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Highlights From CFR

April 25, 2014

The World This Week

U.S. Foreign Policy: In Troubling Disarray

Richard N. Haass

U.S. foreign policy is in troubling disarray. The result is unwelcome news for the world, which largely depends on the United States to promote order in the absence of any other country able and willing to do so. And it is bad for the United States, which cannot insulate itself from developments beyond its borders. Read the article »

The U.S. Pivot to Asia

Obama is on the Right Course

Tom Donilon

The costly cancellation of President Barack Obama's trip to Asia during the U.S. government shutdown last fall fueled skepticism regarding the sustainability of a U.S. pivot to the region. Yet the rebalancing of U.S. priorities and resources toward Asia remains the right strategy. Read the op-ed »

Abe and Obama Tackle Thorny Issues

Sheila A. Smith

In the first visit by an American president to Japan in eighteen years, Barack Obama and Shinzo Abe discussed historical reconciliation between Japan and South Korea, growing tensions with China, and market access for both countries as a part of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks. Watch the interview »

Eastern Promises

Fred Kaplan

President Obama has long prioritized a pivot toward the vibrant opportunities in the Asia-Pacific, but the cluster of "old world struggles" in the Middle East—and more recently Ukraine—continues to distract from the pivot. Read the op-ed »

How to Approach Malaysia

Joshua Kurlantzick

President Obama's visit to Malaysia will be the first by a sitting American president in five decades. Already the trip has been complicated by the Malaysian government's handling of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 tragedy, but Obama plans to highlight the growing strategic and economic relationship between the two countries. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Trans-Pacific Partnership at a Critical Point

Edward Alden

The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations have reached a point where difficult decisions that can only be made by a president are looming. Although President Obama has been able to remain above the fray, he will need to be actively involved in decisions that are critical to reaching an agreement. Read more on Renewing America »


Time to Rethink Sanctions Against Russia and Aid to Ukraine

Robert Kahn

Although sanctions against Russia have imposed an economic price, the failure of recent efforts to create a truce indicate that financial support for Ukraine needs to be unconditional in order to ensure the stabilization of its ailing economy. Read the op-ed »

The Hamas - Fatah Unity Agreement

Robert M. Danin

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah plan to form a unity government within five weeks and hold general elections by December, but this agreement stands no better chance at success than previous ones. Read more on Middle East Matters »

The World Ahead

An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

This week, Lindsay and McMahon discuss Iraq's parliamentary elections; the twentieth anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa; and the tenth anniversary of the EU's largest expansion. Listen to the podcast »

Don't Just Drill, Baby–Drill Carefully

Fred Krupp

The shale revolution carries real environmental dangers, especially the release of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. It still has the potential to benefit the environment as well as the economy, but only if industry and government work together to deal with the problems. Read more on »

Has Bangladesh Learned Lessons from Rana Plaza?

Alyssa Ayres

A year after the Rana Plaza tragedy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, progress has been made to improve workplace safety, but much work lies ahead if Bangladesh is to remain a leader in garment exports. Read the op-ed »

Waste of Space

Micah Zenko

The United States has a unique obligation to prevent or mitigate the consequences of dangerous space incidents, which are the primary cause of orbital debris, because it relies heavily on space and has unmatched situational awareness. Read the article »

Building Bridges to Avoid a "Splinternet"

Stewart M. Patrick and Claire Schachter

The Brazilian government's decision to sideline discussions of privacy issues at the upcoming Internet summit isn't an effort aimed at appeasing the United States. It instead gives the meeting better prospects for generating a broad consensus on the future of multistakeholder Internet governance. Read more on The Internationalist »

What Is Internet Governance?

An intense international debate over who manages parts of the Internet's technical infrastructure is likely to feed a broader discussion of Internet-related public policy. Read the Backgrounder »

South Africa's May Elections

John Campbell

Although South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) is in decline, it remains the favorite to win the country's May elections. However, with the establishment of additional parties that are more responsible and better funded than the ANC, South Africa's 2019 elections could prove to be a watershed for opposition parties. Read more on Africa in Transition »

World Events Calendar

April 27: Twentieth Anniversary of the End of Apartheid in South Africa
CFR Resources on: South Africa »

View the Calendar »

Inside CFR

As a part of the "What to Do About" series, CFR President Richard N. Haass presided over a discussion on the future of Guantanamo Bay with Phillip Carter, Marc Thiessen, and Matthew Waxman. Watch the event»

At CFR's New York headquarters, Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose, Stephen Sestanovich, Robert Kagan, and Michael Mandelbaum discussed strategies for the United States to maintain its role as a global leader. Watch the event»

At CFR's Washington office, Stephen W. Bosworth, Han Sung-Joo, and Richard Bush III discussed the twenty-year evolution of the North Korean nuclear threat. Watch the event»

New Book Warns of Democracy's Decline Worldwide

In Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government, CFR Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick identifies forces that threaten democracy and shows that conventional wisdom has blinded world leaders to a real crisis. Democracy in Retreat is now available in paperback.


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