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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.

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.

December 29, 2020

2020 in Review
Ten World Figures Who Died in 2020

I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2020 who shaped U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten world figu…

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen attends a memorial service for late Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui at a chapel of Aletheia University in New Taipei City, Taiwan September 19, 2020.

December 23, 2020

Elections and Voting
Ten Elections to Watch in 2021

Millions of people around the world voted in 2020. Taiwanese voters reelected Tsai Ing-wen as president. Burmese voters returned Aung San Suu Kyi’s party to power. Guineans protested before and after…

Myanmar voter

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."

December 15, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

The United States has long tried to negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but several factors, including deep divisions between and within the parties and declining U.S. interes…

A Palestinian uses a ladder to climb over the wall separating the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the West Bank.

December 11, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
What Morocco’s Agreement With Israel Means for the Wider Middle East

With six Arab states having established relations with Israel, a new Middle East is taking shape. But the diplomatic progress, facilitated by the Trump administration’s compensation to those states, …

December 8, 2020

2020 in Review
2020: The Year’s Historic News in Graphics

Extreme natural occurrences. Police brutality and racism. A global pandemic. CFR breaks down 2020’s biggest news with graphics.

December 4, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: The Looming Iran Crisis

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Iran will likely provide an early test for Biden and his national security team.

The Iranian flag flies in front of a nuclear power plant.

November 20, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should Lame-Duck Presidents Make Major Foreign Policy Decisions?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Donald Trump is using all the powers of his presidency and creating a host of problem…

President Donald Trump stands looking up in front of a U.S. flag.