Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.
The Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty gets underway amid new concerns about Iran and North Korea and disputes between nuclear haves and have-nots. Fifteen countries will play a special role in the debate.
The countries outside of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty--North Korea, Pakistan, India, and Israel--present a significant challenge for U.S. diplomacy and efforts to restrain the spread of nuclear weapons, experts say.
Pakistan's constitution continues to be the focus of political struggle, with the nation's prime minister, president, regional governments, and army vying for advantage.
The global financial crisis prompted Congress to press for stronger U.S. financial regulations. But experts debate what level of government involvement will help the economy long term.
Chechnya has been plagued by two wars and an ongoing insurgency since the fall of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Chechen militants have escalated attacks in the North Caucasus and revived bombings in Moscow.
Some analysts say healthcare costs hinder U.S. industry competitiveness in the global marketplace, but it's unclear whether proposed health reforms will offer any cost relief.
The U.S. State Department continues to list Cuba as a state sponsor of terror, though most experts say the country no longer poses a threat to U.S. national security.
The provisional Irish Republican Army, or IRA, is an outgrowth of an older group known as the Irish Republican Army, which fought an insurgency that successfully challenged British rule in the whole of Ireland in the early years of the twentieth century.
Iran's nuclear program is believed to have steadily progressed, despite sharply increased concerns over its intentions and sanctions over its lack of transparency.
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.
Debating global warming policy has moved to the top of agendas worldwide, but some skeptics still question whether action is necessary or possible.
See more in Climate Change
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.
Special operations play a critical role in how the United States confronts irregular threats, but to have long-term strategic impact, the author argues, numerous shortfalls must be addressed.
The author analyzes the potentially serious consequences, both at home and abroad, of a lightly overseen drone program and makes recommendations for improving its governance.
Published by the Council on Foreign Relations since 1922
A groundbreaking analysis of what the changes in American energy mean for the economy, national security, and the environment. More
A roadmap for the United States' greatest overlooked foreign policy challenge of our time--relations with its southern neighbor. More
Two experts argue that despite myriad development strategies, only one can succeed in alleviating poverty in India: the overall growth of the country's economy. More
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