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.

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

Renewing America

Renewing America

U.S. Takes Aim at Yuan

Author: Christopher Alessi

A U.S. Senate bill targeting China's controversial currency policy risks provoking retaliatory measures from Beijing, say analysts, and would make little headway in advancing U.S. economic interests.

See more in China; United States; Monetary Policy

A Political Turning Point for Egypt?

Author: Deborah Jerome

The weekend's military crackdown on Coptic Christian demonstrations in Cairo underscores Egypt's sectarian problems, the entrenched power of the military, and the weakness of the country's economy.

See more in Religion; Egypt

Ten Years of Afghan War

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

After a decade of fighting, U.S. goals remain unclear in Afghanistan. With the 2014 deadline to end the combat mission, experts remain divided on hopes for a political settlement, and stress political and governance reforms.

See more in Afghanistan; Wars and Warfare

Iran and the Arab Uprisings

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

The upheaval in Arab states presents opportunities and pitfalls for Iran in the Mideast. The best way for Washington to counter a possible Iranian rise, say some experts, is to cultivate relationships with Arab publics.

See more in Political Movements and Protests; Iran

Managing a Greek Default

Author: Christopher Alessi

Despite a German parliamentary vote to boost the eurozone's bailout mechanism, Greek sovereign debt levels appear unsustainable and a default may be inevitable. Most economists think the question now is how to make the process orderly.

See more in Greece; Financial Crises

Rethinking U.S. Policy Toward Iran

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

A growing power struggle in Tehran adds new concerns for deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions. Analysts' recommendations for the U.S. range from engaging in direct talks to increasing pressure on the regime and trying to erode the regime's popular base.

See more in Iran; Proliferation

Global Economy's High-Risk Moment

Author: Christopher Alessi

Bleak assessments by the IMF and the Fed this week underlined a worsening European sovereign debt crisis and stagnant U.S. economic growth, putting renewed pressure on global financial markets and intensifying policy debate.

See more in Europe; United States; Monetary Policy

Issue Guide: Non-Communicable Diseases

Author: Toni Johnson

Why is the UN convening a summit-level meeting on illnesses like cancer and diabetes? This CFR guide looks at how these non-communicable diseases have amplified the burdens on developing states and the global threat they pose.

See more in Diseases, Noncommunicable; Global

Libya's Nervous Changing of the Guard

Author: Toni Johnson

As Libya moves ahead with a leadership transition, it faces challenges including restarting the economy, dealing with humanitarian abuses, and the rising influence of Islamists.

See more in Libya; Regime Changes

Security Jitters in Afghanistan

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

Recent Taliban attacks in Kabul have undermined Afghan confidence in local security forces and cast new doubt on a sustainable transition from U.S.-led efforts, analysts say.

See more in Afghanistan; Terrorism

Banking on U.S. Infrastructure Revival

Author: Christopher Alessi

Ailing U.S. infrastructure is seen as threatening U.S. competitiveness, but spending to fix it is a growing topic of debate between Republicans and Democrats as President Obama presses a new jobs program.

See more in United States; Infrastructure

Return of the Eurozone Crisis

Author: Christopher Alessi

Sharp new fears of an escalation in eurozone debt troubles have intensified debate over whether to spur fiscal integration or risk a wider crisis with serious consequences for U.S. financial markets, experts say.

See more in Europe; Financial Crises

A New Chapter for U.S.-Pakistan Relations?

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

Pakistan's arrest of senior al-Qaeda leaders signals renewed cooperation with the United States. But experts stress both sides have to work harder to tackle issues such as Pakistan's relations with militant groups and U.S. objectives in Afghanistan.

See more in Terrorism; Pakistan