The threat posed by the al-Qaeda-Taliban relationship is a crucial element in U.S. strategic planning in Afghanistan. Four experts explore the changing nature of these sometimes murky ties.
CFR's Daniel Markey sheds light on the two Taliban branches—the Afghan-based group that negotiated the release of a U.S. prisoner of war, and the Pakistani Taliban, which attacked the Karachi airport last weekend.
The Taliban believes it will have the upper hand in potential negotiations with the Afghan government and its partner in Washington, but it remains unclear what the insurgent group's goals are in any settlement, says expert Amin Tarzi.
Osama bin Laden's killing helped spawn a crisis in Pakistan and left tough al-Qaeda-affiliated movements in the Mideast and Africa, says CFR's Linda Robinson.
Reports that Pakistan-based militant groups may be moving to unite could help clarify U.S. talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. But CFR's Daniel Markey calls it a tricky game, complicated by unclear U.S. intentions in the region.
Attacks on Shia Muslims in Afghanistan claimed by a Pakistani militant group are a disturbing omen -- for sectarian ties and the prospects for a peace deal with insurgents, says counterterrorism expert Brian Fishman.
Pakistan's latest moves to exert influence in Afghanistan, including possible brokering of talks with militant Taliban allies, could pose difficulties for U.S. stabilization efforts, says CFR's Daniel Markey.
Ties to Pakistan in the Times Square bomb case suggest a direct al-Qaeda influence on the goals of some of Pakistan's Taliban militants, says counterterrorism expert Brian Fishman.
The U.S. Central Command's communication director says countering militant messages in Afghanistan and Pakistan will require being "first with the truth" and empowering indigenous voices.
Counterterrorism expert Daniel L. Byman says Hezbollah is "the most powerful single political movement in Lebanon" and remains a potent guerrilla force.
Francisco R. Rodriguez, an expert on Venezuelan affairs, says the show of force by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez after the Colombian incursion into Ecuador is an attempt to bolster his declining popularity at home.
Steven A. Cook, a CFR expert on Turkey, says “the great underreported story” of the Iraq war is the serious deterioration in U.S.-Turkish relations. “It has already blown up,” says Cook.
CFR Senior Fellow Steven Simon says the plot uncovered by British authorities to simultaneously down several aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean bears all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda and suggests the group is still a viable threat.
Al-Qaeda's affiliates "provide new justification for the Obama administration's efforts to turn elements of its counterterrorism policies, including kill lists and drone bases, into fixtures for a fight expected to last another decade or more."
In his latest exclusive dispatch from Deir el-Zour province, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad meets fighters who have left the Free Syrian Army for the discipline and ideology of global jihad.
In this United States Institute of Peace special report, freelance journalist Andrew Walker explains the history of Boko Haram, an extremist Islamic sect in Nigeria, that has created havoc across the north of the country and its violent attacks on government offices, the United Nations, and churches.
A year after Osama bin Laden's death, the obituaries for his terrorist group are still way too premature, writes Seth G. Jones for Foreign Policy.
See more in Terrorist Organizations and Networks
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Maximalist finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light. More
This clear and authoritative book presents a sweeping account of China's global resource quest and the unrivaled expansion of its economy. More
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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