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January 26, 2021

Iran
The Last Shah

Ray Takeyh provides new interpretations of many key events—including the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq and the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini—significantly revising our unde…

January 15, 2021

Democracy
Dear America: The Rest of The World is Watching

On January 6, a large group of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to unconstitutionally obstruct the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The events could prove detrimental for democracy in the developing world.

The Capitol is seen behind a fence and a sign that reads "AREA CLOSED By order of the United States Capitol Police Board,", in Washington, D.C. on January 15, 2021.

January 15, 2021

United States
A Unique Military Force: The U.S. National Guard

The National Guard is a special part of the U.S. military that answers to both state governors and the president. In some instances, how leaders have used the Guard has generated controversy, particu…

Members of the Connecticut National Guard survey flooded areas in Florida from a helicopter as part of the response to Hurricane Irma.

January 14, 2021

Transition 2021
Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Presidential Inaugurations

By now you no doubt have heard that President Donald Trump will skip President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday. Given Trump’s role in inciting last week’s mob attack on the Capitol Buil…

Capitol

January 14, 2021

North Korea
North Korea Is the Top Threat for 2021, Finds CFR Survey

A crisis stemming from North Korea’s continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile testing is the top-ranked conflict concern for 2021, according to the Council on Foreign Relations’…

January 14, 2021

United States
After Trump, Is American Democracy Doomed by Populism?

The Trump presidency has demonstrated the appeal of populist authoritarianism to many Americans. The way the country responds to the attack on the U.S. Capitol will indicate how long this movement la…

January 14, 2021

Conflict Prevention
Conflicts to Watch in 2021

In CFR’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey, U.S. foreign policy experts assess the likelihood and impact of thirty potential conflicts that could emerge or escalate in the coming year.

Dark silhouettes of soldiers walking in a line against a dark blue sky

January 13, 2021

Radicalization and Extremism
From Separatism to Salafism: Militancy on the Swahili Coast

Nolan Quinn is a research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa Program. The revelation that a Kenyan member of al-Shabab was charged with planning a 9/11-style attack on the Unit…

A group of Muslim youth are seen protesting the killing of a radical Kenyan imam, Aboud Rogo Mohammed. Several are wearing Islamic dress while others are wearing everyday clothing.

January 12, 2021

Southeast Asia
Thailand’s Dangerous Political Interregnum

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center of Southeast Asian Studies. King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne in October 2016, ending the authoritative and l…

A car of the royal motorcade drives past a Thai antigovernment mass protest, on the 47th anniversary of the 1973 student uprising, in Bangkok, Thailand on October 14, 2020.

January 12, 2021

Censorship and Freedom of Expression
Authoritarianism, Social Media, the United States, and Africa

Twitter and other social media platforms have suspended or restricted President Donald J. Trump's access, mostly because of his and his followers’ use of them to incite violence, though their stated, precise reasons vary from one to another.

A photo illustration shows the suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump on a smartphone at the White House briefing room in Washington, D.C. on January 8, 2021.