Explainers

Videos

Visual stories that delve into some of the world’s most pressing issues.
Videos

Explainers Video Filters and Cards

5G
What Is 5G?
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What exactly is 5G—and why could China control its future?
United States
The Year in CFR Events
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Take a look back at 2019’s most pressing current events and the experts and renowned guests who came to CFR, including Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to discuss these issues
Election 2020
Who Pays for Tariffs?
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Who wins and who loses in the back and forth on tariffs? CFR’s Shannon K. O’Neil breaks down the ongoing tariff battle between the United States and China.
Election 2020
9 Female Leaders Gaining Notice
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There are currently 23 female world leaders worldwide. From Estonia's Kersti Kaljulaid to Ethiopia's Sahle-Work Zewde. Here are 9 female leaders gaining notice. Which country will be next?
United States
Which Countries Have the Highest Voter Turnout?
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At 56%, voter turnout in the United States trails most developed countries. Here's where voter turnout is highest—and what countries have done to increase participation.
United States
The Threat of Deep Fakes
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Deep fakes use machine-learning algorithms that take existing images and footage to doctor videos. Some experts worry that they could heighten disinformation and spark violence, war, or genocide. Interested in learning more? https://on.cfr.org/31NI14c
North Korea
"Denuclearization" in North Korea
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The United States and North Korea understand the word “denuclearization” differently. Learn why there is little hope for peace until they can agree on a common meaning in this video from the Council on Foreign Relations.
Japan
Why Japan Is Reassessing Its Military Power
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Following World War II, Japan’s U.S.–imposed constitution renounced the use of offensive military force. But a nuclear North Korea and an increasingly assertive China have the Japanese rethinking that commitment. Learn more about Japan's reassessment of its military power in Sheila A. Smith's new book, "Japan Rearmed," out now: https://on.cfr.org/2uDyk9Z
Renewable Energy
Why Solar Energy Needs Innovation to Reach Its Potential
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Solar energy, the world’s cheapest and fastest-growing power source, could one day supply most of the world’s energy needs. But in a new book, “Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet” (MIT Press), energy expert Varun Sivaram warns that solar’s current surge is on track to stall, dimming prospects for averting catastrophic climate change. Brightening those prospects, he argues, will require innovation—creative financing, revolutionary technologies, and flexible energy systems.
Kurds
Video: The Time of the Kurds
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Kurds have become critical players amid domestic upheaval and political changes throughout the Middle East. Explore the history of the Kurdish people and why some Kurds may be on the verge of achieving their century-old quest for independence.
United States
Climate Change and the Next U.S. President
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The next president of the United States will play a critical role in shaping the country’s climate policy, deciding whether and how to reduce emissions, while minimizing any impact on economic growth. This video explains the domestic and global challenges. 
United States
Trade and the U.S. Presidential Election
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The next president’s trade policy will affect millions of Americans, as well as the health and competitiveness of the country’s economy. This video breaks down the decisions the president will face in developing a trade policy that promotes growth, while helping Americans adjust to new competition and ensuring regulatory standards.
Islamic State
How to Confront the Islamic State?
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The next president of the United States will face tough decisions, including whether to commit significant ground forces, how much to support the Kurds, and what to do about Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. This video explainer examines the challenges.
China
China Policy and the U.S. Presidential Election
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The president of the United States will have to deal with a rising and more assertive China on a wide range of issues, including Asia-Pacific security, trade, and cybersecurity. U.S.-China relations will likely continue to be a mix of competition and cooperation. The central question for bilateral relations is: Can the world’s two largest economies avoid increased competition and even conflict?
Democratic Republic of Congo
Video: The Humanitarian Crisis in the Eastern Congo
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Over the past two decades, the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have experienced fighting that has killed more than five million people. As the eastern Congo struggles to overcome years of regional war, its hard-won progress remains at risk.