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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Afghanistan: Politics, Government Formation and Performance
The Afghan central government's limited writ and widespread official corruption are helping sustain a Taliban insurgency, and have fed pessimism about the Afghanistan stabilization effort. This report discusses the current tumultuous political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his struggle with the Taliban terrorist group. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the U.S. with regard to these struggles, and describes various U.S. efforts currently underway to help Afghanistan build a stable government and economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26323/
Canada-U.S. Relations
This report provides a short overview of Canada's political scene, its economic conditions, and its recent security and foreign policy, focusing particularly on issues that may be relevant to U.S. policymakers. This brief country survey is followed by several summaries of current bilateral issues in the political, trade, and environmental arenas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26110/
Azerbaijan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests
This report discusses political, economic, and security challenges facing Azerbaijan, including the unsettled conflict in the breakaway Nagorno Karabakh region. A table provides basic facts and biographical information. Related products include CRS Report RL33453, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, by Jim Nichol. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26118/
Afghanistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance
The U.S. program of assistance to Afghanistan is intended to stabilize and strengthen the Afghan economic, social, political, and security environment so as to blunt popular support for extremist forces in the region. Since 2001, nearly $38 billion has been appropriated toward this effort. This report provides a "big picture" overview of the U.S. aid program and congressional action. It describes what various aid agencies report they are doing in Afghanistan. It does not address the effectiveness of their programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26185/
Iran's 2009 Presidential Elections
This report analyzes and discusses Iran's 2009 presidential election, particularly the campaigns of reformist candidate Mir Hussein Musavi and incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Allegations of vote rigging and election fraud have led to protests by supporters of candidate Musavi and have provoked international attention. This report also discusses the Obama Administration's reaction to the election results. This report also discusses briefly the current relationship between the U.S. and Iran, as well as U.S. concerns regarding Iran, such as Iran's efforts at building a nuclear weapons program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26168/
Libya: Unrest and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the recent revolution against Libyan ruler Muammar al Qadhafi. Qadhafi's opposition is calling for an end to the authoritarian political system he has controlled in Libya for the last four decades. This report focuses on U.S. military and diplomatic policy regarding this incident and possible future security concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33051/
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the recent conflict in Syria including an overview of the situation, information about anti- and pro-Asad forces, background on chemical weapons and disarmament, plans for U.S. policy and assistance, and a general sense of the future outlook. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332925/
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups -- chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332923/
U.S.-Vietnam Relations in 2014: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report provides background information regarding the U.S. - Vietnam relations and current issues and implications. The report discuses how various issues (US interests, Vietnamese interests, economic ties, and human rights) can affect this burgeoning relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332958/
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the recent conflict in Syria including an overview of the situation, information about anti- and pro-Asad forces, background on chemical weapons and disarmament, plans for U.S. policy and assistance, and a general sense of the future outlook. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332903/
Iraq Crisis and U.S. Policy
This report analyzes the offensive in northern and central Iraq led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, aka ISIS) -- a Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group -- with a discussion of the offensive's implications, the U.S. response, and related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332987/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332926/
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
This report provides an overview of the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START), including a comparison to the original START Treaty, the belief of the Obama Administration and outside analysts that New START will enhance U.S. national security, and the criticisms of those who say that New START is a distraction from more important items on the nonproliferation agenda. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332924/
Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the revolution and post-conflict transition in Libya, triggered in mid-February 2011 by a chain of events resulting in the death of the Prime Minister (Qadhafi); a new government was elected in July. The report also looks at the military and economic state of the country, including human rights, Islam and politics, and Libya's oil assets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332964/
Canada-U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Canada's political scene, economic conditions, security and foreign policy, and environmental initiatives, focusing particularly on issues that may be relevant to U.S. policymakers. This country survey is followed by several summaries of current bilateral issues in the political, international security, trade, and environmental arenas. The questions following each summary are designed as potential inquiries to Canadian officials to promote thought and discussion among policymakers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332994/
Serbia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Serbia. It is seeking to integrate into the European Union (EU), but its progress has been hindered by a failure to arrest remaining indicted war criminals, and by tensions with the United States and many EU countries over the independence of Serbia's Kosovo province. This report discusses these issues in addition to issues regarding U.S.-Serbia relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33109/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai, to address corruption within the Afghan government. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33098/
Kosovo: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Kosovo, which, on February 7, 2008, declared its independence from Serbia. Since then, Serbia has contested Kosovo's declaration of independence, leading to parallel governing institutions and ongoing talks between the two nations. This report discusses challenges Kosovo faces regarding international recognition and the status of its ethnic minorities. This report also discusses Kosovo's relationship with the United States, and U.S. foreign aid efforts to Kosovo. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33096/
Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report describes the relationship between the United States and the Sultanate of Oman, especially with respect to Oman's support of U.S. efforts toward peace in the Middle East, the U.S. free trade agreement with Oman, and Oman's relatively close relations with Iran, the last of which seems incongruous with the other positive aspects of Oman's relationship with the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33093/
Morocco: Current Issues
This report discusses the current political and foreign policy status of Morocco, especially with regard to its relationship with the United States and its struggles combating terrorism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33094/
U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress
This report discusses policy issues regarding military-to-military contacts with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and provides a record of major contacts and crises since 1993. The first part of this report discusses policy issues regarding such contacts. The second part provides a record of such contacts since 1993, when the United States resumed exchanges after suspending them in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333008/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33088/
Singapore: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current economic and political state of the island nation of Singapore, focusing in particularly on its economic success and its relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33083/
Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions
This report discusses the current political climate in Tanzania, an important U.S. ally in Africa. The report also provides some general background information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94228/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai, to address corruption within the Afghan government. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94201/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai, to address corruption within the Afghan government. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94204/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai, to address corruption within the Afghan government. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94203/
China's Economic Conditions
This report looks at how economic reforms and trade liberalization that began in 1979 has lead to China blossoming into one of the world's fastest growing economies. The report surveys the rise of China's economy; describes major economic challenges facing China; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94051/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its current relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94050/
Iran Sanctions
This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which were initiated as a result of Iran's nuclear program and human rights issues. It ends by discussing future issues that Congress can consider regarding the sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94177/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94176/
Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in Russia, focusing on the impact of Vladimir Putin's leadership and the leadership of his successor/protégé, Dmitriy Medvedev, both of which have steered Russia away from progress toward democratization. The report also discusses the state of the economy since the Soviet collapse in 1999, how the recent global economic downturn has affected Russia, the state of Russia's military, and the current relationship between Russia and the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94032/
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear proliferation and security issues. It discusses the steps that could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal. Whether and to what extent Pakistan's current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94127/
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear proliferation and security issues. It discusses the steps that could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal. Whether and to what extent Pakistan's current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94128/
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear proliferation and security issues. It discusses the steps that could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal. Whether and to what extent Pakistan's current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94126/
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the implications that certain elements of China's military modernization may have for future required U.S. Navy capabilities. The issue for Congress addressed in this report is: How should China's military modernization be factored into decisions about U.S. Navy programs? Congress's decisions on this issue could significantly affect future U.S. Navy capabilities, U.S. Navy funding requirements, and the U.S. defense industrial base, including the shipbuilding industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94015/
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress
India, which has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and does not have International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all of its nuclear material, exploded a “peaceful” nuclear device in 1974, convincing the world of the need for greater restrictions on nuclear trade. The United States created the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as a direct response to India's test, halted nuclear exports to India a few years later, and worked to convince other states to do the same. India tested nuclear weapons again in 1998. However, President Bush announced July 18, 2005, he would “work to achieve full civil nuclear energy cooperation with India” and would “also seek agreement from Congress to adjust U.S. laws and policies,” in the context of a broader partnership with India. The Obama Administration has continued with the Bush Administration's policy regarding civil nuclear cooperation with India. According to a November 8, 2010, White House fact sheet, the United States “intends to support India's full membership” in the NSG, as well as other multilateral export control regimes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94011/
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress
This report covers the question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, has emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning. The question is of particular importance to the U.S. Navy, because many U.S. military programs for countering improved Chinese military forces would fall within the Navy's budget. Potential oversight issues for Congress include the following: whether the U.S. Navy in coming years will be large enough to adequately counter improved Chinese maritime anti-access forces while also adequately performing other missions of interest to U.S. policymakers around the world; the Navy's ability to counter Chinese ASBMs and submarines; and whether the Navy, in response to China's maritime anti-access capabilities, should shift over time to a more distributed fleet architecture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94017/
Egypt: Transition under Military Rule
This report provides a brief overview of the transition underway after the resignation of Egyption president, Hosni Mubarak, and the effect on U.S.-Egyptian relations. It analyzes several issues for Congress including Egyptian-Israeli relations and U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94010/
The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups—chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94107/
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
This report describes issues related to U.S. aid provided to Palestine to support prevention/combating against terrorism, creating coexistence with Israel and self-governance, and meeting humanitarian needs. In includes introductory and historical background as well as in-depth analysis of the types of U.S. bilateral aid to Palestine, U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA), and the issues involved in determining future aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94250/
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
This report describes issues related to U.S. aid provided to Palestine to support prevention/combating against terrorism, creating coexistence with Israel and self-governance, and meeting humanitarian needs. In includes introductory and historical background as well as in-depth analysis of the types of U.S. bilateral aid to Palestine, U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA), and the issues involved in determining future aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94249/
The Republic of South Sudan: Opportunities and Challenges for Africa's Newest Country
This report discusses the situation in South Sudan as it faces a number of challenges in the coming years. Relations between Juba, in South Sudan, and Khartoum are poor, and there are a number of unresolved issues between them. The crisis in the disputed area of Abyei remains a contentious issue, despite a temporary agreement reached in mid-June 2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83974/
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and economic situation in Ukraine. It also discusses Ukraine's foreign policy, especially in respect to NATO, European Union, and Russia. The Ukraine's energy issues are also briefly deliberated in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40207/
Syria: Issues for the 112th Congress and Background on U.S. Sanctions
This report analyzes bilateral issues between the United States and Syria. Unrest in Syria and the Asad government's violent response are adding new complexity to the troubled U.S.-Syrian relationship. The Obama Administration's policy of limited engagement with Syria to address areas of long-standing concern has been met with criticism from some, including some Members of Congress. Critics believe that the Administration should apply further pressure to the Syrian government and consider implementing harsher economic sanctions against it. The use of violence against Syrian protestors has been accompanied by calls for new U.S. sanctions but also some expression of concern by experts that political unrest in Syria could evolve into a broader civil conflict that in turn could destabilize Syria's neighbors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40209/
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and economic situation in Ukraine. Ukraine occupies the sensitive position between Russia and NATO member states Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania adds to its geostrategic significance. This report also discusses the U.S. policy in regard to Ukraine, U.S. aid to Ukraine, and other legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40206/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai, to address corruption within the Afghan government. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40257/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses Iraq's political system that is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition and formation of cross-sectarian alliances. However, ethnic and sectarian political and sometimes violent infighting continues, often involving the questionable use of key levers of power and legal institutions. This infighting-and the belief that holding political power may mean the difference between life and death for the various political communities-significantly delayed agreement on a new government that was to be selected following the March 7, 2010, national elections for the Council of Representatives (COR, parliament). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40259/
Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report describes the relationship between the United States and the Sultanate of Oman, especially with respect to Oman's support of U.S. efforts toward peace in the Middle East, the U.S. free trade agreement with Oman, and Oman's relatively close relations with Iran, the last of which seems incongruous with the other positive aspects of Oman's relationship with the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40256/
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
Kuwait, which has been pivotal to nearly two decades of U.S. involvement in Iraq, has advanced its democratic development since the fall of Saddam Hussein. However, it remains mired in internal wrangling over economic issues and the political dominance of the ruling family, and it is showing signs of Sunni-Shiite tensions previously absent. This report, prepared with the assistance of Kim Klarman, will be updated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40253/