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  • Issue Brief posted May 26, 2016 by Ana Quintana Alleviating the Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela

    In recent months, the already dire situation in Venezuela has worsened. Socialist economic policies have led to food shortages, electricity blackouts, and runaway inflation. Criminal elements have taken over the government and imprisoned democratic opposition figures. All the while, a citizen security crisis has caused the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, to become the…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2016 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. America’s Outdated Europe Policy: In 2017, the Next President Must Adapt to New Reality

    Since the end of World War II, U.S. policy toward Europe has drifted, without deliberate thought, far from its initial premises—while Europe itself has changed beyond recognition. It is time that the U.S. recognized this fact. The incoming President should direct the National Security Council (NSC) to oversee a comprehensive study of U.S. policy toward Europe, a study to…

  • Backgrounder posted May 9, 2016 by James Phillips The Dangerous Regional Implications of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Iran is consolidating its gains on multiple fronts under the July 2015 nuclear agreement reached with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of U.N. Security Council plus Germany). The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that addressed the nuclear issue has also bolstered Iran’s theocratic dictatorship in the economic, trade, political, diplomatic, military, and…

  • Issue Brief posted May 5, 2016 by Luke Coffey Four New Reasons Why the U.S. Must Stay Engaged in the South Caucasus

    Four developments in the South Caucasus merit close attention: Increasing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno–Karabakh; The upcoming referendum in and possible Russian annexation of the Georgian breakaway territory of South Ossetia; The rise of Iranian meddling in the region; and An…

  • Issue Brief posted April 22, 2016 by Daniel Kochis Four Priorities for President Obama’s Last Visit to Germany

    President Obama is visiting Germany on April 24 and April 25. He will help open the Hannover Messe, a famous industrial trade fair, alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday. On Monday, the leaders of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States will meet to discuss the migrant crisis and terrorism. Germany is an important security partner of the…

  • Backgrounder posted April 20, 2016 by Brett D. Schaefer How to Make the State Department More Effective at Implementing U.S. Foreign Policy

    The next President of the United States will enter office facing as daunting and diverse a set of foreign policy challenges as any President in recent times: Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea; an unpredictable nuclearized North Korea; Russian belligerence in neighboring nations and renewed influence in the Middle East; Iranian hegemonic ambitions; dangerous and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by Olivia Enos, Sarah Torre, Ana Quintana Strengthening the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI)

    A complex problem affecting an estimated 21 million people worldwide, human trafficking demands comprehensive solutions to achieve the long-term eradication of slavery. Sex trafficking, labor trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, peonage (the involuntary servitude of laborers), and the use of child soldiers—all forms of trafficking according to the U.S. Department of…

  • Issue Brief posted April 6, 2016 by Luke Coffey The Nagorno–Karabakh Conflict: U.S. Vigilance Required

    The recent outbreak of fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian military and Armenian-backed militia forces in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno–Karabakh region threatens to destabilize an already fragile region even further. According to media reports, dozens of soldiers from both sides have been killed, and Azerbaijani forces have recaptured some of the territory lost to Armenia in…

  • Commentary posted April 5, 2016 by Peter Brookes Russian 'Reset' a Resounding Failure

    News that the United States is sending combat troops back to Europe beginning next February to deter potential Russian aggression against NATO pretty much takes Team Obama’s Russian “reset” policy off life support, doesn’t it? I’d like to say “RIP,” but I’m more of the mind to say, “Good riddance.” It all started so hopefully in 2009 with then-Secretary of State…

  • Commentary posted March 29, 2016 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. US Must Take the Lead in Addressing Mideast Genocide

    Oppression, persecution, even genocide — such is the heartbreaking experience of minority communities in the greater Middle East. Rather than seize the moral high ground, the Obama administration has, for the most part, simply milled about at the bottom of the hill, a bystander to injustice. Of course, America is not the world’s conscience. Nor is it responsible for…

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  • Lecture posted October 6, 2010 by The Honorable Clifford Taylor Without Merit: Why "Merit" Selection Is the Wrong Way for States to Choose Judges

    Abstract: Those who argue for merit selection know that it gives them their best chance to get judges on the bench who share their political and policy views. Advocates of elections are willing to take their chances openly in the public square, with the people deciding which candidate has merit. Public elections allowing all voters to decide who should be the…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2013 by Ray Walser, Ph.D., Jessica Zuckerman U.S.–Mexico Border: Tighter Border Security Requires Mexico’s Cooperation

    As the debate over immigration reform heats up, the topic of border security—especially on the southwest border with Mexico—looms larger. Washington policymakers ask: How many miles of fence, how many Border Patrol agents, how many billions of tax dollars will be enough to finally “secure” the border? There is no easy answer. Airtight border security is more an abstract…

  • Commentary posted May 12, 2014 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. How Reagan broke the ice at Reykjavik

    It is perhaps fitting that the Cold War finally began to crack apart in a place called Iceland. It was October 1986, and President Reagan flew to Reykjavik to meet Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Our side didn’t expect much from the talks. They were intended to give the leaders a chance to get to know each other better and lay some groundwork for future talks, planned…

  • Backgrounder posted April 14, 2011 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. The United States vs. China—Which Economy Is Bigger, Which Is Better

    Abstract: China’s leap from poverty due to the marvelously successful market reforms introduced in 1978 has obscured serious weaknesses in its economy—especially compared to the American economy. These weaknesses have been exacerbated by renewed Chinese state intervention that began around 2003. Many seem convinced that China is at the cusp of surpassing the U.S.…

  • Backgrounder posted March 21, 2013 by Jack Spencer U.S.–South Korea Nuclear Cooperation: Agreeing on Commercial and Nonproliferation Goals

    The agreement between the United States government and the Republic of Korea (ROK) that allows commercial nuclear trade between the countries, referred to as a “123 agreement” since it is required by Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act[1] expires in March 2014.[2] To avoid any lapses, the Obama Administration must conclude negotiations by spring 2013. This will allow the…

  • WebMemo posted December 9, 2010 by Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., Anna Leutheuser Treaty Ratification During Lame Duck Sessions

    President Obama has submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which he signed with Russia on April 8, 2010. But Congress currently sits in a lame duck session, one month after a significant election. The question has been raised: Has the United States Senate ever ratified a major treaty during a “lame duck”…

  • Backgrounder posted June 17, 2013 by Jessica Zuckerman, Bryan Riley, David Inserra Beyond the Border: U.S. and Canada Expand Partnership in Trade and Security

    In December 2011, President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper released the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The plan—part of the Beyond the Border strategy announced earlier that year—offers a cooperative strategy and joint vision intended to boost security and facilitate the flow of goods and people between the two nations. With the economies,…

  • Backgrounder posted July 26, 2010 by Sally McNamara, Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., James Phillips Countering Turkey’s Strategic Drift

    Abstract: For decades, Turkey and the United States cooperated in the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, Central Asia, and even Korea. However, Turkish and U.S. interests in the Balkans, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf have recently diverged. On its current trajectory, Turkey’s traditional strategic relationship with the West could devolve…

  • Backgrounder posted January 5, 2012 by Sally McNamara The Failure of the “Russia Reset”: Next Steps for the United States and Europe

    Abstract: The policies of the United States and the European Union should encourage and support Russian civil society and Russia’s democratic modernizers. And, if Russia continues to abrogate its international commitments to basic freedoms and human rights, the U.S. and the EU must stand up for democratic values and make it clear that Russian aggression will not…

  • Special Report posted January 7, 2013 by Laveesh Bhandari, Jeremy Carl, Bibek Debroy, Michelle Kaffenberger, Pravakar Sahoo, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Unleashing the Market in the India–U.S. Economic Relationship, Part 1

    Project Overview India will soon have the largest population of any country in the world. It therefore has the potential, with extensive and difficult reforms, to become the world's most important free market—a position currently held by the United States. It follows directly that the economic relationship between India and the U.S., if allowed to flourish, can greatly…

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