Backgrounders

Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.

Closing Guantanamo?

Author: Jonathan Masters

President Obama vowed in January 2009 to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. Two years later, the White House continues to face challenges to that promise, leaving critics to suggest the facility will remain open for the foreseeable future.

See more in Terrorism; United States; International Law

Fifteen Nuclear Agendas to Watch

Author: Toni Johnson

The Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty gets underway amid new concerns about Iran and North Korea and disputes between nuclear haves and have-nots. Fifteen countries will play a special role in the debate.

See more in Global Governance; Proliferation

The Four Nuclear Outlier States

Author: Toni Johnson

The countries outside of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty--North Korea, Pakistan, India, and Israel--present a significant challenge for U.S. diplomacy and efforts to restrain the spread of nuclear weapons, experts say.

See more in Global Governance; Proliferation

Pakistan's Constitution

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

Pakistan's constitution continues to be the focus of political struggle, with the nation's prime minister, president, regional governments, and army vying for advantage.

See more in Pakistan; Rule of Law; Elections