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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
United Nations Reform: U.S. Policy and International Perspectives
This report focuses on U.N. reform efforts and priorities from the perspective of several key actors, including the U.S. government, the U.N. Secretary-General, selected groups of member states, and a cross-section of groups tasked with addressing U.N. reform. It also examines congressional actions related to U.N. reform, as well as future policy considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491296/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491632/
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. The agreement was withdrawn from congressional consideration by President George W. Bush on September 8, 2008, in response to Russia's military actions in Georgia. President Obama transmitted the proposed text of the agreement to Congress on May 10, 2010, along with the required Nuclear Proliferation Assessment (NPAS) and his determination that the agreement promotes U.S. national security. This report discusses key policy issues related to the agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russian policies toward Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491304/
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/
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and, in so doing, provides examples, based on a wide range of open source reporting, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491288/
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/
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2011 Budget and Appropriations
The annual State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies appropriations bill has been the primary legislative vehicle through which Congress reviews the U.S. international affairs budget and influences executive branch foreign policy making in recent years, as Congress has not regularly considered these issues through a complete authorization process for State Department diplomatic activities since 2003 and for foreign aid programs since 1985. This report analyzes the FY2011 request, recent-year funding trends, and congressional action related to FY2011 State-Foreign Operations legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491248/
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/
Sexual Violence in African Conflicts
This report covers the issue of sexual violence in the midst of civil conflict in African nations. Civilians in Africa's conflict zones are often vulnerable to sexual violence, including rape, mutilation, and sexual slavery. This violence is carried out by government security forces and non-state actors, including, rebel groups, militias, and criminal organizations. Some abuses appear to be opportunistic, or the product of a larger breakdown in the rule of law and social order that may occur amid conflict. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491381/
The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
In the ninth year of operations since the 9/11 attacks while troops are being withdrawn in Iraq and increased in Afghanistan, the cost of war continues to be a major issue including the total amount appropriated, the amount for each operation, average monthly spending rates, and the scope and duration of future costs. This report analyzes war funding for the Defense Department and tracks funding for USAID and VA Medical funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491319/
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law
This report offers a listing and brief description of legal provisions that require or authorize the imposition of some form of economic sanction against countries, companies, persons, or entities that violate U.S. nonproliferation norms. For each provision, information is included on what triggers the imposition of sanctions, their duration, what authority the President has to delay or abstain from imposing sanctions, and what authority the President has to waive the imposition of sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491357/
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/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490902/
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/metadc490919/
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation: The Future of Commercial Trucking Across the Mexican Border
This report discusses the implementation of trucking provisions set forth by NAFTA that would have opened the border states to cross-border trucking competition in 1995 and all of North America in 2000. The full implementation of the provisions has been stalled because of concern with the safety of Mexican trucks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490987/
The G-20 Summit: Brisbane, November 15-16, 2014
This report discusses the G-20 Summit held in Brisbane, Australia. In February 2014, the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors pledged to develop policies that would boost the G-20's collective GDP by more than two percentage points over the coming five years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491004/
International Climate Change Financing: The Green Climate Fund (GCF)
This report discusses United States commitments for climate change through financial and technical assistance and multilateral programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491086/
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/
Samantar v. Yousef: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Foreign Officials
On June 1, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously in Samantar v. Yousef that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which governs the immunity of foreign states in U.S. courts, does not apply in suits against foreign officials. This report provides an overview of the FSIA, followed by a consideration of the remaining options for foreign officials who seek immunity from lawsuits, as well as some of the questions that may emerge from each option. The report also addresses legislation that would affect the immunity of foreign officials, including S. 2930. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491079/
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/metadc491112/
A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Comparison of Current Proposals in Brief
This report discusses the President's constitutional authority to use military force against the armed offensive of the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL or ISIS) in northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria. It also covers current proposals for action under congressional authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491183/
North Korea: Back on the Terrorism List?
This report describes the rationales for including North Korea on the terrorism list from 1987- 2008, for North Korea's delisting in 2008, and the debate in 2010 over whether to re-list North Korea. The major impact of a decision to return North Korea to the list would likely be symbolic, because removing North Korea from the list does not appear to have provided Pyongyang with direct, tangible benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491111/
Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol
This report includes some issues for Congress to consider which include the slow rate of integration between the United States Border Patrol's (USBP) biometric database of illegal aliens and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) biometric database of criminals and terrorists; the number of unauthorized aliens who die attempting to enter the country each year; the organized human smuggling rings that have proliferated as entering the country has become more difficult; and the threat posed by terrorists along the sparsely defended Northern border as well as the more porous Southwest border. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491191/
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/metadc491139/
United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
This report tracks the process by which Congress provides the funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations, its agencies, and U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts, as well as for U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and funds. It includes information on the President's request and the congressional response, as well as congressional initiatives during this legislative process. Basic information is provided to help the reader understand this process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491029/
Estonia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report provides background information on the political and economical situation in Estonia. The report discusses the U.S. - Estonia relations, and Estonia's foreign policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491019/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491286/
Trade Promotion Authority and the Korea Free Trade Agreement
This report looks at the effects of the Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on side agreements via the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490857/
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation: The Future of Commercial Trucking Across the Mexican Border
This report discusses the implementation of trucking provisions set forth by NAFTA that would have opened the border states to cross-border trucking competition in 1995 and all of North America in 2000. The full implementation of the provisions has been stalled because of concern with the safety of Mexican trucks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491422/
The European Union: Leadership Changes Resulting from the Lisbon Treaty
The European Union (EU) is an important partner or interlocutor of the United States on a large number of global political and economic issues. This report discusses changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, which have a significant impact on the leadership of the European Council, the Council of Ministers, and the EU's rotating presidency system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491407/
The U.S. Congress and the European Parliament: Evolving Transatlantic Legislative Cooperation
This report provides background on the Congress-EP relationship and the role of the TLD. It also explores potential future options that could be considered during the 113th Congress should an effort to strengthen ties between the two bodies gain momentum. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491444/
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)--Responsibilities and Potential Congressional Concerns
This report looks at inadequacies present in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) which prevent the Center from adequately performing its duty. These inadequacies include issues with agency organization, lack of resources, and a focus on threats from Yemen over domestic threats. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491473/
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491437/
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on human trafficking both internationally and within the United States. The report begins with an overview of human trafficking including a discussion of the definition of human trafficking, the scope of the problem globally, and an examination of the victims. It follows with an analysis of global anti-trafficking efforts by the United States and the international community. The report then focuses on trafficking into and within the United States, examining relief for trafficking victims in the United States and discussing U.S. law enforcement efforts to combat domestic trafficking. The report concludes with an overview of anti-trafficking legislation and an analysis of policy issues related to human trafficking. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491453/
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
The United States has led the international community in imposing economic sanctions on Iran, in an effort to change the government of that country's support of acts of international terrorism, poor human rights record, weapons and missile development and acquisition, role in regional instability, and development of a nuclear program. This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. It will be updated if and when new legislation is enacted, or, in the case of executive orders, if and when the President takes additional steps to change U.S. policy toward Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491447/
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/metadc491164/
Brazil's WTO Case Against the U.S. Cotton Program
This report provides a description and status report on Brazil's challenge to certain aspects of the U.S. cotton program under the rules of the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) dispute settlement process in case DS267.1 The "Brazil cotton case" had its WTO origins in 2002 and has since evolved into a sprawling legal enterprise that is still ongoing as of mid-2010. The report begins by summarizing the most recent developments in the case. It then provides a detailed history of the case in chronological phases. Readers interested in the current status of the dispute, and in particular details of the negotiations to reach a mutual settlement and avoid trade retaliation against U.S. goods and services, should proceed directly to the report section entitled "Phase V: Retaliation or Settlement?" digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491182/
Guinea: In Brief
This report provides background information on politics and economy of Guinea. The report discusses human rights and governance in Guinea, as well as the role of military, drug trafficking and mining sector. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491187/
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific. Original members of the TPP were Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. The United States, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam have committed themselves to joining and expanding this group. This report discusses similar trade partnerships, the importance of Asia to U.S. trade and security interests, and U.S. participation in the TPP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491459/
Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence
This report focuses on how policy makers would identify any spillover of drug trafficking-related violence into the United States. This report provides an overview of Mexican drug trafficking organization structures, how they conduct business, and the relationship between the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and their partnerships operating here in the United States; a discussion of the illicit drug trade between Mexico and the United States, as well as a discussion of factors implicated in drug trafficking-related violence; an analysis of the possible nature of any spillover violence that may arise, as well as issues involved in accurately identifying and measuring such violence; and an evaluation of available crime rate data and a discussion of how this data may or may not reflect changes in drug trafficking-related crime. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491460/
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/metadc491487/
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report discusses the efforts currently underway to improve coordination and encourage better analysis amongst the various agencies within the U.S. Intelligence Community, especially with regard to the ongoing and prominent issue of international terrorism. In particular, this report addresses the false intelligence regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the current efforts in Iraq and Iran in general. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491123/
U.S. and International Health Responses to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
In March 2014, an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak was reported in Guinea, West Africa. The outbreak is the first in West Africa and has caused an unprecedented number of cases and deaths. The outbreak is continuing to spread in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia (the "affected countries"); it has been contained in Nigeria and Senegal, and has been detected in Mali. As of October 22, 2014, more than 10,000 people have contracted EVD, more than half of whom have died. This report focuses on the health impacts of the outbreak and discusses U.S. and international responses to those health challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491179/
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2011 Budget and Appropriations
This report analyzes the FY2011 request, recent-year funding trends, and congressional action related to FY2011 State-Foreign Operations legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491493/
Piracy: A Legal Definition
This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights developments in two trials involving charges of piracy in the federal district court in Norfolk, VA, United States v. Said and United States v. Hasan, specifically focusing on how the courts interpreted the definition of piracy under 18 U.S.C. ยง 1651. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491492/
Terrorist Material Support: A Sketch of 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B
This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists, 18 U.S.C. 2339A. The other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations, 18 U.S.C. 2339B. They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491428/
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/metadc491167/
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