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March 29, 2005

United States
Too big to behave rashly

According to Andrew Samwick, the world’s central banks are too big to behave rashly. As he puts it: "We’re too big an economy, and our creditors’ portfolio holdings are simply too large for them to …

July 6, 2005

Worrying about debt to China

Jesse Eisinger has a nice Long and Short column exploring CNOOC’s bid for Unocal in the Wall Street Journal. I liked this quote from Lehman’s Ethan Harris:The Cnooc bid "strikes people that we really…

June 24, 2011

International Organizations
Half-Baked: The UN’s Annual Global Drug Report

Drug addicts in Managua, Nicaragua (Oswaldo Rivas/ Courtesy Reuters). On Thursday, the United Nations launched its annual World Drug Report. This year’s report comes four decades after President Ric…

Half-Baked: The UN’s Annual Global Drug Report

April 13, 2012

United States
You Might Have Missed: Drones, Night Raids, and the Appeal and Cost of Nuclear Weapons

“Piracy and Private Security,” The Economist, April 14, 2012. Private security teams patrol the decks of around 40% of large vessels in the “high-risk area” that stretches from the Persian Gulf…

Night raid training

March 2, 2012

Middle East Matters This Week: Syria Besieges, Egypt Relents, and Iran War-Talk

Significant Middle East Developments Syria. Developments shifted back this week to the intense fighting in Syria, especially the siege of Homs. On Thursday, Syrian rebels announced their retreat fro…

Some of the fourteen Egyptian activists who were accused of working for unlicensed non-governmental organizations and receiving illegal foreign funds, stand in a cage during the opening of their trial in Cairo on February 26, 2012 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

March 15, 2012

Ugly Israelis?

I rarely write about Israel.  It’s important politically, but intellectually for me a bit of a bore. What more can be said about the country that has not already been said, especially the Arab-Israel…


May 11, 2012

United States
You Might Have Missed: Drones, Israel’s Nuclear Weapons, and "Big Boy Pants"

Nick Paumgarten, “The World of Surveillance,” The New Yorker, May 14, 2012. Patrick Egan, president of the Silicon Valley chapter of the Association for Unmanned Systems International: "The first ti…

Rifle Afghanistan

March 9, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Guest Post: KONY 2012, Beyond the Buzz

This is a guest post by Melissa Bukuru, CFR Africa program intern. After 50 million views and a media buzz that shows no sign of dying down quickly, backlash to Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 video …


July 28, 2012

United States
You Might Have Missed: Drones, Afghanistan, and Military Intervention

Department of Defense News Briefing with General Norton Schwartz, July 24, 2012. Q:  I just had a question about [remotely piloted aircraft].  There was statements recently that in the next year or …

Drone takeoff

May 16, 2012

Fossil Fuels
Energy and U.S. Manufacturing: Five Things to Think About

The boom in U.S. oil and gas production has sparked talk of a manufacturing renaissance. I mentioned that somewhat skeptically last week in the context of a much broader piece on the excitement surro…