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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2008
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Northern Ireland: The Peace Process

Northern Ireland: The Peace Process

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: For years, the British and Irish governments sought to facilitate a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Northern Ireland. After many ups and downs, the two governments and the Northern Ireland political parties participating in the peace talks announced an agreement on April 10, 1998. Despite a much improved security situation in the years since then, full implementation of the resulting Good Friday Agreement has been difficult. On May 8, 2007, however, Northern Ireland's devolved political institutions were restored after an almost five-year suspension following a powersharing deal between the largest unionist and nationalist parties.
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Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Description: Whether broader expansions from federal environmental laws are needed to preserve military readiness has been an issue. Questions have been raised as to whether environmental requirements have limited military training activities to the point that readiness would be compromised. The potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality have raised additional questions. Although certain exemptions the Department of Defense (DOD) first requested in FY2003 have been enacted into law, Congress has opposed others. From FY2003 to FY2008, DOD requested exemptions from the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. To date, Congress has not enacted these three latter exceptions. The Administration's FY2009 defense authorization bill does not include these exemptions.
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The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11

Date: July 14, 2008
Creator: Belasco
Description: This report details the total cost of counterterrorism operations in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. This report also includes descriptions of relevant budgetary legislation.
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Intelligence Issues for Congress

Intelligence Issues for Congress

Date: July 11, 2008
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: This report explores the various issues currently facing Congress in regards to intelligence and counterterrorism activities, including the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. 108-458), signed in December 2004; the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which that act created; the importance of collaborative efforts between various intelligence agencies to successfully carry out counterterrorism measures; and other pieces of legislation relevant to such matters.
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Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues

Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues

Date: June 27, 2008
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr. & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed, including the findings of an Independent Study Group (ISG) with respect to the increased sharing of satellite intelligence data. There follows a discussion of legal considerations, including whether satellite reconnaissance might constitute a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; an overview of statutory authorities, as well as restrictions that might apply; and a brief description of executive branch authorities and Department of Defense directives that might apply. The report concludes by suggesting policy issues Congress may consider as it deliberates the potential advantages and pitfalls that may be encountered in expanding the role of satellite intelligence for homeland security purposes.
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Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with Russia: Statutory Procedures for Congressional Consideration

Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with Russia: Statutory Procedures for Congressional Consideration

Date: June 20, 2008
Creator: Beth, Richard S.
Description: This report first sketches the procedures prescribed by the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) for congressional action in relation to agreements of this kind, then summarizes legislative proceedings occurring in relation to the proposed agreement with Russia, beginning with its recent submission. Thereafter, the report addresses several questions of the implementation and intent of these statutory requirements that are raised by their application to the proposed agreement with the Russian Federation. Special attention is given to the definition of "days of continuous session" and possible implications of this definition depending on whether or not the requisite period ends before the end of the 110th Congress.
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Navy-Marine Corps Strike-Fighter Shortfall: Background and Options for Congress

Navy-Marine Corps Strike-Fighter Shortfall: Background and Options for Congress

Date: August 1, 2008
Creator: Bolkcom, Christopher
Description: Members of Congress this year have expressed concern about a projected inventory shortfall in Navy and Marine Corps strike-fighters. Some industry sources believe the shortfall is likely to be much larger than the Navy currently projects. Options for addressing the shortfall include extending strike-fighter service lives and increasing planned procurement of strike-fighters.
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Military Airlift: C-17 Program Background

Military Airlift: C-17 Program Background

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Bolkcom, Christopher & Knight, William
Description: The C-17 Globemaster III is a long-range cargo aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force since 1993. To date, Congress has funded 190 C-17s for the Air Force. The C-17 program remains a key issue as Congress evaluates the needs of DOD's strategic airlift force. This paper provides program background for the C-17. For more detailed analysis of current issues regarding the C-17 acquisition, see CRS Report RL34264, Strategic Airlift Modernization: Analysis of C-5 Modernization and C-17 Acquisition Issues.
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Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance

Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance

Date: May 13, 2008
Creator: Bolkcom, Christopher & Nunez-Neto, Blas
Description: Congress has expressed a great deal of interest in using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to surveil the United States' international land border. This report examines the strengths and limitations of deploying UAVs along the borders and related issues for Congress.
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Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Date: December 2, 2008
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: Over the past few years, the media have been filled with reports about worksite enforcement operations, commonly referred to as immigration raids. These operations represent the public face of efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to curtail the employment of unauthorized immigrants. According to 2006 estimates, there are some 7.8 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian workforce. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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