In Briefs

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

In Brief Filters and Cards

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Do Targeted Killings Weaken Terrorist Groups?
Targeted operations by U.S. forces have eliminated notorious leaders of armed extremist groups, al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri the latest among them. But how much they disrupt these terrorist organizations is questionable.
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
What Zawahiri’s Killing Means for al-Qaeda
Ayman al-Zawahiri leaves behind a robust network of strategically aligned but tactically independent al-Qaeda affiliates operating in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
United States
The Supreme Court’s EPA Ruling Will Delay U.S. Climate Action
The Supreme Court’s decision on the EPA also undermines Biden’s leadership in the global fight against climate change.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
NATO Countries Signal Resolve at Summit: What Does It Mean for Russia?
The Madrid summit paved the way for Finland and Sweden to join and underscored that Russia is NATO’s chief security threat. But the alliance’s new defensive efforts aren’t likely to change Putin’s strategy in Ukraine.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
How NATO Will Change If Finland and Sweden Become Members
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.
Ukraine
Ukraine Could Become an EU Member. What Would That Mean?
Ukraine’s first steps toward eventual EU membership are the start of a long process that has raised the stakes in the country’s war with Russia.
Japan
Fifty Years Later, Okinawa Is Still a Strategic Crossroads
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.
United States
How Is Biden Handling DACA?
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
Escalating Violence Is Putting Nigeria’s Future on the Line
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.
Iran
Three Challenges That Are Testing Iran’s Regime
Iran is facing international pressure over its nuclear program and assassinations of top officials. Meanwhile, its move to lift subsidies could stir public revolt.
Americas
What’s at Stake for Biden at the 2022 Summit of the Americas
With the United States hosting the regional meeting for the first time since 1994, all eyes are on how President Biden will navigate growing divisions over democracy, migration, and other issues.
Indo-Pacific
The Quad Is Getting More Ambitious in the Indo-Pacific
The leaders of the United States, Australia, India, and Japan held their fourth Quad meeting in May. After a year dedicated to fighting the pandemic, here’s what they pledged to take on next.
China
Biden’s Grand China Strategy: Eloquent but Inadequate
The Biden administration’s freshly announced China strategy offers a welcome change in tone but few new policies.
Ukraine
Ukraine Should Wait on Cease-Fire Talks With Russia. Here’s Why.
Ukraine has rejected recent calls by the West for it to settle its war with Russia. Ukrainian leaders believe they have a chance to reclaim territory lost in the early fighting—and that they can do so before serious negotiations begin.
South Korea
How Biden and Yoon Are Strengthening the U.S.-South Korea Alliance
Presidents Biden and Yoon pledged to deepen and broaden the scope of the U.S.-South Korea alliance, but their success could depend on how China, Japan, and North Korea respond.