Explainers

  • The first summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin eased some of the tension in the fraught U.S.-Russia relationship. It also laid bare the difficult path ahead to resolving differences on many issues, including cybersecurity and human rights.
  • Iran holds its presidential election on June 18, and turnout is expected to be low as the country deals with a battered economy and the ongoing pandemic. But does the Iranian president matter?
  • Several countries are considering boycotting the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. What could a boycott accomplish, and how might China respond?
  • Some experts are sounding the alarm over rising inflation in the United States, despite assurances from the Federal Reserve. Here’s what to know.
  • In this special episode of The World Next Week, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Carla Anne Robbins joins James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon to discuss the books they recommend reading, the books they’re looking forward to reading, and the books they’re reading for fun. Read more about Jim, Bob, and Carla’s picks on Jim’s blog, The Water’s Edge.
  • Will the world have enough water to survive in the era of climate change? Could a shortage of silicon chips eventually lead to war? Do human spies matter in the era of cyber espionage? Why It Matters is back for its fourth season, unpacking new problems and speaking with a host of new guests.
  • Suzanne Maloney, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss what’s at stake when Iranians head to the polls later this week.
  • A civil war, demolished infrastructure, and millions of people at risk of starvation. Here’s why Yemen’s is considered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
  • China and India have disputed their shared border for years—they even went to war in 1962. Here’s what to know about the latest escalation between the two Asian giants.
  • Tens of thousands of migrants from a region known as the Northern Triangle are arriving at the U.S. southern border. Here’s why they’re making the arduous journey.
  • Three years ago, Abiy Ahmed came to power with promises of peace. Now, jarring reports of killings and sexual violence have come out of Tigray, Ethiopia’s northernmost region. Here’s what to know about the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
  • 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 1945, many regime leaders and key figures have been brought before domestic and international courts to answer to charges including genocide and crimes against humanity, amid a larger struggle to promote and enforce the rule of law worldwide.
  • 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.