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May 16, 2023

United States
Why Today Is Not Like the 1850s

American politics turned hyper toxic several years ago, and ever since commentators have raised the specter of a second civil war. No other historical parallel, it seems, captures so viscerally today…

Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump stand near Confederate and U.S. flags in Wellington, Ohio on June 26, 2021.

May 9, 2006

United States
Betts: Hayden Likely to Be Pressed in Confirmation Hearing on Wiretapping Issue

Richard K. Betts, a CFR expert on the intelligence community, says that he sees no reason that the nomination of General Michael V. Hayden to head the Central Intelligence Agency should be blocked by…

August 1, 2017

Refugees and Displaced Persons
Empowering Refugees in Times of Crisis

To address a migration emergency that shows no signs of abating, states should look beyond building refugee camps and offer economic opportunities to those displaced, says expert Alexander Betts.

An Afghan refugee is pictured working at a workshop with tools in Wuppertal, western Germany

April 5, 2005

Intelligence
Betts: Negroponte Must Assert Leadership as Intelligence Czar Over Pentagon Agencies

Richard K. Betts, the Council’s top expert on intelligence, says the newly named director of national intelligence (DNI), John D. Negroponte, will inherit an espionage bureaucracy that has been “demo…

February 20, 2002

Politics and Government
Testimony of Richard K. Betts Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs - February 7, 2002

Statement for the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Hearings, February 7, 2002 On S. 1867, to Establish a National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States …

January 6, 2012

Defense and Security
U.S. Defense Should Follow “All-in or Stay Out” Policy, Writes Richard Betts in New Book on American Force

This collection of essays by Richard K. Betts, a leading international politics scholar, investigates the use of American force since the end of the Cold War, suggesting guidelines for making it more…

March 22, 2012

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Video Brief: Defense

The winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election will have to determine the scope of defense policy ambitions under strong pressure to restore domestic economic solvency, which will "overshadow" pol…

November 18, 2011

United States
American Force

While American national security policy has grown more interventionist since the Cold War, Washington has also hoped to shape the world on the cheap. Misled by the stunning success against Iraq in 19…

January 8, 2010

United States
Terrorism Risks and ’Timeless Problems’

Failures to stop the recent U.S. airliner bomb plot and the destruction of a CIA base in Afghanistan illustrate inherent problems in intelligence gathering, and al-Qaeda’s impenetrability, says CFR’s…

July 28, 2011

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Tightening the Pentagon’s Belt

Defense-spending cuts should be a big part of a deficit reduction deal, says CFR’s Richard Betts, with the Pentagon pursuing a budget that reflects a reduced threat environment and limits the product…