Analysis Brief

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.

Egypt's Uncertain Vote

Author: Toni Johnson

Egyptians began voting in parliamentary elections despite ongoing protests. But experts say the continuing strife over military rule and fears over Islamist parties threaten stability.

See more in Egypt; Elections

U.S.-Australia Alliance and China

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

In Canberra, President Obama announced an expansion of defense ties, but it has prompted debate among Australian analysts over balancing a strategic U.S. alliance with growing economic ties with Beijing.

See more in China; Australia; Defense Strategy

Italy and the Future of the Eurozone

Author: Christopher Alessi

New Prime Minister Mario Monti faces the daunting task of reining in Italy's high public debt. Analysts say he will have to tackle fiscal irresponsibility to rebuild market confidence and prevent the eurozone's third largest economy from defaulting.

See more in Italy; Financial Crises; EU

A Greek Technocrat's Tall Task

Author: Jonathan Masters

New Prime Minister Lucas Papademos faces daunting challenges to rescue Greece's economy. A fiscal collapse, analysts say, will also raise questions over the eurozone's ability to manage debt crises in other struggling European economies.

See more in EU; Greece; Financial Crises

Italian Debt Clouds over Europe

Author: Christopher Alessi

Despite a pledge by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign, Italy faces pressure to address its sovereign debt burden by quickly implementing austerity measures or risk a new magnitude of eurozone contagion.

See more in Italy; Financial Crises

An Iranian Nuclear Escalation?

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

A UN report on Iranian efforts to obtain a nuclear device triggers new debate among analysts and policymakers over the appropriate U.S. and international response.

See more in Iran; Proliferation

Greece's Risky Eurozone Maneuver

Author: Christopher Alessi

EU leaders are making plans for a Greek exit from the euro, even as Prime Minister George Papandreou scrambles to garner support for the new EU rescue package and tougher austerity measures.

See more in EU; Greece; Financial Crises

The Transitioning Saudi Leadership

Author: Toni Johnson

Changes in Saudi Arabia's leadership are raising questions about the country's stability in a region beset with uprisings and tensions with Iran. Experts say the Saudi regime should implement more aggressive political and economic reforms.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Politics and Strategy

Challenges Ahead for Libya

Author: Christopher Alessi

While Qaddafi's death is a victory for Libya's interim government and its international backers, analysts caution that the country's new leaders will have to resolve factional disputes and establish a functioning civil society ahead of democratic elections.

See more in Libya; Political Movements and Protests

The Effort to Isolate Iran

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

As Washington ratchets up pressure on Tehran in the wake of an alleged terror plot, focus has shifted to finding new levers for halting Iran's controversial nuclear program and casting it as an international pariah.

See more in Iran; Proliferation

The G20's Eurozone Problem

Author: Christopher Alessi

G20 finance ministers are pressing their EU counterparts to provide a comprehensive plan for stabilizing the eurozone and easing fears of contagion. They have signaled that, for now, the onus is on Europe to fix its debt problems.

See more in Europe; Financial Crises

Joint Challenges for U.S.-South Korea Alliance

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

As Presidents Lee and Obama reaffirm the relationship and celebrate congressional approval of a long-pending free trade deal, they must also focus on difficult challenges ahead with North Korea and China's rise, say experts.

See more in South Korea; Trade