Explainers

  • Higher education provides students many socioeconomic benefits and increases the global competitiveness of the United States, but mounting student loan debt has sparked a debate over federal lending policies.
  • The United States has long tried to negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but several factors, including deep divisions between and within the parties and declining U.S. interest in carrying out its traditional honest-broker role, hurt the chances of a peace deal.
  • President Trump sent U.S. troops to the border with Mexico to supplement the work of authorities there. President Biden pledges a new approach as pressures mount along the boundary.
  • Amid an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, debate continues over how to improve the nation’s infrastructure, as analysts say U.S. transportation, water, and other systems face major shortfalls.
  • Max Boot, CFR's Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow in national security studies, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss President Biden's recent announcement to completely withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan before September 11, 2021.
  • The United States sets in motion a complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan, dozens of world leaders are invited to a U.S.-led climate summit, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga meets with President Joe Biden at the White House.
  • Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, managing partner at Lindsay Goldberg, and retired Admiral Gary Roughead, Robert and Marion Oster distinguished military fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, sit down with James M. Lindsay to discuss what China’s global infrastructure initiative means for the United States and the world. Secretary Lew and Admiral Roughead co-chaired the CFR Task Force Report, China’s Belt and Road: Implications for the United States.
  • 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since its inception in 1921, the Council has been guided by an unwavering set of core principles: independence, nonpartisanship, and a commitment to producing quality, policy-relevant scholarship. The CFR’s mission, to provide the analysis and context necessary to inform America’s foreign policy choices and to increase public understanding of the world and why it matters, remains as urgent today as at any time in the past century.
  • A global pandemic, elections, civil unrest, and much more. The year 2020 was like no other. Take a look back at how the Council on Foreign Relations brought together renowned experts and leaders to unpack one of the most challenging times for the United States and the world.
  • How is a vaccine developed? Can a vaccine end the COVID-19 pandemic? Senior Fellow Tom Bollyky answers pressing questions about the search for a coronavirus vaccine.
  • Human rights activists now say China's crackdown on Uighur Muslims meets the criteria of genocide. Here's why.
  • Onetime allies, the United States and Iran have seen tensions escalate repeatedly in the four decades since the Islamic Revolution.
  • The Taliban insurgency remains resilient nearly two decades after U.S.-led forces toppled its regime in what led to the United States’ longest war.
  • Since 1949, U.S.-China relations have evolved from tense standoffs to a complex mix of intensifying diplomacy, growing international rivalry, and increasingly intertwined economies.
  • For more than a century, countries have wrestled with how to improve international cooperation in the face of major outbreaks of infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic, which killed more than 2.5 million people and brought the world to a near halt in 2020, underscores the urgency.