Over the past decades, officials have been quick to look for an al-Qaida link in terror attacks. But as Islamist groups spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, their relationships with — and differences from — al-Qaida are growing increasingly complex.
It would be virtually impossible for any country to be energy independent. Energy security is a more realistic goal, however. U.S. oil production is on track to surpass Saudi Arabia's, and imports are falling. Also, increased regional production could mean the U.S. buys more oil from places like Brazil and Canada and less from producers in the Middle East.
When the presidential candidates hold their final debate Monday night, this one on foreign policy, they'll likely be asked to define their vision of America's role in the world. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, that role may shift back to economic and cultural leadership, scholars say.
How can we balance the budget with increases in military spending? What would the candidates do to support disabled veterans? NPR reporters tackle your questions about defense spending and veterans affairs.
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