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.

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

Resolving the Eurozone Crisis

Author: Christopher Alessi

EU leaders have agreed to significant moves to address the eurozone sovereign debt crisis that has roiled global markets. But analysts and investors are skeptical of the plan's long-term prospects.

See more in Financial Crises

Eurozone Rescue's Moment of Truth

Author: Christopher Alessi

Political divisions continue to hamper a comprehensive solution to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. EU leaders are caught between market forces urging greater European fiscal integration and strong nationalist sentiments warning against a loss of political sovereignty.

See more in Financial Crises

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

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

Waiting on the Eurozone

Author: Christopher Alessi

While Greece has failed to meet the budget requirements mandated by the EU and the IMF, experts say eurozone leaders will likely continue to bailout the country because the costs of letting it go are far greater.

See more in International Finance

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