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Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin August 2016: Spotlight on American Leadership, Religious Persecution, and U.S. Immigration Policy

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August 2016

Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin

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Spotlight on American Leadership, Religious Persecution Around the World, and U.S. Immigration Policy

This month, the CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin features recent publications and commentary on the future of American leadership, the plight of religious minorities around the world, and the role of immigration policy in the U.S. presidential election. Explore the latest articles and expert analysis from CFR and Foreign Affairs.


Building on Success: Opportunities for the Next Administration


Reflecting on the legacy of the Obama administration and looking toward the next, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. affirms that “in the face of enormous challenges and unprecedented opportunities, the world needs steady American leadership more than ever.” Read the Foreign Affairs article »

The Isolationist Temptation

The United States is in the midst of a new foreign policy debate pitting a besieged traditional internationalism against an energized new isolationism, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. In a time of rising populism and high stakes for global security, “it is important to remind Americans of the benefits of U.S. leadership—and the likely costs of abdication.” Read more »

Diagnosing and Deciding Military Interventions: Insights From Surgical Scholarship

To illustrate how decision-making is an inherently complicated and contested process, CFR’s Micah Zenko and Jennifer Wilson draw an unorthodox analogy between a president’s decision to intervene militarily and a surgeon’s decision to operate on a patient. Read more in Politics, Power, and Preventive Action »

Foreign Affairs 2016 Student Essay Competition

A panel from the Foreign Affairs editorial staff and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy will select one undergraduate essay for publication on the Foreign Affairs website. Access participation guidelines for the 2016 Student Essay Competition here.


The Refugee Problem in New York

The 71st United Nations General Assembly begins next month and global responsibility sharing on migration and refugees is expected to be a top priority. Enumerating steps world leaders might take to mitigate the ongoing migration crisis, CFR President Richard N. Haass calls attention to the glaring gap between what needs to be done to meet this global challenge and what the world is prepared to do. Read more »

The Persecution of Religious Minorities

Thomas J. Reese and Elizabeth K. Cassidy of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) answer questions about USCIRF’s 2016 Annual Report and the persecution of religious minorities around the world. Listen to the conversation »

Myanmar’s Religious Problem: How to Deal With Discrimination

The United States Institute of Peace’s Susan Hayward and the University of Oxford’s Matthew J. Walton caution that to avoid doing more harm than good, the United States and other foreign governments and organizations will need to carefully navigate Myanmar’s domestic realities when intervening in issues of religious conflict and discrimination. Read more on »

Foreign Affairs LIVE: Graduate School Fair 2016

On September 13, 2016, join Foreign Affairs for a panel discussion on the future of U.S. grand strategy moderated by Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose. Then, attend CFR’s annual APSIA Graduate School Admission Fair featuring over two dozen of the most prestigious universities in international affairs and public policy. Register today!


Campaign 2016: Immigration

Track and compare where presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on immigration reform. Campaign 2016, CFR’s interactive hub, provides candidate profiles, issue guides, comparison tools, and short explainer videos of the top foreign policy priorities that the next president of the United States will face. Explore the interactive guide »

Religion and Refugee Resettlement in the United States


In this Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call, the U.S. State Department’s Shaun Casey and RefugeeOne’s Melineh Kano discuss the role of religious communities in refugee resettlement in the United States. Read the transcript »

Immigration Policy and the U.S. Presidential Election

Reforming U.S. immigration policy has been a touchstone of political debate for decades as policymakers consider U.S. labor demands and border security concerns. Meanwhile, the fates of the estimated eleven million undocumented immigrants in the country lie in the balance. Watch the video »


The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.


The CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative connects religious and congregational leaders, scholars, and thinkers with CFR's resources on U.S. foreign policy and provides a forum for this community to discuss a broad range of pressing international issues. For more information, please contact McCourt Noonan, associate director for the National Program & Outreach, at 212.434.9848 or


CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Portal,, is a "first stop" on the internet for members of the religious community seeking information on and analysis of U.S. foreign policy and global developments. In addition to a wide range of CFR materials—including work from the think tank, interviews with experts, meeting transcripts, and new backgrounders—users will find analysis and documents from other sources that have been carefully selected by the website's editorial staff for their relevance and quality.

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