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July 1, 2014

Japan
The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

The U.S.-Japan alliance has been the cornerstone of Washington’s security policy in East Asia, but rising threats from China, North Korea, and economic recovery raise questions about the future of th…

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addresses U.S. and Japanese forces at Yokota Air Base outside of Tokyo, October 24, 2011.

March 3, 2014

Global Governance
The Group of Eight (G8) Industrialized Nations

After more than three decades of existence, the Group of Eight (G8) is struggling to defend its relevance amid criticism of its limited membership and lack of a compliance mechanism.

February 6, 2014

United States
U.S. Antitrust Policy

Antitrust law, which has evolved primarily through landmark Supreme Court cases, plays an essential role in the maintenance of efficient markets and promotion of long-term U.S. economic prosperity.

U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, DC

March 7, 2013

Religion
Papal Succession in the Catholic Church

The election of pope to lead the world’s one billion Catholics stirs debate over the spiritual authority of the pontiff and the church’s role in the world.

October 31, 2012

Elections and Voting
The Candidates on the United Nations

President Obama is generally supportive of the UN mission while raising questions about its effectiveness, but GOP candidate Mitt Romney is harshly critical of the organization.

August 23, 2012

United States
National Conventions and U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. presidential nominating conventions often touch on national security and foreign policy, but don’t always signal the direction of a winning candidate’s policy, explains this Backgrounder.

November 7, 2011

United States
Defense Spending and the Deficit Debate

Lawmakers are considering sharp cuts to defense spending as part of mandated deficit-reduction efforts. This Backgrounder discusses the effects of such major cuts and implications for U.S. military s…

July 14, 2009

Religion
U.S.-Vatican Relations

U.S.-Vatican relations remain uneven following Joseph Ratzinger’s accession as Pope Benedict XVI, particularly as the Obama administration pursues a more liberal social agenda.

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 27, 2010

Afghanistan
Foreign Policy and the 2010 Midterms: War in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan hasn’t been a major campaign issue even as public support for it has waned. This Backgrounder examines political backing for the war.