Explainers

  • Hezbollah and its allies suffered serious losses in May’s parliamentary elections, and a divided Parliament will likely struggle to agree on a path out of Lebanon’s current crisis.
  • Colombia’s election could deliver the country’s first left-wing president, an outcome with the potential to transform Bogota’s approaches to economic policy, peace negotiations, and foreign relations.
  • As the world anticipates Russia’s next move in Ukraine, one of Vladimir Putin’s top advisors has laid out how Moscow sees the future of its struggle against the West.
  • The recent China-Solomon Islands security agreement has sparked concerns among the United States and its allies about a Chinese naval presence in strategically important waters. In response, Washington should ramp up diplomacy in the South Pacific.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden visits Japan and South Korea, the seventy-fifth World Health Assembly takes place in Geneva, and Australians vote in a general election.
  • Sheila A. Smith, CFR’s John E. Merow senior fellow for Asia-Pacific studies, and Scott A. Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at CFR, sit down with James M. Lindsay to discuss what to expect from U.S. President Joe Biden’s upcoming trip to Japan and South Korea.
  • For the past two thousand years, the pope has been a major player in global affairs. He is frequently called upon to act as a peace broker, a mediator, an advocate, and an influencer; and with over 1.3 billion followers around the world, the pope and his governmental arm, the Holy See, have the power to shape the future. How has the pope's power changed over time, and what is his role today?  
  • As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, CFR celebrates a decade of hosting the annual Conference on Diversity in International Affairs (CDIA) in collaboration with the Global Access Pipeline and the International Career Advancement Program.
  • Since the creation of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in 1980, more than three million refugees have been accepted into the country. Until recently, the United States was the world’s top country for taking in refugees. However, bans on refugees from certain countries significantly curtailed admissions during the Donald Trump administration and reignited a debate over the program’s national security implications. Now, President Joe Biden has pledged to restore the program as crises worsen in places such as Afghanistan and Ukraine.
  • Since it went into effect seventy-five years ago, Japan’s constitution has prevented the country from engaging in combat. But China’s growing military power and North Korea’s increasing threats raised concerns about the strength of Japan’s defenses. Some Japanese politicians have called for a revised constitution so the country can effectively confront twenty-first century challenges. Already, Japan’s defense spending is steadily rising, and the Japanese military is now allowed to work with other militaries, including the United States’. Still, some Japanese people are wary of constitutional change, which has protected them from conflict. Can Japan maintain its pacifist constitution?
  • Russian forces have been accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, including an apparent massacre in the city of Bucha and the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol. What’s the difference between these types of grave crimes, and who has the authority to prosecute them?
  • The nuclear arms race was perhaps the most alarming feature of the Cold War competition between the United States and Soviet Union. Over the decades, the two sides signed various arms control agreements as a means to manage their rivalry and limit the risk of nuclear war. However, deep fissures have reemerged in the U.S.-Russia relationship in recent years, raising once again the specter of a nuclear arms race.
  • With brazen terrorist attacks at home and abroad, the Somalia-based Islamist insurgent group has proved resilient despite strategic setbacks in recent years.
  • 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.
  • Immigration has been an important element of U.S. economic and cultural vitality since the country’s founding. This interactive timeline outlines the evolution of U.S. immigration policy after World War II.