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Highlights From CFR

August 15, 2014

The World This Week

The Fed's Systemic-Risk Balancing Act

Robert E. Rubin and Martin S. Feldstein

In making interest-rate decisions, the Fed should have a realistic view of the broad range of existing systemic risks and the limits of the government's current tools for mitigating them. Read the op-ed »

The Islamic State's Advances in Iraq

War-Weary America Has to Show Its Steel

Richard N. Haass

The Iraqi government and military cannot stop the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) on their own. The United States should carry out sustained attacks on ISIS in both Iraq and Syria until the insurgent group is slowed and weakened. Read the op-ed »

Enabled by the "International Community's" Boundaries?

Janine Davidson

President Obama's recent military action in northern Iraq to protect American personnel and provide humanitarian aid to civilians besieged by ISIS forces has likely achieved its limited tactical effects. However, as long as ISIS can operate freely between the Iraq-Syria border, it will continue to grow and strengthen. Read more on Defense in Depth »

How Washington Can Bolster Iraq

David Palkki

The advance of jihadists in northern Iraq has spurred appropriate responses from Washington on the political and military fronts, though more could be done to undermine ISIS. Amid the unfolding events, the Obama administration will need to apply sustained pressure on Iraqi politicians to enact meaningful reforms. Read the Expert Brief »

A Primer on the Islamic State

Will ISIS's gains last? As the United States conducts airstrikes, use this Backgrounder to examine the rise of the jihadist group. Read the Backgrounder »


Russian Aid Standoff

Janine Davidson

Ukraine has refused to grant entry to some 280 Russian trucks supplying humanitarian aid, out of concern that it could be a false humanitarian effort or "Trojan Horse." The scenario could play out in three ways, but only one is positive.  Read more on Defense in Depth »

The World Must Unite to Fight Ebola

Laurie Garrett and Maxine Builder

Even after the World Health Organization's announcement that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes a public health emergency of international concern,there is no clear framework for leadership in a globalized epidemic such as this. Without it, the response will be ineffective and Ebola will quickly spiral further out of control. Read the op-ed »

The World Ahead

An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon

In this week's podcast, Lindsay and McMahon discuss the U.S. response in Iraq, the UN's debate on the conflict in Sudan and South Sudan, and the Russian humanitarian convoy approaching Ukraine. Listen to the podcast »

How to Make Fuel Subsidy Reform Succeed

Isobel Coleman

Each year, governments around the world spend more than half a trillion dollars on fuel subsidies, crowding out productive investment in poverty alleviation and growth. To bolster the prospects for subsidy reform, the United States should support the creation of a private-public partnership to help governments build the case for subsidy reform directly with citizens. Read the Policy Innovation Memorandum »

Lights Out: Brazil's Power Problem

Shannon K. O'Neil

The combination of weather-dependent sourcing, underinvestment, and rising demand has led Brazil's electric sector to the brink of capacity. Brazil needs vast investment in electricity infrastructure to underpin a more promising economic future.  Read more on Latin America's Moment »

Investing in Africa: How the U.S. Can Play Catch-Up

Jendayi E. Frazer

Despite recent commitments from the Obama Administration to invest in Africa's economy and the "Power Africa" initiative, the president must do more to strengthen trade relations with Africa and catch up with Chinese advances on the continent. Read the op-ed »

Battling Corruption in Resource-Rich Africa

Stewart M. Patrick and Isabella Bennett

Last week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit focused on improving Africa's economic performance, however, confronting the continent's rampant corruption problem—which robs its citizens of billions of dollars annually—will need to be prioritized. Read more on The Internationalist »

Ballistic Missile Defense

U.S. missile defense in the twenty-first century is focused on emerging threats from North Korea and Iran, but critics say these systems are too costly and largely unproven. Read the Backgrounder »

Iraq in Context

To help understand today's headlines, Foreign Affairs has pulled together the best of its coverage in a new eBook, Endgame in Iraq. With Iraq's fate once again hanging in the balance, there's no better way to figure out how we got here and what will come next.


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