Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.
India's growing economic and political influence in Afghanistan has angered Pakistan, the traditional power there, and has experts worried that Afghanistan could become another battleground in the long-standing rivalry between South Asia's two giants.
See more in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Trade, Havens for Terrorism
Taiwan, whose leaders continue to talk about independence, remains a focal point of Chinese military modernization.
See more in China, Taiwan, Democratization, Sovereignty
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa lose billions of dollars each year through corruption, say analysts. Local and international efforts to reform governance have been inconsistent.
See more in Kenya, Democracy and Human Rights
Brazil's economic dynamism has given it a stronger voice on global trade and energy issues. Experts say Washington can advance its regional interests more effectively through a more sophisticated relationship with Brazil.
See more in Brazil, U.S. Strategy and Politics
As the United States looks to reform its health care system and expand access to the uninsured, countries that have moved toward universal health care may offer lessons.
See more in United States, Global Health
A profile of militant extremist groups in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
See more in Kashmir, Terrorist Organizations
As China continues to transform its economy, rising tensions and spates of violence within its primarily Muslim Uighur community is causing regional instability both internally and with Pakistan.
See more in China, Minorities, Diversity and Foreign Policy, Ethnicity and National Identity, Terrorism
Experts say graduating Russia from Cold War-era legislation linked to emigration and trade would be a step toward warming relations with Moscow.
See more in Russian Fed., Trade
A profile of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, the group allegedly responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings.
See more in Indonesia, Terrorist Organizations
Washington is focusing new military aid to Pakistan on strengthening counterinsurgency capabilities. But distrust between the two countries and Islamabad's continued focus on an Indian threat pose challenges, say experts.
See more in Pakistan, Counterterrorism, Foreign Aid
Iran's Supreme Leader remains the regime's ultimate authority but controversy surrounding the country's June 12 presidential election has raised new questions about the role and power of the head of state.
See more in Iran, Elections
Lebanon's upcoming parliamentary elections, pitting pro-Western political elements against a coalition led by Hezbollah, will test the country's ability to manage political change among many factions.
See more in Lebanon, Elections
A profile of the Algerian terrorist organization, Armed Islamic Group (GIA).
See more in Algeria, Terrorist Organizations
International actors are redoubling efforts to restore Afghanistan's agriculture sector and weaken the massive opium trade that helps fund the Taliban. But competing strategies and corruption could stall reforms.
See more in Afghanistan, Civil Society
A profile of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist terrorist group that seeks an independent state in areas in Sri Lanka inhabited by ethnic Tamils.
See more in Sri Lanka, Terrorist Organizations
President Barack Obama says he will seek vigorous climate-change policy. Efforts to curb greenhouse gases pose considerable economic pitfalls, as well as opportunities.
See more in United States, Economics, Climate Change
Sri Lanka's government has scored a string of wins in its long-standing civil war with Tamil militants. But it faces the challenge of integrating its Tamil minority.
See more in Sri Lanka, Terrorist Organizations
China's rapid economic development has been fueled in large part by a massive migration of rural workers to cities and industrial zones. Young, poorly educated, and highly mobile, these workers continue to face discrimination due to their rural origins and transitory status.
See more in China, Migration
President Obama has made "strategic communications" an essential part of his move to boost the military and nation-building effort in Afghanistan. But experts say countering Taliban messaging will take technology, speed, and demonstrated success in providing security.
See more in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Public Diplomacy
Amid a growing insurgency and escalating economic troubles in Pakistan, U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States must "help Pakistan help Pakistanis." Experts say strengthening the country's private sector and boosting trade opportunities could underpin security.
See more in Pakistan, Economics, Terrorism