Explainers

  • Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border each year, sparking debate over how to respond. A recent rise in their numbers has challenged the Biden administration.
  • Ukraine has struggled to forge an independent path, torn between Europe and the United States in the West and its long-standing ties to Russia in the East.
  • In the wake of President Trump’s combative approach to trade, and with major negotiations stalled, the future of global trade rules is in doubt.  
  • International efforts, such as the Paris Agreement, aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But experts say countries aren’t doing enough to limit dangerous global warming.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden hosts a virtual Summit for Democracy, the omicron variant begins to spread worldwide, and Germany is expected to elect Olaf Scholz as its next chancellor.
  • Ambassador Mark Lippert, vice chairman of the Halifax Forum and senior advisor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies Korea Chair, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss U.S.-South Korean relations and the Biden administration’s broader Indo-Pacific strategy.
  • Sophia Besch, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the current state of transatlantic relations and whether Europeans think America is “back,” as President Joe Biden claims.
  • As the focus on environmental and social justice issues has increased, green parties have grown in influence across many countries. Here’s how they’re reshaping today’s political landscape.
  • A handful of countries including China and Russia are breaking new ground in developing space weapons. Does that mean the world is headed for an arms race in space?
  • There were 2.8 million Afghan refugees in 2020, half of whom were living in Pakistan. Here are the countries that could host many of the Afghans fleeing the country after the Taliban’s takeover.
  • Only eight out of nearly fifty sub-Saharan countries are considered free. Here’s why democracy is declining across the region.
  • Since 1992, when the United Nations recognized climate change as a serious issue, negotiations among countries have produced notable accords, such as the Paris Agreement. But leaders have struggled to maintain momentum and failed to slow global temperature rise.
  • The United States' dependence on oil has long influenced its foreign policy. This three-part timeline traces the story of U.S. oil development, and the resulting geopolitical competition and environmental concerns, in more than forty milestones. The three major periods include the rise of oil as a commodity, beginning in 1850; the post-WWII age of geopolitical competition; and the current era of deregulation and diversification.
  • Over the two centuries since Colombia’s independence, the relationship between Washington and Bogota has evolved into a close economic and security partnership. But it has at times been strained by U.S. intervention, Cold War geopolitics, and the war on drugs.
  • The Taliban surged back to power two decades after U.S.-led forces toppled its regime in what led to the United States’ longest war.