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Highlights from CFR

April 19, 2013


Boston Bombings and Terrorism

The deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon raise anew the vulnerability of U.S. civilian targets and homeland security policy dilemmas. This Issue Guide provides background and analysis on terrorism on American soil and implications for U.S. policy. Read the Issue Guide »

What Bombers’ Chechen Ties May Mean for U.S.-Russia Relations

Anya Schmemann

The reported identification of the Boston bombing suspects as ethnic Chechens has thrown a spotlight back on Russia's troubled and volatile North Caucasus region, which has been the target of an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars that date back to the 1990s. Read More on the Water's Edge »

Chechnya and Terrorism

Chechnya has been plagued by two wars and an ongoing insurgency since the fall of the Soviet Union. Read the Backgrounder »


Turning the Page in Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro, former president Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor, won Venezuela's presidency by a narrow margin, which may place the future of Chavismo in doubt. Read the Issue Guide »

Chavismo's Tough Road Ahead

Shannon K. O'Neil

Venezuela's new president inherits an overvalued currency, inflation, a near-20 percent deficit, and a host of other issues that could tarnish his popularity and the populist narrative of Chavismo. Read More on Latin America's Moment »

An Interactive Look at the Chavez Era

Chavez took office in 1999 on a populist platform, but critics say he transformed the country into an authoritarian state. This interactive timeline offers a visual account of Chavez's rise to power and the impact of his presidency. View the Timeline »


Protecting Human Rights in an Interdependent World

Terra Lawson-Remer

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that victims of torture and other human rights abuses in foreign countries can't seek justice in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute. The statute has been used to sue companies accused of colluding with governments to enslave or murder local citizens. The ruling highlights a pressing human rights challenge: in an increasingly integrated global economy, how can marginalized communities be protected from powerful, rogue, and unaccountable actors? Read More on the Development Channel »

A Fine Start on Immigration Reform

Edward Alden

The immigration bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this week is not perfect, but it is the most serious effort in many years to create an immigration system that would better serve U.S. economic needs, strengthen the rule of law, and enhance security. Read More on Renewing America »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

Robert McMahon, James M. Lindsay

The World Next Week podcast looks at the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, the visit of King Abdullah II of Jordan to the United States, and the ASEAN summit in Brunei. Listen to the Podcast »

Transferring CIA Drone Strikes to the Pentagon

Micah Zenko

President Obama should shift lead executive authority for U.S. drone strikes from the CIA to the Pentagon. That would be an essential first step toward greater transparency in nonbattlefield targeted killings. Read the Policy Innovation Memorandum »

Syria: The Problem Without an Answer

Steven A. Cook

The debate about Washington's options in Syria revolves around two options: arm Syrian rebels and enforce a no-fly zone, or "engage with Iran" and reach a deal with Tehran where its position in Damascus would not be fatally compromised with President Assad's ouster. Neither is likely to succeed. It seems that Syria is a problem without answers. Read More on From the Potomac to the Euphrates »

More U.S. Oil Probably Won’t Destroy the Climate

Michael A. Levi

The amount of oil that could plausibly be produced in the near future will have consequences for the climate, but they won't be game-changing. Ultimately, to cut carbon dioxide emissions, lawmakers need to reduce the demand for oil. Read the Op-Ed »

Krugman's Data-Picking Downplays U.S. Debt

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker

Economist Paul Krugman has dismissed concerns about America's international debt problem, arguing that the nation's "debtor position"—the difference between the values of the U.S. portfolio of foreign assets and the foreign portfolio of U.S. assets—is not deep. Expanding the parameters of Krugman's chosen data period, however, shows that America's debtor position is deeper than his analysis suggests.  Read the Geo-Graphic »


April 21: Presidential Election, Paraguay
CFR Resources on: South America »

April 22: Earth Day
CFR Resources on: Environment »

April 24 - 25: ASEAN Summit, Brunei
CFR Resources on: ASEAN »

April 26: President Obama to Meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Washington, DC
CFR Resources on: Jordan »

View the Calendar »


Former undersecretary of defense for policy Michèle Flournoy discussed U.S. defense and strategy, as well as broader international security challenges. Watch the Video

Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, gave an overview of the 2013 Human Development Report. Watch the Video

Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson discussed the future of the Arctic region. Watch the Video

Germany's finance minister, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, offered his perspective on financial market regulation and current state of the European Union. Listen to the Meeting

New from CFR: A Visual History of Guerrilla Warfare

The Invisible Armies Insurgency Tracker surveys guerrilla warfare worldwide from 1775 to 2012. This visual presentation accompanies the historical narrative in CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot's new book Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present.


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