In Briefs

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

In Brief Filters and Cards

Thirty Years After Rwanda’s Genocide: Where the Country Stands Today
After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the country has made tremendous strides toward peace and development. But critics say these have come at the cost of political freedoms.   
Palestinian Territories
The UN’s Palestinian Aid Controversy: What’s at Stake
The leading UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees is engulfed in allegations that twelve of its employees were involved in the Hamas attacks on southern Israel. The agency faces severe funding cutbacks, with huge consequences for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. 
Moscow Attack Shows Troubling, Lethal Reach of ISIS
The mass casualty theater attack in Moscow was a reminder that affiliates of the Islamic State have reorganized and infiltrated even powerful states.
Iran’s Support of the Houthis: What to Know
Iranian support has boosted the military prowess of Yemen’s Houthis, helping them project force into the Red Sea. In return, the group has extended the reach of Iran’s anti-West axis of resistance.
Two Years of War in Ukraine: Are Sanctions Against Russia Making a Difference?
The United States and its allies have imposed broad economic penalties on Russia over its war in Ukraine. As the conflict continues, experts debate whether the sanctions are working.
United States
Why U.S. Imports From Mexico Surpassed Those From China
New U.S. Census Bureau data shows the United States importing more goods from Mexico than from China. Will the shift change the global trading landscape?
A Resilient Ukraine Faces Defeat if U.S. Aid Falters
A failure by the United States to continue military aid to Ukraine would spell disaster for Ukraine and its Western allies while emboldening Russia and other potential aggressors.
Does Evergrande’s Collapse Threaten China’s Economy?
A court in Hong Kong has ordered the liquidation of Chinese property developer Evergrande Group, once the world’s largest real estate company. The failure could pose obstacles to China’s economic recovery.
Indonesia’s Presidential Election: The Old Guard Faces the New
The February 14 election marks a potential turning point in Southeast Asia’s most powerful state, likely determining its future relations with China and the United States, and the fate of the country’s own democracy.
What Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview Means for the War in Ukraine
In last week’s rare interview with a Western media figure, Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to combine a more reasonable tone with endless reminders of why Western governments think he’s not really interested in negotiating an end to the war with Ukraine.
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The Israel-Hamas War: The Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
International calls for a cease-fire are mounting as the humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorates rapidly amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
Has Diplomacy Run Its Course in the Israel-Hamas War?
Continuing efforts to broker a deal throughout the Middle East still could succeed, despite the latest failed effort to pause the fighting in the Gaza Strip and secure a hostage release.
West Africa
ECOWAS Split Spells Trouble for Democracy in West Africa
Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have left the most important West African regional bloc due to escalating tensions over their democratic decline, leaving room for Russia to assert itself in the region.
Pakistan Is on Edge Ahead of 2024 Elections
Pakistan’s military is set to again play kingmaker in elections that will determine how the nuclear-armed country grapples with an economic crisis, political upheaval aggravated by the arrest of Imran Khan, and escalating terrorism.
Drone Strike Risks Dangerous U.S.-Iran Escalation
An attack from Iran-aligned forces that killed U.S. service members near Jordan’s border with Syria risks direct U.S.-Iran conflict in a region already embroiled in widening violence.