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Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin
August 2013

August 2013

Leaving Afghanistan

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(Omar Sobhani/Courtesy Reuters)


As the United States draws down its forces in Afghanistan, the Taliban, a Sunni Islamic extremist insurgency, continues to challenge the government in Kabul. To understand the origin of the Taliban, its rise, structure, resiliency, and Washington's elusive endgame in Afghanistan, read this CFR Backgrounder, which includes interactive maps and timelines.

Related Reading: Close to a Deal: U.S., Afghans Agree on Single Text


Issue Guide: Egypt's Escalating Crisis

The prospect of a democratic Egypt continues to fade as the military continues to crack down on supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi. This CFR Issue Guide aggregates articles and analyses that provide a comprehensive look at U.S. policy toward Egypt and regional security implications.

To learn more about the events unfolding in the region and read interviews and testimonials by experts, visit CFR's page on Egypt.

The African Union and Security

CFR's Council of Councils initiative recently launched the Global Memo, a monthly Expert Brief focusing on a major event or significant global governance issue. In this edition, Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari, from the South African Institute of International Affairs, examines the evolving role of the African Union in promoting peace and security on the continent. Read more »

Hope for Libya

Nearly two years after NATO's intervention in Libya, observers fear that the country could become a failed state. Nevertheless, Libyans are hopeful about the country's future. Scholars Lindsay Benstead, Ellen Lust, and Jakob Wichmann write in this Foreign Affairs snapshot that "Libyans are not only optimistic about their future but also strongly committed to achieving democracy. Of those surveyed, 83 percent agree with the assertion that 'democracy may have its problems, but it is the best form of government.'"
Visit Foreign Affairs »

Syria's Crisis and the Global Response

This CFR Backgrounder highlights a number of obstacles on and off the battlefield in Syria that have stymied international diplomatic efforts.

Visit CFR Senior Fellow Rob Danin's blog "Middle East Matters" to read testimonials from the ground.



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The CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative connects religious and congregational leaders, scholars, and thinkers with CFR's resources on U.S. foreign policy and provides a forum for this community to discuss a broad range of pressing international issues. For more information, please contact Lizzy McCourt, associate director for the National Program & Outreach, at 212.434.9848 or

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