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Highlights From CFR

November 1, 2013


U.S. Spying Casts Shadow Over Atlantic Alliance

Charles A. Kupchan

The outrage stemming from the latest revelations over widespread NSA surveillance of phone calls throughout Europe, including those of top leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaks to a larger disappointment with President Barack Obama's inability to strike a balance between security and civil liberties. Read the interview »


Which Asian Century?

Richard N. Haass

Asia's dominance in the twenty-first century can take two very different forms: a future in which regional economies continue to enjoy robust levels of growth and manage to avoid conflict with one another; or one of increased regional tensions, rising military budgets, and slower economic growth. If Asia is to follow Europe's successful model in the second half of the twentieth century, it will require that the United States emphasize free trade, increase America's air and naval presence, and promote China's integration within the region. Read the op-ed »

U.S. Pivot to Asia Necessary to Sustain Long-Term Interests

Elizabeth C. Economy

The United States' pivot to Asia is not dead. The United States has significant interest in the Asia-Pacific region, especially with regard to the region's role in the global economy, its security concerns, and its politics. The pivot is an American vision rooted in U.S. interests in and understanding of Asia, but nothing about it seeks to exclude China. Read the op-ed »

Huntsman: Time for an Economic Pivot to China

Jonathan Masters

Former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman says the pivot to Asia has been overly focused on security while falling short on the diplomatic and economic fronts. Instead, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal that would include the United States, Japan, and ten other Asia-Pacific countries, would fill in some of these gaps. The United States also needs to focus on the bilateral investment treaty with China to boost bilateral commerce and help offset other diplomatic challenges. Read more on Renewing America »

An Interactive Look at China's Maritime Disputes

Beina Xu, Eleanor Albert, Jeanne Park, Robert McMahon, Jeremy Sherlick, Hagit Ariav

The East and South China Seas are the scene of escalating territorial disputes between China and its neighbors, including Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The tensions, shaped by China's growing assertiveness, have fueled concerns over armed conflict and raised questions about Washington's security commitments in its strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region. View the InfoGuide »


War Termination in Afghanistan

Stephen D. Biddle

Short-term success in Afghanistan is less important than the United States' ability to secure its long term interests beyond 2014. Read the testimony »

Reforming the Muslim Brotherhood

Ed Husain

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood needs to withdraw and reform if it's to become a viable political force in the years ahead. Read the Expert Brief »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

In this week's podcast, Lindsay and McMahon discuss the upcoming talks over Iran's nuclear program in Geneva; the U.S. Senate discussions on the impact of sequestration on defense; and the World Chess Championship in India. Listen to the podcast »

A Kinder, Gentler Immigration Policy

Jagdish Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera-Batiz

The United States should focus on more humane, bottom-up policies in which states compete for illegal immigrants—states with laws that are unfriendly to illegal immigrants will lose them and their badly needed labor to states that are more welcoming. Read more on »

Two Cheers for America’s Restraint in the Drone War

Micah Zenko

With U.S. drone strikes down 39 percent in Pakistan and 37 percent in Yemen, 2013 has seen the fewest targeted killings since President Barack Obama entered office. By declining requests to conduct targeted killings in Iraq, Jordan, and Niger, the Obama administration has wisely avoided deepening its commitment to providing security against regionally focused terrorist organizations. Read the op-ed »

Kurdistan: Just Being Independent

Steven A. Cook

Iraq's Kurdistan region and the country at large are breaking up, but no one wants to acknowledge it because no one wants to be perceived as being responsible for the disintegration of a major Middle Eastern country. Read more on From the Potomac to the Euphrates »

Africa’s Brain Drain: Nigerian Medical Doctors

John Campbell

If one medical doctor is required for every six hundred patients, as the World Health Organization mandates, Nigeria only has one quarter of the doctors it needs, and many may be leaving because of the poor conditions in the country's public hospitals.  Read more on Africa in Transition »

A Primer on Al-Qaeda in Iraq

Hundreds of civilians are being killed each month as al-Qaeda in Iraq exploits domestic grievances and the civil war in neighboring Syria. This primer is a guide to the origins and expansion of the militant group.  Read the Backgrounder »

Ask CFR Experts: Question of the Week

James Hurt asks what the United States' position is regarding the legality of Israeli settlements. CFR Senior Fellow Elliott Abrams says that U.S. officials have viewed settlement expansion as an obstacle to peace talks and a comprehensive peace agreement, and opposed it on those practical grounds. Read the full answer and submit your question


November 5: WTO General Council to meet,
CFR Resources on: Trade »

November 7: Secretary of State John Kerry to visit Morocco
CFR Resources on: Morocco »

November 7 - 7: Next round of international talks on Iran’s nuclear program
CFR Resources on: Iran »

View the Calendar »


At CFR's New York headquarters, Ted Koppel discussed his career and the changing nature of journalism and social media. Watch the event video

At CFR's Washington, DC office, Senator Carl Levin discussed U.S. foreign policy toward Afghanistan following a visit to the region. Watch the event video

In the New Issue of Foreign Affairs

In the cover story, CFR Senior Fellow Laurie Garrett analyzes the revolution of synthetic biology: how it is now possible to manufacture living organisms, including viruses and bacteria not yet seen in nature, and how this development is a boon to both terrorists and scientists. Read the new issue


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