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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Russia's December 2011 Legislative Election: Outcome and Implications
This report discusses the December 2011 elections in Russia, including background information, the campaign, results and assessments of the election, implications for Russia and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and implications for U.S. interests. Congress may consider the implications of another Putin presidency, lagging democratization, and human rights abuses in Russia as it debates possible future foreign assistance and trade legislation and other aspects of U.S.-Russia relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93916/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93810/
El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines current conditions in El Salvador as well as issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332866/
U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues
This report is a succinct overview of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship including an analysis of issues. For decades, Taiwan has been of significant security, economic, and political interest to the United States. While the United States does not diplomatically recognize Taiwan, it is a significant autonomous actor in the world. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332889/
El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines current conditions in El Salvador as well as issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332872/
The GATT and the WTO: An Overview
The Uruguay Round Agreement reduced tariffs, brought services, intellectual property, and agriculture under the discipline of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and established the World Trade Organization. Multilateral trade issues for the future include continuing services negotiations, the relationship of the environment and labor standards to trade, and investment and competition policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26090/
Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement
Sudan, geographically the largest country in Africa, has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades. More than 2 million people have died in Southern Sudan over the past two decades due to war-related causes and famine, and millions have been displaced from their homes. The crisis in Darfur began in February 2003, when two rebel groups emerged to challenge the National Congress Party (NCP) government in Darfur. The crisis in Darfur in western Sudan has led to a major humanitarian disaster, with an estimated 2.45 million people displaced, more than 240,000 people forced into neighboring Chad, and an estimated 450,000 people killed. This report discusses this situation in detail and also discusses U.S. and international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26245/
Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy
Increasing militant activity in western Pakistan poses three key national security threats: an increased potential for major attacks against the United States itself; a growing threat to Pakistani stability; and a hindrance of U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. This report addresses this issue at length. It also describes the recent upsurge of militant activity on the Pakistani side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as well as the general political climates of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their relationships with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26300/
Biological Diversity Treaty: Fact Sheet
As human activity continues to change and modify natural areas, widespread extinctions of plants, animals, and other types of species result. In 1992, negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were completed on a comprehensive global treaty to protect biological diversity (biodiversity). In June 1993, President Clinton signed the treaty and sent it to the Senate for advice and consent. It is not pending in the Senate. The treaty entered into force on December 29, 1993. As of May 15, 1995, 118 nations had ratified the treaty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26102/
Background to the Overthrow of President Aristide
This report provides background information on the violent and authoritarian traditions that have characterized Haiti's political dynamics since Haiti attained independence in 1804. It examines Haiti's difficult path toward democracy after the fall of the Duvalier regime, from numerous short-lived governments until the election of Aristide. Finally, the report also surveys Aristide's rule and his subsequent overthrow by the Haitian military. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26034/
Trade and Environment: Treatment in Recent Agreements--GATT and NAFTA
This report reviews some of the concerns surrounding the environment work program and other environmental issues. It briefly describes work underway in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and current thinking underlying development of U.S. positions on trade and the environment in the GATT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26036/
Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: Border Searches Under the Fourth Amendment
This report first outlines the statutes authorizing certain federal officers to conduct warrantless searches. It then addresses the scope of the government's constitutional authority to search and seize persons and property at the border. It also describes the varying levels of suspicion generally required for each type of border search as interpreted by the courts. Finally, this report lists several bills before the 111th Congress that address border searches. This report does not address interior searches and seizures performed by immigration personnel since they are not traditional "border searches." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26206/
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
Multilateral and bilateral agreements addressing the status of U.S. armed forces abroad are commonly referred to as Status of Force Agreements (SOFAs). SOFAs establish the framework under which military personnel operate in a foreign country. The United States is currently party to more than 100 agreements that may be considered SOFAs. A list of current agreements included at the end of this report is categorized in tables according to the underlying source of authority, if any, for each of the SOFAs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26278/
The National Response Framework: Overview and Possible Issues for Congress
In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress and the President consolidated numerous federal emergency plans into the National Response Plan (NRP). This report discusses how national response planning documents have evolved over time and describes the authorities that shape the National Response Framework (NRF). Several issue areas that might be examined for potential lawmaking and oversight concerning the NRF are also highlighted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26295/
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
Since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America has intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. This report discusses the issue in relation to the U.S. State Department's April 2009 Country Report on Terrorism; Venezuelan 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 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26311/
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
The world has entered a global recession that is causing widespread business contraction, increases in unemployment, and shrinking government revenues. The process for coping with the crisis by countries across the globe has been manifest in four basic phases. The first has been intervention to contain the contagion and restore confidence in the system. The second has been coping with the secondary effects of the crisis, particularly the global recession and flight of capital from countries in emerging markets and elsewhere that have been affected by the crisis. The third phase of this process is to make changes in the financial system to reduce risk and prevent future crises. The fourth phase of the process is dealing with political, social, and security effects of the financial turmoil. The role for Congress in this financial crisis is multifaceted. This report describes this role, as well as the financial crisis in general, in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26285/
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/metadc332984/
Syria: Overview of the Humanitarian Response
This report examines the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the U.S. and international response. It discusses the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21, 2013 that triggered an intense debate over possible U.S. military intervention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332906/
NAFTA at 20: Overview and Trade Effects
This report provides andoverview of North American Free Trade Agreement provisions and discusses trade trends and economic effects, as well other issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332981/
Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda
This report discusses the current political conditions of Uganda, which have long been ravaged by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an armed rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. In particular, the report focuses on largely unsuccessful Ugandan efforts to resolve the conflict with the LRA, as well as talks with the U.S. under the Bush Administration and the recent suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33060/
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals
The United States and the other 153 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been engaged in a set or "round" of negotiations called the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) since December 2001. The DDA's main objective is to refine and expand the rules by which WTO members conduct foreign trade with one another. This report is designed to assist the 112th Congress to understand and monitor progress of the negotiations and the major issues that the negotiators are addressing. The report provides a brief background section on the significance of services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the DDA round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33048/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94247/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94248/
Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also deliberates the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are considered as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40225/
Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues
The United States is Colombia's leading trade partner. Colombia accounts for a very small percentage of U.S. trade (0.9% in 2010), ranking 20th among U.S. export markets and 25th as a source of U.S. imports. Economic studies on the impact of a U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA) have found that, upon full implementation of an agreement, the impact on the United States would be positive but very small due to the small size of the Colombian economy when compared to that of the United States (about 1.9%). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40233/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96720/
The Proposed U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
This report discusses the free trade agreement (FTA) that the United States and Panama signed on June 28, 2007. While Panama's government ratified the FTA in July 2007, Congress has not yet implemented ratification legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96752/
The Proposed U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
This report discusses the free trade agreement (FTA) that the United States and Panama signed on June 28, 2007. While Panama's government ratified the FTA in July 2007, Congress has not yet implemented ratification legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96751/
The Proposed U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
This report discusses the free trade agreement (FTA) that the United States and Panama signed on June 28, 2007. While Panama's government ratified the FTA in July 2007, Congress has not yet implemented ratification legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96753/
State and Local Economic Sanctions: Constitutional Issues
This report considers the Constitutionality of states and localities enacting their own sanctions on foreign countries, particularly Iran and Sudan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96771/
Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues
This report discusses the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) signed November 22, 2006, which has not yet been approved by Congress. It includes an overview of the proposed CFTA and U.S.-Colombia trade, background on Colombia, issues for Congress to consider, Colombia's plan to improve labor rights, and the actions that Colombia has already taken to improve violence, labor, and human rights within the country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96805/
Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda
This report discusses the current political conditions of Uganda, which have long been ravaged by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an armed rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. In particular, the report focuses on largely unsuccessful Ugandan efforts to resolve the conflict with the LRA, as well as talks with the U.S. under the Bush Administration and the recent suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29681/
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97977/
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 112th Congress
This report discusses the economic relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. that resumed in the 1990s. Of particular interest to Congress is that both nations may soon be members of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TTP). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97988/
The Kurds in Post-Saddam Iraq
The Kurdish-inhabited region of northern Iraq is relatively peaceful and prospering economically, but the Iraqi Kurds' political autonomy and political strength in post- Saddam Iraq is causing friction with Arab leaders in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. However, an overall reduction in violence in Iraq, coupled with continued U.S. political influence over the Kurds, is likely to prevent a destabilizing escalation of the Iraqi Kurd-Arab disputes. Also see CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security, by Kenneth Katzman. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29740/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40066/
The European Union: Leadership Changes Resulting from the Lisbon Treaty
EU foreign policy decisions of a political or security-related nature require unanimous intergovernmental agreement among the 27 member states. In many other issues which may relate to external affairs, however, EU members have agreed to pool their decision-making sovereignty. A number of additional EU actors often have particular relevance in these matters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40088/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40276/
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report addresses CEDAW's background, objectives, and structure and provides an overview of U.S. policy toward the Convention. It examines issues that have been raised in the U.S. ratification debate, including the treaty's impact on U.S. sovereignty, the effectiveness of the Convention, and its possible use as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. It also describes controversial provisions and CEDAW Committee recommendations addressing the role of women in society and women's equal access to education and healthcare. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463024/
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. The report also discusses ways which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463505/
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. The report also discusses ways which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463317/
Enlargement Issues at NATO's Bucharest Summit
This report reviews the process by which candidate states are selected, including a sketch of the responsibilities of Congress and allied governments in final approval or disapproval of Albania and Croatia. The report reviews general political factors for qualification, as well as external issues such as the views of Russia and regional geopolitical considerations. Then follows an analysis of current conditions in the two states nominated to join, as well as in Macedonia. In addition, there is a brief analysis of the debate over the qualifications of Georgia and Ukraine for NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP), a set of guidelines laid out by the alliance for governments that wish to take the next step of becoming actual candidates. An appendix examines key legislation on enlargement during the past fifteen years. (p. CRS-2). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461944/
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/
Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord
This report discusses the nuclear agreement talks between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the "P5+1, which finalized an interim agreement ("Joint Plan of Action," JPA) requiring Iran to freeze many aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491254/
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. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491379/
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/
U.S.-Vietnam Relations in 2010: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report looks at issues that impact the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam such as: goals and interests by both countries in a bilateral relationship, economic and trade issues, human rights, U.S. foreign assistance to Vietnam, and recent Vietnamese political events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491302/
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/
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/metadc491003/