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Highlights From CFR

March 7, 2014

Crisis in Ukraine

How to Respond?

Richard N. Haass

The preferred goal at this stage in the crisis is for a Russian withdrawal of forces from Crimea. In the absence of de-escalation, the United States could export oil and natural gas to replace reliance on Russian imports; provide military assistance to Ukraine's neighbors, such as Poland; or step up planning for a package to strengthen Ukraine. Read the interview »

Russian troop in tank

An armed serviceman in front of a Russian flag outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava. (Photo: Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters)

Russia Cementing its Hold on Crimea

Charles A. Kupchan

Crimea is moving quite rapidly toward secession, a declaration of independence, and reintegration with Russia. The Russian Duma has indicated it would welcome that move, but the United States and the European Union are putting together increasing sanctions to tell the Russians that's a no-go. Watch the interview »

Putin's Strategic Move

Tom Donilon

Russian president Vladimir Putin is working to regain lost leverage in Ukraine, a state that he considers to be within Russia's sphere of influence. Russia's violation of Ukrainian sovereignty is an important moment that the United States needs to lead. Watch the interview »

An Energy Weapon vs. Russia?

Michael A. Levi

As the standoff between Russia and Ukraine drags on, there have been increased calls for U.S. oil and gas exports to weaken Putin's hand. However, it is difficult to see how U.S. exports will substantially erode the long-run share of Russian gas in Europe. Read more on Energy, Security, and Climate »

At Stake: The Future of World Order

Stewart M. Patrick

Moscow's intervention tests several fundamental norms of world politics. How this crisis plays out may determine whether the twenty-first century remains a time of great power comity or deteriorates into a bare-knuckled era of geopolitical competition. Read more on The Internationalist »

China's Soft "Nyet"

Elizabeth C. Economy

Russia's de facto assertion of military control in Ukraine's Crimean region has put China in a bind. While Russia is one of the few countries that never criticize Beijing, China would undermine its interests in Ukraine if it were to back Moscow outright. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Japan's Painful Choice

Sheila A. Smith

Despite Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's recently cultivated relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, if the situation in Ukraine evolves into a Russian land grab or a division of Ukraine, Tokyo's diplomacy with Moscow will come to a screeching halt. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Lessons for Asian Institutions

Alyssa Ayres

How the Ukrainian crisis unfurls will matter greatly for Asia. How effectively Europe's institutions manage the crisis will provide lessons for Asia's regional institutions. Read more on Asia Unbound »

A Primer on the Crisis

The crisis stems from more than twenty years of weak governance, a lopsided economy dominated by oligarchs, heavy reliance on Russia, and sharp differences between Ukraine's linguistically, religiously, and ethnically distinct eastern and western halves. Read the Backgrounder »

The World Ahead

An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

Lindsay and McMahon discuss the potential for separatism in Crimea; Tibetans observation of the fifty-fifth annual Uprising Day; and the World Wide Web's twenty-fifth birthday. Listen to the podcast »

Pentagon's Proposed Cuts: Not as Bad as You Think

Janine Davidson

Although the Pentagon's proposed cuts to ground forces have stirred concern, when the numbers are considered in historical and strategic perspective, this round of cuts does not seem as dramatic. Read more on Defense in Depth »

The Next Drone Wars

Sarah Kreps and Micah Zenko

Armed drones are starting to rule the skies, but the United States' monopoly over their use is fading. The Obama administration should focus on limiting drone proliferation, similar to efforts to control nuclear weapons and missiles. Read more on »

The Fed's Guidance Dilemma

Robert Kahn

The source of the sharp decline in the U.S. unemployment rate since the recession has been trying for economists seeking to interpret the steep and continuing decline in the labor force participation rate. Read the Global Economics Monthly »

Mexico's Drug War

The recent capture of one of Mexico's most notorious drug kingpins highlights the country's ongoing struggle to combat the cartels and quell violence against citizens. This Backgrounder outlines Mexico's drug eradication efforts. Read the Backgrounder »

China's Healthcare Reform: What Money Failed to Buy

Yanzhong Huang

Since 2009, the Chinese government has invested more than $371 billion in healthcare reform, yet, due to underinvestment in the demand side, it has not addressed problems of access and affordability. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Iran and "Karine B"

Elliott Abrams

The capture of a ship bound for Gaza, carrying rockets supplied by Iran, is emblematic of the regime's ongoing efforts to create chaos in the Middle East while negotiating its nuclear program with the United States. Read more on Pressure Points »

U.S. Military to Train Nigerian Rangers?

John Campbell

Training Nigerian rangers is not a good idea for the U.S. military, given their secuity forces' history of abuse and extrajudicial killings. By partnering with Nigerian security forces, the United States would—through closer involvement—also be held accountable for Nigerian military abuses. Read more on Africa in Transition »

Ask CFR Experts

Valiant Clapper asks, why is the world unable to eliminate child and sex slavery? CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Mark Lagon says the demand for victims of trafficking and the inability or unwillingness of countries to enforce existing law are the primary reasons. Read the full answer and submit your question

World Events Calendar

March 8: International Women’s Day

View the Calendar »

Inside CFR

CFR Senior Fellow Julia E. Sweig participated in a roundtable with Glen Bolger on public opinion and attitudes in the United States toward Cuba and U.S. policy toward the island. Watch the event

At CFR's New York headquarters, Senior Fellow Robert D. Blackwill presided over a discussion on the strategic consequences of the U.S. energy boom with former BP CEO John Browne and former National Intelligence director Dennis Blair. Watch the event

Defense in Depth

Senior Fellow Janine Davidson will track the big issues facing policymakers as they grapple with downshifting in Afghanistan, rebalancing to Asia, and maintaining a ready and capable force structure amid sustained fiscal pressures on her new Council on Foreign Relations blog, Defense in Depth.


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