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Highlights From CFR

September 27, 2013


World Leaders and CFR

This week heads of state, including Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani , addressed CFR audiences. Watch Events Videos »


The Domestic Politics Driving Iran’s Diplomatic Shift

Ray Takeyh

By changing the style and tone of its diplomacy, Tehran can offer itself as a stable regional power, but President Hassan Rouhani's PR success abroad does not mitigate his problems at home. Read the op-ed »

Iran, Try Peace or Get War

Leslie H. Gelb

President Obama was correct to "test" Tehran's new charm offensive. Now the United States has to offer proposals that take Iran's legitimate interests as well as America's into account. Read the op-ed »

The Realist Idealist

Stewart M. Patrick

President Barack Obama's ultimate vision for world order remains liberal and internationalist. But he is no starry-eyed idealist, and his address before the UN General Assembly betrayed the weariness of a statesman acutely aware that although forces and events may be nudged incrementally in a positive direction, there is no making the world anew. Read more on The Internationalist »

Frenemies Forever

Akbar Ganji

Ayatollah Khamenei's offer of "heroic flexibility" in negotiations with the United States is significant, but not in the way that most Western commentators seem to think. Khamenei is ready to make a deal, but he still believes Iran and the West will remain ideological adversaries. Read more on »


Al-Shabab Attacks: Bigger than Just Kenya?

John Campbell

The siege of a mall in Nairobi marks the continuation of a disturbing trend in northern and sub-Saharan Africa. The insurgency is spreading concern that jihadist movements will take root in more diverse countries such as Senegal and Niger. Read more on Africa in Transition »

Westgate Mall Attacks: Three Things to Know

Jendayi Frazer

Al-Shabab's deadly Westgate Mall siege in Nairobi is unlikely to alter Kenya's foreign policy, but the incident could encourage closer U.S.-Kenya relations and reinforce Washington's engagement with the broader region. Watch the video »

A Primer on Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab is an al-Qaeda-linked militant group and U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization fighting for the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state in Somalia. Its terrorist activities have mainly focused on targets within Somalia, but it also carried out deadly strikes in Uganda's capital in 2010 and in a Nairobi mall in 2013. Read the Backgrounder »

Where Are You, Ban Ki-Moon?

Jonathan Tepperman

The UN under Ban Ki-moon's stewardship has managed to get some things right: providing effective relief to refugees, doing a decent job on peacekeeping, and avoiding the corruption and mismanagement scandals that tarnished the last years of Kofi Annan's tenure. But on Syria, Ban's record has been thin. Yet if the U.N.'s member states really want more effective leadership, they should hire someone actually able to provide it—and then get out of the way when he or she tries. Read the op-ed »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

In this week's podcast, Lindsay and McMahon discuss the deadline for Congress to avert a government shutdown, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming meeting with President Obama, and the twentieth anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu. Listen to the audio »

U.S.-Brazil Relations: A Missed Opportunity?

Julia E. Sweig

The NSA scandal, the White House's response to it, and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff's decision to cancel the state visit, have revealed the weakness of the US..-Brazil relationship. On NSA surveillance, Washington has a serious policy difference with Brazil and a number of other major democracies. Diplomacy couldn't bridge the divide. But given Brazil's importance as a hub for transatlantic fiber-optic cables, Dilma and Obama really do have something to talk about. Read the op-ed »

Merkel, Europe, and German "Continuity"

Charles A. Kupchan

Despite the commanding performance of Angela Merkel's governing Christian Democratic Party at the polls, challenges remain in forming a coalition government with center-left Social Democrats. Merkel's victory provides a measure of reassurance for a continent still reeling from the four-year-old debt crisis, but Berlin's policy toward the eurozone crisis is unlikely to change significantly in the coming months. Read the interview »

Travel and Tourism: Small Investments, Big Returns

Edward Alden

U.S. share of global long haul travel fell from 17 percent in 2000 to just under 13 percent last year, which adds up to almost 100 million potential visitors lost and hundreds of billions in spending. There is no question that long wait times and other travel hassles for non-American citizens at customs and immigration inspection lines at U.S. airports play a role. Read more on Renewing America »

Ask CFR Experts: Question of the Week

Brian Luckett asks if Tibet will ever achieve full statehood. CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Jerome A. Cohen says China is "determined to keep Tibet a part of China and thus far the world community has acquiesced in China's claim." Read the full answer and submit your question


October 3 - 4: UN General Assembly High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, New York
CFR Resources on: Development »

View the Calendar »

Taiwan's Challenge to China

In a new book, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Jerome A. Cohen discusses how Taiwan abolished its system of labor camps and in turn challenged mainland China to do the same.


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