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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts
The most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission submitted its final report to the Administration on September 8, 2005. In the report, the commission rejected 13 of the initial Department of Defense recommendations, significantly modified the recommendations for 13 other installations, and approved 22 major closures. The loss of related jobs, and efforts to replace them and to implement a viable base reuse plan, can pose significant challenges for affected communities. This report explores the potential economic impact of military closures on communities, especially rural communities, which are more heavily affected by such closures and suffer from slower economic recovery times in such instances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40264/
Military Construction: Analysis of the FY2012 Appropriation and Authorization
This report explains those government activities funded under the military construction appropriation, examines trends in military construction funding over the past few years, and outlines military construction issues extant in each of the major regions of U.S. military activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96692/
U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress
This report covers Special Operations Forces (SOF) budgets for FY2013 and expected uses of the bugeted money. SOF actions play a significant role in U.S. military operations, and the Administration has given U.S. SOF greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96810/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
This report discusses the establishment of no-fly zones and several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, including international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97997/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) and Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at budget requests for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program, Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program, and brigade combat teams (BCTs). It ends with a discussion of potential issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97990/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": The Law and Military Policy on Same-Sex Behavior
This report describes the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy, which holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in same-sex acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Under this policy, but not the law, service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their "same-sex orientation." This report also describes recent efforts by certain Members of Congress to amending this policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29575/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) at a rate of one per year for the past several years, and a total of 12 boats have been procured through FY2010. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget increases the procurement rate to two boats per year. This report discusses the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget, which requests $3,441.5 million in procurement funding to complete the procurement cost of the 13th and 14th Virginia-class boats. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29654/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. The issue for Congress that is discussed in this report is how to respond to the Navy's proposed force structure and shipbuilding plans. Decisions that Congress makes on this issue could significantly affect future U.S. military capabilities, Navy funding requirements, and the Navy shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29656/
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Currently, there are plans to increase and enhance the Coast Guard's fleet through the Deepwater acquisition program. This report details the Coast Guard's budget requests and explains how the Coast Guard has improved its organization and management over the past several years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29686/
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
In May 2003, President George W. Bush formed the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials. This report provides background information on the initiative, as well as a general overview and proposed changes and expansions to the initiative. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29702/
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Currently, there are plans to increase and enhance the Coast Guard's fleet through the Deepwater acquisition program. This report details the Coast Guard's budget requests and explains how the Coast Guard has improved its organization and management over the past several years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29687/
Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's proposal to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at Mayport, Florida. Transferring a CVN from Norfolk, Virginia, to Mayport would also shift the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97971/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) and Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at budget requests for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program, Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program, and brigade combat teams (BCTs). It ends with a discussion of potential issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97989/
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97983/
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget request for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29600/
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply and also discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, such as the Espionage Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29606/
Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries
This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial veterans' benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues, such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29602/
The Department of Defense's Use of Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq: Background, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report examines current PSC trends in Afghanistan and Iraq, steps DOD has taken to improve oversight and management, and the impact using private security personnel can have on military operations. It also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over the use of PSCs and includes options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40082/
Turkey-U.S. Defense Cooperation: Prospects and Challenges
The United States enjoys a strong legacy of defense cooperation with Turkey, both bilaterally and in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), dating from the onset of the Cold War. For both countries, mutual cooperation has major implications for national security priorities in Turkey's surrounding region-particularly the greater Middle East. A more independent Turkish foreign policy course-reflected in recent international events involving Iran, Israel, and other countries-has raised concerns among some Members of Congress. This, coupled with a decline of the military's influence in Turkish society, may affect prospects and present challenges for bilateral and NATO defense cooperation, while also generating ongoing debate over which country needs the other more to pursue and achieve its national security objectives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40130/
U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses Special Operations Forces (SOFs), which are elite military units with special training and equipment that can infiltrate hostile territory through land, sea, or air to conduct a variety of operations, many of which are classified. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99121/
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the history and current state of Syria's chemical and biological weapon programs and possible U.S. government programs that could be used to dismantle stockpiles if the Assad regime were to collapse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462414/
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the history and current state of Syria's chemical and biological weapon programs and possible U.S. government programs that could be used to dismantle stockpiles if the Assad regime were to collapse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463113/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. "Homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491228/
Ballistic Missile Defense and Offensive Arms Reductions: A Review of the Historical Record
This report seeks to shed some light on the past relationship between ballistic missile defenses and negotiations on offensive arms control treaties. It provides an historical review of the way in which the United States and Soviet Union addressed ballistic missile defense issues during their negotiations on the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in the 1980s and early 1990s. It also provides a review of U.S. missile defense policy and summarizes data on missile defense spending during the 1980s, 1990s, and the past decade. The report then reviews the recent record on the way the New START negotiations addressed ballistic missile defense issues and offers some observations about whether this historical record may provide insights into how the United States might proceed with its ballistic missile defense programs in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491263/
U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses short-term policy issues about how to elicit cooperation and how to address People's Republic of China (PRC) concerns about the U.S.-led war (Operation Enduring Freedom). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491202/
Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's proposal to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at Mayport, Florida. Economic and homeland security concerns are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491618/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests funding for the procurement of four LCSs. Current issues for Congress concerning the LCS program include changes or potential changes to the composition of LCS mission modules announced by the Navy in January 2011, the combat survivability of the LCS, and hull cracking on LCS-1. Congress's decisions on the LCS program could affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491303/
Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring an 11th and final San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship in FY2012. This report discusses the procurement cost estimates of this ship, as well as related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491375/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests procurement funding for the 15th and 16th Virginia-class boats, and advance procurement (AP) funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491295/
United Nations Peacekeeping: Issues for Congress
A major issue facing the United Nations, the United States, and the 111th Congress is the extent to which the United Nations has the capacity to restore or keep the peace in the changing world environment. Associated with this issue is the expressed need for a reliable source of funding and other resources for peacekeeping and improved efficiencies of operation. This report serves as a tracking report for action by Congress on United Nations peacekeeping. Funding and provisioning issues are examined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491247/
The Department of Defense's Use of Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report examines current private security contractor (PSC) trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, steps Department of Defense (DOD) has taken to improve oversight and management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of security contractors into its doctrine and strategy. It also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over the use of PSCs and includes options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491201/
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget request for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491327/
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partners, relations with China, and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490970/
Homeland Security Department: FY2011 Appropriations
This report describes the FY2011 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Administration requested a net appropriation of $45.0 billion in budget authority for FY2011. This amounts to a $1.1 billion, or a 2.4% increase from the $43.9 billion enacted for FY2010. Total budget authority requested by the Administration for DHS for FY2011 amounts to $52.6 billion as compared to $51.7 billion enacted for FY2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490921/
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's Deepwater acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491161/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491156/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), under which members of the uniformed services and U.S. citizens who live abroad are eligible to register and vote absentee in federal elections. The report discusses recent improvements to UOCAVA, necessary as the result of controversy surrounding ballots received in Florida from absentee voters in the 2000 presidential election. The report also discusses related legislation, such as the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010, which provided for a major overhaul of UOCAVA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491154/
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization Wikileaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491198/
Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace
This report discusses the political climate of Somalia, which has undergone extreme unrest for years. The report focuses on events since October 2002, including the formation of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2007 and the TFG's cooperation with the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) in 2008. The report also discusses the U.S. relationship with Somalia under the Obama Administration, including U.S. economic assistance given to Somalia and U.S. efforts to contain Somalian terrorist groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491089/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests procurement funding for the 15th and 16th Virginia-class boats, and advance procurement (AP) funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491070/
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis
The Department of Defense (DOD) increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce that has 19% more contractor personnel (207,600) than uniformed personnel (175,000). This report discusses the issues raised by this fact including (1) what role contractors should play in contingency operations, (2) whether DOD is gathering and analyzing the right data on the use of contractors, (3) what steps DOD is taking to improve contract management and oversight, and (4) the extent to which contractors are being effectively included into military doctrine and strategy. This report examines current contractor trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, the steps DOD has taken to improve contractor oversight and management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of contractors into its doctrine and strategy. The report also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over DOD contracting, including contracting issues that have been the focus of hearings and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491015/
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491074/
Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance
Congress has expressed a great deal of interest in using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to surveil the United States' international land border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) utilizes advanced technology to augment its USBP agents' ability to patrol the border, including a fleet of six UAVs. This report examines the strengths and limitations of deploying UAVs along the borders and related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490874/
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget request for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491406/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
In 1993, after many months of study, debate, and political controversy, Congress passed and President Clinton signed legislation establishing a revised "[p]olicy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces." The new legislation reflected a compromise regarding the U.S. military's policy toward members of the armed forces who engage in homosexual conduct. This compromise, colloquially referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)," holds that "[t]he presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability." Service members are not to be asked about, nor allowed to discuss, their sexual orientation. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained both politically and legally contentious. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491436/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests funding for the procurement of four LCSs. Current issues for Congress concerning the LCS program include changes or potential changes to the composition of LCS mission modules announced by the Navy in January 2011, the combat survivability of the LCS, and hull cracking on LCS-1. Congress's decisions on the LCS program could affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491143/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
In 1993, after many months of study, debate, and political controversy, Congress passed and President Clinton signed legislation establishing a revised "[p]olicy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces." The new legislation reflected a compromise regarding the U.S. military's policy toward members of the armed forces who engage in homosexual conduct. This compromise, colloquially referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)," holds that "[t]he presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability." Service members are not to be asked about, nor allowed to discuss, their sexual orientation. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained both politically and legally contentious. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491159/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491168/
The Department of Defense's Use of Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report examines current private security contractor (PSC) trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, steps Department of Defense (DOD) has taken to improve oversight and management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of security contractors into its doctrine and strategy. It also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over the use of PSCs and includes options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491483/
The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012: Detainee Matters
This report offers a brief background of the salient issues and provides a section-by-section analysis of the detainee provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012. It also discusses executive interpretation and implementation of the act's mandatory military detention provision. Finally, it addresses detainee provisions in the 2013 defense authorization bills passed by each house, which have also drawn veto threats from the President. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491472/