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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2012
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: September 13, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran, based on a wide range of open-source reporting.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: July 16, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: 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.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: June 18, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: 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.
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Guatemala: Political, Security, and Socio- Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Guatemala: Political, Security, and Socio- Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Date: June 26, 2012
Creator: Taft-Morales, Maureen
Description: This report provides an overview of Guatemala's current political and economic conditions, relations with the United States, and several issues likely to figure in future decisions by Congress and the Administration regarding Guatemala. With respect to continued cooperation and foreign assistance, these issues include security and governance; protection of human rights and human rights conditions on some U.S. military aid to Guatemala; support for the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala; combating narcotics trafficking and organized crime; trade relations; and intercountry adoption.
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Mexico's Free Trade Agreements

Mexico's Free Trade Agreements

Date: July 3, 2012
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Description: In the 112th Congress, issues of concern related to the trade and economic relationship with Mexico have involved mostly economic conditions in Mexico, issues related to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the effect of NAFTA, and Mexican migration to the United States. This report provides an overview of Mexico's free trade agreements, its motivations for trade liberalization and entering into free trade agreements, and some of the issues Mexico faces in addressing its economic challenges.
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Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy

Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy

Date: August 9, 2012
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: This report discusses the revolution and post-conflict transition in Libya. The crisis was triggered in mid-February 2011 by a chain of events in Benghazi and other eastern cities that quickly spiraled out of Qadhafi's control and resulted in his death. A July election marked a shift from the appointed interim government and may provide more democratic legitimacy and better decision making. The report also looks at the military and economic state of the country, including human rights, Islam and politics, and Libya's oil asses.
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Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Date: February 13, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: The installation of the Union Government in 2011 and the undertaking of initial reforms have raised the prospects for the resumption of a democratically elected civilian government in Burma after five decades of military rule. The release of Burma's political prisoners has a central role in U.S. policy and Burma's political future. Many of the U.S. sanctions on Burma were implemented after Burma's ruling military junta suppressed protests and detained many political prisoners. In addition, the removal of many of the existing U.S. sanctions requires the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
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Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Date: April 24, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: The installation of the Union Government in 2011 and the undertaking of initial reforms have raised the prospects for the resumption of a democratically elected civilian government in Burma after five decades of military rule. The release of Burma's political prisoners has a central role in U.S. policy and Burma's political future. Many of the U.S. sanctions on Burma were implemented after Burma's ruling military junta suppressed protests and detained many political prisoners. In addition, the removal of many of the existing U.S. sanctions requires the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
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Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Date: July 5, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation. It includes an introduction and definitions; information about current estimates of prisoners and prisoner releases; the relation of political prisoners, parliamentary elections and national reconciliation; and U.S. sanctions and U.S. efforts regarding political prisoners, as well as relevant issues for Congress to consider.
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Syria: Unrest and U.S. Policy

Syria: Unrest and U.S. Policy

Date: May 24, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M. & Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: Syria remains mired in political confrontation and violence, and is perched on the edge of civil war. U.S. officials and many analysts believe that President Bashar al Asad, his family members, and his supporters will ultimately be forced from power. President Obama and his Administration have been calling for Asad's resignation since August 2011, and have been vocal advocates for United Nations Security Council action to condemn the Syrian government and end the bloodshed. The United States has closed its embassy in Damascus, and Ambassador Robert Ford has left Syria. In the face of intense domestic and international pressure calling for political change and for an end to violence against civilians, the Asad government has offered limited reforms while also meeting protests and armed attacks with overwhelming force. After a year of unrest and violence, Syria's political crisis is characterized by dilemmas and contradictions, which are discussed in this report.
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Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress

Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress

Date: October 22, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from (1) maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS) and (2) an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its 200-nautical-mile maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
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NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Ek, Carl
Description: This report gives an overview of the feasibility of burdensharing amongst North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states due to the global financial crisis and defense budget cuts in many of the contributing nations.
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U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications

U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications

Date: January 25, 2012
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Description: This report provides an overview of U.S.-Mexico trade and economic trends, the Mexican economy, the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and major trade issues between the United States and Mexico.
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The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations

The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: August 17, 2012
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Description: 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.
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The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: In June 2005, G8 finance ministers proposed the new Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). The MDRI proposes to cancel debts of some of the world's poorest countries owed to the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and African Development Bank. This report discusses MDRI's implementation and raises some issues regarding debt relief's effectiveness as a form of foreign assistance for possible congressional consideration.
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European Union Enlargement

European Union Enlargement

Date: April 4, 2012
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: The European Union (EU) has long viewed the enlargement process as an extraordinary opportunity to promote political stability and economic prosperity in Europe. U.S. Administrations and many Members of Congress have long backed EU enlargement, believing that it serves U.S. interests by advancing democracy and economic prosperity throughout the European continent. Some U.S. officials are concerned that "enlargement fatigue" as well as the EU's ongoing financial crisis could hinder EU expansion. The status of EU enlargement and its implications for both the EU itself and U.S.-EU relations may be of interest to the second session of the 112th Congress.
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Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: December 6, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. The United States has provided significant military and economic assistance to Egypt since the late 1970s. U.S. policy makers have routinely justified aid to Egypt as an investment in regional stability, built primarily on long-running military cooperation and on sustaining the March 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.
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Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Meyer, Peter J. & Ribando Seelke, Clare
Description: This report examines the extent of the security problems in Central America, the current efforts being undertaken by Central American governments to address them, and U.S. support for Central American efforts through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. It also raises potential policy issues for congressional consideration such as funding levels, human rights concerns, and how CARSI relates to other U.S. government policies.
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Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: September 13, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Description: This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
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Conflict Minerals in Central Africa: U.S. and International Responses

Conflict Minerals in Central Africa: U.S. and International Responses

Date: July 20, 2012
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Description: This report discusses how Congress has focused on ways to help end or mitigate the effects of conflicts and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including several hearingw which have become law. The main issue is related to "conflict minerals," the so-called “3TGs”: ores of tantalum and niobium, tin, tungsten, and gold, and their derivatives.
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Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Date: March 15, 2012
Creator: Mason, Chuck R.
Description: The deadly attacks on Afghan civilians allegedly by a U.S. service member have raised questions regarding the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in place between the United States and Afghanistan that would govern whether Afghan law would apply in this circumstance. In the case of Afghanistan, the SOFA, in force since 2003, provides that U.S. Department of Defense military and civilian personnel are to be accorded status equivalent to that of U.S. Embassy administrative and technical staff under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of 1961. Accordingly, U.S. personnel are immune from criminal prosecution by Afghan authorities and are immune from civil and administrative jurisdiction except with respect to acts performed outside the course of their duties. Under the existing SOFA, the United States would have jurisdiction over the prosecution of the service member who allegedly attacked the Afghan civilians.
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The U.S. Congress and the European Parliament: Evolving Transatlantic Legislative Cooperation

The U.S. Congress and the European Parliament: Evolving Transatlantic Legislative Cooperation

Date: March 20, 2012
Creator: Archick, Kristin & Morelli, Vincent
Description: This report provides background on the Congress-EP relationship and the role of the TLD. It also explores potential future options should an effort to strengthen ties between the two bodies gain momentum.
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Western Sahara

Western Sahara

Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: Arieff, Alexis
Description: This report discusses how Morocco and the independence-seeking Popular Front for the Liberation of Saqiat al Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario) have been vying for control of the Western Sahara, a former Spanish territory, since the 1970s. The report discusses recent settlement attempts, as well as how the Western Sahara issue has affected Algerian-Moroccan bilaterial relations, Moroccan relations with the African Union, and regional cooperation on economic and security issues. The report also discusses the United States' involvement in and stance on the issue.
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Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union

Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union

Date: March 6, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: Congress passed the Nunn-Lugar amendment, authorizing U.S. threat reduction assistance to the former Soviet Union, in November 1991, after a failed coup in Moscow and the disintegration of the Soviet Union raised concerns about the safety and security of Soviet nuclear weapons. It has evolved from an emergency response to impending chaos in the Soviet Union, to a more comprehensive threat reduction and nonproliferation effort, to a broader program seeking to keep nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons from leaking out of the former Soviet Union and into the hands of rogue nations or terrorist groups, to a global program to address the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Analysts have debated numerous issues related to U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance. These include questions about the coordination of and priority given to these programs in the U.S. government, questions about Russia's willingness to provide the United States with access to its weapons facilities, questions about the President's ability to waive certification requirements so that the programs can go forward, and questions about the need to expand the efforts into a global program that receives funding from numerous nations and possibly extends assistance to others outside the former Soviet Union.
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