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Council on Foreign Relations The World This Week
Highlights from CFR

March 2, 2012

The World This Week

North Korea Agreement Reduces Risk of Spiraling Tensions

Scott A. Snyder

North Korea's decision to suspend nuclear tests in exchange for U.S. food aid may pave the way for resumption of the Six-Party Talks on denuclearization, but it's unlikely to yield significant progress. Read the First Take »

Hastening Assad's Exit

Steven A. Cook

There is no foolproof way to mitigate the risks even with all the technology available to American warriors and their prowess. Yet, if there is a chance that the combination of arming Syrians and using air power can help the situation and hasten Assad's fall, then the international community should take that step. Read more on From the Potomac to the Euphrates »


Can the U.S.-Afghan Partnership Work?

The violence against U.S. troops in the aftermath of Quran burnings has raised fresh doubts about the U.S.-Afghan partnership and the mission in Afghanistan. Read the Analysis Brief »

Afghan Women Aim to Calm Protests over Quran Burning

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Videos of protests in the streets miss the quiet majority that deplores the burning of the Holy Quran but refuses to take part in violence, along with the women who are trying to calm the uproar. Read the op-ed »

Afghans Don't Hate America

Max Boot

Despite the recent protests over the burning of Qurans, Afghans do not want a return of the Taliban, and it is a fallacy to assume that most Afghans are anti-American. Read the op-ed »

Protests May Spread Beyond Afghanistan

Ed Husain

In order to minimize the Afghan protests, U.S. and NATO officials must reach out not only to Muslim governments but also to Muslim civil society and religious leaders. Watch the video »


U.S.-Cuba Relationship Remains at a Standstill

Julia E. Sweig

Under President Raul Castro, Cuba has begun economic and political reforms while bolstering ties with Brazil and the Vatican. Yet Washington has failed to seize on opportunities for expanding relations. Read the interview »

Elections Can Still Unseat The Powerful

Elliot Abrams

The elections this week—February 27 in Senegal, March 2 in Iran, and March 4 in Russia—are reminders of the key role elections play in building democracy. Read more on Pressure Points »

The World Ahead

What Do Russia's Elections Mean for U.S.-Russian 'Reset'?

Vladimir Putin is expected to regain Russia's presidency despite a surge in public disapproval. Unknown is whether the vote will trigger widespread domestic protest or spur a downturn in Russia's relations with Washington. Read the Analysis Brief »

No Great Firewall Will Save Europe

Steven Dunaway

Talk among major economies is intensifying over a "financial firewall" to contain the eurozone crisis. Yet the emphasis should be on pressing debt-saddled states to make reforms that will improve their growth prospects. Read the Expert Brief »

North Korea Will Require Attention from Next U.S. President

Scott A. Snyder

North Korea may be on the verge of a "transformative moment" that will require the time, attention, and resources of the winner of the U.S. presidential election. Watch the video »

No Power Will Dominate the Coming Era

Charles Kupchan

In the new era that is opening, no country, region, or political model will dominate. "The twenty-first century will not be America's, China's, Asia's, or anyone else's," writes Kupchan in a new book, "it will belong to no one." Buy the book »

Mixing Religion and Politics in the U.S. is Bad for Both

David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam

Religion has always played a role in U.S. politics. But as religious influence hits a high-water mark, Americans are abandoning the pews in record numbers. With God and Caesar increasingly entangled, more Americans, especially young ones, are opting out altogether. Read more on »

New Interactive Guide Evaluates Human Rights Worldwide

This multimedia guide uses video, interactive maps, and expert analysis to track progress on the protection of human rights around the world. View the "Global Governance Monitor"


March 4: Presidential Election, Russia
CFR Resources on: Russia »

March 5: President Barack Obama to Host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House
CFR Resources on: Israel »

View the Calendar »

Inside CFR

Foreign Affairs Live - Is It Time to Attack Iran?: Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman moderated a debate between two authors, Colin Kahl and Matthew Kroenig on a strike against Iran. "There are serious risks to a strike… At this point, given this set of bad options, a strike is the least bad option," Kroenig argued. Yet according to Kahl, "the Iranian nuclear threat is growing but it is not yet imminent…we are not on the precipice of having to decide between giving up on sanctions and diplomacy or going to war." Watch the Video


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