Council on Foreign Relations


Foreign Affairs

The Land of Milk and Cotton
How U.S. Protectionism Distorts Global Trade
J. P. Singh
Summary: 
Earlier this month, Brazil and the United States struck a landmark trade agreement over a longtime point of contention: cotton. The deal—the United States pays a hefty sum to Brazilian cotton farmers in return for an opportunity to continue subsidizing its own producers—concealed an ugly truth about the misbalance of power in international trade.
Earlier this month, Brazil and the United States struck a landmark trade agreement over a longtime point of contention: cotton. The deal—the United States pays a hefty sum to Brazilian cotton farmers in return for an opportunity to continue subsidizing its own producers—had all outward appearances of a fair compromise. Under the surface, however, the agreement concealed an uglier truth about the misbalance of power in international trade.

Why They Fought
How War Made the State and the State Made Peace
Michael Mandelbaum
According to Ian Morris, the author of a sweeping history of conflict from prehistoric times to the present, war can sometimes produce safety. But his account runs into difficulties as it approaches the present.

War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization From Primates to Robots BY IAN MORRIS. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014, 512 pp. $30.00.

Grappling With Graft
How to Combat the Growing Corruption Epidemic
Alexander Lebedev and Vladislav Inozemtsev
Summary: 
The world needs a new international convention to combat corruption -- a global epidemic that erodes government institutions, fuels unrest, and increasingly threatens the stability of the West.
Corruption is one of the world’s hottest topics. Four decades ago, only about 25 to 30 English-language books on the issue appeared every year; that number increased to more than 400 today. A Google search for the word “corruption” produces more than 45.7 million results, compared with just 26.4 million for “terrorism.” The Corruption Perceptions Index, an annual ranking published by the watchdog group Transparency Internatio­nal, has become one of the world’s most cited reference sources. Yet despite all this attention, no adequate solutions to the problem have come to light.
Corruption has become a major threat to the global economic order.
Only unified global action can halt the corruption contagion.
Western countries must demonstrate that no government that abuses power at home could be regarded as a respected partner abroad.

Council on Foreign Relations

Friday, 10-24-14Ebola VirusOfficials say Ebola may have already claimed fifteen thousand lives in West Africa—and the toll is rising.
Thursday, 10-23-14Confronting the Ebola Epidemic in West AfricaJohn Campbell, CFR's Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies, discusses the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the global response to this health crisis.
Wednesday, 10-22-14How to Shut Down a Country and Kill a DiseaseIn this article for ForeignPolicy.com, Laurie Garrett compares how China finally stopped SARS in 2003 inside its vast territory to options for halting the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Garrett reported on the SARS epidemic, so some firsthand observations and photos are provided.
Monday, 10-20-14Boko Haram: Origins, Challenges and ResponsesPoor governance and extreme poverty has contributed to the rise of Boko Haram, a radical Islamist movement, in the northeast of Nigeria. John Campbell argues that to defeat Boko Haram governments must focus on humanitarian assistance and work to improve the lives of northern Nigerians.
Monday, 10-06-14The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit - What’s Next?Dr. Jendayi Frazer explores four areas prominently featured during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which took place in Washington, DC in August 2014. She discusses how the Obama administration can help solidify the initial steps taken at the Summit for long-term U.S. involvement with the African continent.
Friday, 10-03-14Combating Ebola: What Can Africa Learn From China?Yanzhong Huang notes the limited public health infrastructure in certain West African countries that are currently battling the spread of Ebola, which is a similar phenomenon to that which occurred in China during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Dr. Huang stresses the importance of foreign aid, particularly Chinese funds, to slow the spread of Ebola but points out that dependence on foreign aid is ultimately an unsustainable public health strategy.
Wednesday, 10-01-14Media Conference Call: Ebola in the U.S. (Audio)Listen as Laurie Garrett, CFR senior fellow for global health, discusses the recent arrival of a traveler infected with Ebola in the United States, as well efforts to combat the virus's rapid spread throughout West Africa.
Wednesday, 10-01-14Media Conference Call: Laurie Garrett on EbolaLaurie Garrett, CFR's senior fellow for global health, discusses the recent arrival of a traveler infected with Ebola in the United States, as well as the virus' rapid spread throughout West Africa.

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