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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues

Date: December 6, 2010
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Date: September 10, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace

Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace

Date: August 6, 2010
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: July 30, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis

Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis

Date: July 2, 2010
Creator: Schwartz, Moshe
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: July 27, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance

Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance

Date: July 8, 2010
Creator: Haddal, Chad C. & Gertler, Jeremiah
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations

Date: August 6, 2010
Creator: Else, Daniel H.; Scott, Christine & Panangala, Sidath Viranga
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis

Date: June 3, 2010
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department