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Highlights from CFR

January 17, 2014


Aiming for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Elliott Abrams

Efforts to negotiate peace between Israel and Palestine should be buttressed by simultaneous pragmatic steps that support Palestinian institutions, improve life in the West Bank, and strengthen the Palestinian Authority against Hamas. Read the Policy Innovation Memorandum »

The Risks of an al-Sisi Presidential Run

Steven A. Cook

Speculation abounds over whether Egypt's Major-General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will run for office, but his presidency would put term limits at risk and thrust the military back into the political realm. Read more on From the Potomac to the Euphrates »

Iran's Nuclear Program

A Deal Not Détente

Ray Takeyh

The United States has never been able to pursue arms control without delusion and has always insisted on sanctifying its negotiating partners, conjuring up moderates, and searching for common ground. The challenge for Washington is to defy its history and reach a nuclear agreement with Iran while negating the Islamic Republic's regional ambitions. Read the op-ed »

Obama’s Losing Bet on Iran

Max Boot and Michael Doran

President Obama's hopes of using an opening to Iran to stabilize the Middle East will almost certainly backfire. The place to begin is in Syria, which is now ground zero in the struggle between the two regional blocs. The United States must work together with its allies to build up a non-Qaeda alternative to the Assad regime by providing moderate rebel fighters with arms, training, coordination, and—if necessary—the support of Western air power. Read the op-ed »

No Endgame in Sight

George Perkovich

The world would be a safer place if Iran did not enrich uranium, but contrary to the arguments hawks put forward, the United States is not in any position to prevent it from doing so. Read more on »


Ariel Sharon: Always Seizing the Offensive

Robert M. Danin

For Sharon, taking the initiative was the enduring legacy of Jewish history, of his military experience, and of his political success. Although it is unknown how he would have led Israel in today's tumultuous Middle East, it is certain that he would not have been purely reactive, given his view that the best defense was a strong offense. Read more on Middle East Matters »

The Need for a True Foreign Policy of the Internet

Karen Kornbluh

In recent years, foreign governments have been threatening to Balkanize the Internet and create what would be, in effect, national mini-Internets. If this comes to pass, the United States has a lot to lose. Read more on The Internationalist »

Looking Toward Geneva II on Syria

Frederic C. Hof

The upcoming Geneva II conference on Syria will aim to create a transitional governing body, but the Assad government has given no indication that it would agree to such a move. If the conference does take place, its best outcome would be that Assad agrees to allow UN humanitarian agencies full access to the country to supply food and medical supplies. Read the interview »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

Stewart M. Patrick and Robert McMahon

In this week's podcast, Patrick and McMahon discuss the Geneva II convention on Syria; whether the EU will send peacekeepers to the Central African Republic; and Latin American and Caribbean officials' upcoming meeting in Cuba. Listen to the podcast »

Does Washington Have a Stake in the Sahel?

John Campbell and J. Peter Pham

There is much to be said for "leading from behind" in the Sahel, that is, deferring a leadership role to close allies and supporting them where it is in U.S. interests to do so. Here, U.S. support of France should be paramount. The Sahel is a region of general interest and concern to France, which has had much experience there. The Mali scenario might provide a useful template for response to jihadi radical Islamists elsewhere in West Africa. Read the Expert Brief »

Sweeping Out Foreign Investment in India

Alyssa Ayres

The Aam Aadmi Party–led Delhi government's decision to opt out of a year-old policy opening India's "multibrand" retail sector to foreign investment should give pause to international businesses interested in India, as it sends a confusing signal to foreign investors. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Which Fed Guidance Should We Believe?

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker

The Federal Reserve's incorporation of the unemployment rate into its forward guidance has been a failure. Such poor communication could roil the markets as the Fed shifts policy from accommodating to tightening. Read more on Geo-Graphics »

Indonesia’s Upcoming Elections

Joshua Kurlantzick

Indonesia's presidential elections, scheduled for July, will be crucial to cementing Indonesia's democratic reforms. If Jakarta governor Joko Widodo is elected, he seems likely to support Indonesian power in Asia and Indonesia's growing willingness to stand up for democracy and human rights in the region. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Ask CFR Experts

George Macharia asks, what is the best way forward in fighting terrorism on the Horn of Africa? CFR Military Fellow Scott D. Campbell says fighting terrorism in the Horn of Africa requires a "full spectrum" solution. The first step in any counterterrorism campaign is developing an understanding of the terrorists' motivations and goals. Read the full answer and submit your question

World Events Calendar

January 22: Geneva II Middle East Peace Conference
CFR Resources on: Syria »

January 22 - 25: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Davos, Switzerland
CFR Resources on: Economics »

View the Calendar »

Inside CFR

At CFR's Washington office, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew said that Congress should act as quickly as possible to raise the debt ceiling because a build-up to the last minute causes damage. Watch the event

CFR Seeking 2014–2015 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship Applicants

The Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship is open to applicants who have distinguished credentials in the field of journalism and who have covered international news as a working journalist for print, broadcast, or online media widely available in the United States. The online application deadline is March 1, 2014. For more information, please contact


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