Council on Foreign Relations

Council on Foreign Relations The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher. CFR takes no positions on matters of policy.
The nearly 4,900 members are divided among those living in New York, Washington, DC, and across the country and abroad. The Term Member Program is for those aged thirty to thirty-six. The Corporate Program serves an international membership of about two hundred leading global corporations. www.cfr.org/corporate CFR's think tank, the David Rockefeller Studies Program, is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners: http://www.cfr.org/thinktank/experts.html The Studies Program is organized into more than a dozen program areas and centers, including the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies, the Center for Preventive Action, and the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

CFR carries out its mission by: --Maintaining a diverse membership; --Convening meetings at its headquarters in New York and in Washington, DC; --Supporting a Studies Program that fosters independent research; --Publishing Foreign Affairs; --Sponsoring Independent Task Forces; and --Providing up-to-date information and analysis about world events and American foreign policy on its website, CFR.org.

Mission: CFR is 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. Learn more about CFR's mission at: http://www.cfr.org/about/

It is estimated that the 2019 Women's World Cup will draw one billion viewers for the first time. But as women excel in ...
07/07/2019
Will the 2019 World Cup be a Game Changer for Women's Soccer?

It is estimated that the 2019 Women's World Cup will draw one billion viewers for the first time. But as women excel in professional sports like never before—and draw new audiences—pay and program investment are not keeping pace.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup enters the semi-finals, capping off a tournament that has broken numerous records for women’s soccer. What will it mean for the future of the sport?

Trace North Korean nuclear negotiations—from the ratification of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1985 to Trump'...
07/06/2019
Timeline: North Korean Nuclear Negotiations

Trace North Korean nuclear negotiations—from the ratification of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1985 to Trump's visit to North Korea last weekend.

Nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea have proceeded in fits and starts across three decades and have failed to halt the advance of the North’s atomic weapons program.

The EU was given its current structure and powers in 2007 with the Lisbon Treaty. Today, the bloc’s 28 members agree t...
07/06/2019
How Does the European Union Work?

The EU was given its current structure and powers in 2007 with the Lisbon Treaty. Today, the bloc’s 28 members agree to pool their sovereignty and delegate many decision-making powers to the EU.

The EU’s authority has steadily expanded as its members have passed more and more decision-making power to the union. How do its institutions work?

Critics say Russia's new coalition with OPEC will mean that the oil bloc will no longer be free to change course without...
07/06/2019
OPEC in a Changing World

Critics say Russia's new coalition with OPEC will mean that the oil bloc will no longer be free to change course without first securing Russia’s buy-in.

Western leaders have long criticized OPEC’s power to raise oil prices, but the bloc’s influence is on the wane as U.S. oil production has soared and alternative energies have come to the fore.

Edward Alden asks: Did Trump sell out vital U.S. interests for the sake of Twitter bragging rights and photo ops with au...
07/05/2019
More Questions Than Answers in Asia

Edward Alden asks: Did Trump sell out vital U.S. interests for the sake of Twitter bragging rights and photo ops with authoritarian rulers like China's Xi Jinping and North Korea's Kim Jong-un?

President Trump delayed tariffs on China and visited North Korea over the weekend, contributing to the most unpredictable international environment in decades.

This week, protests in Hong Kong continued as demonstrators stormed into and occupied the Legislative Council. Here’s ...
07/05/2019
What Is Hong Kong’s Political Status?

This week, protests in Hong Kong continued as demonstrators stormed into and occupied the Legislative Council. Here’s what to know about the city's political status and what Hong Kongers want.

As China’s power continues to grow, some fear that the considerable autonomy Hong Kong has enjoyed over the last three decades could slip away.

Today marks ten years since China's Urumqi riots in which Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, protested widesp...
07/05/2019
Thirty Years of Protests in China Since Tiananmen

Today marks ten years since China's Urumqi riots in which Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, protested widespread economic and cultural discrimination.

Take a look at the past three decades of protests in China—and what drives activists to stand up against all odds.

From demonstrations for religious freedom to demands for environmental protection, citizens from diverse backgrounds have challenged authority in China. Here’s a look at major protests since 1989.

The United States is now in its 18th year of war in Afghanistan. Trace the course of America's longest war in this timel...
07/04/2019
A Timeline of the U.S. War in Afghanistan

The United States is now in its 18th year of war in Afghanistan. Trace the course of America's longest war in this timeline.

The Taliban insurgency remains resilient nearly two decades after U.S.-led forces toppled its regime in what led to the United States’ longest war.

When the draft for military service ended in 1973, the active component of the military comprised 2.2 million men and wo...
07/04/2019
How Much Does the Military Resemble U.S. Society at Large?

When the draft for military service ended in 1973, the active component of the military comprised 2.2 million men and women. Now, this group comprises just under 1.29 million, or less than 0.5% of the U.S. population. Who are they? Where are they from? How diverse are they? Dive into the demographics.

Deployed around the world, the armed forces are a pillar of U.S. power and influence abroad, but many are unfamiliar with its composition. CFR examines the U.S. military by gender, race, geography and other demographic factors.

Do you know where the delegates to the Continental Congress met on July 4, 1776? See if you're right and test your knowl...
07/04/2019
How Much Do You Really Know About the Fourth of July?

Do you know where the delegates to the Continental Congress met on July 4, 1776? See if you're right and test your knowledge of Independence Day some more in this quiz.

Thirteen questions in honor of the thirteen colonies that threw off the yoke of British tyranny.

Three successive presidents have relied on the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to justify milit...
07/03/2019
Why Iran Tensions Are Rekindling the AUMF Debate

Three successive presidents have relied on the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to justify military operations around the world. Some members of Congress are now chafing at the Trump administration’s assertion that it could apply to Iran as well.

A look at the post-9/11 war powers law that the Trump administration could use to justify conflict with Iran.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has been nominated as the next president of the European Central Bank, one of se...
07/03/2019
How Does the European Union Work?

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has been nominated as the next president of the European Central Bank, one of seven official EU institutions. Take a closer look at what the EU is and how it works.

The EU’s authority has steadily expanded as its members have passed more and more decision-making power to the union. How do its institutions work?

The Japan-South Korea relationship has gone from bad to worse, says Sheila A. Smith. What does this slow but dangerous e...
07/03/2019
Seoul and Tokyo: No Longer on the Same Side

The Japan-South Korea relationship has gone from bad to worse, says Sheila A. Smith. What does this slow but dangerous erosion of trust means for the United States?

While many focus on the drama of President Donald J. Trump’s meeting with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un, a far more worrisome transformation in N…

Nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea have proceeded in fits and starts across three decades, b...
07/03/2019
North Korean Nuclear Negotiations: A Brief History

Nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea have proceeded in fits and starts across three decades, but have so far failed to halt the advance of the North’s atomic weapons program.

As Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump plan to meet, nuclear negotiations involving the United States and North Korea have been stymied by mistrust for more than a quarter century.

This week marks 10 years since China's Urumqi riots when Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, protested economi...
07/02/2019
What to Know About China’s Crackdown on Uighurs in Xinjiang

This week marks 10 years since China's Urumqi riots when Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, protested economic and cultural discrimination. In recent years, the government has been accused of arbitrarily detaining at least one million Muslims in reeducation camps.

More than a million Muslims have been arbitrarily detained in China’s Xinjiang Province. The reeducation camps are just one part of the government’s crackdown on Uighurs.

President Trump delayed tariffs on China and visited North Korea over the weekend, contributing to the most unpredictabl...
07/02/2019
More Questions Than Answers in Asia

President Trump delayed tariffs on China and visited North Korea over the weekend, contributing to the most unpredictable international environment in decades, writes Edward Alden.

President Trump delayed tariffs on China and visited North Korea over the weekend, contributing to the most unpredictable international environment in decades.

FIFA estimated that this year’s World Cup will draw one billion viewers for the first time—and it is well on track t...
07/02/2019
Will the 2019 World Cup be a Game Changer for Women's Soccer?

FIFA estimated that this year’s World Cup will draw one billion viewers for the first time—and it is well on track to do so. But despite undeniable interest, female athletes and teams face serious challenges. The teams in this year's World Cup will split $30 million in total prizes—only about 7% of the prize money that was up for grabs at the Men’s World Cup.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup enters the semi-finals, capping off a tournament that has broken numerous records for women’s soccer. What will it mean for the future of the sport?

The Trump-Kim relationship drama may titillate, but if it doesn't lead to negotiations, it will lose its value to the ac...
07/02/2019
What Can a Handshake at the DMZ Deliver?

The Trump-Kim relationship drama may titillate, but if it doesn't lead to negotiations, it will lose its value to the actual goal of Korean denuclearization, warns Scott Snyder.

For Trump, Kim delivers an archetypal relationship that translates directly from his World Wrestling Entertainment days straight into the world of international relations

Happy Canada Day! The United States and Canada share the world's longest border—as well as a vast trade relationship. ...
07/01/2019
QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About Canada?

Happy Canada Day! The United States and Canada share the world's longest border—as well as a vast trade relationship. Do you know the worth of goods and services traded across the U.S.-Canada border every day? Take this quiz to test your Canada knowledge.

Take this quiz to test your knowledge of Canada's government, economy, society, and geography.

On this day in 1997, Hong Kong transitioned from British to Chinese control. Amid continued protests, here's what to kno...
07/01/2019
What Is Hong Kong's Political Status?

On this day in 1997, Hong Kong transitioned from British to Chinese control. Amid continued protests, here's what to know about the city's autonomy and what Hong Kongers want.

As China’s power continues to grow, some fear that the considerable autonomy Hong Kong has enjoyed over the last three decades could slip away.

Iran has surpassed the cap set in the 2015 nuclear agreement. CFR's Ray Takeyh argues that before Iran comes back to the...
07/01/2019
The Real Reason Iran Has Been Provoking Trump

Iran has surpassed the cap set in the 2015 nuclear agreement. CFR's Ray Takeyh argues that before Iran comes back to the negotiating table, the regime wants a narrative of success.

Iran wants to come back to the negotiating table—but first the regime needs a narrative of success.

Taxes make up 26% of the United States' GDP, putting the U.S. near the bottom of industrialized democracies. See how U.S...
07/01/2019
Inequality and Tax Rates: A Global Comparison

Taxes make up 26% of the United States' GDP, putting the U.S. near the bottom of industrialized democracies. See how U.S. tax rates compare to the rest of the world.

With economic inequality at an all-time high, some U.S. presidential candidates are proposing dramatic shifts to the U.S. tax code. How have similar plans worked elsewhere in the world?

Ekrem Imamoglu’s stunning victory in the rerun of Istanbul’s mayoral election marks a new low for Recep Tayyip Erdog...
06/30/2019
Istanbul’s Election: What Does Erdogan’s Loss Mean for Turkey?

Ekrem Imamoglu’s stunning victory in the rerun of Istanbul’s mayoral election marks a new low for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his long-ruling Justice and Development Party. But don’t expect the president to take the drubbing sitting down, writes Steven A. Cook.

After his party suffered a humiliating loss in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is down but far from out.

The EU was given its current structure and powers in 2007 with the Lisbon Treaty. Today, the bloc’s 28 members agree t...
06/30/2019
How Does the European Union Work?

The EU was given its current structure and powers in 2007 with the Lisbon Treaty. Today, the bloc’s 28 members agree to pool their sovereignty and delegate many decision-making powers to the EU.

The EU’s authority has steadily expanded as its members have passed more and more decision-making power to the union. How do its institutions work?

Approximately 7 million people worldwide die from exposure to polluted air each year. Take a look at the ten capital cit...
06/30/2019
Why Air Pollution Is So Bad in Asia's Cities

Approximately 7 million people worldwide die from exposure to polluted air each year. Take a look at the ten capital cities with the worst air pollution.

Beijing may have dominated headlines for its polluted air years ago, but now New Delhi, Dhaka, and several other Asian capitals have the smoggiest skies, endangering millions of lives.

How has the Belt and Road Initiative changed countries’ bilateral economic relationships with China?
06/29/2019
Trace China’s Growing Economic Influence

How has the Belt and Road Initiative changed countries’ bilateral economic relationships with China?

This tracker shows how the Belt and Road Initiative has changed countries’ bilateral economic relationships with China over time.

Despite the costs of identity theft, there is no effective way to validate identities online. CFR's Robert K. Knake argu...
06/29/2019
Solving the Identity-Protection Problem by Bringing the Post Office Into the Digital Age

Despite the costs of identity theft, there is no effective way to validate identities online. CFR's Robert K. Knake argues that it's the U.S. Postal Service's time to shine.

Revamping the U.S. Postal Service could help solve long-standing problems with validating identities in the digital realm and make email a true substitute for physical mail.

Escalating tensions between Iran and the United States have raised the prospect of a military clash in a waterway vital ...
06/29/2019
The Strait of Hormuz: A U.S.-Iran Maritime Flash Point

Escalating tensions between Iran and the United States have raised the prospect of a military clash in a waterway vital for global oil supplies.

The narrow and congested Mideast waterway has become a site of escalating U.S.-Iran tensions. Conflict in the wake of tanker attacks there could jolt global oil supplies.

The ICC was created to bring the worst war criminals to justice, but problems have plagued the court over the years, inc...
06/29/2019
What Is the Role of the International Criminal Court?

The ICC was created to bring the worst war criminals to justice, but problems have plagued the court over the years, including a lack of support from the United States and other world powers.

The ICC was created to bring justice to the world’s worst war criminals, but debate over the court still rages.

Tomorrow's meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be their first face-to-face discussion ...
06/28/2019
Will There Be a Trade Truce at the G20?

Tomorrow's meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be their first face-to-face discussion since trade talks between the two countries fell apart in May

Donald J. Trump and Xi Jinping plan to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan, but it’s not clear that an end to tariffs is in sight.

Amid the ongoing trade war, President Trump meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 summit this weekend. Here's ...
06/28/2019
What Happens at G20 Summits?

Amid the ongoing trade war, President Trump meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 summit this weekend. Here's what to know about the G20, and what happens when the leaders from the world's largest economies gather.

Under the Trump administration, the United States is at odds with much of the rest of the G20, especially regarding trade, climate, and migration policies.

The EU was given its current structure and powers in 2007 with the Lisbon Treaty. Today, the bloc’s 28 members agree t...
06/28/2019
How Does the European Union Work?

The EU was given its current structure and powers in 2007 with the Lisbon Treaty. Today, the bloc’s 28 members agree to pool their sovereignty and delegate many decision-making powers to the EU.

The EU’s authority has steadily expanded as its members have passed more and more decision-making power to the union. How do its institutions work?

ASEAN states jointly announced their vision for the Indo-Pacific region—but the five-page document has some holes, wri...
06/27/2019
Making Sense of the ASEAN Summit

ASEAN states jointly announced their vision for the Indo-Pacific region—but the five-page document has some holes, writes CFR's Josh Kurlantzick.

Last weekend’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, held in Bangkok, yielded several notable accomplishments. But several of the an…

From immigration to climate change to Russia, get caught up on the foreign policy issues that could find their way into ...
06/27/2019
Issue Guide: The First 2020 Democratic Presidential Debates

From immigration to climate change to Russia, get caught up on the foreign policy issues that could find their way into tonight's debate.

The Democratic field could touch on a number of foreign policy issues, from climate change to Iran, during its first prime-time sparring session.

From immigration to climate change to Russia, get caught up on the foreign policy issues that could find their way into ...
06/27/2019
Issue Guide: The First 2020 Democratic Presidential Debates

From immigration to climate change to Russia, get caught up on the foreign policy issues that could find their way into tonight's debate.

The Democratic field could touch on a number of foreign policy issues, from climate change to Iran, during its first prime-time sparring session.

Where are heroin and fentanyl coming from to the United States? Explore the causes and national security consequences of...
06/27/2019
Behind the U.S. Opioid Epidemic

Where are heroin and fentanyl coming from to the United States? Explore the causes and national security consequences of America's opioid epidemic.

Opioid addiction in the United States has reached epidemic proportions, threatening not only public health but economic output and national security.

06/26/2019
Speaker Pelosi's Advice for 2020 Candidates

What advice would House Speaker Nancy Pelosi give the 2020 Democratic candidates running against Trump?

"Don’t even mention his name. . . . People are concerned about health care in America. They’re concerned about the stagnation of their wages. . . . So just talk about what you have to offer."

Watch the full discussion: https://on.cfr.org/2J2iLiL

The Democratic contenders have spent a majority of their time focusing on domestic issues, but international topics coul...
06/26/2019
What to Know Before the First 2020 Democratic Presidential Debates

The Democratic contenders have spent a majority of their time focusing on domestic issues, but international topics could come into the limelight at tonight's debate.

The Democratic field could touch on a number of foreign policy issues, from climate change to Iran, during its first prime-time sparring session.

Same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States on this day in 2015. Same-sex marriage has been legalized in over t...
06/26/2019
Compare Same-Sex Marriage Rights Around the World

Same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States on this day in 2015. Same-sex marriage has been legalized in over two dozen countries, most recently in Taiwan and Ecuador, yet bans remain in place around the world.

A growing number of countries are legalizing same-sex marriage amid a steady advance in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, but opposition remains strong in many countries.

Escalating tensions between Iran and the United States have raised the prospect of a military clash in a waterway vital ...
06/26/2019
The Strait of Hormuz: A U.S.-Iran Maritime Flash Point

Escalating tensions between Iran and the United States have raised the prospect of a military clash in a waterway vital for global oil supplies.

The narrow and congested Mideast waterway has become a site of escalating U.S.-Iran tensions. Conflict in the wake of tanker attacks there could jolt global oil supplies.

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