Although Iran and Russia have substantial economic and military ties, Moscow is increasingly wary of Tehran’s growing nuclear ambitions, which have the potential to threaten Russia.
Consumption of natural gas is growing rapidly and now accounts for nearly one-quarter of the world’s energy supply. While natural gas is relatively clean compared to crude oil and coal, its ability to assume a greater role in meeting the world’s growing energy demands will depend largely on price.
As the melting Arctic ice cap opens new shipping lanes and makes it easier to access strategic energy reserves, countries are racing to gain control over the Arctic’s abundant natural resources.
With global trade talks stalled and lower demand from major economies that were hit hard by the global economic crisis, three regions—Eastern Europe, Latin America, and East Asia—are managing to increase trade within their borders and building a broader free trade system.
Russia’s energy reserves can be conserved through available, cost-effective measures, which will lead to a more competitive economy, more jobs, and increased national income.
President Obama has placed a greater emphasis on the need for a regional approach to Afghanistan. Leading experts analyze what a regional strategy would mean in practice through the eyes of key states, including Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and India, and what it could mean for U.S. policy.
Despite its importance, Russia’s perspective on the war in Afghanistan has typically been missing from previous analyses of coalition policy. Moscow views Afghanistan largely through the prism of security threats to itself and its Central Asian neighborhood.
A less costly and more effective way for the international coalition to overcome the impasse in Afghanistan is a negotiated agreement with the Taliban, which could pave the way for a unity government.
By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Russia had recovered from its domestic crisis, and so had its global ambitions. While Moscow’s principal interests still lie mostly toward the West, the Middle East is back on Moscow’s radar screen and Russia’s withdrawal from the region has been reversed.
USAID—the largest source of U.S. democracy assistance—requires deep-reaching reforms if the Obama administration hopes to adequately address challenges to democracy around the world.