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Highlights From CFR

April 13, 2012

The World This Week

North Korea's Failure: The Good and the Bad

Richard N. Haass

Pyongyang's unsuccessful missile launch delays a new nuclear threat but raises disturbing prospects for escalation and a serious armed clash on the Korean Peninsula. This last outpost of the Cold War retains the potential to threaten the international order. Read the First Take »

U.S. Should Help Reduce Risk of Conflict in South China Sea

Bonnie S. Glaser

Tensions between China and the Philippines this week underscore concerns about escalating rivalries in the South China Sea. The United States has a major interest in preventing any of these disputes from escalating militarily. Read the Contingency Planning Memo »

Summit of the Americas

Why the Summit Matters

Shannon K. O'Neil

The summit in Colombia April 14-15 offers Washington an opportunity to boost growing economic ties amid ongoing disputes with regional partners over Cuba and the legalization of illicit drugs. Read the Expert Brief »

Reexamining the Brazilian Economic Success Story

Ruchir Sharma

While the world view on Brazil has been largely bullish, this glowing image rests on a shaky premise: commodity prices. The global appetite for commodities is beginning to fall, and if Brazil does not take steps to diversify and boost its growth, it may soon fall with them. Read the article in Foreign Affairs »

Measuring Rousseff's Visit to the United States

Julia E. Sweig

Skeptical observers are looking for proof that Washington is ready to give a trade agreement or a U.N. Security Council endorsement to Brazil. While this may well materialize over the next decade, President Rousseff does not have time to waste. Read the op-ed »

U.S. Candidates Approach an Emerging Latin America

Latin America has growing global influence and the winner of the 2012 U.S. election will face the regional issues of security and drug violence, emerging economies, and immigration, along with the importance of strengthening alliances throughout the region. Read more on Campaign 2012 »


Malawi's President Sets Tone for Change

Isobel Coleman

This week, Joyce Banda took office in Malawi as Africa's second female president. She has her work cut out for her, with almost three-quarters of Malawi's population living below the poverty line. The United States and Britain should rally behind her by resuming aid and engagement. Read more on Democracy in Development »

China’s Politburo Rocked by Scandal

Elizabeth C. Economy

After a month of rumors and speculation, Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been suspended from all his formal political positions, including his membership in the Politburo. Unless Wen Jiabao and other reformers push hard for real political advances, the specter of Bo Xilai and everything he represented will continue to haunt the next generation of Chinese leaders. Read more on Asia Unbound »

The World Ahead

The Volcker Rule Should be Abandoned

Benn Steil

The United States needs a better approach to bank regulatory reform to avoid another banking crisis. The Volcker rule misdiagnoses the risks banks pose to the financial system, and would have done nothing to mitigate the recent crisis had it been in force in 2008. Read the Policy Innovation Memo »

Egypt Readies for Next Month's Presidential Elections

Steven A. Cook

With Egypt's presidential elections due to occur in little more than a month, major contenders now include the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat al-Shater and last-minute entrant Omar Suleiman, Hosni Mubarak's one-time spy chief. Read the interview »

Don’t Blame Wall Street for High Gas Prices

Blake Clayton

With high gasoline prices across the United States, the knives are out for speculators in the oil market. Speculation is an easy scapegoat, but it is the wrong one. If anything, speculators help energy prices respond to shifts in supply and demand, benefiting producers and consumers alike. Read more on »

The Infrastructure Mess: Time for Some Small Steps Forward

Scott Thomasson

Despite the pressing infrastructure investment needs of the United States, federal policy is paralyzed by partisan wrangling over massive bills. Policymakers should think beyond these bills alone and focus on politically viable approaches. Read the Policy Innovation Memo »

G8 Should Tackle Issues of Aging

Michael W. Hodin

The world's most significant social, political, and economic development is its aging population, and the issue should be part of the agenda at next month's G8 summit. Read the op-ed »

This Week in History

General MacArthur's Dismissal

James M. Lindsay

President Harry Truman's announcement on April 11, 1951 that he had dismissed General Douglas MacArthur as commanding general of U.S. forces in Korea illustrates the principle of civilian control of the military. Watch the Lessons Learned video »

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

World Events Calendar

April 14 - 15: The Sixth Summit of the Americas, Colombia
CFR Resources on: the Americas »

April 16: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Visit Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, Rio de Janeiro
CFR Resources on: Brazil »

View the Calendar »

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