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Possible U.S. Policy Approaches to North Korea
This report describes President Trump's current policy toward North Korea and possible options for future U.S. policy. Options include diplomatic engagement, international and U.S. sanction increases, military strikes, destabilization of the North Korean government through intelligence activities and popular resentment, enhanced military cooperation with allies, and additional funding for preventing arms trading and related trade with North Korea.
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report describes Kuwait's political and governmental structure, economy, relations with the U.S. especially in the area of defense, regional policies, and human rights issues.
Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies
This report discusses Iran's foreign and defense policies and their motivations. Policies in each area of the world and their nuclear programs are discussed.
Australia
This report discusses Australia's strategic alliance with the United States and their economic ties with China and ways these two interests may conflict. Relations between the U.S. and Australia and recent tensions between U.S. President Trump and Australian President Turnbull are also discussed.
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning and budgeting. Many U.S. military programs for countering improving Chinese military forces (particularly its naval forces) fall within the U.S. Navy's budget. The issue for Congress is how the U.S. Navy should respond to China's military modernization effort, particularly its naval modernization effort. Decisions that Congress reaches on this issue could affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the U.S. defense industrial base. For an overview of the strategic and budgetary context in which China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities may be considered, see Appendix A.
Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues
This report provides a brief synopsis of selected sections in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2018 (H.R. 2810), as passed by the House on July 14, 2017, and the Senate on September 18, 2017. The FY2018 NDAA Conference report was passed by the House on November 14, 2017, and the Senate on November 16, 2017. Issues include military endstrengths, pay and benefits, and other personnel policy issues.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense-Issues for Congress
This report discusses the changing international security environment and how the new realities should effect U.S. defense spending and strategy.
The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Military Options and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the North Korean nuclear threat and possible military options the U.S. could use to reduce or eliminate the threat. The report begins with a brief overview of the situation, nuclear capabilities of North Korea, and effects military action would have on the region and its stability. Seven military related options are discussed along with possible issues of interest to Congress.
Arms Sales in the Middle East: Trends and Analytical Perspectives for U.S. Policy
This report analyzes state-to-state arms sales in the Middle East with a particular focus on U.S. transfers, as authorized and reviewed by Congress. The information in this report, including sales data, is drawn from a number of official and unofficial open sources. The report focuses on recent arms sales, primarily from the United States, to seven Middle Eastern states: Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iraq, Turkey, and Qatar. It concludes by considering a number of arms sales-related issues of congressional interest and options available to Members of Congress to influence or control aspects of arms sales, including those related to oversight, reporting requirements, checks on executive action, and conditions on transfers or funding.
"Smith v. Obama": A Servicemember's Legal Challenge to the Campaign Against the Islamic State
This report discuses the case of "Smith v. Obama" where a military officer sued President Obama for overstepping his bounds as President by waging war on the Islamic State without a Congressional declaration of war. The case was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction by the court.
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Continuing Challenges
This report discusses Syria's chemical weapon supplies, efforts to have them destroyed, recent uses of chemical weapons there, and issues related to undeclared chemical weapon stocks.
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning and budgeting. Many U.S. military programs for countering improving Chinese military forces (particularly its naval forces) fall within the U.S. Navy's budget.
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Bahrain's political structure and economy, the 2011 uprising and its aftereffects, human rights issues, security cooperation with the U.S., and foreign policy towards other countries in the region.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) disputes in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS) involving China, with a focus on how these disputes may affect U.S. strategic and policy interests.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense-Issues for Congress
This report discuses a shift to a new international security environment and implications of that new environment on defense-related issues. It does not discuss potential implications of a shift in the international security environment for other policy areas, such as foreign policy and diplomacy, trade and finance, energy, and foreign assistance.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report discusses the shift in the international security environment from a post Cold-War era to a new one with new priorities, strategies, and needs and implications for U.S. defense policy. Topics discussed include past security environments and indicators of a new one and various areas of defense policy affected.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Afghanistan's government and political structure, ongoing security and defense issues, U.S. assistance to the Afghan military, U.S. humanitarian and economic aid, human rights issues, regional relations, and economic development.
Lebanon
This report provides an overview of Lebanon and current issues of U.S. interest. It provides background information, analyzes recent developments and key policy debates, and tracks legislation, U.S. assistance, and recent congressional action. Topics discussed include politics, security challenges, Hezbollah and its wars and power, economic issues, and refugees in Lebanon from Syria.
Redeploying U.S. Nuclear Weapons to South Korea: Background and Implications in Brief
This report provides background information on the deployment of nuclear weapon systems in South Korea in the past, explores the options that might be available for the redeployment of nuclear weapons to South Korea now to deter the North Korean threat, and discusses the potential implications of doing so for South Korea, North Korea, Japan, and the U.S.
Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies
This report gives a overview of Iran's defense policies and programs and foreign policy. Regions covered are the Near East, South and Central Asia,Russia, Europe, East Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the United States. Iran's nuclear programs and security issues are also discussed.
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
This report discusses the new START treaty between the U.S. and Russia that limits each countries number of ballistic missiles and nuclear capable bombers. This treaty came into effect on February 5, 2011 and is a replacement for the original START treaty implemented in 1991. This report covers the treaties main rules and regulations, the ratification process, compliance assessment, and issues for Congress.
Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief
This report provides information and analysis on Turkish interventions in Syria and relationship with Kurdish groups and how the United States's alliance with the Kurds in Iraq has strained relations between the two countries. Domestic issues in Turkey related to the recent constitutional referendum, President Erdogan's increasing authoritarianism, and their relations with Russia are also addressed.
Update to "Smith v. Obama": A Servicemember's Legal Challenge to the Campaign Against the Islamic State
This report discusses a case which was brought by Army Captain Nathan Smith against President Barack Obama in 2016, arguing that President Obama had no authority to be conducting the campaign against the Islamic State because no Congressional approval had been given. The case was dismissed in Nov. 2016 but he has appealed the dismissal of the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies
This report gives a overview of Iran's defense policies and programs and foreign policy. Regions covered are the Near East, South and Central Asia,Russia, Europe, East Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the United States. Iran's nuclear programs and security issues are also discussed.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and previous actions taken by the United States to intervene in the conflict, mediate peace, and assist refugees as well current considerations related to Syria in Congress.
Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members
This report discusses series of short primers developed by CRS to give Members of Congress an overview of key aspects of the Department of Defense and how Congress exercises authority over it. A consolidated list of these primers is contained in this report, along with links to each document.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Afghanistan's historical governments and the activities of the U.S. and other countries during various phases of war against terrorist groups and current U.S. policies in regard to Afghanistan. Topics such as troop numbers, military and governmental strategies, Afghan Army training, developmental aid, the economy, and human rights issues are discussed.
Military Enlisted Personnel
This report provides background information and includes charts that show active military enlisted members by pay grade and branch, as well as associated insignia.
Quatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report outlines Qatar's governmental structure and leaders, economy, human rights issues, their relations with other countries in the region, and U.S. defense partnerships with Qatar.
In Brief: Highlights of Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations Actions
This report outlines the defense related appropriations request for fiscal year 2018 and selected issues in Congress dealing with the defense budget.
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
Defense: FY2017 Budget Request, Authorization, and Appropriations
This report discusses the current administration's request of $523.9 billion to cover the fiscal year 2017 discretionary "base budget" of the Department of Defense (DOD).
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition strategies and proposed funding levels for the Aegis BMD program. Congress's decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years.
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program.
Military Officers
This report provides background information and includes charts that show active military officers by pay grade and branch, as well as associated insignia.
North Korean Cyber Capabilities: In Brief
This report discusses how as North Korea has accelerated its missile and nuclear programs in spite of international sanctions, Congress and the Trump Administration have elevated North Korea to a top U.S. foreign policy priority. Legislation such as the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-122) and international sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council have focused on North Korea's WMD and ballistic missile programs and human rights abuses. North Korea's cyberattacks have the potential not only to disrupt international commerce, but to direct resources to its clandestine weapons and delivery system programs, potentially enhancing its ability to evade international sanctions. This report will provide a brief summary of what unclassified open-source reporting has revealed about the secretive program, introduce four case studies in which North Korean operators are suspected of having perpetrated malicious operations, and provide an overview of the international finance messaging service that these hackers may be exploiting.
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities-Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning and budgeting. Decisions that Congress reaches on this issue could affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the U.S. defense industrial base.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report outlines the United Arab Emirates (UAE) governmental structure, economy, military, foreign policy, human rights issues and U.S. policies and relations with the UAE. Major areas of U.S. policy concerns discussed are the UAE's participation in the war in Yemen supporting Saudia Arabia and the current standoff with Quatar over alleged sponsorship of terrorism by Quatar in relation to the significant amount of U.S. military personnel based in the UAE.
FY2018 Defense Budget Request: The Basics
This report discusses the federal budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2018 released by the Trump Administration on May 23, 2017.
Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) aircraft, which may shift training from Field Training Units, where expensive fifth-generation aircraft are used, to less expensive trainer aircraft.
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The issue for Congress is how the U.S. Navy should respond to China's military modernization effort, particularly its naval modernization effort.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense-related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.
FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues
This report focuses exclusively on the annual national defense authorization act (NDAA) legislative process. It provides a brief synopsis of sections in each bill (H.R. 4909 as passed by the House on May 26, 2016, and S. 2943 as passed by the Senate on July 21, 2016) that pertain to selected personnel policies. These include issues such as military end-strengths, pay and benefits, military healthcare (TRICARE), military retirement, and other major policy issues.
NATO Funding and Burdensharing
This report discusses the the relative imbalance in defense spending and military capabilities within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has long fueled concerns about burdensharing and European allies' reliance on U.S. defense guarantees.
Additional Troops for Afghanistan? Considerations for Congress
This report discusses the possibility of a proposal by the Trump Administration to deploy additional ground forces to Afghanistan and somewhat broaden their mission.
Fact Sheet: FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) DOD Reform Proposals
This report discusses information on extant Department of Defense (DOD) reform proposals being considered during the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act debates. It includes key provisions incorporated in H.R. 4909, the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) reported by the House Armed Services Committee on May 4, 2016 (H.Rept. 114-537), and S. 2943, the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 18, 2016 (S.Rept. 114-255).
Selected Foreign Counterparts of U.S. Army Ground Combat Systems and Implications for Combat Operations and Modernization
This report discusses the United States' ground combat system development and improvement, which is informed by existing and emerging technologies and budgetary factors as well as observations from current land conflicts.
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
This report provides an overview of the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START). The Obama Administration and outside analysts argue that New START strengthens strategic stability and enhances U.S. national security. Critics, however, question whether the treaty serves U.S. national security interests.
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
This report provides an overview of the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START). The Obama Administration and outside analysts argue that New START strengthens strategic stability and enhances U.S. national security. Critics, however, question whether the treaty serves U.S. national security interests.