In Briefs

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

In Brief Filters and Cards

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.
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.
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 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.
Middle East and North Africa
What Lebanon’s Election Results Mean for Ending Its Crisis
Hezbollah and its allies suffered serious losses in May’s parliamentary elections, and a divided Parliament will likely struggle to agree on a path out of Lebanon’s current crisis.
Colombia’s 2022 Presidential Election: What to Know
Colombia’s election could deliver the country’s first left-wing president, an outcome with the potential to transform Bogota’s approaches to economic policy, peace negotiations, and foreign relations.
Putin’s Long Game in Ukraine: The Kremlin Perspective
As the world anticipates Russia’s next move in Ukraine, one of Vladimir Putin’s top advisors has laid out how Moscow sees the future of its struggle against the West.
What the China-Solomon Islands Pact Means for the U.S. and South Pacific
The recent China-Solomon Islands security agreement has sparked concerns among the United States and its allies about a Chinese naval presence in strategically important waters. In response, Washington should ramp up diplomacy in the South Pacific.
El Salvador
Why Has Gang Violence Spiked in El Salvador?
El Salvador’s homicide rate plummeted in recent years, but a spate of killings has drawn attention to President Nayib Bukele’s controversial approach to tackling gang violence.
Middle East and North Africa
Why Turkey Is Resetting Relations With Saudi Arabia
Rapprochement between Turkey and Saudi Arabia will likely restore a vital trade link as Erdogan’s government moves to improve regional ties amid deep economic troubles.
Political Participation in China: What’s Allowed Under Xi?
President Xi Jinping has increasingly suppressed online activism and protests about COVID-19 and a variety of other issues. What avenues for political expression do Chinese citizens have?
When Will COVID-19 Become Endemic?
Some government leaders are optimistic that COVID-19 is becoming endemic, meaning more predictable and manageable. But many scientists say it’s too soon to behave like the pandemic is over.
Latin America
What Colombia’s Legalization of Abortion Means for Latin America
Latin America has historically had some of the world’s most restrictive abortion policies, but Colombia’s easing of rules signals a growing wave of change.
Middle East and North Africa
How Russia’s War in Ukraine Could Amplify Food Insecurity in the Mideast
The war is threatening the region’s access to much-needed supplies, but certain countries are more vulnerable than others to food shortages and unrest.