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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) is placing an increased planning and budgeting emphasis on irregular warfare (IW) operations, such as counterinsurgency operations. In addition, counterterrorism (CT) operations have been a DOD area of emphasis since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of IW and CT activities, and has taken some steps in recent years to strengthen its ability to conduct such activities. This report discusses these activities and potential oversight issues raised by them.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress

Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress

Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Congress in recent years has proposed, and sometimes passed, legislation regarding the naming of specific ships.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
International Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Security Threats, U.S. Policy, and Considerations for Congress

International Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Security Threats, U.S. Policy, and Considerations for Congress

Date: January 5, 2010
Creator: Rollins, John; Wyler, Liana Sun & Rosen, Seth
Description: This report provides a primer on the confluence of transnational terrorist and criminal groups and related activities abroad. It evaluates possible motivations and disincentives for cooperation between terrorist and criminal organizations, variations in the scope of crime-terrorism links, and the types of criminal activities--fundraising, material and logistics support, and exploitation of corruption and gaps in the rule of law--used by terrorist organizations to sustain operations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments

Date: January 6, 2010
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosion and was in 1996 adopted by the U.N. General Assembly but rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997. This report discusses the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). This report also discusses other nuclear weapons-related issues as well as the long history of nuclear testing.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments

Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments

Date: January 7, 2010
Creator: Kan, Shirley A. & Niksch, Larry A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues

Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues

Date: January 7, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report discusses the legal framework that applies to private security contractors (PSCs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. After presenting a general description of the types of law applicable, including international humanitarian law and relevant status of forces agreements, the report addresses some implications of international law and a multilateral proposal for the adoption of international "best practices" regarding the use of PSCs. The report follows up with a discussion of jurisdiction over PSC personnel in U.S. courts, whether federal or military courts, identifying possible means of prosecuting contractor personnel who are accused of violating the law overseas in the context of U.S. military operations, including a listing of known cases that have occurred or are pending. Finally, the report briefly discusses the possible implication of the roles of private security contractors with respect to inherently governmental functions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Periods of War

U.S. Periods of War

Date: January 7, 2010
Creator: Salazar Torreon, Barbara
Description: This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues

Date: January 8, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: This report summarizes what is known from open sources about the North Korean nuclear weapons program -- including weapons-usable fissile material and warhead estimates -- and assesses current developments in achieving denuclearization.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

Date: January 8, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: This report looks at the background and current status of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which was formed to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
NATO Enlargement: Senate Advice and Consent

NATO Enlargement: Senate Advice and Consent

Date: January 15, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: This report describes the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty and of the original Senate debate in 1949 pertinent to enlargement and the procedures that have been followed for each subsequent enlargement proposal. It also discusses what the Senate did with respect to the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the implications of that event for Germany's membership in NATO.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Research and Development (R&D) to Enhance Homeland Security: CRS Experts

Research and Development (R&D) to Enhance Homeland Security: CRS Experts

Date: January 15, 2010
Creator: Gottron, Frank
Description: This report includes a table which provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to research and development (R&D) to enhance homeland security.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Department of Defense's Use of Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background, Analysis, and Options for Congress

The Department of Defense's Use of Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background, Analysis, and Options for Congress

Date: January 19, 2010
Creator: Schwartz, Moshe
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nuclear Weapons in U.S. National Security Policy: Past, Present, and Prospects

Nuclear Weapons in U.S. National Security Policy: Past, Present, and Prospects

Date: January 21, 2010
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: This report highlights the differences between the construct of tailored deterrence and the more general concept of strategic deterrence that guided U.S. nuclear policy during the Cold War. It then identifies issues that Congress might address when it reviews these differences.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Issues for Congress

Intelligence Issues for Congress

Date: January 22, 2010
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: This report gives an overview of current intelligence issues of interest to the 112th Congress. It includes background and analysis including most recent development, ongoing Congressional concerns, specific issues for the 112th Congress, and a summary of related legislation from the 109th through the 112th Congresses.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
North Korea: Economic Leverage and Policy Analysis

North Korea: Economic Leverage and Policy Analysis

Date: January 22, 2010
Creator: Nanto, Dick K. & Chanlett-Avery, Emma
Description: This report examines the economic side of U.S. leverage with North Korea and reviews U.S. policy and legislation. The security side of U.S.-DPRK relations is addressed in other CRS reports.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Date: January 25, 2010
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: This report discusses the issue in relation to the U.S. State Department's April 2009 Country Report on Terrorism; Colombian President Hugo Chávez's sympathies with terrorist groups and lack of cooperation on antiterrorism efforts; growing U.S. concern over activities of terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay; and various legislative initiatives related to Latin American terrorism issues being considered by the 112th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts

Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts

Date: January 25, 2010
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock & Gonzales, Oscar R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions

Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions

Date: January 26, 2010
Creator: Haddal, Chad C.
Description: This report briefly describes the role of various agencies in securing the borders of the United States. These agencies are the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the United States Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court

Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court

Date: January 26, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Defense Logistical Support Contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Issues for Congress

Defense Logistical Support Contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Issues for Congress

Date: January 27, 2010
Creator: Bailey Grasso, Valerie
Description: This report examines logistical support contracts for troop support services in Iraq and Afghanistan (for Afghanistan, beginning with LOGCAP IV) administered through the U.S. Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP). LOGCAP is an initiative designed to manage the use of civilian contractors that perform services during times of war and other military mobilizations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Economic Development Assistance for Communities Affected by Employment Changes Due to Military Base Closures (BRAC)

Economic Development Assistance for Communities Affected by Employment Changes Due to Military Base Closures (BRAC)

Date: January 27, 2010
Creator: Gonzales, Oscar R.
Description: This report discusses the geographic impact of base closures and realignments, provides an analysis of federal economic assistance programs for those affected by such closures, and analyzes possible policy issues for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2009

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2009

Date: January 27, 2010
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F.
Description: This report reviews hundreds of instances in which the United States has utilized military forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict to protect U.S. citizens or promote U.S. interests.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department