In Briefs

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

In Brief Filters and Cards

Drug Policy
The U.S. Fentanyl Crisis: What to Know
The United States is being flooded with fentanyl-laced fake pills, exacerbating an opioid crisis already spiraling amid the pandemic.
China
What’s Next for U.S. Trade With China?
This week, the Biden administration outlined its approach to trade with China. Here’s what to know.  
Haiti
Why Are Haitian Migrants Gathering at the U.S. Border?
The arrival of tens of thousands of Haitian migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border has generated domestic criticism from all sides that the Biden administration has poorly handled a cascading humanitarian crisis.  
Asia
What’s Next for the Quad?
The most recent Quad summit proved that the grouping is here to stay, but it faces a number of immediate challenges in accomplishing its ambitious agenda.
Afghanistan War
Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam: How the U.S. Has Resettled Its Wartime Allies
The United States has granted tens of thousands of special visas to Afghans who aided U.S. forces, but many others are still waiting. How does this compare with previous efforts?
Budget, Debt, and Deficits
What’s at Stake in the Debt Ceiling Showdown
U.S. lawmakers are at loggerheads over raising the limit on government borrowing. Here’s what to know about the debate.
France
Europe’s Response to the U.S.-UK-Australia Submarine Deal: What to Know
AUKUS, a deal for the United States and United Kingdom to provide Australia with submarines, has infuriated France at a time when transatlantic coordination to deal with China’s rise is crucial.
European Union
Merkel’s Legacy and the Future of Germany
With Chancellor Angela Merkel stepping down after sixteen years in office, the leadership of Germany, and the EU, is wide open. What is Merkel’s legacy, and what comes next?
Myanmar
Myanmar Is a Failing State—and Could Be a Danger to Its Neighbors
Since the Myanmar military seized power in February, it has overseen economic collapse, mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic, murdered hundreds of people, and set the stage for the state to fail.
Middle East and North Africa
The Role of Egyptians in the 9/11 Attacks Still Reverberates Today
Members of Egypt’s jihadi movement played important roles in inspiring and plotting the 9/11 attacks. Egypt still struggles with some of the factors that gave rise to such extremism.
Afghanistan
Where Will Afghan Refugees Go?
Experts expect that most new Afghan refugees will flee to neighboring Iran and Pakistan, where hundreds of thousands of Afghans already reside.
Middle East and North Africa
Where Iran Stands on the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
Iran welcomes the departure of U.S. forces from its eastern neighbor but could have concerns about the potential reemergence of Sunni-Shia tensions with the Taliban back in power.
Monetary Policy
Fed Excitement Mounts: Waiting for Jackson Hole
Higher inflation has sparked a fierce debate among economists and generated enormous interest in the Fed’s response, which has far-reaching implications for the U.S. and global economies.
China
How Will China Deal With the Taliban?
China could become a crucial supporter of Taliban-led Afghanistan, building Beijing’s influence in South and Central Asia as long as the regime in Kabul does not export extremism.
Afghanistan
How the Afghan Army Collapsed Under the Taliban’s Pressure
Despite having larger numbers and better equipment than the Taliban, Afghan forces were never strong enough to sustain government control in the absence of U.S. firepower.