Return to   |   Subscribe to the The World This Week

Council on Foreign Relations The World This Week
Highlights From CFR

November 8, 2013


Killing of Pakistani Terrorist Is a Possible Turning Point

Daniel S. Markey

It's not clear that Washington will use the death of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud to advance greater U.S. purposes in Pakistan. Handled poorly, this narrow counterterrorism success will come at a cost in bilateral relations, regional counterterrorism operations and the endgame of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. Instead, United States' goal should be to drive a wedge between Islamabad and the Pakistani Taliban, deeper than the one between the United States and Pakistan. Read the op-ed »

Russia’s Foreign Policy Is Nearing Complete Failure

Stephen Sestanovich

Despite Russia's diplomatic push to mitigate the conflict in Syria, its foreign policy is nearing complete failure. Russia has not faced such a serious need to rethink its role in the world since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Read the op-ed »


Iran's Weak Hand

Ray Takeyh

As Iran and six world powers negotiate its nuclear program, it is useful to remember that U.S. sanctions policy has offered its diplomats indispensable leverage. Washington is in a position to demand the most stringent of accords and should pay little attention to Iran's red lines. With patience and firmness, an agreement that buys time and prevents Iran from permanently reconstituting its nuclear weapons ambitions is within grasp. Read the op-ed »

A Dangerous Game

Elliott Abrams

Four years ago President Barack Obama sought a new beginning with the Muslim world. However, the current approach lacks the display of power that governed American policy for decades. The modest new Middle East policy places friendly countries at risk. Read the article »

The Long Reach for Syrian Peace

Leslie H. Gelb

The primary strategic threat to the United States and its allies in the Syrian conflict is the potential triumph of radical jihadist fighters. The Obama administration should encourage moderate Sunni rebels to work with the Assad regime in defeating hard-line Islamists. Read the interview »


Rebels Surrender in Eastern Congo

John Campbell

Although the rebel military group M23 has announced that it will surrender its weapons and end its rebellion in the Congo, the effort to provide peace and security is far from over. Without the attention and assistance of the international community, M23 is bound to have successors. Read more on Africa in Transition »

ECB Rate Cut a No-Brainer; Also, for Many, a No-Gainer

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker

Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy continue to struggle as a result of the financial crisis. The European Central Bank will have to take far more aggressive action to prod business lending in these states.  Read more on Geo-Graphics »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

In this week's audio preview, Lindsay and McMahon discuss the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Tehran, the upcoming conference on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the second round of talks between the United States and the European Union to reach a deal for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Listen to the podcast »

Killer Robots and the Laws of War

Kenneth Anderson and Matthew C. Waxman

Computerized weapons capable of killing people present serious moral challenges, but banning them is unnecessary and dangerous. If high ethical and legal standards are adhered to, these weapons can be used effectively. Read the op-ed »

China's Aging Population: A Mixed Blessing?

Yanzhong Huang

Given its ill-equipped social security system, China's rapidly aging population is creating a problem that could threaten Beijing's economic growth and international competitiveness, but it could fuel an emerging market in institution-based elderly care. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Governance in India: Corruption

As India enters a busy political season, culminating in the 2014 general elections, corruption is expected be a cornerstone issue—and one with big implications for India's development. This primer explains India's ongoing struggle with corruption. Read the Backgrounder »

Why Peak Oil Might Matter

Michael Levi

Peak oil has had beneficial consequences. In recent years, fears of peak oil energized efforts to improve efficiency and promote alternatives. So perhaps we should be at least a little worried that booming U.S. oil production, along with discoveries elsewhere in the world, seems to be killing off the peak oil narrative. Read more on Energy, Security, and Climate »

Left With No Bad Moves to Make, Yingluck Makes the Right One

Joshua Kurlantzick

Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra abandoned a controversial amnesty bill that would have ignored the widespread abuses of security forces during the 2010 Bangkok street protests. Although abandoning the law was the correct political maneuver, Yingluck's lengthy defense of the law was extremely surprising. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Ask CFR Experts: Question of the Week

Vikas asks if India has an edge over China in its display of soft power. CFR Senior Fellow Robert D. Blackwill says the effects of soft power are largely in the eye of the beholder. That said, unlike China, India's rise, foreign policy objectives, and democratic governing structure are not perceived as threatening by the countries of southeast and east Asia. Read the full answer and submit your question


November 17: Presidential Election, Chile
CFR Resources on: Latin America »

View the Calendar »


At CFR's New York headquarters, Senior Fellow Jagdish N. Bhagwati discussed his latest book, Why Growth Matters: How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries. Watch the video ยป

No Exit From Pakistan: America’s Tortured Relationship with Islamabad

In his new book, Senior Fellow Daniel Markey explains why U.S.-Pakistan ties are a condition to be managed, not a problem to be solved. Read the Book


Connect with CFR

cfr on facebook Facebook
cfr on twitter Twitter
cfr on youtube YouTube
cfr on youtube Mobile
cfr on youtube Join the conversation at»