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March 8, 2022

Ukraine
Preventing a Wider European Conflict

To prevent Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine from escalating into a wider European conflict, Thomas Graham recommends that the United States bolster its deterrence efforts with NATO partners, whil…

Russian servicemen drive tanks during military exercises in the Leningrad Region, Russia.

April 14, 2022

Afghanistan
Countering a Resurgent Terrorist Threat in Afghanistan

With al-Qaeda and the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Khorasan growing in strength since the U.S. withdrawal, Seth Jones lays out a strategy for the United States to prevent a renewed terrorist thre…

A Taliban soldier manning a machine gun on the back of a vehicle in Kabul.

September 11, 2017

Israel
Israel and Hezbollah: Deterrence and the Threat of Miscalculation

Neither Israel nor Hezbollah may want to return to war, but the risk of conflict is real—especially in Syria. The Trump administration can take action to prevent unintended escalation.

Hezbollah fighters in Syria.

June 15, 2017

Zimbabwe
The Day After in Zimbabwe

A 2015 CFR Contingency Planning Memorandum (CPM), “Political Instability in Zimbabwe,” highlighted the potential for violence in connection with leadership succession. The remarkable longevity of Rob…

Zimbabwe protest Mugabe

February 15, 2018

Venezuela
A Venezuelan Refugee Crisis

In addition to a sharp economic downturn, Venezuela faces a humanitarian crisis. The United States can do little to prevent a downward spiral, but it should take measures to mitigate the political, economic, and humanitarian consequences of a potential mass emigration.

Colombian police officers stand in front of people lining up to try to cross into Colombia from Venezuela through   Simon Bolivar International Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on January 24, 2018.

March 17, 2016

Georgia
Renewed Confrontation in Georgia

Introduction Although the likelihood of a full-blown war between Russia and Georgia is low, one cannot rule out renewed confrontation between the two countries in the next twelve to eighteen month…

Renewed Confrontation in Georgia header

April 11, 2012

South China Sea
Armed Clash in the South China Sea

In April 2015, the author wrote an update to this memo to reflect recent developments in the South China Sea. Read the update. Introduction The risk of conflict in the South China Sea is signif…

Armed Clash in the South China Sea header

April 19, 2021

China
Preparing for Heightened Tensions Between China and India

China-India tensions remain high. To reduce the threat of conflict, Daniel S. Markey recommends the U.S. boost aid to India and begin working with like-minded partners to develop a coordinated respon…

Soldiers stand on a snowy mountain on a sunny day next to a truck.

April 3, 2017

Cybersecurity
A Cyberattack on the U.S. Power Grid

The U.S. power grid has long been considered a logical target for a major cyberattack. Besides the intrinsic importance of the power grid to a functioning U.S. society, all sixteen sectors of the U.S. economy deemed to make up the nation’s critical infrastructure rely on electricity. Disabling or otherwise interfering with the power grid in a significant way could thus seriously harm the United States.

Cyberattack on the US power grid

May 21, 2020

Conflict Prevention
Military Confrontation in the South China Sea

The trade war, fallout from COVID-19, and increased military activity raise the risk of conflict between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea. Here’s how the U.S. can prevent or mitigate a clash.

A woman on a naval vessel looks at the sea through binoculars.