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Scholarship, Security, and ‘Spillage’ on Campus

TCF's Barton Gellman recently gave a keynote presentation at Purdue University, only to later find out that the university destroyed the video of the event to comply with the institution's high security standards.


Despite Kunduz Tragedy, U.S. Must Resist Impulse to Abandon Afghanistan

Following horrific U.S. bombing of a hospital in the city of Kunduz in Afghanistan, many may find that their first impulse is to be critical of U.S. military involvement in the country. However, as TCF fellow Michael Cohen writes, "even in light of the Kunduz tragedy," a continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan is the best policy option for the Afghan governement and people.

So in the wake of the Kunduz tragedy, instead of engaging in reflexive reactions, we should be asking ourselves hard questions that lack easy answers. Is the threat from the Taliban, in terms of regional stability, one that the United States can simply ignore? The Kunduz hospital bombing notwithstanding, is the threat to Afghan civilians greater from the United States and the Afghan government or greater from the Taliban? Actually we know the answer to that, as 70 percent of civilians killed in Afghanistan are slain by the Taliban or other anti-government forces.

Read Cohen's discussion of the U.S. military's role in Afghanistan at World Politics Review.

Is Donald Trump right to call NAFTA a “disaster”?

TCF fellow Mark Thoma explains the history of NAFTA and points out the specific effects that it has and has not had on the US economy. He says that historically, it has not had a very deep impact on either the US or Mexican economy, largely because of the rise of China as an economic power.

The biggest factor was the unforeseen rise of China. Much of the production and jobs that would have ended up in Mexico as a result of NAFTA went to China instead. If those jobs had gone to Mexicans, much of their new income would have been used to purchase goods produced in the U.S. thereby nullifying NAFTA's negative effects for U.S. workers.

Read Thoma's full article on the realities of NAFTA via CBS Moneywatch .

Tags: trade agreements, nafta, job growth

India’s New Green Revolution

Just in time for the day of the United Nations deadline, India has released its formal greenhouse gas emissions plan for the COP 21 conference. In a new article, TCF policy associate Neil Bhatiya discusses the promising aspects of India's proposal.

The renewable energy ambitions outlined are extremely significant and should be encouraged. Mobilization of the Green Climate Fund, the U.N.-backed mechanism for channeling financing from developed nations to developing ones to fight climate change, can assist with this. While the plan didn’t include a peak emissions year or national carbon pricing policy, as China’s announced plans do, that is not a reason to feel disappointed that something more ambitious wasn’t put forward. India has stated it has a desire to be a constructive player in Paris.

Read Bhatiya's full analysis of India's emissions plan in FP.

India Promises to Slash Emissions, but Wants Help

Of the world's major carbon emitters, India was the last country to submit its greenhouse gas emissions reductions plan. TCF policy associate Neil Bhatiya recently commented on India's proposal and discussed the promise that the plan holds.

Neil Bhatiya, a policy associate with the Washington-based think tank The Century Foundation, said India’s commitment to reducing emissions while underlining the issues they want to see addressed is an effort to avoid throwing a spanner into the works at the international climate change talks in Paris.

"In contrast to their attitude in the past, they’re willing to take mitigation action upfront and willing to sign on paper to do that, but they want to see the [developed countries] live up to their promises too," he said.

Learn more about India's emissions plan at Inside Climate News.

Russia’s Syria Intervention a Blessing in Disguise for U.S.

While many of Washington's pundits have been worrying over Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to intervene militarily in Syria, TCF fellow Michael Cohen says the move is a blessing in disguise.

If anything, rather than be shaken by Putin’s actions, the U.S. should be celebrating them. Not only does his direct involvement in Syria’s civil war have a good chance of weakening Russia, it could also damage the self-declared Islamic State and might even set the groundwork for a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian conflict—all while keeping the U.S. out of the military fight. In the realm of international relations, that’s what we call a “win-win” proposition with very limited downside.

Check out Cohen's full column on Russia's intervention in Syria at World Politics Review.


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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