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March 30, 2021

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, 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

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.

May 1, 2017

United Kingdom
Brexit: Now for the Hard Part

The weekend’s European Union (EU) Summit provided little love for UK prime minister Theresa May. Leaders approved a tough opening position in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, and warned against “com…

January 24, 2018

United States
Adjustment Is Hard, Especially if it Involves the Dollar

Trump’s tax cut has not, to date, unleashed a wave of global demand for U.S. dollar assets. In fact, the dollar weakened as prospects for the tax cut—and associated rise in the U.S. federal budget…

Adjustment Is Hard, Especially if it Involves the Dollar

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

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…


December 20, 2011

Mr. Panetta’s New Hard Line

What does Secretary of Defense Panetta think about the Iranian nuclear weapons program? A couple of weeks ago he moaned to a Brookings audience about the risks any military strike would bring, and cl…

June 9, 2016

Diplomacy and International Institutions
Multilateralism is Hard to Do

The following is a guest post by Naomi Egel, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program. From the lack of any substantial outcome at the World Humanitarian Su…

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York

November 23, 2015

A Hard Look at a Soft Global Economy

MILAN – The global economy is settling into a slow-growth rut, steered there by policymakers’ inability or unwillingness to address major impediments at a global level. Indeed, even the current ane…