Explainers
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for reform.
  • Some governments and businesses are starting to use digital and paper passes that certify a person has been immunized against COVID-19, spurring debate over the ethics of vaccine passports.
  • Armenia has been riven by disputes over its leadership since its military defeat by Azerbaijan last fall. Newly called elections are unlikely to reconcile the divisions in Armenian society caused by the battlefield losses.
  • Thousands of people are arriving at the U.S. southern border after fleeing the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. President Biden is reviving efforts to tackle the problems that are prompting them to migrate. 
  • With fresh agreement on sharing costs for the nearly thirty thousand U.S. troops in South Korea, the Biden administration can now focus on bolstering the alliance and addressing challenges posed by China and North Korea.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Kurds are one of the world’s largest peoples without a state, making up sizable minorities in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Their century-old quest for independence is marked by marginalization and persecution.