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November 12, 2019

Election 2020
The President's Inbox: Should the United States Maintain Maximum Pressure on Iran?

Each week between now and the Iowa caucuses, I’m talking with two experts with differing views on how the United States should handle a foreign policy challenge it faces. These special episodes are p…

A line of Iranian flags wave in a square in Tehran.

November 5, 2019

Defense and Security
Why Would Arab Leaders Pursue Strategic Partnerships With Russia?

Amir Asmar is a Department of Defense analyst and CFR’s national intelligence fellow. Throughout his intelligence career, his primary area of focus has been the Middle East. He held a wide range of a…

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan attend a welcome ceremony in the United Arab Emirates, on October 15, 2019.

October 17, 2019

Nigeria
Buhari Orders Land Borders Closed in Long-Running Effort to Boost Rice Production

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered closed Nigeria’s land border with Benin, preventing the import of goods. The move significantly affected trade in foodstuffs. It is part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also, apparently, to spur the domestic agricultural industry. On October 14, Nigeria ordered closed all of Nigeria’s borders with Benin, as well as those with all other countries, for the same reasons.

A farmer works with rice sprouts on a farm

October 4, 2019

Election 2020
Foreign Policy Roundup: William Weld Answers Twelve Questions

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail.

Former Governor William Weld answers questions in New York after a Sept. 24 debate.

September 9, 2019

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s Oil Vision and the Oil Price Cycle

Saudi Arabia’s oil industry is on the move with strategic changes in leadership, investments, and a broadening of its global businesses. The moves, which include larger investments in refining and pe…

Saudi Arabia's new Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman takes a tour at the exhibition during the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Satish Kumar

August 20, 2012

Defense and Security
Armed Drones and the Hunt for bin Laden

Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the best chance the United States had to kill Osama bin Laden before he led al-Qaeda to plan and carry out the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In addition to failing…

Nairobi bombing

June 7, 2019

China
Is OPEC China's Problem?

The decision by the United States to wind down waivers on U.S. sanctions against Iranian oil exports has laid bare some new realities about oil geopolitics that were previously not well understood. O…

A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China, April 21, 2019. Picture taken April 21, 2019.

June 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia's Untested New Crown Prince: Mohammed Bin Salman Has High Hopes, But Rises to Power at a Dangerous Moment

King Salman's son Mohammed is now the desert kingdom's dominant figure—and the challenges before him are huge.

BinSalmanKSA

May 9, 2019

Sudan
The Roots of Sudan's Upheaval

While the Sudanese military expelled President Omar al-Bashir from office, the people of Sudan are ultimately responsible for toppling his regime, and the leaders of the protest movement have promised not to let up until civilian rule is secured. They well know that any persistence of military control represents a continuation of the Bashir regime, and in particular, the Arabic-speaking population’s monopoly of power.

Sudan-Protest-Bashir-Transition