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Renewing America Blog Provides Forum for Commentary on Sources of U.S. Power and Competitiveness

The Renewing America initiative has launched a new online channel aimed at broadening the debate on how best to revitalize the country’s economy.

January 20, 2012

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As President Obama prepares to deliver his election-year economic platform during the annual State of the Union address tonight, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has launched a new online channel aimed at broadening the debate on how best to revitalize the country’s economy.

The blog is the main portal of CFR’s Renewing America initiative, which sponsors research, disseminates policy ideas, and promotes dialogue on the domestic challenges facing the United States that have significant consequences for national security and foreign policy.

"If the nation’s long-term economic problems go unaddressed, the United States will gradually lose its ability to influence friends and adversaries, to shape international institutions, and ultimately to project its military power to defend vital national interests," explains Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow and Director of the Renewing America Publications Series. "This project aims to develop ideas and spur discussion about the restructuring necessary to revive the U.S. economy."

The blog uses a range of media—including text, infographics, video, and images—to examine six issues that affect the United States’ ability project its power abroad: debt and deficits, infrastructure, education and human capital, corporate regulation and taxation, innovation, and international trade and investment.

Some of the blog’s features include:

—The Morning Brief: Daily roundups on Renewing America issues with "must reads" from around the Web.

—Renewing America Scorecards: Analysis and infographics assessing policy developments and U.S. performance in such areas as infrastructure, education, international trade, and government deficits.

—Backgrounders: Succinct explainers on the Renewing America themes from’s editorial staff.

—Expert commentary: Alden and guest bloggers examine issues in the news and over-the-horizon themes.

  • For example, in this recent post, Alden discusses the competitiveness agenda ahead of the president’s State of the Union address. Visit the blog tomorrow for Alden’s post-address analysis of the president’s initiatives for strengthening the U.S. economy.

—In-depth research: Policy papers authored by CFR experts as well as some of the nation’s top scholars and practitioners.

  • The first by Alden looks at how to reform U.S. visa policy to ease travel into the United States by business travelers, tourists, and skilled immigrants.

Join the conversation on the blog, and subscribe to email updates or the RSS feed at Follow Alden and the blog on Twitter, @EdwardAlden, @RenewingAmerica.


The Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.

Premised on the understanding that the United States’ ability to influence world events rests on a robust, competitive economy, CFR’s Renewing America initiative sponsors research, analysis, policy ideas, and dialogue on how best to revitalize the country’s economic strength and build the foundations for future prosperity and influence. The project is supported by a generous grant from the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation.


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