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Highlights From CFR

August 23, 2013


America Must Respond to the Atrocities in Syria

Richard N. Haass

It is essential to respond directly and meaningfully to any use of chemical weapons so they are not used again by anyone. Read the Op-Ed »

At Stake in Syria: The Chemical Weapons Taboo

Stewart M. Patrick

Claims that Syrian government forces launched a devastating poison gas attack on civilians this week reinforce the urgency of bolstering the chemical weapons inspection regime within the country. Washington must join a vigorous call for support of UN weapons inspectors so they can mount a credible investigation. Read More on The Internationalist »


Honor American Values and Law by Cutting Aid

Elliott Abrams

The Obama administration should not contravene the Foreign Assistance Act in order to continue sending aid to Egypt. In light of the military coup and the ensuing violence, the White House should instead cut aid without fear of backlash. Read the Op-Ed »

How to Influence a Country Divided

Jon B. Alterman

The United States is fundamentally naive about how politics work in the Middle East. Washington will continue to struggle with establishing an Egypt policy until it identifies its core objectives there. Read the Interview »

Cutting Aid Bolsters U.S. Credibility

Max Boot

The United States certainly benefits from its alliance with Egypt's generals. But given the nature of the military's crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, the Obama administration should withdraw aid. Although Saudi Arabia would then increase its aid to Egypt, the move would give the United States more credibility on human rights. Read the Op-Ed »


Obama, the Iraq War, and Containment in Syria

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

After a decade of fighting and thousands of war dead, America is a nation beset by fatigue and a world weary Washington does not seem inclined to define U.S. interests and objectives in Syria. Read the Op-Ed »

Putin's Anti-U.S. Measures More Spiteful than Strategic

Charles A. Kupchan

In the past, Moscow's protestations toward Washington were grounded in reason. Yet, since President Vladimir Putin's second term began, his confrontations appear to be defined more by spite. Read the Op-Ed »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

Stewart M. Patrick and Robert McMahon

In this week's podcast, Patrick and McMahon discuss the debate on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Afghan president Hamid Karzai's visit to Pakistan, the UN Security Council, and the start of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Listen to the Podcast »

The Fed's Evolving Role

The U.S. Federal Reserve, which celebrates its centennial in 2013, has been transformed in the past decade, expanding its role of maintaining full employment and stable prices to include deploying trillions of dollars to boost the U.S. economy. Read the Backgrounder »

Bank of England's Forward Guidance Pledge Is Meaningless

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker

The Bank of England's newly announced "forward guidance" policy pledges to keep interest rates super-low at least until unemployment falls to 7 percent. Despite initially being met with great fanfare, the policy has largely underperformed.  Read More on Geo-Graphics »

Is Southeast Asia Headed for Another Crisis?

Joshua Kurlantzick

Although quarterly growth reports for Southeast Asia's major economies have been grim, the fear of a return to the financial crisis of the 1990s is too alarmist. Many of these countries have learned important lessons from the 1990s crisis and will not be caught unaware again. Read More on Asia Unbound »

Maduro's Limited Foreign Policy Agenda

Stephanie Leutert

As Hugo Chavez's foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro was defined by his foreign policy agenda. Since assuming Venezuela's presidency, however, his focus on foreign policy has diminished and will continue to do so unless he addresses Venezuela's political and economic issues. Read More on Latin America's Moment »

Ask CFR Experts: Question of the Week

Matthew Rodrigues asks what the generational shift in Saudi Arabia's leadership means for the United States. Isobel Coleman says that although the shift has been postponed, it "must happen at some point, and the stakes are high for both Saudi Arabia and the United States, which looks to the kingdom for stability in world oil markets." Read the Full Answer and Submit Your Question


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

View the Calendar »


The newest issue of Foreign Affairs is available online now and on newsstands on August 27. In the cover story, Iranian journalist and dissident Akbar Ganji argues that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is not a crazy, irrational, or reckless zealot searching for opportunities for aggression. If Washington can convince Khamenei that it's not determined to overthrow the Islamic Republic, the United States and Iran could improve ties. Read the Issue

The Struggle for Egypt

In his award-winning book, Steven A. Cook traces the "stirrings of Egyptian nationalism" back to the 1880s and culminates his narrative with the events in Tahrir Square in early 2011. Read The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square


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