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January 20, 2021

Afghanistan
Top Conflicts to Watch in 2021: Increasing Violence in Afghanistan

Laurel Miller is director of the Asia program at the International Crisis Group and former acting special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the U.S. Department of State.  Although the…

Afghan police officers inspect a vehicle from which insurgents fired rockets, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 18, 2020.

February 25, 2021

Diplomacy and International Institutions
U.S. Assumes UNSC Presidency, Intelligence Report Investigates Khashoggi Killing, and More

The United States assumes the presidency of the UN Security Council, with Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield newly confirmed as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations; the U.S. intel…

Podcast A person holds a banner of Jamal Khashoggi during a symbolic funeral prayer for the Saudi journalist, killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, at the courtyard of Fatih mosque in Istanbul, on November 16, 2018.

March 3, 2021

Nigeria
Mass Kidnapping in Nigeria Captures International Attention—Again

On February 27 "bandits" attacked the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara State and kidnapped some three hundred girls. Government reaction was predictable: search-and-rescue missions and strong statements.

A line of young girls, most without shoes and wearing blue Islamic headdress, leave a building after being released from captivity by bandits. A Nigerian policeman carrying an assault rifle is standing next to the line of girls.

February 18, 2021

United States
Can the State Department Bring More Diversity to the U.S. Diplomatic Corps?

President Biden has vowed to diversify the top ranks of government agencies. The small and shrinking number of senior Black diplomats, in particular, could undermine U.S. foreign policy goals.

February 11, 2021

News Release
The U.S. Should Preserve Taiwan’s Autonomy  Without Triggering Chinese Attack, Says New CFR Report

Taiwan “is becoming the most dangerous flash point in the world for a possible war that involves the United States, China, and probably other major powers,” warns a new Council on Foreign Relations (…

February 3, 2021

China
China’s Abuse of the Uighurs: Does the Genocide Label Fit?

While multiple reports indicate that China has committed major abuses of the Uighur minority group, determining the most serious charges is difficult.

Chinese flags on a road leading to a facility in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region believed to be a reeducation camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained.

February 1, 2021

Digital Policy
The Wild West of Smartphone Data and Surveillance

In the current data landscape, regulation is insufficient, and redress is challenging.

Alejandro Mayorkas, nominee to be Secretary of Homeland Security, testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs confirmation hearing.

January 15, 2021

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: What Can Biden Get Done?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden faces substantial obstacles in his bid to remake U.S. foreign policy after four…

Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris sits behind President-Elect Joe Biden as he speaks at a podium labelled "Office of the President Elect."

December 18, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: How Much Foreign Policy Leverage Is Trump Leaving Biden?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: The Biden administration may have less leverage to strike winning deals than he, and …

President-Elect Joe Biden stands behind a podium labelled "Office of the President Elect."

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.