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.

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

The Gathering Eurozone Storm

Author: Christopher Alessi

Investors and financial markets are growing convinced that Greece will default on its debt, heightening fears of a eurozone banking crisis that would have significant ramifications for an already fragile global economy.

See more in Financial Crises

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

Will Assad Bow to Allied Pressure?

Author: Deborah Jerome

The stern multilateral call for Syria's President Assad to step down further isolates his regime and could boost opposition morale, but experts say tougher sanctions are needed and warn about limited U.S. influence in the restive Middle East.