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Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.
To help readers better understand the nuances of foreign policy, CFR staff writers and Consulting Editor Bernard Gwertzman conduct in-depth interviews with a wide range of international experts, as well as newsmakers.
Analytical briefs written by CFR.org's staff on issues of the day with links to the news, analysis, commentary, and primary source materials that put the facts in context.    

Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Punishing Russia Carries Risks

April 18, 2014 - 11:55am

Tighter Western sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine may be necessary but could bring unwelcome consequences, explains CFR's John Bellinger.

Despite Ukraine, Iranian Nuclear Talks on Track

April 17, 2014 - 1:32pm

The crisis in Ukraine has not thus far diverted international diplomatic efforts toward a lasting deal on Tehran's controversial nuclear program, says expert Barbara Slavin.

Driverless Cars

April 15, 2014 - 3:40pm

Tech and auto companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia are moving forward rapidly with efforts to develop driverless cars and street networks. The benefits appear tantalizing, but roadblocks loom, explains this Backgrounder.

Can Moscow Step Back From Ukraine?

April 14, 2014 - 12:11pm

The situation in Ukraine will continue to unravel unless Russia comes to planned diplomatic talks in Geneva this week with options for defusing the crisis, says expert Steven Pifer.

Fraud Fears Loom Over Afghan Transition

April 8, 2014 - 12:23pm

Widespread election fraud could undermine Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power and throw the country into chaos, says CFR's Stephen Biddle.

Atrocity Prevention Since the Rwandan Genocide

April 7, 2014 - 12:19pm

Has the world progressed since 1994 in stopping mass atrocities? Concerted efforts by states, institutions, and NGOs make them less likely, write CFR's Paul Stares and Anna Feuer.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

April 2, 2014 - 10:42am

Mounting fears of Russian aggression in eastern Europe may breathe new life into the Cold War-era security alliance, explains this Backgrounder.

Split Persists Between Washington and Riyadh

April 1, 2014 - 11:11am

Despite last week's fence-mending meeting between President Obama and King Abdullah, serious differences over policy regarding Iran, Syria, and Egypt remain between the United States and Saudi Arabia, says expert F. Gregory Gause.

Will Presidential Elections Bring Stability to Afghanistan?

March 31, 2014 - 3:27pm

Afghanistan's presidential election could be a democratic milestone, or may be marred by insurgent violence and fraud. Four experts weigh the election's importance.

Is the West at a Breaking Point With Russia?

March 28, 2014 - 12:58pm
The crisis in Crimea may represent something more than just another low point in Moscow's relations with the United States and its allies, says Russia expert John R. Beyrle.

Egypt’s Fateful Verdict

March 25, 2014 - 11:57am

The Egyptian government's widening crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members, including a surge in death sentences, threatens to radicalize a new generation of Egyptians and spawn jihadist violence, writes CFR's Ed Husain.

Governance in India: Infrastructure

March 25, 2014 - 10:57am

After decades of underinvestment and mismanagement, India's infrastructure is posing a significant threat to its economic growth, this Backgrounder explains.