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Highlights From CFR

April 6, 2012

The World This Week

Obama Must Defend the Need for Military Trials

Matthew C. Waxman

News of planned military trials for five 9/11 suspects underscores the need for the Obama administration to defend military commissions and give them legitimacy at home and abroad. Read the First Take »

Myanmar's Elections: Is Reform Real?

Joshua Kurlantzick

The elections brought democratic forces into parliament for the first time in fifty years. But Myanmar's rapid reforms must still be viewed as small steps in a country where military forces retain considerable power. Read the Expert Brief »

Politics in Egypt

The Muslim Brotherhood in Washington

Ed Husain

As the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists visited Washington, DC this week, there's excitement that traditional American foes are now friends. Yet the United States should be careful not to exclude other political forces in Egypt. Read more on The Arab Street »

Freedom Suffers A Blow in Egypt

Elliott Abrams

Egypt's new government will have to decide whether freedom of religion will apply equally for Christians and Muslims. Yet prospects for full freedom of religion and of expression appear grim. Read more on Pressure Points »

The Struggle for Egypt

Steven A. Cook

While there is great hope that the Egyptians can construct a new political system and rebuild their society peacefully, that is unlikely as long as the underlying and antecedent debates about Egypt and what it stands for remain unresolved. More from the book »


The President Needs to Practice What He Preaches

Andrew Preston

The developing world is disproving the theory that a modern era will be a more secular one. The United States should be well poised to navigate a world of faith-based geopolitics, but the Obama White House has so far offered more rhetoric than action. Read more on »

The World Ahead

Anonymous Is Not a Threat to National Security

Yochai Benkler

The U.S. government has begun to think of Anonymous, the online network phenomenon, as a threat to national security. This is the wrong approach. A fearful overreaction to Anonymous poses a greater threat to freedom of expression, creativity, and innovation than the disruptions themselves. Read the Snapshot on »

Next President Must Retain the Relevance of Foreign Aid

Isobel Coleman

In an environment where the role of official foreign assistance from governments has dramatically reduced, the next administration will likely continue to shift aid resources away from Iraq and Afghanistan, and away from middle-income countries towards poorer countries. Watch the video »

Combating Crime Critical to Central America’s Democracies

Michael Shifter

With the highest homicide rates in the world, Central America is increasingly beset by spreading criminal violence, with an estimated seventy thousand active gang members. However, this violence can potentially be reversed by strengthening regional cooperation and addressing longstanding domestic issues within the United States that aggravate criminal activity. Read the Council Special Report »

Overhauling U.S. Corporate Tax Reform

Most lawmakers agree corporate tax reform is an important step in improving U.S. competitiveness, but a debate over rate levels and whether to tax foreign profits of multinationals remains unresolved. Read the Backgrounder »

Governance Reform in Afghanistan Is Necessary

Stephen D. Biddle

Corruption is pervasive in Afghanistan, but it is not all equally harmful. Petty bribery, customs skimming, and even shakedowns at police checkpoints, while damaging, are probably not disastrous to the war effort. Land grabs, by contrast, could be fatal. Read the Policy Innovation Memo »

This Week in History

The North Atlantic Treaty Signing

James M. Lindsay

The signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, DC, on April 4, 1949, shows the difficulty inherent in pursuing fundamental changes to a nation's foreign policy. Watch the Lessons Learned video »

Your Guide to Foreign Policy in the U.S. Election

The Candidates and the World blog is a timely guide to the national security and foreign policy dimensions of the 2012 presidential race. Resources include Issue Trackers, up-to-date summaries of each candidate's position on a wide range of issues, video interviews with CFR fellows, and more. Join the Conversation

World Events Calendar

April 9: President Barack Obama to Host Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the White House
CFR Resources on: Brazil »

April 11: The Middle East Quartet to Meet and Discuss Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Washington DC
CFR Resources on: The Middle East »

View the Calendar »

Inside CFR

Foreign Affairs on Charlie Rose: Editor Gideon Rose and political scientist Francis Fukuyama discussed the themes of "The Future of History," Fukuyama's most recent contribution to the magazine. The article was part of a special 90th anniversary collection that traced the ideological battles of the past century and the evolution of the modern order. Watch the interview

Analyzing the Arab Uprisings: On March 30, leading Middle East experts at the Rita E. Hauser symposium explored the historical context and geopolitical consequences surrounding the revolts of last year. Read the transcripts from the event


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