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May 16, 2005

Middle East and North Africa
A New Beginning

Overview Focus group research in Morocco, Egypt, and Indonesia has shown that it is possible to improve the image of the United States in the Muslim world. Although many Muslims are angry at wh…

A New Beginning cover

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…

July 22, 2009

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…

July 19, 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.

May 6, 2009

Pakistan
Winning the Information War in Afghanistan and Pakistan

President Obama has made "strategic communications" an essential part of his move to boost the military and nation-building effort in Afghanistan. But experts say countering Taliban messaging will ta…

February 1, 2010

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Al-Qaeda’s Financial Pressures

Financial pressures have weakened al-Qaeda’s tactical abilities, but analysts say affiliated networks are finding new ways to raise and spend money, complicating efforts to squeeze a savvy foe.

May 22, 2009

Afghanistan
Nourishing Afghanistan’s Agricultural Sector

International actors are redoubling efforts to restore Afghanistan’s agriculture sector and weaken the massive opium trade that helps fund the Taliban. But competing strategies and corruption could s…

September 17, 2009

United States
National Missile Defense: A Status Report

The United States has pursued missile defense technologies for six decades, with mixed results. Changes under the Obama administration, including adjustments to planned defenses in Europe, could port…