In Briefs

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

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United States
Biden at the UN: Inclusive Internationalism
Amid renewed calls for changes in the world order, U.S. President Joe Biden sought to stress his support for greater inclusion of developing nations in addressing economic, social, and climate concerns.
Territorial Disputes
Azerbaijan’s Pressure on Nagorno-Karabakh: What to Know
Azerbaijan appears to have eased a blockade that had cut off food and medical supplies to the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, but there are still heightened concerns about conditions facing more than one hundred thousand civilians there.
Could a U.S.-Iran Deal Lead to a Nuclear Thaw?
News of Iran’s upcoming release of U.S. nationals and the unfreezing of Iranian assets has stirred speculation of a new nuclear deal. But there are many obstacles to such a breakthrough.
North Korea
The Perils of a Renewed North Korea-Russia Relationship
Warming relations between the two pariah states could foster a mutually beneficial weapons and technology trade and raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Thailand’s Turbulence: Implications for the Region and the World
Thailand’s national elections saw a resounding vote for democratic change, but the ruling elite have maneuvered to preserve power, potentially setting in motion another round of political upheaval.
President Biden Has Banned Some U.S. Investment in China. Here’s What to Know.
The Joe Biden administration says the restrictions are directed at protecting national security, not stifling economic competition.
Zimbabwe’s Flawed Election Results Meet With Regional Skepticism
Voter suppression and intimidation directed by the government marred Zimbabwe’s elections, which reaffirmed incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa’s power and will likely prolong the country’s dysfunction and severe economic woes.
Who Killed Yevgeny Prigozhin?
Numerous competing theories are likely to surface about the demise of the Russian paramilitary commander—all of which help explain Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
What Is the Extent of Sudan’s Humanitarian Crisis?
As armed conflict rages on, Sudan’s devastating humanitarian crisis continues to worsen. More than four million people have been displaced, threatening national and regional upheaval.
What Would Greenland’s Independence Mean for the Arctic?
Climate change is fueling geopolitical competition in the Arctic. An independent Greenland could play an important role in years to come.
The Niger Coup Could Threaten the Entire Sahel
The coup in Niger, once seen as the cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in West Africa, now threatens wider regional instability and could potentially open the door to further Russian influence.
Defeated and Detained, Islamic State Still Poses Extremism Threat
Years after defeating the Islamic State on the battlefield, world governments are now grappling with what to do with the thousands of war-related detainees in Syria.
A More Strategic German Foreign Policy?
Germany’s new strategies are important foreign policy markers, but they shy away from establishing the country as a leader among European powers.
Israel’s Judicial Reforms: What to Know
The Israeli parliament’s new legislation limiting Supreme Court oversight of government policies has raised alarm over deepening societal divisions and potential democratic backsliding.
Cambodia’s Elections: No Surprises, but an Uncertain Leadership Future
Prime Minister Hun Sen retained his grip on power after Cambodia’s stage-managed elections, with his party winning 120 out of 125 seats. But his long-awaited succession plan could create chaos and confusion in the country.