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Profile: Council on Foreign Relations

 
  

Positions that Council on Foreign Relations has held:



 

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Council on Foreign Relations actively participated in the following events:

 
  

April 12, 2001: Report on Energy Security Argues US Needs to Review Policy on Iraq      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       A report commissioned by former US Secretary of State James Baker and the Council on Foreign Relations, titled “Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century,” is completed and submitted to Vice President Dick Cheney. The report was drafted by the James A.Baker III Institute for Public Policy. Edward L. Morse, an energy industry analyst, chaired the project, and Amy Myers Jaffe was the project's director. The paper urges the US to formulate a comprehensive, integrated strategic energy policy to address the current energy crisis, which it attributes to infrastructural restraints, rapid global economic expansion, and the presence of obstacles to foreign investment in the oil-rich Middle East. The report says the world's supply of oil is not a factor in the crisis. “The reasons for the energy challenge have nothing to do with the global hydrocarbon resource base. ... The world will not run short of hydrocarbons in the foreseeable future,” the paper insists. One of the report's recommendations is to “[r]eview policies toward Iraq” with the ultimate goal of “eas[ing] Iraqi oil-field investment restrictions.” Iraq, under the leadership of Saddam Hussein remains a “destabilizing influence ... to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East.” It also notes, “Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets.” Therefore, the report says, the “United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq, including military, energy, economic, and political/diplomatic assessments.” [Sunday Herald, 10/05/02; Sydney Morning Herald, 12/26/02 Sources: Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century]
People and organizations involved: James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University, Amy Myers Jaffe, Edward L. Morse, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, James Baker, Council on Foreign Relations  Additional Info 
          

July 30, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) publishes a report, entitled, “Public Diplomacy: A Strategy for Reform,” concluding that, “There is little doubt that stereotypes of the United States as arrogant, self-indulgent, hypocritical, inattentive, and unwilling or unable to engage in cross-cultural dialogue are pervasive and deeply rooted.” As a solution, the report recommends developing “a coherent strategic and coordinating framework, including a presidential directive on public diplomacy and a Public Diplomacy Coordinating Structure led by the president's personal designee.” The short term public diplomacy objective would be to “influence opinions and mobilize publics in ways that support specific US interests and policies.” However, the long term goal would be to promote “dialogue in ways that are politically, culturally, and socially,” the report says. [Miami Herald, 8/13/02; Guardian, 7/31/02 Sources: Public Diplomacy: A Strategy for Reform]
People and organizations involved: Council on Foreign Relations
          

July 2004      US confrontation with Iran

       The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) publishes a 79-page report, titled “Iran: Time for a New Approach,” urging Washington to resume talks with Tehran. The study, co-chaired by Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), argues against the view—held by many prominent neoconservatives in Washington—that Iranians would welcome a US-led effort to change Iran's government. “Despite considerable political flux and popular dissatisfaction,” the report says, “Iran is not on the verge of another revolution. Those forces that are committed to preserving Iran's current system remain firmly in control.” Instead, it argues, Washington should resume bilateral talks with the government. The authors of the report also argue that the administration should discourage Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear facilities because of the “extremely adverse consequences” that such an action would have on Western relations with Iran and because it would likely provoke an Iranian retaliation against US positions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report recommends a five-step process: [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004 Sources: Iran: Time for a New Approach]
The US should offer Tehran a “direct dialog on specific issues of regional stabilization.” [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]
The administration should work out an agreement with Iran on the status of al-Qaeda operatives being detained by Tehran and that of the militant Iranian exile group, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq which is currently being held in US custody in Iraq. Tehran would have to agree not to provide any support to groups seeking to violently oppose the governments in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]
The administration should work with Europe and Russia to negotiate an agreement with Iran requiring it to permanently ban all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. In exchange, The US should end its objections to an Iranian civil nuclear program. [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]
Washington should take a lead role in resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, which the report notes is “central to eventually stemming the tide of extremism in the region” [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]
The US should encourage an expansion of trade and relations between Iran and the wider world and support Iran's application to begin accession talks with the World Trade Organization (WTO). [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]
People and organizations involved: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Council on Foreign Relations
          

January 12, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       The Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC hosts the “Transition 2005: US Policy Toward Iran” discussion with David Kay and Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brookings Institution. Pollack states that “...the MEK as best I can tell, [inaudible] on the intelligence community, has very little support inside of Iran.” [Council on Foreign Relations, 1/12/2005]
People and organizations involved: Council on Foreign Relations, David Kay, Kenneth Pollack
          

April 2, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       Fox News interviews two retired US military generals and a military expert and asks them to discuss the Bush administration's military options for dealing with Iran. [Fox News, 4/24/2005] They offer four possible scenarios:
Covert action - The Bush administration could send CIA agents or commandos to sabotage Iran's nuclear facilities.
Naval blockade - The US could implement a naval blockade at the Strait of Hormuz and halt Iranian oil exports.
Surgical strikes - The US could launch cruise missiles at Iran's nuclear facilities. “We are moving some aircraft carrier groups into the Persian Gulf as we speak,” notes retired Army Major Gen. Paul Vallely. “They will be positioned to launch any aircraft from the Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.” After the cruise missiles, F-117 stealth fighter jets would destroy the country's radar system and B-2 bombers would drop 5,000-pound laser-guided bunker busters on buried targets like the Natanz enrichment site or the deep tunnels in Isfahan.
All-out assault - An all-out assault involving ground troops, according to the experts interviewed by Fox, would be the least likely scenario.
People and organizations involved: Council on Foreign Relations
          

April 26, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       Leslie Gelb, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), returns from a trip to Iraq and complains that Washington is exhibiting a “totally unrealistic optimism” about events in that country. Gelb, a former Pentagon official, also says in his report that the US military is preparing Iraqis for a future war with Iran. “It became very apparent to me that these 10 divisions were to fight some future war against Iran. It had nothing to do—nothing to do—with taking that country over from us and fighting the insurgents,” Gelb concludes. [Boston Globe, 6/17/2005; Council on Foreign Relations, 4/26/2005]
People and organizations involved: Council on Foreign Relations
          

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