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Highlights from CFR

June 21, 2013


U.S. Education Earns Poor Grades

Edward Alden, Rebecca Strauss

The United States has slipped ten spots in both high school and college graduation rates over the past three decades. National security is directly linked to issues such as education because shortcomings among American workers threaten the country's ability to compete and set a compelling example internationally. Read the Report »

Obama's Broader Message in Berlin

Charles A. Kupchan

President Barack Obama's speech at the Brandenburg Gate combined lofty idealism and pragmatic realism. Europeans are disappointed with his policies on climate change, drones, Guantanamo, and government surveillance, but Obama remains an inspirational leader. Read the Interview »

Boots on the Ground in Syria

Andrew Tabler

With the Obama administration pledging more military support to rebel forces in Syria, Tabler recommends that U.S. officials in Syria work directly with the opposition in the country. Read the Interview »

Inclusive Economic Growth and Brazil's Protests

Isobel Coleman

Brazil's recent demonstrations are a sign of healthy democracy, but the government must now reassure citizens that it is committed to and capable of implementing economic strategies that ensure inclusive growth. Read More on Democracy in Development »


A Primer on the Group of Eight

After more than three decades, the Group of Eight (G8) is struggling to defend its relevance amid criticism of its limited membership and the lack of a compliance mechanism. Read the Backgrounder »

No Failures, But No Major Victories

Robert Kahn

Although no substantive progress was made at this week's G8 summit, the leaders' ability to agree on principles and first steps could yield future successes. Read More on Macro and Markets »

Free Trade Is in Retreat

Joshua Kurlantzick

The failure of the United States and its partners in the G8 to pass regional trade agreements indicates a need to devolve power to the emerging economies of the G20 in hopes of reaching multilateral trade agreements. Read the Op-Ed »


Erdogan: The Strong Man at His Weakest

Steven A. Cook

The destruction of a camp in Gezi Park, proposals to roll back freedom of expression, and arrests of open dissenters show that though Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may not be at risk of losing an election, his efforts to muzzle a weak opposition prove his own weakness. Read the Op-Ed »

Palestinian Authority Making the Same Mistake Twice

Elliott Abrams

Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah's announced resignation, eighteen days into his tenure, is reminiscent of current president Mahmoud Abbas's resignation in 2003. The continued inability of the president and prime minister to share power brings unnecessary difficulty to the Palestinian Authority, and the United States should withhold aid until the situation is resolved. Read More on Pressure Points »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

Isobel Coleman and Robert McMahon

In this week's podcast, Coleman and McMahon discuss President Obama's trip to Africa, U.S. expansion of sanctions on Iran, the NATO secretary-general's trip to Georgia, and the UN report on Millennium Development Goals. Listen to the Podcast »

Is the United States Ready to Make a Deal with Iran?

Carla Anne Robbins

The Obama administration has expressed interest in returning to negotiations with Iran following Hassan Rowhani's improbable win in Iran's presidential elections, but this interest does not mean that the president is ready to ease pressure on Iran. Read the Op-Ed »

Preventing the Next Snowden

Sue Mi Terry

If the case of Edward Snowden—the former employee at Booz Allen Hamilton (a defense contractor for the National Security Agency) who smuggled classified information out of his workplace and provided it to news organizations—has revealed anything, it is that the U.S. intelligence services have made mistakes since 9/11 and the Iraq War, but these mistakes can be reversed. Read More on »

North Korea's Odd Proposal for Denuclearization Talks

Scott A. Snyder

North Korea's surprise proposal for high-level talks with the United States defiantly calls for Washington to drop its preconditions for negotiation even as Pyongyang adds preconditions of its own. In other words, North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons program when hell freezes over. Read More on Asia Unbound »

Nigeria Is Caught Between Military Abuses and Islamist Rebels

John Campbell

Despite increasing evidence of military abuses in Nigeria and ongoing violence at the hands of Islamist militant group Boko Haram, the lack of a viable opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan leaves little opportunity for change. Read the Op-Ed »

Ask CFR Experts: Question of the Week

Ihorran Caldeira asks whether Russia's economy will keep growing along with the BRICS states or start to decline. "Russia's economy used to occupy the middle tier of the BRICS, but today many Russians worry that it is dropping to the bottom of the group," says CFR's Stephen Sestanovich. Read the Full Answer and Submit Your Question


June 23: Presidential Election, Tunisia
CFR Resources on: Tunisia »

June 24: EU Foreign Affairs Council to Meet, Brussels
CFR Resources on: the European Union »

June 26 - July 3: President Obama to Visit Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa
CFR Resources on: Africa »

View the Calendar »


Earlier this week, CFR Senior Fellow Shannon K. O'Neil testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere and Global Narcotics Affairs. She argued that a safe Mexico is in U.S. interests, in that a dangerous Mexico would have repercussions far beyond the southern U.S. border. Read the Testimony

How to Establish Democracy?

In Pathways to Freedom: Political and Economic Lessons from Democratic Transitions, Isobel Coleman and Terra Lawson-Remer argue that by "understanding the trade-offs and critical economic and policy decisions that transitioning countries have faced in the past, policymakers can make smarter choices to improve the chances of successful democratization in states undergoing transitions today."


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