First Take

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

More Tense Times Ahead for U.S.-Pakistan

Author: Daniel S. Markey

Americans and Pakistanis have good reasons for mutual mistrust, and the killing of bin Laden by U.S. troops on Pakistani soil is likely to exacerbate that rather than lead to increased cooperation, says CFR's Daniel Markey.

See more in Terrorism; Pakistan

Yemen Crisis Spurs Regional Activism

Author: Thomas W. Lippman

A shaky deal to transfer power from Yemen's President Saleh brokered by the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council signals the emergence of the group as an active player in the region, says CFR's Thomas Lippman, even if the deal ultimately fails.

See more in Yemen; Political Movements and Protests

Nigerian Elections: Fraud and Rifts Feared

Author: John Campbell

The apparent victory of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria's presidential elections brings charges of fraud and ballot stuffing, similar to past flawed polls, writes CFR's John Campbell. It also deepens concerns about heightened rifts between Christians and Muslims.

See more in Nigeria; Elections

Triumph for West Africa in Gbagbo's Arrest

Author: John Campbell

Gbagbo's arrest in Ivory Coast vindicates the results of the Ivorian elections and sets a positive precedent for other African states, says CFR's John Campbell. However, Alassane Ouattara must deal with hundreds of thousands of displaced persons and determine how to govern a severely divided country.

See more in Ivory Coast

Obama's Sensible Oil and Gas Shift

Author: Michael A. Levi

President Obama's new tack on boosting oil and gas production marks a welcome strategy shift but he still must flesh out details while facing obstacles from the left and right, says CFR's Michael A. Levi.

See more in Energy Policy; United States; Oil