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Council on Foreign Relations Preventive Action Update
September 2012

Dear Colleague:

Over the summer, the Center for Preventive Action (CPA) published a Contingency Planning Memorandum on the possibility of renewed violence in Iraq and a Policy Innovation Memorandum on a U.S.-South Africa partnership to encourage free, fair, and credible elections in Zimbabwe. To learn more about our latest activities and publications, we welcome you to read through our newsletter, explore our website, and "like" our 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

Preventing Renewed Violence in Iraq

Douglas A. Ollivant

In the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal in December 2011, violence is ebbing, the economy is modestly growing, oil production is rising, and foreign investment is increasing after years of war and sanctions. However, the risk of instability and a resurgence of conflict remains. Douglas Ollivant of the New America Foundation argues that the United States has a significant stake in helping Iraq overcome major threats to its stability—namely, the prospect of renewed ethno-sectarian violence or a breakdown of constitutional order. Read the Report »

Strengthening U.S.-South Africa Relations

John Campbell

As Zimbabwe moves closer to elections, prospects of political violence, and possibly civil war, grow. CFR Senior Fellow John Campbell argues that converging views on Zimbabwe provide a unique opportunity for the United States and South Africa to improve their bilateral relations. Both countries want a peaceful and credible transition in Zimbabwe. Working together on a coordinated approach that would pressure the Mugabe regime to ensure free, fair, and credible elections could launch a U.S. partnership with South Africa on other regional African issues. Read the Report »

Blog: Politics, Power, and Preventive Action

In his blog, Micah Zenko covers the U.S. national security debate and offers insight on developments in international security and conflict prevention.

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CPA in the News

Drone, Sweet Drone
The debate over domestic surveillance is heating up. But much of the anxiety surrounding domestic drones is overblown, contends Micah Zenko in Foreign Policy.

Collateral Damage: The Dangerous Precedents of America's Drone Wars
In World Politics Review, Micah Zenko argues that the U.S. targeted killings campaign is a short-term tactic, not a long-term solution to enduring political or security challenges.

What Would 'President Romney' Do About Syria?
Despite the tough talk, Andrew C. Miller in the Christian Science Monitor finds that Mitt Romney's proposed approach to Syria would be effectively the same as Obama's.

There's Nothing in the Water...
Ahead of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Discovery Channel's "Shark Week," Micah Zenko counts down ten things that kill more people than sharks in Foreign Policy.



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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