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Highlights from CFR

August 16, 2013


Syria's Crisis and the Global Response

Limited lethal aid pledged to the Syrian opposition by the United States in June 2013 seems unlikely to tip the military balance decisively. The United States, Russia, the Arab League, and the United Nations are committed to brokering a peace deal, but negotiations remain elusive. Read the Backgrounder »

What's New in U.S.-Israeli Plans for Iran's Nuclear Program?

Micah Zenko

Although U.S. officials have never definitively promised to help Israel attack Iran, a recent statement from U.S. Army general Martin Dempsey following a meeting with Israeli lieutenant general Benny Gantz brings into question the extent to which the United States would support Israel in doing so. Read More onPolitics, Power, and Preventive Action »


Mubarak Still Rules

Steven A. Cook

The democratic aspirations and demands for the fall of the regime that were emblematic of Tahrir Square remain just that -- seemingly distant ambitions that recent events have made unrealistic. With Morsi's departure, many Egyptians and observers have recently declared, "There is no going back." This confidence in Egypt's democratic development once seemed like hopeful bravado. Now it's simply tragic. Read More on From the Potomac to the Euphrates »

Why Washington Should Suspend Aid

Isobel Coleman

The Egyptian military's violent crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters has squandered any hope for national reconciliation, and the Obama administration should suspend assistance until Egypt's government demonstrates a return to a political process. Read the Op-Ed »

If the West Would Step Up

Ed Husain

While friends of democracy in Europe and the Americas awaited an IMF endorsement of Egypt before extending loans to the suffering economy, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates supported the military coup and injected $12 billion into the Egyptian treasury. To cultivate democracy in Egypt, the West should require fewer hurdles for Egypt. Read the Op-Ed »

An Overview of the Crisis

A month-and-a-half-long standoff between Egypt's military and supporters of ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi came to a head in mid-August as security forces violently dispersed Cairo sit-ins, leaving hundreds dead and thousands injured. This guide provides background and analysis on Egypt's mounting political crisis. Read the Issue Guide »


Prime Minister Abe’s Diplomatic Agenda

Sheila A. Smith

Last month, Japan's ruling coalition won a resounding electoral victory, giving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party and its coalition partner control over both houses in the parliament. Despite some regional concerns about Abe's geopolitical ambitions, his diplomatic vision looks more like a return to Japan's much vaunted economic diplomacy. Read More on Asia Unbound »

Mali’s Elections: Completed, but Successful?

John Campbell

Although Mali completed a full election cycle, it remains to be seen whether the elections will be a first step toward national reconciliation or further alienate the North.  Read More on Africa in Transition »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

In this week's podcast, Lindsay and McMahon discuss Egypt's state of emergency; Japan and Russia's talks over territorial disputes; and Al Jazeera America's debut. Listen to the Podcast »

Waffle, Vacillate, Fail

Jonathan Tepperman

Whether out of reticence, ambivalence, tactical calculation or the difficulty of making policy in Washington, the Obama administration's response to the human rights violators it has faced during its five years in office has been mealymouthed and confusing. Read the Op-Ed »

From Cold War to Cold Shoulder

Timothy Naftali

Russian president Putin left the Obama administration with no real choice but to cancel the U.S.-Russian presidential meeting. One of the biggest rules of diplomacy between adversaries is that the spying game should be kept below the level of the head of state. Read More on »

With So Many Job Openings, Why So Few Hires?

Peter Orszag

Although job openings have increased by fifty percent over the past three years, the number of hires has increased by less than 5 percent. Nevertheless, it's still good news that more jobs are being advertised. That wouldn't be happening if the economic outlook were entirely bleak. Read More on Renewing America »

Why China's Influence Will Rise, Despite Economic Slowdown

Joshua Kurlantzick

Skeptics have long warned of a meltdown of the Chinese economy, and though its economy is expected to cool to a still impressive 7 percent annual growth, the country's global influence may only continue to increase as other developing nations imitate its strategies. Read More on Asia Unbound »

Rethinking the Meaning of Development

Terra Lawson-Remer

A country's gross domestic product and gross national income are commonly used measures for describing quality of life. In developing countries, however, measures such as an individual's ability to live a free and meaningful life could serve as an alternate index. Read More on Democracy in Development »

Ask CFR Experts: Question of the Week

Maxwell Fenton asks whether IMF policy is to blame for the prolonged eurozone economic policy. CFR Senior Fellow Benn Steil says even if the IMF had pressured Greece and its creditors to work out an earlier restructuring and a more credible official eurozone assistance package, at best, the move would only have brought about a slightly earlier—but still insufficient—restructuring. Read the Full Answer and Submit Your Question


August 20: UN Security Council to Discuss Middle East, New York
CFR Resources on: The Middle East »

August 20 - 24: ASEAN Foreign Ministers to Meet, Brunei
CFR Resources on: ASEAN »

View the Calendar »

Get Expert Analysis on the Middle East on CFR’s Blog

Discuss unfolding events on Abrams's "Pressure Points," Coleman's "Democracy and Development," Cook's "From the Potomac to the Euphrates," and Danin's "Middle East Matters." Join the Conversation


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