as secretary of state by visiting Egypt, given its centrality to the Arab world and its continuing turbulence. The U.S. should work with and on behalf of Egyptian President Morsi and his government only so long as they demonstrate a sustained commitment to pluralism at home – and to acting as a reliable partner. Mr. Kerry will need to address other daunting challenges elsewhere in his journey, including the Syrian civil war, Iran's nuclear capacities, the stability of the Saudi regime and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read the Op-Ed »

Egypt's Moral Hazard

Ashraf Swelam

Egypt is behind the curve in the economic and political reforms needed to reassure donor nation and foreign investors . Read More on From the Potomac to the Euphrates »

Corruption and Mismanagement in Iraq

Isobel Coleman

A new report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction indicates that $8 billion of the $60 billion spent in Iraq since 2002 was wasted. A loss of 10 or 15 percent might be the cost of doing business in a war-torn, insecure environment, but it would be more bearable if Americans–not to mention the Iraqis–had more to show for all the blood and treasure spent. Read More on Democracy in Development »

Sheryl Sandberg and Working-Class Women

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The recent discussion in the media about women, spurred by Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In," should acknowledge its own biases, and focus more on the struggles of working-class women.  Read the Op-Ed »

Governance in India: Women's Rights

Several high-profile sexual assault cases in India have sparked a national debate over women's rights and the need for social reform in a rapidly modernizing country. Read the Op-Ed »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon discuss life in Venezuela after Chavez; the U.S. Senate Armed Services committee's upcoming debate on strategic and cyber command; Russia's trial of deceased lawyer Sergei Magnitsky; and the Tibetan Uprising Day. Listen to the Podcast »

End the Arab Boycott of Israel

Ed Husain

The Arab League's boycott of Zionist goods--which began in 1945—is outdated as well as self-defeating. To end the economic suffering this boycott has created for Palestinians, more imams should speak out against this failed policy. Read the Op-Ed »

Choking to Death: China's Air Pollution Problem

Yanzhong Huang

The Chinese government's legitimacy hinges upon delivering robust economic growth, so governments at all levels continue to pursue growth at the expense of the environment. We are going to see more National People's Congress delegates pushing for better environmental protection measures, but don't expect any fundamental change until the government allows for more effective participation of civil society groups in the public policy process. Read More on Asia Unbound »

Raising the Minimum Wage Does Not Lower Unemployment

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker

President Obama's proposal to raise the federal hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 could be a deterrent to hiring. A 19 percent rise in the effective minimum wage could decrease long-run job growth by 0.7 percent, a result that could slow the decline of the high unemployment rate. Read More on Geo-Graphics »


March 12: Mandate of United Nations Support Mission in Libya to Expire
CFR Resources on: Libya »

March 14 - 15: G8 Foreign Ministers Summit, Paris
CFR Resources on: Group of Eight »

View the Calendar »


This week in CFR's New York office, Carol A. Giacomo discussed Iran's nuclear program in a roundtable with James Dobbins, William J. Fallon, and Karim Sadjadpour. Watch the Discussion

New Book Warns of Democracy's Decline Worldwide

In Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government, CFR Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick identifies forces that threaten democracy and shows that conventional wisdom has blinded world leaders to a real crisis.


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