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Council on Foreign Relations Preventive Action Update
January 2012

Dear Colleague:

Best wishes for 2012 from the Center for Preventive Action (CPA). Before the holidays, we published a Council Special Report on Saudi Arabia, released our annual Preventive Priorities Survey, and issued a Policy Innovation Memorandum on regulating outer space activities, all of which were enthusiastically received by the policy community. We welcome you to learn more about our latest activities by reading through our newsletter, exploring our website, and "liking" our new Facebook page. As always, thank you for your continued support and feedback.

Paul B. Stares
General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action


Recent Publications

Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East

F. Gregory Gause III

For decades, the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia has formed one of the cornerstones of U.S. policy in the Middle East. However, in the wake of the popular revolutions of the Arab Spring, U.S.-Saudi relations are increasingly imperiled by mistrust and misunderstanding. In this Council Special Report, F. Gregory Gause III explores the foundations of stability in Saudi Arabia and potential sources of future unrest. He recommends that the Obama administration move toward a "transactional" relationship with Saudi Arabia, with priority placed on issues of mutual interest. Read more »

What Threats Will America Face in 2012?

In December 2012, CPA published its annual Preventive Priorities Survey, which is intended to help inform the U.S. policy community about the relative urgency and importance of competing conflict prevention demands in 2012. By asking a targeted group of government officials, academics, and experts to comment confidentially on a range of threats that could plausibly occur in 2012, CPA developed a list of thirty human-generated contingencies and grouped them into three tiers according to their centrality to U.S. interests.

Urging Global Cooperation in Space

Micah Zenko

The United States relies more on space for military, intelligence, civilian, scientific, and environmental activities than any other country; the U.S. government operates roughly 40 percent of all active spacecraft and accounts for 75 percent of worldwide governmental space funding. In this Policy Innovation Memorandum, Micah Zenko outlines the threats facing the United States as outer space grows increasingly "congested, contested, and competitive" and calls for an international code of conduct to regulate interstate behavior in space. Read more »

CPA on Facebook

Visit our brand-new Facebook page for all the latest updates from the Center for Preventive Action, including publications, op-eds, interviews, blog posts from "Politics, Power, and Preventive Action," and more.

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CPA in the News

Intervention, Please: The No-Fly Zone Requests You Don't Hear About
In, Micah Zenko calls to attention the underreported requests for foreign intervention, and argues for the "consistent applications of principles."

Tough Talk on Iran from GOP Candidates
In the Los Angeles Times, Micah Zenko and Emma Welch assess how each of the Republican presidential candidates would prevent Iranian nuclear proliferation.

Seize the Moment in North Korea
In the New York Times, Paul B. Stares calls on the Obama administration to signal its interest in developing a more productive relationship with Pyongyang.

Iran Has America's Super Spy Drone. So What?
In Foreign Policy, Micah Zenko argues that the drone downed over Iran in December 2011 represents only a temporary and limited intelligence setback.

Some Syrian Opposition Groups Want Foreign Intervention--Sort Of
In, Micah Zenko examines the various requests for international intervention from Syrian opposition groups.



The Center for Preventive Action (CPA) seeks to help prevent, defuse, or resolve deadly conflicts around the world and to expand the body of knowledge on conflict prevention.

Paul B. Stares
CPA Director, General John W. Vessey
Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention

Micah Zenko
Senior Fellow

Helia Ighani
Assistant Director

Sarah Collman
Research Associate

James West
Research Associate

Amelia M. Wolf
Research Associate


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