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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Fiscal Cliff Update: The Lingering Uncertainty

by Toni Johnson
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker of the House John Boehner the first day of the 113th Congress in Washington January 3, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters) Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker of the House John Boehner the first day of the 113th Congress in Washington January 3, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters)

Congress was able to come to a last minute deal to stave off going over the so-called fiscal cliff, with President Obama signing a compromise fiscal package into law on January 2, 2013. 

This chart compares several alternative fiscal cliff proposals with the final compromise legislation courtesy of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Read more »

Video Brief Roundup: India, Africa, and Latin America

by Newsteam Staff

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Daniel Markey on India

The incoming administration must be prepared for “a significant potential for near-term crisis” between India and its historical rival Pakistan, says CFR’s Daniel Markey. The president will also have to engage with India on top foreign policy priorities including Iran’s nuclear program and the U.S. departure from Afghanistan, Markey says.

Read more »

Video Brief Roundup: Climate Change and Energy

by Newsteam Staff

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Michael Levi on Climate Change

The Obama administration will face at least three sets of climate challenges including reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, facing international pressure, and developing climate-friendly technology, says CFR’s Michael Levi. The United States must also be prepared for a potential “clean energy race” to invent new clean technologies and capture the markets for these technologies, Levi says.

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Video Brief Roundup: Arab Revolutions and the UN

by Newsteam Staff

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Steven A. Cook on the Arab Revolutions

The administration will likely confront a greatly changed Middle East political landscape due to ongoing civil upheaval, says Steven A. Cook, CFR’s senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies. He says the president will have to grapple with the fact that the regional political order “that made it relatively easier and relatively less expensive for the United States to pursue its interests in the Middle East has been turned over.”

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Video Brief Roundup: Pakistan, China, and North Korea

by Newsteam Staff

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Daniel Markey on Pakistan

In this video, Daniel Markey, CFR’s senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, discusses the strategic importance of Pakistan, saying the administration “will be forced to come to terms with the fact that there are no good options when it comes to Pakistan.”

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Video Brief Roundup: Foreign Aid, Global Economy, and Trade

by Newsteam Staff

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows and other experts on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Isobel Coleman on Foreign Aid

Isobel Coleman, director of CFR’s Civil Societies, Markets, and Democracy Initiative says the incoming administration will have to retain the relevancy of U.S. foreign aid programs in an environment where the role of official foreign assistance from governments has dramatically reduced. The next administration will likely continue to shift aid resources away from Iraq and Afghanistan, and away from middle-income countries towards poorer countries, Coleman says.

Read more »

Cabinet Update: Kerry Tapped to be Secretary of State

by Newsteam Staff
Senator Kerry speaks to reporters after his meeting with south Sudan's President Kiir in Juba January 8, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters) Senator John Kerry in South Sudan, January 2011. (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters)

President Obama nominated Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) (BostonGlobe) to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state on Friday. “In a sense, John’s entire life has prepared him for this role,” Obama said during an appearance with Kerry at the White House. Read more »

Congress Update: New House and Senate Committee Chairs

by Newsteam Staff
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaks during an immigration reform rally in front of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill October 13, 2009. (Jose Luis Magana/Courtesy Reuters) Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaks during an immigration reform rally in front of the U.S. Capitol, October 13, 2009. (Jose Luis Magana/Courtesy Reuters)

In the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin examines Rep. Ed Royce’s (R-CA) views on topics like Libya, the Arab Spring, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Dueling Press Conferences

by Newsteam Staff
Sens. Schumer and Harkin discuss Boehner's Plan B on fiscal reform in Washington December 19, 2012. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters) Sens. Schumer and Harkin discuss Boehner's Plan B on fiscal reform in Washington December 19, 2012. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters)

President Obama gave a press conference Wednesday during which he answered questions on the fiscal cliff, saying:

[U]p until about a couple of days ago, if you looked at it, the Republicans in the House and Speaker Boehner I think were in a position to say, we’ve gotten a fair deal.  The fact that they haven’t taken it yet is puzzling and I think a question that you’re going to have to address to them. Read more »