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In Congo, Peacekeepers at War

TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis explores the paradoxical idea of "humanitarian intervention" in his recent Boston Globe piece. He highlights the case of the Congo crisis where the UN has employed experimental tactics and exerted more proactive "conflict management" force than just peacekeeping efforts. He elaborates on the successes and downfalls of this new approach:

Fed up with the ineffectiveness of its traditional approach to peacekeeping, the United Nations Security Council decided last year to scrap its policy of firing only in self-defense. Instead, it launched a remarkable experiment: its first-ever “force intervention brigade,” a fully armed fighting unit to hunt down and stop predatory militias.

Access the whole article here.

Tags: un peacekeepers, humanitarian aid, crisis management, congo, africa

Peter Berg Tackling ‘The Hunt for El Chapo’ for Universal

TCF senior fellow Patrick Radden Keefe's long-form piece about the hunt and capture of infamous Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera which was published in the New Yorker is gaining recognition from outside the journalism field. Universal Pictures director Peter Berg recently picked up the rights to Keefe's article with the intention to turn the piece into a film. Berg will partner with screenwriter Craig Borten who is on board to write the adaptation.

Guzman was the head of the Sinaloa cartel and in the early 21st century became Mexico's top cartel kingpin. The U.S. Treasury Department called him "the world's most powerful drug trafficker," Forbes placed him on its list of most powerful people for three years and he was also listed as the 10th richest man in Mexico in 2011.

Check out further details on the project here.

Tags: mexican drug war, mexican cartel, film industry

Joint Letter to Secretary John F. Kerry Regarding UN General Assembly Action on North Korea

TCf fellow, Morton Abramowitz is a signatory to a Human Rights Watch letter to Secretary Kerry about UN action on the humanitarian situation in North Korea.

Dear Secretary Kerry,

The undersigned organizations and individuals, comprising several key advocacy groups, academic institutions, think tanks, and others, know that you understand the seriousness of the human rights situation inside North Korea, a country President Barack Obama spoke of in April as “probably the worst human rights violator in the world.”

We write to request that you personally attend a United Nations General Assembly side event on North Korea later this month to highlight the recent work of the UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korea and set the stage for a strong General Assembly resolution endorsing its findings.

Read the entire letter.

Tags: united nations, secretary of state john kerry, north korea, john kerry, human rights watch, human rights, foreign policy

A Brief Summary on Pot

June 17, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: Jessi Stafford TOPICS: Foreign Policy, Confronting International Crime

The case for pot as a legitimate business will be made at a compelling new event, “The Green Rush,” hosted by TCF, with commentary from Patrick Radden Keefe, TCF senior fellow, and Michael Shtender-Auerbach of Privateer, a private equity fund that invests in the cannabis economy.

Tags: pot, patrick radden keefe, marijuana economy, legalization, green rush, cannabis

What Are ‘Nation’ Interns Reading the Week of 5/9/2014?

The Nation's interns recommend TCF senior fellow Patrick Radden Keefe's New Yorker story, "The Hunt for El Chapo" as a required read. Get the full list of must-reads here

Tags: the nation, patrick radden keefe, new yorker, longreads, el chapo

Requiem for a Snakehead

TCF senior fellow Patrick Radden Keefe publishes another feature for the New Yorker regarding the death of "Sister" Cheng Chui Ping, the subject of his book The Snakehead.


In China, human smugglers are known as Snakeheads, and the prosecutors who put Sister Ping on trial called her “the mother of all snakeheads.” They told the story of a ruthless criminal entrepreneur who had preyed on the dreams and ambitions of her customers. The tabloids went a step further, with understated headlines like “EVIL INCARNATE.” But in Chinatown the reaction to the trial was different. Many in the community rallied to her cause, defending Sister Ping as a heroic figure who had escorted a generation of immigrants out of poverty in China to a better life in the United States.

Read the full article here.

Tags: the snakehead, sister ping, new yorker, international crime, human trafficking, cheng chui ping


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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