In Briefs

Succinct rundowns on the world’s most important developments, produced by CFR’s scholars and editorial team. 

In Brief Filters and Cards

When Will COVID-19 Become Endemic?
Government leaders are optimistic that COVID-19 is becoming more predictable and manageable, but the pandemic isn’t over yet.
Military Operations
What Is Russia’s Wagner Group Doing in Africa?
Russia’s Wagner Group has intervened in the affairs of several African countries, providing military and security support while expanding Moscow’s influence across the continent.
What Is the Extent of Sudan’s Humanitarian Crisis?
As armed conflict rages on, Sudan’s devastating humanitarian crisis continues to worsen. More than one million people could flee to neighboring countries, threatening regional upheaval.
Here’s How to Read Turkey’s Election Results—So Far
Turkey’s presidential runoff election set for May 28 appears to favor longtime incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with little chance that he will ease up on his authoritarian ways.
Syria Is Normalizing Relations With Arab Countries. Who Will Benefit?
The Assad regime and Arab capitals will reap the greatest rewards, but ordinary citizens and certain foreign governments involved in Syria’s war have less to gain.
Why the Situation in Cuba Is Deteriorating
Cuba’s authoritarian regime has failed to avert an economic crisis, repair decaying state institutions, and prevent the country’s largest outflow of migrants since the 1960s.
United States
How to Prepare for the Future After Seven Decades of the U.S.-South Korea Alliance
The United States and South Korea are marking their seventy-year alliance with a state visit amid tighter defense collaboration. But the alliance “forged in blood” should now evolve to be powered by chips, batteries, and clean technology.
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive: Will It Retake Crimea?
Ukraine remains intent on wresting Crimea back from Russia, but doing so would be difficult, and the peninsula could become a bargaining chip in future diplomatic talks.
Thailand’s Elections Are a Critical Moment for the Kingdom—and the Region
Thailand’s May 14 national elections could see an overwhelming opposition victory, but the military aligned with the king may try to manipulate the results. That would be a disastrous setback.
Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Mapping U.S. and Russian Deployments
Russia’s threat to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus has raised the specter of a new nuclear standoff with the United States and its allies in Europe. It also draws new attention to how such arms are deployed in NATO states.
Putin-Xi Summit Reinforces Anti-U.S. Partnership
The meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Moscow helped both give the impression of a united front, but underlying tensions were also discernible.
How Peru’s Crisis Could Send Shockwaves Through the Region
The mass protests that have rocked Peru since December threaten to upend regional supply chains, intensify migration flows, and strain Lima’s bilateral relations.  
Southeast Asia
War-Torn Myanmar Plans to Hold Elections. Will They Matter?
The two-year-old military junta in Myanmar wants to hold elections this year to legitimize its rule, but steady losses in its spreading civil war have put its own existence in peril and could make a vote nearly impossible.
United States
Can Biden’s New Asylum Policy Help Solve the Migrant Crisis?
The Biden administration’s proposed immigration policy aims to curb migrant flows to the United States amid record border crossings. What will it do, and how does it compare to the Trump years?
How Bad Is Ukraine’s Humanitarian Crisis a Year Later?
A year after Russia’s invasion, Ukraine is suffering a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. The outflow of millions of refugees has placed a strain on neighboring countries.