Algerian and Western counterterrorism efforts, along with an African-led peacekeeping force in Mali, have shifted the North African al-Qaeda franchise's criminal and terrorist activities to remote areas of the Sahara and Sahel, explains this Backgrounder.
See more in Terrorist Organizations and Networks; Middle East and North Africa
Hezbollah's long-standing resistance to Israel gained this Lebanon-based Shiite political party and militant group broad support, but its involvement in Syria's civil war may jeopardize its domestic standing.
See more in Lebanon; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
Nations are reexamining their interests and capabilities in the Arctic, as climate change in the region presents new economic opportunities and security challenges.
See more in Arctic; Economic Development
The treatment of terrorism suspect Abu Anas al-Libi, who seems destined for trial in U.S. federal court, fits the Obama administration's new protocol for such captures, says expert Stephen Vladeck.
See more in United States; Terrorism and the Law
As a top destination for foreign investment, the United States seeks to strike a balance between national security and its commitment to open markets.
See more in United States; Foreign Direct Investment
The Obama administration's strongest case for intervening in Syria rests on the global security risks posed by the regime's suspected use of chemical weapons, says CFR's John B. Bellinger.
See more in Syria; International Law
While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has granted U.S. agencies broad legal authority to collect sensitive information, it is hardly a "rubber stamp" for government surveillance requests, says CFR's Matt Waxman.
See more in Homeland Security; Intelligence
Whether NSA leaker Edward Snowden is extradited to the United States will hinge more on diplomatic relations than international legal considerations, says expert Stephen Vladeck.
See more in United States; International Law; Diplomacy and Statecraft
A new White House report alleging Syria's use of chemical weapons heightens the need for UN inspectors to be allowed to mount an independent investigation, says CFR's Greg Koblentz.
Conceived as principal defenders of the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps has evolved into a vast institution with political, economic, and military power.
See more in Iran; Defense and Security
Disclosures of Obama administration domestic intelligence activities have rekindled public discussion of the balance between counterterrorism efforts and civil liberties, as examined in this Issue Guide.
See more in Intelligence
The U.S. government needs to marshal its cybersecurity resources in support of the private sector and build alliances with international partners, says former CIA director Michael Hayden, member of a new CFR independent task force on digital policy.
See more in United States; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy
President Obama's counterterrorism speech made strides toward greater transparency but missed opportunities to articulate a vision for moving beyond a perpetual war footing, says CFR's John Bellinger.
See more in United States; Counterterrorism
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.
See more in United States; Missile Defense; NATO
The Boston Marathon bombings illustrate the stresses on domestic intelligence gathering and counterterrorism in a democratic system, says CFR's Richard Falkenrath.
See more in Intelligence; United States; Counterterrorism
The deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon raise anew the vulnerability of U.S. civilian targets and homeland security policy dilemmas, as examined in this CFR Issue Guide.
See more in Homeland Security; United States
What is the Obama administration's legal justification for targeted killings? CFR national security expert John Bellinger explores this question as well as others with significant implications for U.S. counterterrorism.
See more in United States; Drones
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has capitalized on Iraq's Sunni minority's alienation from the state, driven by sectarian politics and heavy-handed approaches to security, to wreak havoc and establish zones of authority while expanding its reach into neighboring Syria.
See more in Terrorism; Iraq
As the Pentagon attempts to refocus the U.S. military strategy toward Asia, the department is facing major budget constraints. Experts disagree on how to balance the fiscal challenge with the country's national security priorities.
See more in United States; Defense Budget; Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Some experts believe al-Shabab is at its weakest point in years following an African-led counterinsurgency campaign, but others warn of the group's resiliency in an unstable Somalia.
See more in Somalia; Terrorist Organizations and Networks