Timelines

Chronologies of major foreign policy and security developments, both in the United States and globally.

Timelines Filters and Cards

Courts and Tribunals
Leaders Facing Justice
Since 1945, many regime leaders and key figures have been brought before domestic and international courts to answer to charges including genocide and crimes against humanity, amid a larger struggle to promote and enforce the rule of law worldwide.
Middle East and North Africa
U.S. Relations With Iran, 1953–2021
Onetime allies, the United States and Iran have seen tensions escalate repeatedly in the four decades since the Islamic Revolution.
Public Health Threats and Pandemics
Major Epidemics of the Modern Era
For more than a century, countries have wrestled with how to improve international cooperation in the face of major outbreaks of infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the world to a near halt in 2020 and has killed more than six million people, underscores the urgency.
Kurds
The Kurds’ Quest for Independence
The Kurds are one of the world’s largest peoples without a state, making up sizable minorities in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Their century-old quest for independence is marked by marginalization and persecution.
United States
Trump’s Foreign Policy Moments
Donald J. Trump’s presidency marked a profound departure from U.S. leadership in areas such as trade and diplomacy, as well as an across-the-board toughening of immigration policies.
Election 2020
Election Security 2020
In the weeks leading up to the 2020 election, technology firms and the U.S. government took steps to prevent and combat election interference in cyberspace. Nonetheless, there were still a handful of incidents.
India
U.S.-India Relations
Since India’s independence, ties with the United States have weathered Cold War–era distrust and estrangement over India’s nuclear program. Relations have warmed in recent years and cooperation has strengthened across a range of economic and political areas.
South China Sea
China’s Maritime Disputes
Disputes over overlapping exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea have intensified in recent decades, while the territorial row over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea dates back to the nineteenth century.
Japan
Last Days of Imperial Japan
Japan experienced unparalleled destruction by U.S. military forces during World War II, resulting in its complete capitulation. Washington played a decisive role in Tokyo’s postwar transition and reconstruction, but the legacy of Japan’s imperial wartime actions continues to be a source of tension with its Asia-Pacific neighbors.
Financial Markets
The U.S. Financial Crisis
The financial meltdown that started with the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble had worldwide economic repercussions, including recessions, far-reaching regulations, and deep-seated political discontent. Track its buildup and aftermath.
Politics and Government
Political Conventions and Foreign Policy
The quadrennial U.S. presidential nominating conventions are usually dominated by domestic themes. But they have at times been flavored by global economic concerns and national security threats, offering competing Democratic and Republican visions about the United States' role in the world.
Border and Port Security
U.S.-Mexico Relations
After Mexican independence in 1810, Mexico and the United States had numerous territorial disputes. Political upheaval in Mexico and economic opportunity across the border spurred migration to the United States after the Mexican Revolution. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) paved the way to a closer U.S.-Mexico relationship on security, trade, and counternarcotics.
Iraq
The Iraq War
In March 2003, U.S. forces invaded Iraq vowing to destroy Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and end the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein. When WMD intelligence proved illusory and a violent insurgency arose, the war lost public support. Saddam was captured, tried, and hanged and democratic elections were held. In the years since, there have been over 4,700 U.S. and allied troop deaths, and more than one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians have been killed. Meanwhile, questions linger over Iraq's fractious political situation.
Greece
Greece's Debt Crisis Timeline
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Chavez Era
Hugo Chávez assumed Venezuela's presidency in 1999 on a populist platform. But critics say three terms under his "socialist revolution" have made the country increasingly resemble an authoritarian state. This timeline offers a visual account of Chavez's rise to power and the impact of his presidency.