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Council on Foreign Relations
Armed Islamic Group (Algeria, Islamists)

IntroductionThe Armed Islamic Group, known by its French acronym, GIA, waged a violent war against Algeria's secular military regime during the 1990s. Though terrorism continues to plague Algerian society, the GIA's role in current violence appears to have abated. The GIA grew out of a...

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Nourishing Afghanistan's Agricultural Sector

IntroductionAs the United States focuses new attention on the Afghan war front, U.S. policymakers are emphasizing rural development and agricultural reform as keys to long-term stability. Bruce Riedel, who coauthored the Obama administration's review of Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, says Washington is "going to emphasize wheat" as...

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Political Battles Over Guantanamo

During his first week in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order signaling his intent to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010, and another order that called for a top-to-bottom review of U.S. detention policies. The moves brought praise from...

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The Debate over Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade

IntroductionInternational talks are intensifying over what policy should follow the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty set to expire in 2012 that established binding reductions of greenhouse gas emissions for thirty-six countries. The Obama administration, in a split with the previous U.S. administration, favors binding emissions cuts...

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Economic Challenges for Climate Change Policy

IntroductionPresident Barack Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress say they are committed to enacting mandates to curb greenhouse gases. In May 2009, the Obama administration announced new standards for auto emissions and mileage aimed at reducing greenhouse gases up to 30 percent by 2016,...

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Understanding Myanmar

IntroductionMyanmar's repressive military regime faces new scrutiny by the international community and competing calls for sanctions and greater engagement with the regime. In February 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a review of U.S. policy toward Myanmar (which is also known as...

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China’s Internal Migrants

IntroductionEver since China first instituted major economic reforms three decades ago, it has undergone unprecedented social transformations. Economic development and rapid urbanization have spurred massive internal migration, largely from the countryside to towns and cities, by individuals in search of jobs and higher wages. Official...

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Winning the Information War in Afghanistan and Pakistan

IntroductionWith overwhelming firepower, Western armies rarely lose in combat to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. But in the communications battle, the militants appear to hold the edge. The gap has grown especially wide in the Afghan war zone, analysts say. Using FM transmitters, the Internet, and...

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Flu Economics

It remains to be seen which will have the worst effect--swine flu itself, or the economic shockwaves it is creating. Following the flu's outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its pandemic alert level twice in a single week and cases were confirmed in new...

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