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August 17, 2022

Afghanistan
The Taliban in Afghanistan

The Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in 2021, twenty years after their ouster by U.S. troops. Under their harsh rule, they have cracked down on women’s rights and neglected basic services.

Taliban fighters hold a flag for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

August 2, 2022

Food and Water Security
Water Stress: A Global Problem That’s Getting Worse

Water scarcity threatens the health and development of communities around the globe. Climate change is intensifying the problem, pushing governments to find more innovative, collaborative ways to add…

New Delhi residents fill containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in June 2018.

July 25, 2022

Infectious Diseases
Why Hasn’t the World Eradicated Polio?

The world is inching closer to eradicating polio, but armed conflicts and opposition to vaccines stand in the way of finally eliminating the disease.

A health worker marks the finger of a child with indelible ink during an anti-polio campaign at an Afghan refugee settlement on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan.

August 11, 2022

Energy and Environment
How the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Works

The United States is the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. Its decision to either continue at this pace or curb production to achieve its climate goals will have global consequences.

An oil refinery is seen from above at night. Lights shine throughout the refinery and a U.S. flag hangs in the center.

June 29, 2022

Middle East and North Africa
Turkey’s Growing Foreign Policy Ambitions

Turkey’s geography and membership in NATO have long given the country an influential voice in foreign policy, but the assertive policies of President Erdogan have complicated its role.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking in front of massive Turkish flags and portraits of himself and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

July 20, 2022

Middle East and North Africa
What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

The United States has long tried to negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but several factors, including deep divisions between and within the parties and declining U.S. interes…

A Palestinian uses a ladder to climb over the wall separating the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the West Bank.

May 4, 2022

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
What Is NATO?

The alliance is bolstering its military deterrent in Europe amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and could be poised for another major expansion.

The United Kingdom’s Royal Marines take part in NATO exercises in Scotland in 2018.

June 14, 2022

China
China and Russia: Exploring Ties Between Two Authoritarian Powers

China and Russia have expanded trade and defense ties over the past decade, but they’re not formal allies. Experts say Russia’s war in Ukraine could be a turning point in the relationship.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping stand next to each other.

June 28, 2022

North Korea
North Korea’s Military Capabilities

Kim Jong-un has accelerated North Korea’s buildup of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, while also modernizing its large conventional force.

Vehicles carry missiles during a military parade in Pyongyang.

June 3, 2022

Cuba
U.S.-Cuba Relations

Communist Cuba has long been a major foreign policy challenge for the United States. President Biden is the latest U.S. leader to grapple with how to balance democracy promotion with the desire for a…

A man shows U.S. and Cuban flags at his house in Havana.