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Highlights from CFR

January 20, 2012

The World This Week

A Threshold of War, or Diplomacy, with Iran?

Ray Takeyh, Matthew H. Kroenig

The military option is a bad one, yet compared to the dangerous option of a nuclear-armed Iran, it's less bad, explains Kroenig, while Takeyh argues that Iran is open to diplomacy. Read the transcript »

Not Time to Attack Iran

Colin H. Kahl

A war with Iran would be far messier than some predict, and Washington still has better options available. Read this pre-release on »

Is North Korea Ready for Talks?

Scott A. Snyder

This week's meeting between U.S., South Korean, and Japanese officials signaled an opening for North Korea to rejoin the suspended talks on its nuclear program. However, it's unlikely that dialogue will resume soon. Read the interview »


Examining Obama's Pipeline Decision

Michael A. Levi

The Keystone XL pipeline debate shows the pitfalls of politics intruding on energy policy. Read the interview »

Volatile Areas Threaten Oil Supply

With oil supplies tight, regions most vulnerable to oil supply disruptions present a significant economic concern, particularly threats to the Strait of Hormuz and unrest in Nigeria. Read the Backgrounder »

The End of Nigeria's Strike May Not Calm Oil Markets

John Campbell

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan attempted what several of his predecessors had tried, and failed, to do in years past: roll back the national petroleum subsidy. A deal on Monday ended a nationwide strike, but Jonathan's tactics could make things worse. Read more on »


Will the White House Trade Bundle Help U.S. Growth?

President Obama's plans for a consolidated trade and commerce department underscores his goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, but some question how creating a larger organization will increase efficiency. Read the Analysis Brief »

Did Credit Agencies Accelerate the European Debt Crisis?

U.S.-based rating agencies–still reeling from a loss of credibility for being too lenient with risky financial institutions–are once again under intense scrutiny following S&P's unprecedented downgrade of France. The move comes on the heels of intense criticism by EU officials, who contend the raters have accelerated the European sovereign debt crisis. Read the Backgrounder »

Merkel Is Wrong About EU Fiscal Regulation

Erik Jones

The problem is not weak European Union economic policy, it is that no country has reason to live up to its obligations or to force its partners to do the same. Read more on »

The World Ahead

U.S. Competitiveness To Be Central Focus of State of the Union

Edward Alden

In the lead-up to President Obama's January 24th State of the Union speech to Congress, it is clear what the major theme will be–what the administration is doing to bolster U.S. competitiveness and create jobs. Read more on "Renewing America" »

It’s Time to Think Seriously About Intervening in Syria

Steven A. Cook

The conventional wisdom in Washington is that Bashar al-Assad will fall on his own and that an intervention would be counterproductive, but with thousands dying we need to reconsider those assumptions. Read more on Cooks blog »

The Domestic Underpinnings of U.S. Global Power

CFR's new "Renewing America" blog explores the domestic challenges—such as national debt, trade, and failing infrastructure—that have consequences for U.S. national security. Join the Conversation


January 24: President Barack Obama to Deliver Annual State of The Union Address
CFR Resources on: Renewing America »

January 25: 1st Anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution
CFR Resources on: Egypt »

January 25 - 29: World Economic Forum Annual Conference, Davos
CFR Resources on: Economics »

View the Calendar »

Inside CFR

What to Worry About in 2012: CFR's Center for Preventive Action (CPA) hosted a meeting to discuss worrisome developments of U.S. national interests in 2012, featuring CPA director Paul B. Stares, David F. Gordon from Eurasia Group, and Mark L. Schneider from International Crisis Group. Read the transcript and read CPA's Preventive Priorities Survey.


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