First Take

Concise, timely analysis by CFR fellows and experts on breaking news with major U.S. foreign policy implications.


Domestic Politics and NATO's 'Sensible' Summit

Author: Charles A. Kupchan

The NATO summit in Lisbon ended with a new Strategic Concept, greater cooperation with Russia, and an agreement on Afghanistan, but these successes will be impacted by domestic politics and economic constraints among all the NATO members, says CFR's Charles Kupchan.

See more in NATO

Brazil's Rousseff: Continuity and Tests

Author: Julia E. Sweig

The election of Dilma Rousseff as president assures stability on domestic policies that have propelled Brazil in the Lula years, but China and the United States loom as foreign policy challenges, says CFR's Julia Sweig.

See more in Brazil; Elections

Author: Steven Dunaway

U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner signaled the administration's frustration with China's exchange rate policy, while stopping short of endorsing congressional action. But unless China acts soon, the U.S. may have no other choice than to apply sanctions, writes CFR's Steven Dunaway.

See more in China; Sanctions

Continuity for Japan's Government

Author: Sheila A. Smith

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's reelection as head of Japan's ruling Democratic Party means some long-needed continuity in Japanese government, but the party needs to demonstrate its effectiveness, says CFR's Sheila Smith.

See more in Japan; Elections