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March 12, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
The Hard Edge of the Pope’s Moral Power

The pontiff’s Middle Eastern diplomacy may seem superficial, but it could make a huge practical impact.

December 14, 2021

Olympics
The Olympics Are Hard on the Environment. Will the 2022 Beijing Games Continue the Trend?

The Olympics are becoming less sustainable, and the winter games in Beijing are no exception. Can organizers make them more environmentally friendly as the climate crisis intensifies?

March 11, 2022

Health Policy and Initiatives
Virtual Roundtable: School Closures and COVID-19

Pandemic-related school closures have affected more than 50 million K-12 students in the United States. These disruptions created substantial challenges for parents and impacted children’s learning a…

Play Elementary school students wear masks

March 30, 2021

Asia
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor—Hard Reality Greets BRI’s Signature Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative's flagship project in Pakistan is struggling to fulfill China's hopes.

A container is loaded on to the Cosco Wellington, the first container ship to depart after the inauguration of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor port in Gwadar, Pakistan, on November 13, 2016.

June 19, 2019

Iran
Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, and Hard Power

I woke up this morning thinking I would write a blog explaining just how challenging it would be for Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz for a prolonged period of time. This is not to say that there c…

Explosions that damaged two tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, 2019 come a month after four vessels were targeted in "sabotage attacks" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

May 1, 2020

Iraq
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Iraq’s Pledge to Cut Oil Production

Iraq faces an uphill battle in meeting its obligations to the historic production cut agreement reached by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers such as R…

A worker wears a protective mask, following an outbreak of coronavirus, at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq March 15, 2020.

February 21, 2019

South Korea
Is Trump’s Hard Bargaining Fraying U.S.-South Korean Ties?

President Trump is undermining his peace initiative with North Korea by abruptly raising the cost to South Korea for U.S. security.

President Trump greets a South Korean general before a briefing from military commanders at Camp Humphreys in 2017.

November 28, 2017

China
Trump's Looming Hard Line on China

U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s first visit to Beijing was an exhibition of mutual flattery. China rolled out the red carpet for what it termed a 'state visit plus,' replete with unprecedented pomp …

U.S. President Donald Trump takes part in a welcoming ceremony with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China.

January 4, 2017

Military Operations
North Korea: Four Hard Questions for the Trump Administration

Sungtae (Jacky) Park is research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. On January 2, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that a nuclear North Korea capable of hitting parts of the United…

July 5, 2015

Europe
Currencies Are Easy, Policies Are Hard

Now that Greek voters have voted “no” in the referendum, the government is engaged in a last-ditch effort to reach agreement with its creditors on policies and financing; if an agreement is not reach…

Drachma_Euro