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.

A Blow to al-Qaeda

Author: Deborah Jerome

The death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a U.S. operation in Pakistan marks a triumph for the United States, although the lasting impact on the U.S.-led "war on terror" is uncertain.

See more in Terrorism; Pakistan; Afghanistan

The Perils of Libyan Nation Building

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

Any outcome of the Libyan war will require boots on the ground, say analysts, urging the international community to focus on helping the country rebuild civil, political, and social institutions that serve Libyan national interests.

See more in Libya; Nation Building

Japan's Nuclear Woes

Author: Toni Johnson

As Japan struggles to control problems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, it also must grapple with questions about nuclear power in the face of immediate and long-term energy needs.

See more in Japan; Disasters

Libya and the Responsibility to Protect

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

Intervention in Libya has been justified by the "responsibility to protect" doctrine. But debate is growing over whether Libya meets the criteria, and the mission's success is challenged by lack of clarity on objectives.

See more in Global Governance; Libya

Air Strikes, and Questions, Mount over Libya

Author: Deborah Jerome

The U.S. and European allies face increasing questions about the extent of their air bombardment of the Libyan regime's forces, as broader regional unrest, especially in Yemen, also poses troubles for policymakers.

See more in Libya; Wars and Warfare

Security Transition in Afghanistan

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

Afghan security forces will start taking over some areas from NATO in July, but questions persist about the competence of those forces. Analysts say an effective transition requires emphasis on political reforms and anti-corruption measures.

See more in Afghanistan; Sovereignty

Clouds Over Japan's Nuclear Response

Author: Toni Johnson

With the nuclear incident at the Fukushima power plant unabated, Japanese officials have come under fire for failing to control the crisis as concern about radiation grows.

See more in Japan; Disasters