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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues surrounding the funding for development of Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) and Marine Personnel Carriers (MPCs). The Marines are required by law to have the necessary equipment to conduct amphibious operations and land operations.
Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
This report provides an overview of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program, including congressional authorization and appropriations. Its civil works responsibilities are principally to support navigation, reduce flood and storm damage, and protect and restore aquatic ecosystems. The report also covers the standard project development process for Corps projects and other Corps activities and authorities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), which is an Army-led, multi-service initiative to develop a family of light tactical vehicles as a successor to the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs). It includes background information; a description of the JLTV program, program history, and program activities; information about the JLTV contract, Lockheed Martin's protest to the program, budgetary issues, and potential issues for Congress.
U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses Special Operations Forces (SOF), which play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. A potential issue for Congress is the Administration's decision to send U.S. SOF forces to Syria.
Statutory Restrictions on the Position of Secretary of Defense: Issues for Congress
This report is designed to assist Congress as it considers how to proceed with the proposed nomination of General (Ret.) James Mattis to be Secretary of Defense. After exploring the history of the statutory restriction and its evolution over time, it touches upon some of the broader questions that have recently been raised in the public debate on whether, and how, this proposed nomination might impact civilian-military relations and the principle of civilian control of the military.
Women in Combat: Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history of women in US military roles and combat since the 1990s and discusses critics' views of exclusionary policy as a civil rights issue. Over the past two decades of conflict, women have served with valor and continue to serve on combat aircraft, naval vessels, and in support of ground combat operations. The expansion of roles for women in the armed forces has evolved since the early days of the military when women were restricted by law and policy from serving in certain occupations and units.
Waiver of Statutory Qualifications Relating to Prior Military Service of the Secretary of Defense
This report discusses the status of the Secretary of Defense, who has authority, direction, and control over the Department of Defense, as a civilian appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
FY2017 Defense Spending Under an Interim Continuing Resolution (CR): In Brief
This report provides a basic discussion of interim "continuing resolutions" (CRs) and highlights some specific issues for the Department of Defense (DOD) under a CR. It also provides a brief look at selected FY2017 defense programs that could be affected by a CR.
Security Cooperation: Comparison of Proposed Provisions for the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
This report discusses the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could significantly alter the way in which the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) engages and partners with foreign security forces.
Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three potential new weapons that could improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against enemy missiles--solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the hypervelocity projectile (HVP).
DHS Appropriations FY2017: Research and Development, Training, and Services
This report discuss appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY2017. It specifically discusses appropriations for the components of DHS included in the fourth title of the homeland security appropriations bill--in past years, this has comprised U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Science and Technology Directorate, and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). In FY2017, the Administration proposed moving the Domestic Nuclear Detection office into a new Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Office, along with several other parts of DHS. Congress has labeled this title of the bill in recent years as "Research and Development, Training, and Services."
U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Recent Conflicts
This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), which is an Army-led, multi-service initiative to develop a family of light tactical vehicles as a successor to the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs). It includes background information; a description of the JLTV program, program history, and program activities; information about the JLTV contract, Lockheed Martin's protest to the program, budgetary issues, and potential issues for Congress.
Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues surrounding the funding for development of Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) and Marine Personnel Carriers (MPCs). The Marines are required by law to have the necessary equipment to conduct amphibious operations and land operations.
How Big Should the Army Be? Considerations for Congress
This report provides an overview of active duty Army personnel strength changes in recent years, outlines the different end strength authorizations in the House and Senate versions of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), highlights the perspectives which have contributed to these diverging approaches in the respective NDAAs, and outlines some factors which Congress may consider as it determines the appropriate size for the Army.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), as well as the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).
Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries in the United States
This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, National Park Service (NPS) cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans.
Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State
This report discusses the formation of the Islamic State. Some 60 nations and partner organizations agreed to participate, contributing either military forces or resources (or both) to the campaign. In Brussels in December 2014, these 60 partners agreed to organize themselves along five "lines of effort," with at least two countries in the lead for each.
DOD Security Cooperation: An Overview of Authorities and Issues
This report provides a general overview of current Department of Defense (DOD) Title 10 authorities to assist foreign governments, militaries, security forces, and populations funded by the DOD budget. It presents background information; provides summary overviews of nine categories of security cooperation assistance and activities; and discusses recent issues related to the development, implementation, sustainment, and coordination of security cooperation to support continuing congressional oversight.
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.
Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the John Lewis (TAO-205) class oiler shipbuilding program, a program to build a new class of 17 fleet oilers for the Navy.
The Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce: Background, Analysis, and Questions for Congress
This report provides background on the Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition workforce. Specifically, the report addresses the following questions: 1. What is the acquisition workforce? 2. What is the current size of the acquisition workforce? 3. How has Congress sought to improve the acquisition workforce in the past? 4. What are some potential questions for Congress to explore in the area of acquisition workforce management to improve acquisitions?
FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues
This report 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.
Security Cooperation and the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
This report discusses provisions in the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that have elevated ongoing debates over U.S. security sector assistance to foreign countries--and raised questions over whether the policy architecture is suited to meet current and emerging requirements.
Acquisition Reform in the House and Senate Versions of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act
This report focuses on the sections of the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909 and S. 2943, respectively) that appear closely linked to the respective armed services committees' stated efforts to reform the acquisition system. For purposes of this analysis, CRS selected 31 sections of the House bill and 67 sections of the Senate bill.
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. As such, 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). Wherever possible, it also includes the Administration's views.
Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries in the United States
This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, National Park Service (NPS) cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans.
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.
FY2017 Defense Appropriations Fact Sheet: Selected Highlights of H.R. 5293 and S. 3000
This report summarizes selected highlights of the FY2017 Defense Appropriations Act passed by the House on June 16, 2016 (H.R. 5293), and the version reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 26, 2016 (S. 3000).
Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three potential new weapons that could improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against enemy missiles--solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the hypervelocity projectile (HVP).
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate program, a program to procure a large number of LCSs and modified LCSs. The modified LCSs are to be referred to as frigates. The Navy's execution of the program has been a matter of congressional oversight attention for several years. The program presents several oversight issues for Congress.
Overseas Contingency Operations Funding: Background and Status
This report discusses funding for war-related activities, which has been largely provided through supplemental appropriation acts or has been designated as an "emergency" or "overseas contingency operation/global war on terror" (OCO/GWOT) requirement - or both.
The Open Skies Treaty: Issues in the Current Debate
This report discusses the current debate surrounding the Treaty on Open Skies, which the United States, Canada, and 22 European nations signed on March 24, 1992. The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002, and now has 34 member states. Each participant must permit unarmed observation aircraft to fly over its entire territory to observe military forces and activities.
Fact Sheet: Selected Highlights of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909, S. 2943)
This report provides selected highlights of the version of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House on May 18, 2016 (H.R. 4909) and the version reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee on the same date (S. 2943). Table 1 provides a summary of amounts recommended for authorization. Table 2 provides a summary of selected congressional budget reductions and restrictions, and Table 3 provides a summary of selected Administration policy and cost-cutting proposals. Table 4 provides a summary of selected congressional budget increases and policy initiatives.
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.
Goldwater-Nichols at 30: Defense Reform and Issues for Congress
This report is designed to assist Congress as it evaluates the many different defense reform proposals suggested by the variety of stakeholders and institutions within the U.S. national security community. It includes an outline of the strategic context for defense reform, both in the Goldwater-Nichols era and today. It then builds a framework to understand the DOD management challenge, and situates some of the most-discussed reform proposals within that framework. It concludes with some questions Congress may ponder as it exercises oversight over the Pentagon.
Military Lending Act: Timeline, New Rules, and Issues
This report briefly discusses new rules under the Military Lending Act (MLA) that change the definition of consumer credit for covered servicemembers and dependents; it will apply to transactions or accounts that are established on or after October 3, 2016. These rules may have an impact on the regulatory burdens for businesses that provide credit products to the military and may also affect military readiness.