Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Defense Surplus Equipment Disposal: Background Information
This report discusses the Department of Defense (DOD) policy via the Defense Utilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for disposing of government equipment and supplies considered surplus or deemed unnecessary to the agency's currently designated mission. The report focuses on DRMS background, as well as the most recent DRMS policy modifications.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": The Law and Military Policy on Same-Sex Behavior
This report describes the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy, which holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in same-sex acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Under this policy, but not the law, service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their "same-sex orientation." This report also describes recent efforts by certain Members of Congress to amending this policy.
Department of Defense "Section 1207" Security and Stabilization Assistance: Background and Congressional Concerns, FY2006-FY2010
Now expired, Section 1207 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2006 (P.L. 109-163) provided authority for the Department of Defense (DOD) to transfer to the State Department up to $100 million per fiscal year in defense articles, services, training or other support for reconstruction, stabilization, and security activities in foreign countries. This report provides background and data on Section 1207 authority and funding that may be useful for possible debate in the 112th Congress regarding the appropriate roles and funding mechanisms for DOD, the State Department, and other U.S. agencies in conflict prevention, management, and resolution, and in stabilization and reconstruction operations.
The Department of Defense's Use of Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq: Background, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report examines current private security contractor (PSC) trends in Afghanistan and Iraq, steps the Department of Defense (DOD) has taken to improve oversight and management, and the impact that using private security personnel can have on military operations. It also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over the use of PSCs and includes options for Congress.
The Department of Defense's Use of Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq: Background, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report examines current PSC trends in Afghanistan and Iraq, steps DOD has taken to improve oversight and management, and the impact using private security personnel can have on military operations. It also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over the use of PSCs and includes options for Congress.
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years -- a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. This report briefly discusses this issue, as well as related legislation.
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense leasing foreign-built ships, the opponents of this practice, and related legislation.
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply and also discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, such as the Espionage Act.
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. The report provides a summary of recent legislation relevant to the issue as well as some previous efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. The report provides a summary of previous legislative efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. The report provides a summary of recent legislation relevant to the issue as well as some previous efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply and also discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, such as the Espionage Act.
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply and also discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, such as the Espionage Act.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. Critical infrastructure includes physical assets used to produce and distribute services such as electricity (including the power plants and electric grid), communications, and computers. The report highlights five issues of Congressional concern: identifying critical assets; assessing vulnerabilities and risks; allocating resources; information sharing; and regulation.
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions
Published reports have suggested that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities as part of what the Bush Administration termed the global war on terror. This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions
This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. It also examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions
Published reports have suggested that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities as part of what the Bush Administration termed the global war on terror. This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications
This report provides historical background on the enactment of declarations of war and authorizations for the use of force and analyzes their legal effects under international and domestic law. It also sets forth their texts in two appendices. The report includes an extensive listing and summary of statutes that are triggered by a declaration of war, a declaration of national emergency, and/or the existence of a state of war. The report concludes with a summary of the congressional procedures applicable to the enactment of a declaration of war or authorization for the use of force and to measures under the War Powers Resolution.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The Coast Guard's two heavy polar icebreakers-Polar Star and Polar Sea-have exceeded their intended 30-year service lives, and neither is currently in operational condition.
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Currently, there are plans to increase and enhance the Coast Guard's fleet through the Deepwater acquisition program. This report details the Coast Guard's budget requests and explains how the Coast Guard has improved its organization and management over the past several years.
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Currently, there are plans to increase and enhance the Coast Guard's fleet through the Deepwater acquisition program. This report details the Coast Guard's budget requests and explains how the Coast Guard has improved its organization and management over the past several years.
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented.
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
Report that provides a background to the detention of enemy belligerents, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals.
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented.
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
This report provides a background to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012, the Authorization to use Military Force act, and the President's power to detain "enemy combatants." It then gives a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals and an overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to national security. It concludes by discussion Congress's role in prescribing rules for wartime detention as well as legislative proposals in the 112th Congress to address the detention of U.S. persons.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report covers the background and recent history on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This committee has recently emerged from obscurity due to concerns involving foreign investments in U.S. companies and national security.
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
The initiation of military commission proceedings against Khalid Sheik Mohammad and four others for their alleged involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks has focused renewed attention on the differences between trials in federal court and those conducted by military commission. This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court.
Economic Development Assistance for Communities Affected by Employment Changes Due to Military Base Closures (BRAC)
This report discusses the geographic impact of base closures and realignments, provides an analysis of federal economic assistance programs for those affected by such closures, and analyzes possible policy issues for Congress.
Economic Development Assistance for Communities Affected by Employment Changes Due to Military Base Closures (BRAC)
This report is intended to discuss the geographic impact of base closures and realignments; summarize federal economic assistance programs for communities and individuals affected by military base closures and realignments (BRAC); and highlight issues for Congress. The report will be updated as events warrant.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": The Law and Military Policy on Same-Sex Behavior
This report describes the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy, which holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in same-sex acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. This report also describes recent efforts by certain Members of Congress to amending this policy.
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's Deepwater acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft.
The Marines' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), which is an armored amphibious vehicle program that originated two decades ago to replace the 1970s-era Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV). The EFV has experienced a variety of developmental difficulties, which this report explores. This report also discusses potential related issues for Congress.
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations
This report discusses the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget request for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential 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. Decisions that Congress makes on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Ohio replacement program (ORP), a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. This report focuses on the Ohio replacement program as a Navy shipbuilding program.
Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the Corps. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities. Congress directs the Corps through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight of its studies, construction projects, and other activities.
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 partner, China, and legislation.
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the potential implications of China's naval modernization for future required U.S. Navy capabilities. Other CRS reports address separate issues relating to China. This report is based on unclassified open-source information.
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's Deepwater acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft.
Sending Mail to Members of the Armed Forces at Reduced or Free Postage: An Overview
This report discusses proposed legislation to establish a free-mail-to-troops postage benefit. Various bills introduced in Congress would provide members of the Armed Forces serving overseas with free-postage vouchers every month. Recipients of these vouchers would be able to transfer them to family members or other persons in the United States, who then could use the vouchers to mail a letter or package to the troops postage-free.
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's Deepwater acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses in more detail the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. The report highlights two primary issues confronting Congress going forward, both in the context of cybersecurity: information sharing and regulation.
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's Deepwater acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plans regarding the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The LCS is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy wants to field a force of 55 LCSs.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
This report discusses the issue in relation to the U.S. State Department's April 2009 Country Report on Terrorism; Colombian President Hugo Chávez's sympathies with terrorist groups and lack of cooperation on antiterrorism efforts; growing U.S. concern over activities of terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay; and various legislative initiatives related to Latin American terrorism issues being considered by the 112th Congress.
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Activities: Authorization and Appropriations
This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities.
Navy CG(X) Cruiser Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report explores the reasoning behind the development of the new cruiser called the CG(X), the budgetary actions taking place to enable their development, selected technical specifics of their design, and various other information relating to defense procurement costs.
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Activities: Authorization and Appropriations
This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities.
Navy CG(X) Cruiser Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
. This report explores the reasoning behind the development of CG(X) cruisers, the budgetary actions taking place to enable their development, selected technical specifics of their design, and various other information relating to defense procurement costs.