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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'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 17 min ago

Fighting for Civil Society's Space

10 hours 12 min ago

A growing number of authoritarian states are banning civil society activities, raising the prospect of spreading instability that should arouse action in Washington, says CFR's Mark Lagon.

What MH17 Means for Russia

July 23, 2014 - 12:37pm

The focus of the EU and U.S. response should go beyond the passenger jet downing and address broader concerns about Russia's policies toward Ukraine, says CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.

Can Iran’s Nuclear Capacity Be Limited?

July 19, 2014 - 11:53am

Will the extension of Iran's nuclear talks lead to a deal? Expert Robert Litwak says it depends on whether the Iranian regime is prepared to bear the political costs of concessions on uranium enrichment.

Fueling the Fire in Ukraine

July 18, 2014 - 8:18am

The downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over eastern Ukraine requires an international inquiry as well as ongoing pressure to stop arming separatists in the region, says expert Steven Pifer.

Will U.S.-Germany Relations Recover?

July 17, 2014 - 10:07am

U.S.-Germany relations have plunged to new lows, but the alliance is far greater than the recent controversy over espionage, says expert Karen Donfried.

Hamas and Israel in a Bind

July 11, 2014 - 10:35am

The latest round of fighting between Hamas and Israel is likely to intensify while marginalizing the Palestinian Authority, says CFR's Robert M. Danin.

Britain’s Summer of Discontent

July 10, 2014 - 2:57pm

Britain finds itself at an unusual crossroads this summer as it negotiates a fraught relationship with Europe and prepares for a possible Scottish secession, says journalist Steven Erlanger.

Tremors from the BNP Paribas Case

July 9, 2014 - 1:23pm

The BNP Paribas case demonstrates the growing rigor of U.S. prosecutions of illicit finance, and will have implications for markets and the global banking industry, says expert Juan C. Zarate.

Indonesia’s Election: Democracy at Risk?

July 8, 2014 - 12:43pm

The country's next president must bridge the ethnic and religious divisions that could destabilize the booming Muslim-majority democracy, explains CFR's Karen Brooks.

Putin’s Balancing Act

July 3, 2014 - 10:27am

While many in the West perceive Vladimir Putin as an unrestrained strongman, expert Kimberly Marten says that the Russian president is deftly managing disparate factions surrounding the Kremlin.