Explainers

  • Japan’s Okinawa islands still have an outsize importance to U.S. military operations in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in deterring a Chinese attack against Taiwan.
  • NATO leaders are gathering in Madrid for their annual summit, and two Nordic states are making their case for membership as Russia’s war in Ukraine grinds on. Here’s what alliance enlargement would mean.
  • The Obama-era policy protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation has faced a raft of legal challenges. It could be up to the Supreme Court to decide the program’s fate.
  • Nigeria is experiencing a dramatic upsurge in everyday violence, including abductions, religiously motivated attacks, assaults by armed gangs, and police brutality. Authorities are failing to contain the chaos, risking the future of Africa’s powerhouse.
  • Summits of the Group of Seven (G7) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will kick off with discussions on critical issues including the war in Ukraine, COVID-19, and the climate crisis. Also, the United Nations will vote on a vital humanitarian aid channel between Turkey and Syria.   
  • Aaron L. Friedberg, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss how the United States got China wrong and what the Biden administration can do to rectify its China strategy.
  • David Sacks, research fellow at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the Biden administration’s strategy toward Taiwan amid growing threats from China.
  • After the British government handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997, Beijing promised to let the city keep its capitalist economy and some of its democratic freedoms under the “one country, two systems” approach. However, Hong Kong’s future looks grim as Beijing increasingly cracks down on protests, free press, and dissent.
  • In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates seventy years on the throne. With Barbados the latest country to sever its ties to the British Crown, debate over whether to stay in the Commonwealth is spreading across the Caribbean. Why are countries choosing to leave, and what could that mean for the future of the monarchy?
  • 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.
  • The United States’ dependence on oil has long influenced its foreign policy. U.S. oil development spans three major periods: the rise of oil as a commodity, beginning in 1850; the post–World War II age of geopolitical competition; and the post–Cold War era of deregulation and diversification. Most recently, Russia’s war with Ukraine has aggravated geopolitical tensions and revived the debate about U.S. energy independence.
  • Since Fidel Castro’s ascent to power in 1959, U.S.-Cuba ties have endured a nuclear crisis, a long U.S. economic embargo, and political hostilities. The diplomatic relationship remained frozen well beyond the end of the Cold War but moved toward normalization during the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, whose policies were largely rolled back under President Donald Trump.
  • 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.
  • The financial meltdown that started with the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble had worldwide economic repercussions, including recessions, far-reaching regulations, and deep-seated political discontent. Track its buildup and aftermath.