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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Sri Lanka: Background and U.S. Relations

Sri Lanka: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: July 4, 2009
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan & Vaughn, Bruce
Description: This report provides historical, political, and economic background on Sri Lanka and examines U.S.-Sri Lankan relations and policy concerns. Congressional interest in Sri Lanka has focused on renewed and serious violent ethnic conflict in a quarter-century-old civil war, an attendant humanitarian emergency, and efforts to revive a moribund peace process.
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Iran's 2009 Presidential Elections

Iran's 2009 Presidential Elections

Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Addis, Casey L.
Description: 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.
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Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations

Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: July 7, 2009
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Description: 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.
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Ghana: Background and U.S. Relations

Ghana: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Description: This report provides information on current developments in Ghana and Ghana's relations with the United States, which are close. It describes the purpose of President Barack Obama's forthcoming trip to Ghana, which will focus on issues of good governance and socio-economic and political development, and characterizes the current state of play in bilateral relations. It also summarizes the policy agenda of Ghana's president, John Atta Mills, who won office by a narrow margin in elections in late 2008. The dynamics of that election are described in the report, as are recent policy-centered developments, economic challenges and performance, and socio-economic prospects. Ghana's international relations and bilateral development cooperation with the United States are also covered in the report.
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Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security

Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security

Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: The Obama Administration is facing a security environment in Iraq vastly improved over that which prevailed during 2005-2007, although still not completely peaceful or without potential to deteriorate significantly. Some U.S. officials believe that further U.S. military presence might be needed beyond the projected 2011 withdrawal date, and that political disputes among Iraqi factions could escalate and reignite civil conflict in the absence of a U.S. presence. This report discusses these issues in detail, as well as the factors that have contributed to the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops, including mounting casualties and financial costs.
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Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: 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.
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Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Date: July 10, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: 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.
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Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

Date: July 10, 2009
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P. & Gomez-Granger, Julissa
Description: This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides the dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country.
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Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: This report discusses the relationships between the United States and Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, as well as these three nations' political and economic conditions. The report also discusses key related issues in the second session of the 111th Congress, including the question of the United States' role in the South Caucasus, the significance of regional energy resources to U.S. interests, and other pertinent issues.
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Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications

Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Lum, Thomas & Fischer, Hannah
Description: Human rights has long been a principal area of U.S. concern in its relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Policy makers are at odds regarding whether or not the U.S. policy of engagement with China has produced meaningful political reform. This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights - major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
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