The following regions and issues are among those critical to both short- and long-term US interests. They should draw greater US attention and diplomatic efforts.
Sustainable Harvest pays smallholder coffee farmers a premium price while sharing with them its knowledge of the coffee business. Farmers learn how the coffee supply chain works – right up to the consumer's cup.
Indonesia's recent ban on mineral ore exports aims to force foreign companies to start processing in the country.
While western Iraq is in the hands of Al Qaeda, recent trends suggest there's no safe oil investment refuge even in the Kurdish north, Graeber writes.
A potential $1.5 billion oil-for-goods swap between Iran and Russia has prompted harsh responses from Washington, which says such a deal could trigger new US sanctions.
An Iran nuclear deal would ease economic sanctions on the Islamic nation in exchange for limits to its uranium enrichment program. Oil prices slipped Monday, on news of the Iran nuclear deal, set for Jan. 20, but the promise of new Iranian oil may be overhyped.
Gas prices averaged $3.49 per gallon in 2013, down about 12 cents from the record-high price in 2012. What's the outlook for gas prices in 2014?
The US trade deficit fell to a four-year low in November, aided by growing US energy production. Some say lifting decades-old restrictions on oil and gas exports would close the gap further, but skeptics say more exports undermine energy security.