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Cuba: U.S. Policy in the 115th Congress

Description: This report examines U.S. policy toward Cuba in the 115th Congress. It is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment; U.S. policy toward Cuba; and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations, including restrictions on travel and trade, funding for democracy and human rights projects in Cuba and for U.S. government-sponsored radio and television broadcasting, migration, antidrug cooperation, U.S. property claims, and U.S. fugitives from justice in Cuba. Legislative initiatives in the 115th Congress are noted throughout the report, and Appendix A lists introduced bills. Appendix B provides links to U.S. government information and reports on Cuba.
Date: November 22, 2017
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report discuses Saudi Arabia's governmental structure, human rights issues, relations with countries in the region, defense policies, and U.S. relations with the country. Special focus is given to military affairs and trade with Saudi Arabia.
Date: November 22, 2017
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Zimbabwe's Political Transition: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the resignation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe after a military intervention and the installation of one of his former vice-presidents, Emmanuel Mnangagwa as interim President. Various possible outcomes of the change and possible actions by Congress to advance U.S. interests in the region are discussed.
Date: November 22, 2017
Creator: Cook, Nicolas & Terrell, Katherine Z.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Zimbabwe: A Military-Compelled Transition?

Description: This report discusses the military intervention in Zimbabwe which occurred on November 14 and 15th, 2017, and provides a discussion of the main events leading up to the action and possible outcomes.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lebanon

Description: This report provides an overview of Lebanon's political and governmental structure, economy, security situation, refugee population, and other 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.
Date: November 9, 2017
Creator: Humud, Carla E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations In Brief

Description: This report discuses Turkey's relations with the U.S. and growing tensions between the U.S .and Turkey over President Erdogan's domestic power consolidations following a coup attempt in July 2016, regional partnerships with Russia, relations with the Kurds, and a series of diplomatic and human rights incidents.
Date: November 9, 2017
Creator: Zanotti, Jim & Thomas, Clayton
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Rohingya Crises in Bangladesh and Burma

Description: This report discusses the Rohingya refugee crisis in Burma and Bangladesh and proposed legislation in Congress regarding restrictions on Burmese military officials, trade, and humanitarian assistance. A brief background on the Rohingya people group, repressive policies by the Burmese government, current conditions in Burma and Bangladesh, risks of radicalization, human rights violations, and attempts by the U.N. and others to resolve the conflict are included in the report.
Date: November 8, 2017
Creator: Martin, Michael F.; Margesson, Rhoda & Vaughn, Bruce
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Why is Violence Rebounding in Mexico?

Description: This report discusses violence in Mexico fueled by organized crime cartels and the rising homicide rate which for 2017 based on preliminary reports will be above 18 per 100,000 persons. The rate in 2016 was 16.2 per 100,000. Various possible causes of the increase in violence discussed are the fragmentation of the Sinaloa Cartel, the increase in heroin trafficking and sales in the U.S., and the removal of major cartel bosses by the Mexican military leading to a power struggle in the organizations.
Date: November 8, 2017
Creator: Beittel, June S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses Afghanistan's history of conflict, governmental structure, human rights issues, and security policies and initiatives. A special focus is put on the U.S. involvement in Afghan security and ongoing fights against the Taliban and other terrorist groups and U.S. aid to Afghanistan both economically and militarily. Fiscal Year 2018 aid requests for both military assistance and economic and humanitarian aid are included.
Date: November 7, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth & Thomas, Clayton
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues

Description: This report discusses Temporary Protected Status (TPS) which is offered to nationals of designated countries who due to civil unrest, natural disasters, and armed conflicts cannot safely return home. This report begins by situating TPS in the context of humanitarian responses to migration. Another form of blanket relief from removal--Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)--is also described, as is the historical use of these relief mechanisms. The report then provides data on the countries currently designated for TPS, including the conditions that have contributed to their designation. Past legislation to provide lawful permanent resident status to certain TPS-designated foreign nationals is also described, and the report concludes with examples of activity in the 115th Congress related to TPS.
Date: November 2, 2017
Creator: Wilson, Jill H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the United Arab Emirates's (UAE) politics and governmental structure, economy, regional foreign policies including their part in the June 2017 isolation of Qatar due to their support for the Muslim Brotherhood, human rights concerns related to the UAE, and U.S. relations with the UAE.
Date: November 2, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: November 1, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses Iran's politics and governmental structure, human rights concerns related to Iran, and relations between the U.S. and Iran including President Trump's October 13, 2017 policy statement on Iran.
Date: November 1, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ukraine: Background and U.S. Policy

Description: This report describes Ukraine's political and governmental structure, economy, relations with the U.S., EU, NATO, and Russia, and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine with pro-Russian separatists.
Date: November 1, 2017
Creator: Welt, Cory
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Taiwan: Issues for Congress

Description: This report describes Taiwan's governmental structure, politics, economy, relations with its neighbors, and ongoing sovereignty disputes with China which have intensified recently. U.S. relations with Taiwan and legislation related to Taiwan in the 115th Congress is also discussed.
Date: October 30, 2017
Creator: Lawrence, Susan V. & Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Military Options and Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: October 27, 2017
Creator: McInnis, Kathleen J.; Feickert, Andrew; Manyin, Mark E.; Hildreth, Steven A.; Nikitin, Mary Beth D. & Chanlett-Avery, Emma
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report provides an overview of Qatar's governmental structure and leaders, economy, human rights concerns, relations with other Middle Eastern countries, defense cooperation with the U.S., and the recent severing of relations with Qatar by Saudi Arabia and several of its allies such as Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt over its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and alleged state sponsorship of terrorism. The crisis and attempt at mediation by the U.S. and Kuwait are discussed.
Date: October 19, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Venezuela: Background and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the ongoing political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela under President Nicolás Maduro and U.S. responses to it. It provides an overview of the political, economic, and social challenges Venezuela faces and analyzes U.S. policy concerns and actions regarding democracy and human rights, drug trafficking and money laundering, terrorism, and energy issues in Venezuela. The section on democracy and human rights includes U.S. support for OAS efforts regarding Venezuela. Proposals in the 115th Congress regarding Venezuela are also discussed.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Nelson, Rebecca M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response

Description: 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.
Date: October 13, 2017
Creator: Humud, Carla E.; Blanchard, Christopher M. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. The bulk of the report outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects. Recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions are also discussed.
Date: October 13, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Arms Sales in the Middle East: Trends and Analytical Perspectives for U.S. Policy

Description: 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.
Date: October 11, 2017
Creator: Thomas, Clayton
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Description: This report discusses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which is a presidential advisory body consisting of nine cabinet members, two ex officio members, and other members appointed by the President to oversee direct investments by foreign countries in the United States. The President has the power to block a direct investment by another country if such an acquisition would pose a threat to U.S. national security. The basics of the committee's operations and laws governing their conduct and power, presidential blocks of investment, previous reforms to the original law governing the committee and its actions and current propositions in Congress to further amend the laws regarding the committee are discussed.
Date: October 11, 2017
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department