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September 23, 2015

Global
Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s sweeping new development agenda aims to “provide the overarching narrative” of sustainable growth for the next fifteen years, yet critics say the Sustainable Development goals are broad, unf…

Afghan Girls School

March 27, 2015

Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

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 ar…

Evidence is displayed during a hearing in Tunis for suspected members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

August 15, 2014

United States
Ballistic Missile Defense

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.

Ballistic Missile Defense

July 25, 2014

Middle East and North Africa
Islam: Governing Under Sharia

Sharia, or Islamic law, is increasingly in the spotlight as its political and economic role expands in the Muslim world and even in the West.

Friday prayers at the Wazir Khan mosque in Lahore, Pakistan.

May 14, 2014

South China Sea
South China Sea Tensions

As the United States pivots to Asia, disputes over territories in the South China Sea have escalated tensions and threatened regional stability.

A Vietnamese fishing boat goes past the USS Chung-Hoon at a port in Danang city, July 15, 2011.

January 30, 2014

Financial Markets
The Rise of Islamic Finance

After growing to a $1 trillion asset class in Muslim countries, Islamic finance is poised for an era of globalization.

A Bank Islam branch office in Malaysia

December 11, 2013

Egypt
Security in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

The Sinai Peninsula has in recent years become a haven for transnational crime and Islamist militancy, posing new security challenges to Egypt and Israel.

A military vehicle drives through northern Sinai.

February 2, 2005

Iraq
Iraq: The war’s price tag

This publication is now archived. How much has the war in Iraq cost?Congress has so far appropriated about $123 billion for the war in Iraq in addition to the military’s standard operating expenses c…

June 12, 2013

Global
The Dilemma of Humanitarian Intervention

Global support for the "responsibility to protect" doctrine weakened after the UN-endorsed no-fly zone that helped topple Libya’s regime, and debate continues over the threshold for mounting armed hu…

February 6, 2013

Europe
Germany’s Central Bank and the Eurozone

Germany’s Bundesbank remains an influential actor in eurozone policymaking, and its recent disagreements with the ECB raise concerns about managing the zone’s debt crisis. This Backgrounder explains.