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Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.
See more in Iraq
The Obama administration says its 2009 stimulus package saved jobs and boosted growth, but Republicans and some economists worry it dampened consumer and business spending and added to long-term debt.
Outsourcing remains a contentious political issue as lawmakers, analysts, and business leaders debate its effect on U.S. job creation and the role of corporate tax policy in shipping jobs overseas, explains this Backgrounder.
Peru has avoided the development problems seen in other extraction-dependent economies, but experts say the country faces governance hurdles, especially on the environment.
Buoyed by high oil prices, Russia finds itself embroiled in a number of disputes with foreign firms looking to tap its underdeveloped oil fields and with its neighbors that grew used to subsidized gas.
Financial pressures have weakened al-Qaeda's tactical abilities, but analysts say affiliated networks are finding new ways to raise and spend money, complicating efforts to squeeze a savvy foe.
A profile of the Pakistani militant group India blames for some of the most severe terror attacks it has suffered in recent years, including the Mumbai assault of November 2008.
Interest in nuclear power is increasing, but securing adequate uranium supplies for nuclear fuel faces challenges ranging from a flagging mining sector to fears of nuclear weapons proliferation.
Loss of forests is a major contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions. Plans to devise a policy tool for using trees for carbon dioxide sequestration are now under way.
Despite concerns over Iran's nuclear program, the Obama administration has assessed that Tehran is years from a developing a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. But past Iranian secrecy and testing bombast have led some experts to remain skeptical of Tehran's capabilities and ambitions.
Pakistan's poor public education system has been exploited by extremist groups and slowed the country's development. Analysts say education reform is an essential element in stabilizing the country.
Myanmar is undergoing significant political changes, but it still faces considerable economic and human rights hurdles.
The United States has pursued missile defense technologies for six decades, with mixed results. Changes under the Obama administration, including adjustments to planned defenses in Europe, could portend a new direction.
U.S. missile defense in the twenty-first century is focused on emerging threats from North Korea and Iran, but critics say these systems are too costly and largely unproven.
The African Union succeeded the old Organization for African Unity (OAU) in 2002. Since then, the new institution has struggled to reform governing bodies inherited from the OAU while shouldering challenging new peacekeeping missions.
An overview of Peruvian terrorist groups, Shining Path and Tupac Amaru.
Opposition victory in Japan's 2009 parliamentary election served as a watershed moment in the country's electoral politics. Analysts say political change in Tokyo could result in a possible shift in its close relationship with the United States, especially in security matters.
The Colombian government and FARC rebels have signed a historic peace agreement. This Backgrounder traces the origins of the country's civil conflict and the path to sustainable peace.
India's growing economic and political influence in Afghanistan has angered Pakistan, the traditional power there, and has experts worried that Afghanistan could become another battleground in the long-standing rivalry between South Asia's two giants.
Differences over Taiwan’s status fuel tensions between the island and mainland, yet economic ties continue to deepen. This Backgrounder explores the cross-strait relationship.
The definitive account of the secret war in Laos, which forever changed the CIA from a relatively small spying agency into an organization with vast paramilitary powers. More
CFR President Haass argues for an updated global operating system to address challenges from terrorism to climate change. More
Alden provides an enlightening history of the last four decades of U.S. trade policies and a blueprint for how to keep the United States competitive in a globalized economy. More
The Task Force finds that Alaska and the Arctic are of growing economic and geostrategic importance and recommends actions to improve the United States’ strategic presence in the Arctic region.
The Task Force recommends revising U.S. policy toward North Korea to break the cycle of North Korean provocation and promote stability in Northeast Asia.
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
Marten outlines how U.S. policymakers can deter Russian aggression with robust support for NATO, while reassuring Russia of NATO’s defensive intentions.
Segal offers recommendations for cooperation on issues such as encryption, data localization, and cybersecurity.
Knopf argues that the only remaining path for South Sudan is for an international transitional administration to run the country for a finite period.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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