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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 55 min ago

Pakistani Military Cool Amid Political Crisis

September 12, 2014 - 10:53am

In staying on the sidelines, the Pakistani army may be the only party to emerge from the weeks-long political crisis unscathed, says CFR's Daniel S. Markey.

Confronting ISIS Requires a Bigger Plan

September 11, 2014 - 10:16am

The Obama administration's plan for expanding its military campaign against ISIS, however worthy, raises questions about how the militants can be defeated on the ground, says CFR's President Richard N. Haass.

A Presidential Protest Vote in Brazil?

September 10, 2014 - 1:15pm

With the economy in recession, public infrastructure projects lagging, and last year's protests still resonating, the public mood in Brazil is far less optimistic than when Dilma Rousseff rose to the presidency in 2010.

New Terror Threats Require New Law

September 9, 2014 - 11:52am

The 2001 law that authorized the U.S. war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates is not an appropriate justification for the offensive against ISIS and other emerging terrorist groups, says CFR's John Bellinger.

Russia Wants 'Hot Peace,' Not War

September 5, 2014 - 11:17am

NATO powers should prepare less for overt Russian aggression in eastern Europe, and more for indirect, subversive activities like cyber-attacks, says expert Mark Galeotti.

Countering the U.S. Image Problem

September 2, 2014 - 11:12am

Foreign media coverage of the social unrest in Ferguson reinforces damaging global perceptions of the United States, says expert Philip Seib.

Will Shia Divisions Hamstring Iraq?

August 29, 2014 - 11:07am

Haider al-Abadi has unified the country's Shias, but may struggle to keep their support as he forms a new government and attempts to redress Sunni grievances, says expert Mohamad Bazzi.

NATO's Brave New World

August 28, 2014 - 11:45am

With crises brewing in Ukraine and the Middle East, the transatlantic alliance must develop new capabilities to address the rising threat of unconventional warfare, says CFR's Janine Davidson.

A Moment of Truth for Europe's Foreign Policy

August 26, 2014 - 1:07pm

The upcoming decision on a new foreign policy chief offers the EU a chance to mount a vigorous response to the threats posed by conflicts in Ukraine and the Mideast, says expert Sir Michael Leigh.

Can Iraq Save Itself?

August 20, 2014 - 3:40pm

As prime minister, Haider al-Abadi could lead Iraq in a positive direction, but long-term stability in the war-torn country will require political concessions from all factions, explains expert Ned Parker.