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Preview: - Interviews - Interviews

To help readers better understand the nuances of foreign policy, CFR staff writers and Consulting Editor Bernard Gwertzman conduct in-depth interviews with a wide range of international experts, as well as newsmakers.

Published: Tue, 16 May 2017 06:50:11 -0400

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 May 2017 06:50:11 -0400

Copyright: Copyright 2017 by the Council on Foreign Relations. All Rights Reserved.

Will FBI Sacking Affect National Security?

Wed, 10 May 2017 13:29:02 -0400

The dismissal of FBI Director James Comey raises concerns about the government’s ability to investigate Russian meddling in U.S. elections, and the broader national security role of the agency, says CFR’s Matthew Waxman.


After Macron Win, Political Challenges Await

Sun, 07 May 2017 17:33:33 -0400

Political newcomer Emmanuel Macron won a decisive victory in France's presidential elections, but the new president will face major challenges to form a governing coalition, says CFR's Charles A. Kupchan.


Can China Become the World’s Clean Energy Leader?

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:39:58 -0400

China seems poised to surpass the United States in leading clean energy innovation and climate change response, but Beijing faces internal challenges to energy reform.


Jakarta Election Signals Erosion of Religious Tolerance

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:26:15 -0400

The rise of hard-line identity politics at the center of Jakarta’s gubernatorial election raises questions about Indonesia’s reputation for tolerance, says CFR’s Karen Brooks.


Will Syria Yield to the Chemical Weapons Ban?

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:28:57 -0400

Syria's breach of its treaty obligations has led to broad international support for U.S. military action, says CFR's Lori Esposito Murray.


Hard Power’s Essential Soft Side

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 16:03:07 -0400

President Trump’s proposal to build up the military while slashing funds for diplomacy and foreign assistance misses how “soft power” can advance the national interest, says Joseph S. Nye, who coined the term.


How Conflict Drives Hunger in Africa, Yemen

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:10:19 -0400

Lasting solutions to the food emergencies affecting millions of people in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen require an end to violence in those countries, says World Food Program Chief Economist Arif Husain.


The Arctic Is Integral to U.S. National Security

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:53:17 -0400

The Arctic should be a major consideration in discussions of U.S. national security, says Thad Allen, co-chair of CFR’s Independent Task Force on the Arctic. 


The Futility of Force in Yemen

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:42:52 -0400

An escalation in U.S. counterterrorism strikes is unlikely to degrade the country’s al-Qaeda affiliate and a two-year-long Saudi-led air campaign is no closer to defeating Houthi rebels, says Ambassador Barbara Bodine.


Dutch Elections and the Future of the EU

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:55:20 -0500

The rise of populist Geert Wilders in the Netherlands is showcasing the pressing need for European Union reform, says expert Pieter Cleppe.


The Legal Fight Over Trump’s Authority

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 13:27:36 -0500

The battle over the Trump administration’s executive order on immigration raises weighty constitutional questions involving presidential power and the judiciary’s role in national security, explains expert Cristina Rodriguez.


Why Syria’s War Grinds On

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 15:00:38 -0500

As diplomatic efforts to broker a settlement to the civil war have so far come up short and the Islamic State retains a foothold in the east, a segmented Syria will likely experience reduced but persistent violence for years to come, says Ambassador Robert Ford. 


End-Times for Liberal Democracy?

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 11:10:59 -0500

The world has just experienced a watershed year for populist politics, with antiestablishment challengers winning elections and illiberal regimes modeling an alternative, says expert Yascha Mounk.


Human Rights and Duterte’s War on Drugs

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 15:56:29 -0500

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings, raising human rights concerns, says expert John Gershman in this interview.


Italian Vote Showcases European Discontent

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:24:12 -0500

The defeat of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reforms is another sign that voter anger over poor economic performance is driving anti-establishment politics across Europe, says CFR’s Sebastian Mallaby.


Europe Braces For Italy's Referendum

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:09:45 -0500

Italy’s vote on constitutional reforms, which may determine whether the country can escape its economic doldrums and rescue its ailing banking system, could have consequences for all of Europe, says CFR’s Robert Kahn.


A Looming Power Struggle for China?

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 15:58:35 -0400

If President Xi Jinping hopes to extend his leadership beyond two terms, he must prevent the Communist Party from selecting a successor in the coming months, says expert Minxin Pei.


The Meaning of Mosul

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:39:38 -0400

Iraq’s campaign to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State and restore the Iraqi government’s authority requires coordination among numerous armed groups with competing interests, says CFR’s Philip H. Gordon.


U.S. Navy Operations in a Maritime Chokepoint

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:05:32 -0400

A missile attack on a U.S. warship in the Bab al-Mandeb strait, off the coast of Yemen, illustrates how the U.S. Navy responds to an array of threats while patrolling the world’s waterways, says CFR visiting fellow Captain Clint Carroll.


What the 9/11 Lawsuits Bill Will Do

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:37:47 -0400

Congress overrode a presidential veto to enable the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. But the law will be a thorn in U.S. foreign relations, and plaintiffs will not likely get justice, says expert Stephen I. Vladeck. 


Afghanistan at an Inflection Point

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 15:58:02 -0400

Afghanistan’s unity government has made progress on reform but remains dogged by endemic corruption and a resilient insurgency, says expert Christopher D. Kolenda.


China Vital to Countering a More Dangerous North Korea

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 11:25:33 -0400

North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a great danger to Northeast Asia and the United States. Washington should pursue policies that will induce Beijing to exert more pressure on its neighbor, says retired Admiral Mike Mullen. 


Understanding the Roots of Conflict in South Sudan

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 11:45:22 -0400

South Sudan’s civil war is the result of a weakly institutionalized state and may require the African Union’s intervention to find peace and stability, says expert Alex de Waal.


Understanding the Battle for Aleppo

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 17:13:47 -0400

The battle for Aleppo has taken a staggering civilian toll and it is likely to escalate because both regime and opposition forces see the city as crucial to a political endgame, says expert Lina Khatib. 


Scotland After Brexit

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 14:22:42 -0400

As a result of the Brexit vote to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom is likely to see another Scottish independence referendum in its future, says Chatham House’s Richard G. Whitman


Thailand's Democratic Erosion

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 14:35:22 -0400

The adoption of the junta-drafted constitution is the latest episode in the deterioration of Thailand's democratic system, writes CFR's Karen B. Brooks.


The Islamic State’s Bloody Summer

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 14:50:32 -0400

Despite facing territorial losses, the Islamic State shows no sign of relenting in its campaign to spread terror beyond Iraq and Syria, says journalist Rukmini Callimachi.


Is Rio Ready for the Olympic Games?

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 12:57:19 -0400

The Olympics will likely go smoothly, but spending and construction for the games will burden the city for years to come, says journalist Juliana Barbassa.


The Struggle Over Bangladesh's Future

Mon, 25 Jul 2016 12:06:22 -0400

The recent rise in Islamist violence in Bangladesh is caught up in a polarizing political debate over the country's identity, says CFR's Alyssa Ayres.


Turkey's Prospects After the Coup Attempt

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 14:32:00 -0400

Major tests lie ahead for Turkey's relations with the United States and European Union as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can be expected to consolidate power following a coup attempt, says expert Kemal Kirisci.