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Council on Foreign Relations The World This Week
June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014

The World This Week

A Discussion with Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Richard N. Haass

In a conversation with CFR President Richard N. Hasss, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton discussed the "dreadful" situation in Iraq, the civil war in Syria, President Obama's plan for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and more. Watch the event »

Extremism in Iraq

Iraq is Vietnam 2.0

Leslie H. Gelb

Nouri al-Maliki's government is Shiite, exclusionary, and anti-Sunni. It is corrupt and inefficient. That the Iraqi soldiers fled Mosul is unsurprising, as they don't have a government in Baghdad that is worth fighting for. Unless Iraqi security forces are motivated to fight for a worthwhile government, victory will elude them. Read the op-ed »

The Conditional Support Obama Should Offer Iraq

Max Boot

Maliki is largely to blame for the resurgence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) because he has alienated Sunnis who have been driven to support the terrorists as their defenders. U.S. military aid should only be forthcoming if Maliki makes dramatic moves to mollify the Sunnis, depoliticize the Iraqi security forces, and limit his own almost-unlimited authority. Read the op-ed »

Mosul's Collapse Is Not America's Fault

Fred Kaplan

The collapse of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, has little to do with the withdrawal of American troops and everything to do with the political failure of Prime Minister Maliki. The events in Iraq could mark the beginning of a new political order in the region or a drastic surge in the geostrategic swamp and humanitarian disaster that have all too palpably come to define it. Read the op-ed »

A Primer on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

ISIS has capitalized on Iraq's Sunni minority's alienation from the state, driven by sectarian politics and heavy-handed approaches to security, to wreak havoc and establish zones of authority while expanding its reach into neighboring Syria. Read the Backgrounder »

Iraq's Descent

As the fate of Iraq and the region appears to hang in the balance once again, Foreign Affairs offers this collection to put breaking events in their proper intellectual and historical context. Read more on »


Cantor's Loss Sets Back Immigration Reform

Shannon K. O'Neil

With House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary loss on Tuesday, the slim chance of immigration reform is pretty much nil. The tragedy is that this setback is occurring when the human cost of our broken immigration system has again made the headlines, this time in the faces of thousands of undocumented children flooding across the southern border. Read the op-ed »

Thailand's Tough Coup

Joshua Kurlantzick

The coup in Thailand has taken a different, more violent course than previous coups in 2006 and the early 1990s. The timeline to returning power to the people through national elections is long and somewhat indeterminate. Before power is returned to the people, the supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Thai elites will have to reach a compromise. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Battling for Brazil’s Favelas

Janice Perlman

Unrest and accusations of police brutality in Brazil's slums have threatened Rio de Janeiro's security—and the country's image—as it comes under a global spotlight with the World Cup. The decision to use a military approach with favela residents represents an opportunity lost, but the 2016 Olympics provide an opportunity to remedy the state's approach. Read the interview »

The World Ahead

The World Next Week: Summer Reading Special

James M. Lindsay, Robert McMahon, and Gideon Rose

In this special edition, Editor Robert McMahon, CFR's Director of Studies James M. Lindsay, and Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose discuss the books they will read in the weeks ahead.  Listen to the podcast »

The Banality of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Steven A. Cook

If Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi uses his office to establish order, that will be an accomplishment. But it will be a small one, nothing compared to those of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the man he wishes to be. Indeed, rather than a giant, Sisi will more likely end up as a footnote. Read more on »

Renewed Conflict in Lebanon

Mona Yacoubian

As the conflict in Syria continues, Lebanon remains its most vulnerable neighbor. Growing sectarian violence, the rising influx of refugees from Syria, and the increasing paralysis of state institutions in Lebanon could create a tipping point for that country. Read the Contingency Planning Memorandum »

What to Do about Chinese Cyber Espionage?

Adam Segal

Three documents that came out this week lay out the "who," "how," "why," and "why it matters" of Chinese cyber espionage. With little hope for change in Chinese behavior in the short term, the most important "what to do" will remain self-help—technological innovation and better defenses. Read more on Asia Unbound »

Why This Merger Boom Is Different

Peter R. Orszag

The unusually strong market reaction to recent mergers may be explained by slow economic growth and low interest rates, along with diminishing returns for share buybacks. Read the op-ed »

The Reality of Re-engineering the Earth's Climate

Stewart M. Patrick

The ability to counteract human-induced climate change is no longer science fiction. Recently, geoengineering has gained greater plausibility and credibility as a last-ditch option to combat warming. Read more on The Internationalist »

Inside CFR

At CFR's Washington office, Robert Kahn, Stephen Sestanovich, and Karen E. Donfried discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with CFR President Richard N. Haass. Watch the eventĀ»

The News in Context

One of the Council on Foreign Relations' most popular resources has been given a reboot. More than seventy Backgrounders, CFR's succinct foreign policy explainers, have been updated to reflect recent international developments and enhanced with images, graphs, and videos. Browse the Backgrounders


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