Amid a growing insurgency and escalating economic troubles in Pakistan, U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States must "help Pakistan help Pakistanis." Experts say strengthening the country's private sector and boosting trade opportunities could underpin security.
The U.S. State Department's annual global rating of human rights performance antagonizes friend and foe alike. Many rights activists embrace the reports while some express doubts about their influence on U.S. policy.
As U.S. lawmakers debate a cap-and-trade policy to combat climate change,experts say coal will continue to be a major part of the world's energy mix, which will likely complicate efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Beset by increased terror attacks and political infighting, Pakistan's viability as a state is a matter of increasing concern. Experts call for reforming weak civil institutions, resolving ethnic disputes, and checking the power of the military.
Experts say an overhaul of U.S. transportation infrastructure may help spur the economy, improve global competitiveness, and address homeland security needs. But the Obama administration's initial effort falls short of setting a true national transportation agenda.
Venezuela is trying to develop new markets for its oil at a time of increasing friction with its main customer, the United States. But a significant short-term shift in oil relations between Venezuela and the United States is unlikely.
China's growing military capabilities pose a concern for U.S. security interests. Experts say the United States must push for greater engagement with China's military to reduce the potential for misunderstandings.