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 Year: 2011
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/metadc40273/
Votes on Measures to Adjust the Statutory Debt Limit, 1978 to Present
This report provides roll call vote data identified by the Congressional Research Service for measures to adjust the statutory debt limit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40157/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
Recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have taken numerous actions to promote "insourcing," or the use of government personnel to perform functions that contractors previously performed on behalf of federal agencies. Among other things, the 109th through the 111th Congresses enacted several statutes requiring the development of policies and guidelines to ensure that agencies "consider" using government employees to perform functions previously performed by contractors, as well as any new function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40153/
State and Local Government Debt: An Analysis
This report first provides a broad overview of state and local government finances and how these governments incorporate borrowing into their budgets. The second section reports data on state and local government debt and how that debt has changed over time. This section includes a comparative analysis of these debt parameters for each state. The third section discusses different economic perspectives on the use of debt by governments and if governments are intrinsically biased toward borrowing more than is considered economically optimal. The discussion provides background for Congress as it deliberates potential changes in the oversight of the primary and secondary markets for state and local government debt. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40128/
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the early history of the negotiations to reunify Cyprus, a more detailed review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks. A side issue involving trade between the European Union and Turkish Cyprus is also addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97985/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Much of the debate over U.S. policy toward Iran has centered on the nature of the current regime; some believe that Iran, a country of about 70 million people, is a threat to U.S. interests because hardliners in Iran's regime dominate and set a policy direction intended to challenge U.S. influence and allies in the region. President George W. Bush, in his January 29, 2002, State of the Union message, labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea. This report discusses how the Obama Administration differs from the Bush Administration regarding strategy in Iran relations. This report also discusses the current political state of Iran, including incidents of violence and unrest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40188/
Côte d'Ivoire Post-Gbagbo: Crisis Recovery
Côte d'Ivoire is emerging from a severe political crisis that followed a disputed November 28, 2010, presidential runoff election between former president Laurent Gbagbo and his, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. Both claimed electoral victory and formed opposing governments. Their rivalry spurred a full-scale civil military conflict in early March 2011, after months of growing political violence. The main conflict died down days after Gbagbo's arrest by pro-Ouattara forces, aided by United Nations (U.N.) and French peacekeepers, but limited residual fighting was continuing to occur as of April 20. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40261/
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/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
The ongoing uprising in Libya against the government of Muammar al Qadhafi has been the subject of ongoing domestic and international debate about potential international military intervention, including the proposed establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya. This report discusses several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33028/
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report describes the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as U.S. concern over proliferation of advanced technology due to said open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. This report describes these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement. It also provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, as well as the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33097/
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; 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31487/
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/metadc40219/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
Iraq's political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions has been accomplished through a series of elections that began in 2005. However, disputes regarding various communities' claims on power and economic resources has contributed to popular frustration and continued political unrest. This report discusses these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40258/
Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40224/
Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda
This report discusses the current political conditions of Uganda, which has 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/metadc103201/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
This report discusses the establishment of no-fly zones and several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, including international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97997/
Western Sahara
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33090/
European Union Enlargement: A Status Report on Turkey's Accession Negotiations
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union's (EU) accession process and Turkey's path to EU membership. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33106/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
Iraq's political system 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). With U.S. diplomatic help, on November 10, 2010, major ethnic and sectarian factions agreed on a framework for a new government, breaking the long deadlock. The agreement, under which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is serving a second term, was implemented when a broad-based cabinet was confirmed on December 21, 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40260/
Nepal: Political Developments and Bilateral Relations with the United States
This report discusses the socio-economic and political situation in Nepal. The report talks about the government, politics, and regional tensions in Nepal, human rights concerns as well the Nepal's relations with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40239/
Rwanda: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses the current political conditions of Rwanda, including a brief historical overview. The report also includes information about the poor human rights conditions in Rwanda and U.S. Rwanda relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40067/
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/
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/metadc33056/
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/metadc31491/
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. This report focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and Bahrain's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40065/
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
This report provides a brief overview on the current political state of Kuwait, which has been pivotal to nearly two decades of U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Middle East. This report also discusses relations between Kuwait and the U.S., and the continuing domestic unrest in Kuwait, an issue separate from the unrest currently sweeping the rest of the Middle East. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40252/
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40251/
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/metadc31500/
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/
Political Transition in Tunisia
This report discusses Tunisia's "Jasmine Revolution," the common term for President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's flight from the country following weeks of mounting anti-government protests. This report discusses how the Jasmine Revolution appears to have added momentum to anti-government sentiment in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and other countries. This report discusses Tunisia's pro-democracy movement; concerns over potential instability in a previously secure, pro-Western area; and U.S.-Tunisian relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33095/
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/
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/
Northern Ireland: The Peace Process
For years, the British and Irish governments sought to facilitate a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Northern Ireland. This report provides a brief overview of the continuing peace talks and efforts in Northern Ireland, including the deal reached in February 2010 between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The report also discusses the United States' active support of the Northern Ireland peace process, including the future of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31488/
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/
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/
Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations
With limited natural resources, a crippling illiteracy rate, and high population growth, Yemen faces an array of daunting development challenges that some observers believe make it at risk for becoming a failed state in the next few decades. As the country's population rapidly rises, resources dwindle, and terrorist groups take root in the outlying provinces, the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress are left to grapple with the consequences of Yemeni instability. As President Obama and the 111th Congress reassess U.S. policy toward the Arab world, the opportunity for improved U.S.-Yemeni ties is strong, though recurring tensions over counterterrorism cooperation and lack of U.S. interest in Yemen within the broader foreign policy community persist. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40229/
Côte d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis
This report discusses the contested November 28, 2010, presidential election runoff election in Côte d'Ivoire. Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, both continue to claim to have won the runoff and to exercise exclusive national executive authority, and to attempt to consolidate their control over state institutions. An increase in armed conflicts in late February 2011, among other indicators, signals the possible outbreak of a renewed civil war. This report discusses these events, as well as U.S. and international efforts to support a peaceful transition in Côte d'Ivoire, which has remained largely divided since the civil war that began in 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33102/
Côte d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis
This report discusses the contested November 28, 2010, presidential election runoff election in Côte d'Ivoire. Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, both continue to claim to have won the runoff and to exercise exclusive national executive authority, and to attempt to consolidate their control over state institutions. An increase in armed conflicts in late February 2011, among other indicators, signals the possible outbreak of a renewed civil war. This report discusses these events, as well as U.S. and international efforts to support a peaceful transition in Côte d'Ivoire, which has remained largely divided since the civil war that began in 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33101/
Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba, as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba, including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31479/
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103233/
Algeria: Current Issues
This report examines the current state of Algeria, including Algeria's associations with terrorism, the weakening of the Algerian military, and the nation's growing oil revenues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103235/
Brazil-U.S. Relations
This report analyzes Brazil's political, economic, and social conditions, and discusses how those conditions affect its role in the region and its relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103191/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses how the Obama Administration differs from the Bush Administration regarding strategy in Iran relations. This report also discusses the current political state of Iran, including incidents of violence and unrest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103165/
Thailand: Background and U.S. Relations
This report looks at the relationship between the U.S. and Thailand. This includes recent rivalries between populist political forces, nepotism in government, and Thai relationships with neighboring countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103175/
Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations, including issues such as: political change in Yemeni leadership; ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives at large in Yemen's hinterlands; and international efforts to bolster the country's stability despite an array of daunting socio-economic problems. Congress and U.S. policymakers may be concerned with prospects for stabilizing Yemen and establishing strong bilateral relations with future Yemeni leaders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99111/
Guinea: Background and Relations with the United States
This report discusses the changing political landscape of Guinea. The report also discusses U.S. interests and associated policy challenges in Guinea centering around democratization, counternarcotics issues, regional stability, socioeconomic development, and various other issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103063/
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. It also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103237/
Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97993/
Cuba: Issues for the 111th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba, as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba, including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227635/
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