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May 19, 2021

Somalia
Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab remains capable of carrying out massive attacks in Somalia and surrounding countries despite a long-running African Union offensive against the Islamist terrorist group. 

Al-Shabab in Somalia

May 4, 2021

United States
The U.S. Vice President and Foreign Policy

Modern vice presidents can trace much of their political influence to the broad reforms that Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale made to the second-highest elected office in the late 1970s.

Vice-President-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Libby--.jpg

March 23, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
What Is the Kafala System?

The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for …

Workers are seen in the Lusail National Stadium, which is under construction for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

March 15, 2021

Taliban
The Taliban in Afghanistan

Since its ouster in 2001, the Taliban has maintained its insurgency against the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan and the Afghan government. A collapse in intra-Afghan peace negotiations could pave the…

Taliban fighters attend a gathering to celebrate the U.S.-Taliban deal in March 2020.

February 5, 2021

Yemen
Yemen’s Tragedy: War, Stalemate, and Suffering

Yemen’s internal divisions and a Saudi-led military intervention have spawned an intractable political, military, and humanitarian crisis.

Five Houthis ride atop a military vehicle.

September 16, 2020

United Nations
The UN Security Council

The UN Security Council is the premier global body for maintaining international peace and security, but it faces steady calls for reform to better meet twenty-first-century challenges.

Members of the Security Council sit during a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York.

April 9, 2020

Oil and Petroleum Products
OPEC in a Changing World

Western leaders have long criticized OPEC’s power to raise oil prices, but the bloc’s influence is on the wane as U.S. oil production has soared and alternative energies have come to the fore.

OPEC

March 2, 2020

Afghanistan
U.S.-Taliban Peace Deal: What to Know

The United States and the Taliban signed an agreement aimed at ending the eighteen-year war in Afghanistan, but many factors could still disrupt the peace process.

Several U.S. soldiers stand in a pit on a mountain fortified with sandbags and guns in Afghanistan.

January 28, 2020

China
China’s Massive Belt and Road Initiative

China’s colossal infrastructure investments may usher in a new era of trade and growth for economies in Asia and beyond. But skeptics worry that China is laying a debt trap for borrowing governments…

Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

September 1, 2007

Middle East and North Africa
Profile: Osama bin Laden

A profile of Osama bin Laden, founder and leader of al-Qaeda.