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December 11, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should a Retired General Be Secretary of Defense?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden’s nomination of General Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense raises question…

Retired General Lloyd Austin speaks at a podium as President-Elect Joe Biden sits behind him.

October 2, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: President Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis Provides an October Surprise

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential contenders are saying about foreign policy. This week: The news that President Trump tested positive for the coronavirus injects new uncertainty into Elec…

President Donald Trump walks outside the White House.

July 23, 2012

Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament
Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program

Despite concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration has assessed that Tehran is years from a developing a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. But past Irania…

October 13, 2011

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
State Sponsors: Iran

The U.S. government designates Iran as the "most active state sponsor of terrorism," which feeds concerns about Iran’s growing nuclear program.

May 1, 2013

United States
Missile Defense Technology

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.

November 10, 2010

Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament
Foreign Policy and the 2010 Midterms: New START and Arms Control

A new arms control agreement with Russia has met political opposition in the U.S. Senate, and some analysts believe its fate is tied to the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections. This Backgrounder ex…

October 4, 2011

Iran
The Media Landscape in Iran

The crisis following Iran’s presidential vote cast a new light on the country’s hotly contested media space. A crackdown has limited independent reporting but other sources remain as channels for dis…

November 2, 2010

Defense and Security
U.S. Drone Activities in Pakistan

The reliance on unmanned drones to target terror suspects in Pakistan has been quietly lauded by U.S. officials. But the covert program, which has so far gotten little public scrutiny, is facing moun…

August 19, 2010

Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s National Security Forces

The growth and strengthening of Afghanistan’s domestic security forces is seen as key to an eventual U.S. exit, but some analysts caution that progress will remain slow.

March 10, 2010

Iran
Iran’s Nuclear Program

Iran’s nuclear program is believed to have steadily progressed, despite sharply increased concerns over its intentions and sanctions over its lack of transparency.