Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.

Who’s Who in Syria’s Civil War

Author: Zachary Laub

Syria's civil war is being fought on multiple fronts by an array of combatants whose alliances, capabilities, and in some cases motives have been in flux. This Backgrounder profiles more than a dozen of the main warring sides.

See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare

Foreign Policy at the Conventions

Authors: Jonathan Masters and Gopal Ratnam

Foreign policy issues regularly come to the fore at the national political conventions, especially during periods of global instability. Sometimes the events are marked by bitter disagreements within the parties, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in United States; Elections