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January 13, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
Pompeo’s Departure Is Restoring the State Department’s Swagger

The U.S. secretary of state appears to have one foot out the door—and that’s exactly what U.S. diplomats have been waiting for.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks during a news conference in the Press Briefing Room at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2020.

January 13, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
Don’t Hold Your Breath for Democratic Change in the Middle East

The region is accustomed to cycles of protest and political upheaval, so it’s better not to bank on successful revolutions.

Demonstrators carry a national flag during an anti-government rally in Algiers, Algeria January 3, 2020.

January 4, 2020

Iran
The Suleimani Assassination and U.S. Strategic Incoherence

The decision to kill Qassem Suleimani will likely force President Trump to devote additional resources to the Middle East at a time of growing concern about North Korea, Russia, and China.

Iran and U.S. Strategic Incoherence

December 16, 2019

Afghanistan War
Did the Government Mislead the Public About the War in Afghanistan?

America’s longest war continues not because of government deception but because successive presidents have judged the risks of withdrawal to be higher than the costs of commitment.

U.S. Army soldiers fire a howitzer artillery piece in Kandahar Province on June 12, 2011.

December 3, 2019

Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Salman Is Having a Fire Sale of His Political Power

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince will take money from investors in the national oil company—but he’ll be giving up far more than he thinks.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 20, 2019.

December 3, 2019

Turkey
Erdogan Has No Idea What He’s Doing in Syria

The Turkish president’s war will likely fail because he doesn’t know what he wants.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black sea resort of Sochi, Russia, 22 October 2019

December 3, 2019

Syria
There’s Always a Next Time to Betray the Kurds

The Kurds have no choice but to always trust the United States—and to suffer the inevitable consequences.

A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier holds a Kurdistan flag during a deployment in the area near the northern Iraqi border with Syria

September 10, 2019

Election 2020
The 2020 Presidential Candidates: In Their Own Words

The Democratic and Republican presidential contenders have begun defining their approach to major foreign policy issues as they jockey for position in their parties’ primaries.

The Presidential Seal

August 21, 2019

Elections and Voting
Kamala Harris

CFR invited the presidential candidates challenging President Trump in the 2020 election to articulate their positions on twelve critical foreign policy issues. Candidates’ answers are posted exactly…

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

July 30, 2019

Elections and Voting
The Presidential Candidates on North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons

Would you sign an agreement with North Korea that entailed partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of its nuclear weapons program but not full denuclearization?