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Highlights From CFR

September 20, 2013


An Interactive Look at China's Maritime Disputes

Tensions in the East and South China Seas have fueled concerns over conflict and raised questions about the role the United States will play in the region. If not managed wisely, these tensions could turn part of Asia's maritime regions from thriving trade channels into arenas of conflict. View the Interactive »

A Kinder, Gentler Iran?

Ray Takeyh

Rouhani's attempt to refashion Iran's image and temper its rhetoric should be welcomed. After eight years of Ahmadinejad provocations that often unhinged the international community, a degree of self-restraint is admirable. However, judge Tehran by its conduct and not its words. Read the Op-Ed »

U.S. Economic Recovery

The Fed: No Taper and Little Clarity

Robert Kahn

The Federal Reserve's surprise decision to keep its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases suggests divisions about the prospects for economic recovery and shows little concern about a growing balance sheet. Read more on Macro and Markets »

Understanding the 2008 Financial Crisis

Barney Frank, Henry M. Paulson, Jr., David Wessel

The former chair of the House Financial Services Committee and former Federal Reserve chairman look back at the 2008 financial crisis, the ongoing recovery process, and the lessons learned. Watch the video »

The Recovery in Historical Context

Dinah Walker

The economic expansion following the 2008 recession has been the weakest of the post–World War II era. This report measures how the current economic recovery, which, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, officially started in June 2009, compares to those of the past. Read the report »

The Role of the U.S. Federal Reserve

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


Responsibility to Protect?

Micah Zenko

The interventions that U.S. policymakers have proposed to address the conflict in Syria are based on a deep misunderstanding of how U.S. force was used during humanitarian missions in the past, and have almost nothing to do with how Syrian non-combatants are actually being killed. Read the Op-Ed »

Obama's Promise of More Discussion on Syria

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The administration has talked regime change while practicing what was, in effect, soft containment plus humanitarian assistance. That course has sowed confusion about what America's strategy is when it comes to Syria. Read the Op-Ed »

Awkward U.S.-Russia Dance on Syria

Nikolas Gvosdev

The unexpected convergence of the United States and Russia over Syria's chemical weapons is likely to be strained by delays in the disarmament process. Read the Interview »

Six Party Talks: Commemoration, Wake, or Revival?

Scott A. Snyder

Despite North Korea's recommitment to denuclearization and resumption of Six Party Talks, it will be difficult to justify allowing North Korea to come back to a new starting line in 2013 from the one it left in 2008. North Korea participated in two rounds of nuclear talks and missile tests while continuing its nuclear weapons development. Read more on Asia Unbound »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay, Robert McMahon

In this week's podcast, Lindsay and McMahon discuss Syria's deadline for listing its chemical weapons stockpiles; the UN General Assembly in New York; and German elections. Listen to the Podcast »

Will Greece Decide the German Elections? If So, What's Next?

Benn Steil, Dinah Walker

Those expecting the German elections to finally allow the EU to sort out Greece and end the eurozone crisis may be sorely disappointed. They may instead mark the beginning of a new and more worrisome phase. Read the Op-Ed »

Obama's October Trip to Asia

Joshua Kurlantzick

Although President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Southeast Asia is a celebration of growing partnerships with Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Malaysia, he will still need to emphasize the importance of their continued progress toward democratization. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Child Brides Caught in Conflict

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

In conflict zones, some families view child marriage as a way to preserve their daughter's honor and protect her from the sexual assault and gender-based violence that commonly occurs in warzones and refugee camps. In reality, however, child marriage only further threatens girls in unstable environments. Read more on Development Channel »

Why Cyber Espionage Will Endure

Adam Segal

Even if Beijing and Washington can agree on how states should behave in cyberspace, many Chinese hackers are unlikely to care and will continue to pursue their own interests. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Ask CFR Experts: Question of the Week

Soumaya Maghnouj asks what impact the eurozone crisis has had on the U.S. economy. CFR Senior Fellow Robert Kahn says, "the crisis in Europe has been directly felt through lost trade, as lower European incomes reduce demand for U.S. goods." Read the full answer and submit your question


September 24 - October 4: UN Annual General Assembly, New York
CFR Resources on: International Organizations »


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Earlier this week at CFR's Washington office, Senator John McCain discussed recent developments in U.S. policy toward Syria. Watch the discussion

Watch World Leaders Discuss Pressing Issues

Heads of state, including Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, and Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, will address audiences gathered at CFR's New York offices next week. Watch these meetings live by subscribing to CFR's YouTube channel. Follow @CFR_org on Twitter for updates and share your thoughts using the #CFRLive hashtag.


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