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Highlights From CFR

October 4, 2013


Bibi the Bad Cop

Elliott Abrams

Israel does not trust President Barack Obama to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. It will try to stymie any nuclear deal it sees as too lenient—but that won't be easy. Read more on »

Israel’s New Mideast Pressures

Robert M. Danin

Even as he addresses concerns about Iran and Syria, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could face conservative opposition at home to progress on peace with Palestinians. Read the interview »


How the Shutdown Weakens U.S. Foreign Policy

Richard N. Haass

The circumstances that have brought a government shutdown raise concerns that U.S. political dysfunction now poses the biggest threat to national security. The shutdown, combined with other recent events, also stirs questions about American predictability and reliability, which are qualities that are vital to an effective great power. Read the interview »

The Federal Shutdown and Foreign Credibility

Micah Zenko

What is remarkable about the tolerance for the long approaching mini-crisis that led to a shutdown of the federal government is that many of these same policymakers and officials routinely assert that U.S. credibility is the essential underpinning for American power and influence in the world.  Read more on Politics, Power, and Preventive Action »

Tell Me How This Ends

Edward Alden

Because Republicans have less to lose politically from the government's closure it is likely to stay closed for a while. Perhaps the looming mid-October debt ceiling will force the Republicans' hand, but having precipitated a government shutdown over the health care law, the House Republicans could simply pass a short-term debt ceiling hike and leave the government closed. Read more on Renewing America »

How the Shutdown Affects the Economy

Robert Kahn

A short U.S. government shutdown will likely have a limited effect on the economy but will be followed by a protracted debate over increasing the debt limit. That may result in the government's default on its debt and profound consequences for the U.S. and global economy.  Watch the video »

How Damaging is the Cancellation of Obama's Asia Trip?

Joshua Kurlantzick

Despite the fiscal mess in Washington, Obama should have kept at least part of his Southeast Asia itinerary—the trip to Indonesia for the APEC leaders' summit—and then immediately return to Washington to deal with the standoff with Congress. Following through with the trip would have shown that the administration will make good on its promise to reengage Southeast Asia even during the most challenging times. Read more on Asia Unbound »


Should the United States Fear Boko Haram?

John Campbell

Boko Haram, the group believed to be responsible for the jihadist attack that killed at least 40 students at a Northern Nigerian agricultural college, poses a serious challenge to the Nigerian state, but has shown little interest in the world outside of Nigeria and the Sahel. Still, it is possible that closer ties will develop between al-Qaeda and elements of Boko Haram. 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 ongoing government shutdown and the approaching deadline for the debt ceiling; the APEC Summit in Bali; and the ASEAN summit in Brunei. Listen to the podcast »

Dilma's First Three Years: A Mixed Record

Shannon K. O'Neil

As Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff gears up for reelection next year, she will have to explain the mixed perceptions of her three years in office. While she has had success in confronting corruption and improving social spending initiatives, Brazil's barriers to economic growth and weak infrastructure have been shortcomings of her government. Read more on Latin America's Moment »

The Northern Ireland Peace Process

The peace deal struck in 1998 created a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland that included political forces that had been aligned with armed groups on each side of the conflict. Most of the Belfast Agreement—usually referred to as the Good Friday Agreement—has been implemented, and a devolved national assembly in Belfast is now in place. Some divisive issues related to sectarian and national identity were left unresolved by the accord, however, and contribute to occasional outbursts of disruption and violence. Read the Backgrounder »

Importing Chinese Poultry: How Much Should We Worry?

Yanzhong Huang

Following the USDA's decision to lift the ban on processed poultry imports from China, U.S. consumers have legitimate concerns about food produced in a country that is engulfed by an unprecedented food safety crisis that affects all the major segments of the food supply chain. Read more on Asia Unbound »

China and Southeast Asia: It's Complicated

Elizabeth C. Economy

Newly selected Chinese president Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang appear to be promoting China as a positive economic force within the region, while continuing to play hardball on the security front. Although China seems to be entering a new phase in its regional diplomacy, disputes over the South China Sea are creating tensions. Read more on Asia Unbound »

The Six Party Talks on North Korea's Nuclear Program

China's recent push to renew the Six Party Talks has raised hopes for progress on the Korean peninsula despite worries that Pyongyang may have restarted its old nuclear reactor. Read the Backgrounder »

Ask CFR Experts: Question of the Week

Nuno Halpern asks whether the Obama administration will show a greater interest in Africa in the second term. CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Jendayi Frazer says the Obama administration is demonstrating a renewed interest in African economic partnerships, but there is still room for the president to build on his Africa policy. Read the full answer and submit your question


October 8: Presidential Election, Ethiopia
CFR Resources on: Ethiopia »

October 9 - 10: ASEAN Summit, Brunei
CFR Resources on: Asia »

View the Calendar »


Today CFR's New York headquarters hosted the fourth annual Back-to-School event. It showcased CFR's new InfoGuide series and the new CFR Student Homepage and included a discussion on the Chinese dream with Adam Segal and Elizabeth C. Economy. Watch the event

The Case for Putting America's House in Order

In his book, Foreign Policy Begins at Home, CFR President Richard N. Haass argues that the biggest threat to the United States comes not from abroad but from within.


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