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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness
The potential of terrorist attacks against agricultural targets (agroterrorism) is increasingly recognized as a national security threat, especially after the events of September 11, 2001. This report focuses primarily on biological weapons (rather than chemical weapons) because biological weapons generally are considered the more potent agroterrorism threat. This report also focuses more on the threat of agroterrorism against agricultural production, rather than on food processing and distribution, although the latter is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9549/
Air Force Aerial Refueling
Aerial refueling aircraft are key to air operations. The U.S. tanker fleet is large and effective, but old. Modernizing or replacing the current fleet of tankers presents the Department of Defense (DOD) with difficult choices in terms of desired capabilities, force structure, and budget. How this fleet will be maintained or replaced, and on what schedule, has proven controversial. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10281/
Air Force Aerial Refueling
Aerial refueling aircraft are key to military air operations. The U.S. tanker fleet is numerous and effective, but old. Modernizing or replacing the current fleet of tankers presents the Department of Defense (DOD) with difficult choices in terms of desired capabilities, force structure, and budget. The Air Force’s proposal to lease 100 Boeing 767 aircraft to replace it’s KC-135E fleet is controversial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7399/
Air Force Aerial Refueling
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Air Force Aerial Refueling
Aerial refueling aircraft are key to air operations. The U.S. tanker fleet is large and effective, but old. Modernizing or replacing the current fleet of tankers presents the Department of Defense (DOD) with difficult choices in terms of desired capabilities, force structure, and budget. How this fleet will be maintained or replaced, and on what schedule, has proven controversial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7459/
Air Force Aerial Refueling
Aerial refueling aircraft are key to air operations. The U.S. tanker fleet is large and effective, but old. Modernizing or replacing the current fleet of tankers presents the Department of Defense (DOD) with difficult choices in terms of desired capabilities, force structure, and budget. How this fleet will be maintained or replaced, and on what schedule, has proven controversial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9865/
Air Force Aerial Refueling Methods: Flying Boom versus Hose-and-Drogue
Decisions on the composition of the Air Force aerial refueling fleet were made decades ago, when the primary mission was to refuel long-range strategic bombers. Modifications have been made to many of these tanker aircraft (KC-135s and KC-10s) to make them more effective in refueling fighter aircraft. This report examines the balance between two different refueling methods in today's refueling fleet -- "flying boom" and "hose-and-drogue." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10378/
Air Force Aerial Refueling Methods: Flying Boom versus Hose-and-Drogue
Decisions on the composition of the Air Force aerial refueling fleet were made decades ago, when the primary mission was to refuel long-range strategic bombers. Modifications have been made to many of these tanker aircraft (KC-135s and KC-10s) to make them more effective in refueling fighter aircraft. This report, which will be updated, examines the balance between two different refueling methods in today’s refueling fleet — “flying boom” and “hose-and-drogue.” digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6702/
Air Force Aerial Refueling Methods: Flying Boom Versus Hose-and-Drogue
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Air Force F-22 Fighter Program: Background and Issues for Congress
The Air Force F-22 fighter, also known as the Raptor, is the world's most capable air-to-air combat aircraft. The administration wants to end F-22 procurement at 187 aircraft, and the administration's proposed FY2010 budget does not request funding for the procurement of additional F-22s in FY2010. The administration argues, among other things, that 187 F-22s will be sufficient in conjunction with other U.S. tactical aircraft. The issue of F-22 procurement has emerged as one of the highest-profile items of debate on the FY2010 defense budget. This report discusses both sides of the debate in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26205/
Air Force FB-22 Bomber Concept
The Air Force has expressed interest in developing a bomber variant of the F-22A Raptor to "bridge the gap" between today's bombers and a follow-on bomber in 2037. Questions exist regarding the FB-22's feasibility, cost, and combat potential. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10231/
Air Force FB-22 Bomber Concept
The Air Force has expressed interest in developing a bomber variant of the F/A-22 Raptor to “bridge the gap” between today’s bombers and a follow-on bomber in 2037. Questions exist regarding the FB-22’s feasibility, cost, and combat potential. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6117/
The Air Force KC-767 Tanker Lease Proposal: Key Issues for Congress
The Air Force is proposing to replace 133 of its oldest Boeing KC-135E aerial refueling tanker aircraft by leasing 100 new Boeing KC-767 tankers instead of initially buying them outright. The proposed lease was authorized by Section 8159 of the FY2002 DOD Appropriations Act (P.L. 107-117 of January 10, 2002). The main issue for Congress is whether to approve or disapprove the lease. This report examines the lease proposal and its ramifications by providing background information on the Air Force’s tanker fleet, the Boeing 767 tanker, and the proposed lease itself. Then the report analyzes potential oversight issues for Congress relating to the merits of the proposed lease: digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5695/
The Air Force KC-767 Tanker Lease Proposal: Key Issues for Congress
The Air Force is proposing to replace 133 of its oldest Boeing KC-135E aerial refueling tanker aircraft by leasing 100 new Boeing KC-767 tankers instead of initially buying them outright. The proposed lease was authorized by Section 8159 of the FY2002 DOD Appropriations Act (P.L. 107-117 of January 10, 2002). The main issue for Congress is whether to approve or disapprove the lease. This report examines the lease proposal and its ramifications by providing background information on the Air Force’s tanker fleet, the Boeing 767 tanker, and the proposed lease itself. Then the report analyzes potential oversight issues for Congress relating to the merits of the proposed lease: digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5696/
Air Force KC-46A Tanker Aircraft Program: Background and Issues for Congress
On February 24, 2011, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced the Boeing Company as the winner of a competition to build 179 new KC-46A aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force. This report discusses the KC-46A acquisition program, which is a subject of intense interest because of the dollar value of the contract and the number of jobs it would create, among other things. This report also discusses several oversight issues that could arise for Congress, including if the contract award followed the DOD's announced competition strategy and metrics. This report also discusses this contract in respect to the FY2011 defense authorization bill and the FY2011 DOD appropriations bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33069/
Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR): The U-2 Aircraft and Global Hawk UAV Programs
Among airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconaissance (ISR) platforms, the U-2 Dragon Lady and the RQ-4A Global Hawk are especially valuable. This report discusses how best to use existing and planned manned and unmanned ISR aircraft to most effectively satisfy the Department of Defense's (Dod) requirements for timely and accurate information on enemy forces. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1354/
Airborne Laser (ABL): Issues for Congress
This report examines the airborne laser (ABL) program and budget status. It also examines a variety of related issues, including the questionable maturity of ABL technologies, the number of ABL platforms the United States should acquire, and to what degree the United STates should invest in alternative technologies in the event that the ABL may not prove successful. This report does not provide a detailed technical assessment of the ABL program (see CRS Report RL30185, The Airborne Laser Anti-Missile Program). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7493/
Airborne Laser (ABL): Issues for Congress
This report examines the airborne laser (ABL) program and budget status. It also examines a variety of related issues, including the questionable maturity of ABL technologies, the number of ABL platforms the United States should acquire, and to what degree the United STates should invest in alternative technologies in the event that the ABL may not prove successful. This report does not provide a detailed technical assessment of the ABL program (see CRS Report RL30185, The Airborne Laser Anti-Missile Program). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7515/
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty Demarcation and Succession Agreements: Background and Issues
This report discusses the content of and issues related to the ABM Treaty Succession and Demarcation Agreements signed in September 1997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1351/
Antisatellites (Killer Satellites)
This issue brief discusses "killer satellites," the unofficial moniker for antisatellite (ASAT) missiles possessed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as U.S. efforts to develop ASAT systems and simultaneously limit their development and use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8821/
Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process
This report reviews the process and procedures that currently apply to congressional consideration of foreign arms sales proposed by the President. This includes consideration of proposals to sell major defense equipment, defense articles and services, or the re-transfer to third party nations of such military items. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87259/
Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process
This report reviews the process and procedures that currently apply to congressional consideration of foreign arms sales proposed by the President. This includes consideration of proposals to sell major defense equipment, defense articles and services, or the re-transfer to third party nations of such military items. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9286/
The Army's Future Combat System (FCS): Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the Future Combat System (FCS) program, which was to be the Army's major research, development, and acquisition program consisting of 14 manned and unmanned systems linked by an extensive communications and information network. This report describes the proposed restructuring of the FCS program, announced by Secretary of Defense Gates in April 2009, which includes modernizing outdated equipment and re-evaluating vehicle design strategy. This report will be superseded by a report on the Army's BCT (Brigade Combat Team) Modernization Strategy when sufficient details are available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26228/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) and Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at budget requests for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program, Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program, and brigade combat teams (BCTs). It ends with a discussion of potential issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97990/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) and Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at budget requests for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program, Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program, and brigade combat teams (BCTs). It ends with a discussion of potential issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97989/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) and Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that looks at budget requests for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program, Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program, and brigade combat teams (BCTs). It ends with a discussion of potential issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227702/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history and current need for a Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. Potential issues for Congress include the role and need for the GCV in a downsized Army that will likely have fewer heavy brigade combat teams (HBCTs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86572/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history and current need for a Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. Potential issues for Congress include the role and need for the GCV in a downsized Army that will likely have fewer heavy brigade combat teams (HBCTs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93856/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that looks at the history and current need for a Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. Potential issues for Congress include the role and need for the GCV in a downsized Army that will likely have fewer heavy brigade combat teams (HBCTs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227703/
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history and current need for a Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. Potential issues for Congress include the role of the GCV and the need for the program in a downsized Army that will likely have fewer heavy brigade combat teams (HBCTs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282278/
The Army's M-4 Carbine: Background and Issues for Congress
The M-4 carbine is the Army's primary individual combat weapon for infantry units. Due to the nature of the M-4's design, firing it can lead to weapons malfunctions. This report discusses possible replacements for the M-4, most notably the Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR). This report also details results of studies and tests of the M-4 and feedback response from potential competitors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10752/
The Assault Weapons Ban: Review of Federal Laws Controlling Possessions of Certain Firearms
This report reviews the 1994 assault weapons ban, which is effective for ten years on 19 types of semiautomatic assault weapons. The Act builds upon a 60-year history of federal regulation of firearms. The report also summarizes the pre-1994 federal gun control laws, analyzes the major cases relating to constitutional and statutory challenges to these laws, and reviews judicial and legislative developments since enactment of the ban. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26068/
Assessing the Options for Preserving ICBM Survivability
The decision on how to redress the perceived vulnerability of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS) is the most controversial strategic nuclear weapon decision now facing the 97th Congress. A full-scale debate on this issue, especially as regards MX missile basing, seems certain. To assist Members of Congress in the debate, this paper discusses nine proposals for treating ICBM survivability: Recognize that ICBMs are invulnerable, rely only on bombers and submarines for deterrence, deploy a large or scaled-down shell-game multiple shelter system, defend MX with anti ballistic missiles, launch ICBMs on warning of attack, deploy MX on aircraft or small submarines, and diversify strategic forces, perhaps using small ICBMs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8158/
Biological and Chemical Weapons: Criminal Sanctions and Federal Regulations
Various federal regulations and criminal sanctions apply to biological and chemical weapons. Some of the provisions are broadly drafted, covering biological and chemical weapons as well as other controlled material and technology. Some focus on biological and chemical weapons as such. Recent anti-terrorism legislation, Public Law 107-56, amended many of these provisions, broadening the scope criminal sanctions relating to the use of biological and chemical weapons and materials. This report outlines provisions criminalizing certain uses of biological and chemical weapons, and references other relevant domestic and international material. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6999/
Bioterrorism Countermeasure Development: Issues in Patents and Homeland Security
Congressional interest in the development of bioterrorism countermeasures remains strong, even after passage of legislation establishing Project BioShield. In the 109th Congress, several bills have been introduced, including S. 3, the Protecting America in the War on Terror Act, S. 975, the Project Bioshield II Act, and S. 1873, the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act, that would generate additional incentives for the creation of new technologies to counteract potential biological threats. These bills propose reforms to current policies and practices associated with intellectual property, particularly patents, and the marketing of pharmaceuticals and related products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8474/
Bioterrorism Countermeasure Development: Issues in Patents and Homeland Security
In the 109th Congress, several bills have been introduced, including S. 3, the Protecting America in the War on Terror Act, and S. 975, the Project Bioshield II Act, that would generate additional incentives for the creation of new technologies to counteract potential biological threats. These bills propose reforms to current policies and practices associated with intellectual property, particularly patents, and the marketing of pharmaceuticals and related products. This report includes patents and innovation, the role of patents in pharmaceutical/biomedical R&D, legislative developments and proposals for change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6196/
Bomber Options for Replacing B52s
One of the main issues discussed in this report is the replacement of the B-52 bombers, due to the fact that many believe that by 1990, the B-52's vulnerability to improving Soviet air defenses will imperil its effectiveness as a penetrating bomber. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8615/
Border Security and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to improve border security is a technique that has garnered congressional attention. This report examines the strengths and limitations of deploying UAVs along the borders and related issues for Congress. This report is not intended to provide in-depth information regarding technical or military capabilities of UAVs, but to discuss their application at the border. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6112/
Brazilian Trade Policy and the United States
As the largest and one of the most influential countries in Latin America, Brazil has emerged as a leading voice for developing countries in setting regional and multilateral trade agendas. Brazil is critical of U.S. trade policies such as the Byrd Amendment (repealed, but program in effect until October 1, 2007), which directs duties from trade remedy cases to affected industries, the administration of trade remedy rules, and what it considers to be discriminatory treatment in the U.S. expansion of free trade agreements in Latin America. Despite the differences, both countries recognize the potential for important gains to be had from mutually acceptable trade liberalization at all levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9138/
"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006
The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6755/
"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006
The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6754/
"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006
The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6833/
"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005-FY2007
The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8585/
"Bunker Busters": Sources of Confusion in the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Debate
Earth penetrator weapons, often called “bunker busters,” burrow into the ground some tens of feet before detonating, greatly increasing their ability to destroy buried targets. The United States has several types of conventional earth penetrators. The Air Force and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) are studying a more effective penetrator, the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP). The FY2005 defense authorization act contained the full RNEP request, $27.6 million. This report explains the budget request and provides details on the RNEP plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7889/
"Bunker Busters": Sources of Confusion in the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Debate
The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP), often called a “bunker buster,” is at present the subject of a cost and feasibility study to determine if either of two nuclear bombs, the B61 and the B83, could be modified, mainly by adding a heavy, pointed case, so as to be able to penetrate perhaps 10 meters into earth or rock. This penetration would increase the weapon’s ability, by a factor of 20 to 50, to destroy hardened and deeply buried facilities. The RNEP debate has received much attention and spawned much confusion. This report examines sources of confusion in this debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6106/
C-17 Cargo Aircraft Program
The C-17 Globemaster III is a long-range cargo/transport aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force since 1993. Congress approved development of the aircraft in the late 1970s, when it was recognized that the Air Force did not have enough airlift capability. In 1981, the McDonnell Douglas C-17 emerged as winner of a competition with Boeing and Lockheed to develop a next-generation aircraft to replace C-130s and C-141s. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1340/
Chemical Warfare: A Primer on Agents, Munitions, and Defensive Measures
The recent Department of Defense proposal to develop a capability to modernize and expand the current U.S. chemical warfare munition stocks with binary nerve agent munitions has focused attention on the subject of chemical warfare. This paper provides a brief introductory discussion of modern chemical warfare, describing the types of agents, delivery methods, and defense against chemical agents. It does not discuss policy, strategy, tactics, or disarmament aspects of chemical warfare. These issues w i l l be covered i n CRS Issue Brief IB 8l08l . digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8160/
Chemical Weapons Convention: Issues for Congress
The CWC bans the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons by members signatories. It also requires the destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities. Neither the United States nor Russia will be able to meet the original CWC’s deadlines for destruction of their CW stockpiles, and have been granted extensions to at least 2012. The Convention provides the most extensive and intrusive verification regime of any arms control treaty, extending its coverage to not only governmental but also civilian facilities. The Convention also requires export controls and reporting requirements on chemicals that can be used as warfare agents and their precursors. The CWC establishes the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to oversee the Convention’s implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5667/
Chemical Weapons Convention: Issues for Congress
The CWC bans the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons by members signatories. It also requires the destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities. Neither the United States nor Russia will be able to meet the original CWC’s deadlines for destruction of their CW stockpiles, and have been granted extensions to at least 2012. The Convention provides the most extensive and intrusive verification regime of any arms control treaty, extending its coverage to not only governmental but also civilian facilities. The Convention also requires export controls and reporting requirements on chemicals that can be used as warfare agents and their precursors. The CWC establishes the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to oversee the Convention’s implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5669/
Chemical Weapons Convention: Issues for Congress
The CWC bans the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons by members signatories. It also requires the destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities. Neither the United States nor Russia will be able to meet the original CWC’s deadlines for destruction of their CW stockpiles, and have been granted extensions to at least 2012. The Convention provides the most extensive and intrusive verification regime of any arms control treaty, extending its coverage to not only governmental but also civilian facilities. The Convention also requires export controls and reporting requirements on chemicals that can be used as warfare agents and their precursors. The CWC establishes the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to oversee the Convention’s implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5668/
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