Explainers

  • A group of more than one hundred countries has agreed to a historic rewrite of global tax rules. Here’s what to know.
  • The swift development of effective vaccines against the new coronavirus was an unprecedented scientific achievement. But production challenges, vaccine nationalism, and new virus strains have all presented hurdles.
  • Tariffs have been applied over the years to protect homegrown industries and target competitors who are seen as using unfair trade practices. They impose costs on both importers and exporters and had been in decline until the recent U.S.-China trade spat.
  • Africa continues to have more peacekeeping missions than any other continent. As conflict-stricken countries increasingly look outside the United Nations for support, experts say reforms are necessary to improve peacebuilding.
  • World Food Day is marked amid a rise in global food insecurity, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defense ministers convene in Brussels, and a Libya in turmoil notes the tenth anniversary of Muammar al-Qaddafi’s assassination.
  • Experts argue that Mexico affects daily life in the United States more than any other country. For years, U.S. and Mexican officials have attempted to tackle immigration, trade, and security challenges, and their success has depended on cooperation. With so much at stake, Why It Matters investigates the complex relationship and the factors that threaten it.   
  • Miles Kahler, senior fellow for global governance at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the recent Pandora Papers leak, and the broader problem of global corruption.
  • 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.
  • There’s a one-in-five chance the fish you ate for dinner was caught illegally. Illegal fishing is devastating ecosystems and coastal communities. Here’s what countries are doing about it.
  • Increased infrastructure spending could improve U.S. economic competitiveness, including by reducing traffic congestion, better preparing for extreme weather events, and improving broadband access.
  • 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.
  • The events of September 11, 2001, set in motion sweeping changes to U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism practices, launched two major wars, and altered Americans’ daily routines. This timeline traces three pivotal years whose reverberations continue today.
  • Iran’s Islamic revolution, which brought Shias to power in 1979, and the Sunni backlash have fueled a competition for regional dominance. This timeline highlights Sunni-Shia tensions in recent decades.