Sunagakure is one of the smaller of the five Great Villages, with strong isolationist tendencies that have stunted it's growth as a political power. Like all of the official villages, the ranks of shinobi are divided into Kage, jounin, chuunin, and genin. It is widely known as a village of bizarre blood lines, potent ninja, and crafty shinobi tools rarely seen or used elsewhere. Its most well known feature is the giant spherical building at the very center of the village where the Kazekage handles village affairs and other business occurs.
Suna, as it's name implies, lies somewhere in a large arid desert that has proven quite hostile to people who do not know how to survive within it's harsh borders. Rainfall is incredibly scarce with the primary source of water coming from oasis, hidden or otherwise, that dot the landscape here and there or the raging rivers that border the Land of Wind. Sandstorms can spring up with little notice to scour desert travelers or at the very least ensure they become lost if precautions aren't taken to mark one's trail. This inhospitable terrain, however, is also one of the greatest defenses that Sunagakure possesses.
Sunagakure's military strength, both shinobi and para-shinobi, is perhaps the most consolidated out of any of the Great Villages. Both Konoha and Iwa have large countries that need patrolling, Kiri is spread over several island chains, and Kumo's own confusing landscape has hampered it's military efforts, but Suna doesn't need to bother with watching the majority of the Land of Wind and thus can focus it's attention on the few spots deserving notice. This highly defensible posture has ensured that Sunagakure has never truly been threatened by an invading force since the towns worth defending and Sunagakure itself are more deeply entrenched then any other country. The tenacity of Sunagakure's ninja resources has thwarted more then one attempt to assault the country and the same resilience is beaten into the ninja that serve under it's banner creating a bull dog-like military machine. Despite it's powerful shinobi, Sunagakure suffers from a lack of shinobi and ninja under it's banner which has been one of the reasons the village remains as small as it is. Most of it's shinobi are required for patrols and defense, leaving few able to complete missions or assaults.
Sunagakure's ninja arts are as strange as they are diverse; in the last Great Ninja War, shinobi from the Hidden Sand time and time again displayed potency, stamina, inventive tactics, and a grim purpose that wore out it's foes to leave them floundering against what was usually a much smaller force. The few traditional great families of Suna have developed many out-landish jutsu that have perplexed their enemies and won them hard fought victories against more straightforward enemies. On top of this, the Hidden Sand is home to extremely powerful kekkei genkai, including the infamous Satetsu and Kyuushou Kousei bloodlines. All of these make the Hidden Sand a dangerous foe and a useful ally in the turbulent ninja world.
One benefit of it's smaller size is that Sunagakure lacks many clandestine families or organizations within it's borders that would threaten the stability and security of the village for their own purposes. While bloodlines are passed down through families, none of them are held in the same 'noble' status, like the Hyuuga of Konoha, and thus lack political power that could upset Suna. However, there is one group within Sunagakure's shinobi forces that bears specific mention and that is it's legendary Puppet Corp that has no true parallel in any other village. Making use of a rarely seen ninja tool, combat puppets, these puppeteers have proved pivotal in the defense of Sunagakure and in the village's few forays into other countries as a devastating force. The Puppet Corp.'s finally crafted battle puppets are usually armed well enough to be a serious threat to most shinobi, especially in the hands of skilled puppeteer who knows what they are doing.
Another para-military unit that bears mention is the group of jounin code-named the 'Sandwalkers' among Sunagakure and other villages, an elite group of shinobi that takes their orders directly from the elders of Sunagakure and no one else (both similar and utterly distaff from the ANBU of Konohagakure in that fashion). Named for an old desert legend about a group shinobi who gave worship to a powerful spirit of the desert, the Sandwalkers are a group dedicated to sabotage and hit-and-run tactics and acts as Sunagakure's first and last line of defense in times of war. They bare no identifying marks that would highlight them as anything other then regular Suna shinobi, but (if rumors are true) they are responsible for the rash outbreaks of sabotage and treachery that swamp opponents of Sunagakure before they even begin to field a force. Another part of their duties is guaranteeing that no enemy passes through the Land of Wind's desert without harrassment.
Suna's most well known ally is definitely Konohagakure and the two village's have been so since the last Great Ninja War when Suna proved instrumental to Konoha's victory over Iwagakure. However, the village has few other 'official' allies and rather seems to hold a firmly neutral position when it comes to the other villages. Most likely a result of Sunagakure's isolationist policies, this has nonetheless kept Sunagakure out of many conflicts that it's small size couldn't have supported and made Suna-nin and un-official mediator for issues that don't require a meeting of the five Kages.
Notably, Suna doesn't even seem to hold any particularly vengeful feelings towards Iwagakure and it's allies despite having fought against that country in it's last big war.
There are rumors that the current Kazekage may have been mentoring an apprentice in secret, though no solid data has been provided to support this claim.