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Iraqi Kurdistan: the essential briefing

Could the Kurdistan Regional Government use Iraq's current conflict to push for independence? The oil-rich territory already enjoys many of the trappings of an independent state, but its leaders have generally been cautious of the new challenges independence would create. 

Eastern Europe's demographic challenges

Workforces throughout Eastern Europe are entering long-term structural decline – could immigration improve matters?

Negative outlook for Russian economy as sanctions bite

Russia faces negative economic prospects if it does not uphold a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Iran nuclear talks approach conclusive deadline

Iran and its interlocutors have until 24 March to reach an agreement on the country's nuclear programme.

France's nuclear conservatism

Those hoping that President François Hollande would use a recent speech to break with France's nuclear traditions will have been disappointed.

Japan's defence budget bolsters altered military roles

Japan's defence spending is an effort by Shinzo Abe to carve out a greater regional security role.

Greek defiance raises questions for Europe

Although a Greek exit from the eurozone is undesirable for all sides, a great deal is at stake for both the Greek and German governments, making it hard for them to compromise.

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Libya's civil war: the essential briefing

Libya has been in a state of civil war since July 2014. Here, IISS Strategic Comments attempts to make sense of the politics, the conflict and the economics – and potential future scenarios.