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Syria: U.S. Relations and Bilateral Issues

Description: The country of Syria is a prominent player in the Middle East scene, due to a number of border disputes with the region, as well as problems of resource allocation, and political rivalries have caused frequent tensions between Syria and its neighbors. An array of bilateral issues continue to affect relations between the United States and Syria: the course of Arab-Israeli talks; questions of arms proliferation; Syrian connections with terrorist activity; Syria's role in Lebanon; and Syria's opposition to the U.S. occupation in Iraq. This report explores these issues, as well as the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri--who had been a vocal Syrian critic--and the Syria Accountability Act, which President Bush signed on December 12, 2003, and which imposes sanctions upon Syria unless it halts support for terrorism.
Date: June 6, 2006
Creator: Prados, Alfred B.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Norht Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program

Description: North Korea's decisions to restart nuclear installations at Yongbyon that were shut down under the U.S.-South Korean Agreed Framework of 1994 and to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty create an acute foreign policy problem for the United States. Restarting the Yongbyon facilities opens up a possible North Korean intent to stage a "nuclear breakout" of its nuclear program and openly produce nuclear weapons. The main objective of the Bush Administration is to secure the dismantling of North Korea's plutonium and uranium-based nuclear programs. China, South Korea, and Russia have criticized the Bush Administration for not negotiating directly with North Korea, and they voice opposition to economic sanctions and to the use force against Pyongyang. China, Russia, and even South Korea increasingly have expressed support for North Korea's position in six-party talks facilitated by China, but the talks have made little progress.
Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Niksch, Larry A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lebanon

Description: The United States and Lebanon continue to enjoy good relations. Prominent current issues between the United States and Lebanon include progress toward a Lebanon-Israel peace treaty, U.S. aid to Lebanon, and Lebanon's capacity to stop Hizballah militia attacks on Israel. Lebanon's government is based in part on a 1943 agreement that called for a Maronite Christian President, a Sunni Muslim Prime Minister, and a Shi'ite Muslim Speaker of the National Assembly. This report explores the above, as well as the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and the formation of a new Lebanese government following the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.
Date: June 8, 2006
Creator: Prados, Alfred B.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues for the 109th Congress

Description: Over the past two decades, the Latin America and Caribbean region has made enormous strides in terms of political and economic development. Legislative and oversight attention to Latin America and the Caribbean in the 109th Congress has focused on continued counternarcotics efforts; trade issues; challenges to democracy, especially in Venezuela; efforts to bring political stability and ameliorate poverty in Haiti; efforts to foster political change in Cuba; and cooperation on migration and border security, especially with Mexico. This report provides an overview of U.S. relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on the role of Congress and congressional concerns.
Date: January 13, 2005
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.; Hornbeck, J. F.; Ribando, Clare; Sek, Lenore; Storrs, K. Larry; Taft-Morales, Maureen et al.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bolivia: Political and Economic Developments and Implications for U.S. Policy

Description: Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America with an ethnically diverse population. It has a long history of political instability that persists to this day. It is also highly politically polarized over such issues as the future of oil and gas exploration and production, coca eradication programs, and calls for regional autonomy and constitutional reform from some parts of the country. U.S. interest in Bolivia centers on its role as a coca producer, and its relationship to Colombia and Peru, the two other major coca- and cocaine-producing countries. This report goes into greater detail concerning the Bolivia's current political conditions, as well as Bolivia's relationship with the United States.
Date: June 22, 2005
Creator: Veillette, Connie
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for the 108th Congress

Description: The United States and Mexico have a special relationship as neighbors and partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The friendly relationship has been strengthened by President Bush's meetings with President Fox but has been weakened by disagreements over Iraq and other issues. Major congressional issues are trade, migration/border security, drug trafficking, and political and human rights issues.
Date: December 22, 2004
Creator: Storrs, K. Larry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Libya: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides background information on Libya and U.S.-Libyan relations; profiles Libyan leader Muammar al Qadhafi; discusses Libya’s political and economic reform efforts; and reviews current issues of potential congressional interest.
Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

India: Chronology of Recent Events

Description: This report provides a reverse chronology of recent events involving India and India-U.S. relations. Sources include, but are not limited to, major newswires, the U.S. Department of State, and Indian news outlets.
Date: February 13, 2007
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security

Description: Operation Iraqi Freedom overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime, but Iraq remains unstable because of Sunni Arab resentment and a related insurgency, compounded by Sunni-Shiite violence that a January 2007 national intelligence estimate says has key elements of a “civil war.” Mounting U.S. casualties and financial costs — without clear signs of security progress — have intensified a debate within the United States over whether to wind down U.S. involvement without completely accomplishing initial U.S. goals.
Date: February 9, 2007
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy

Description: The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China (PRC) is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. This report addresses relevant policy questions in current U.S.-China relations, discusses trends and key legislation in the current Congress, and provides a chronology of developments and high-level exchanges.
Date: February 14, 2007
Creator: Dumbaugh, Kerry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Iran Nonproliferation Act and the International Space Station: Issues and Options

Description: The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 (INA) was enacted to help stop foreign transfers to Iran of weapons of mass destruction, missile technology, and advanced conventional weapons technology, particularly from Russia. Section 6 of the INA bans U.S. payments to Russia in connection with the International Space Station (ISS) unless the U.S. President determines that Russia is taking steps to prevent such proliferation. The ISS is currently under construction in orbit. According to current plans, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will become dependent on Russia for certain ISS crew-related services beginning in April 2006 for which NASA must pay. Thus, the INA could significantly affect U.S. utilization of ISS. This report outlines the history of INA, its effect on Russian and Iranian proliferation, its impact on the ISS program, and options for resolving associated issues.
Date: March 2, 2005
Creator: Squassoni, Sharon & Smith, Marcia S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

World Trade Organization (WTO): Issues in the Debate on U.S. Participation

Description: In a report submitted to Congress on March 2, 2005 on the costs and benefits of continued participation in the WTO, the Administration cited a number of statistics that show growth in the U.S. and world economies since establishment of the WTO. Whether the growth cited was the result exclusively or mainly of activity in the WTO is arguable. Academic studies indicate that the United States would gain substantially from broad reductions in trade barriers worldwide. At the same time, some workers and industries might not share in those gains. Questions of governance and power are among the issues at the heart of the debate on the WTO. Major decisions in the WTO are made by member governments, who determine their negotiating positions, file dispute challenges, and implement their decisions. However, some challenge the claim that the WTO is democratic in nature by arguing that smaller countries are left out of the decisionmaking and that governments tend to represent large commercial interests only.
Date: June 9, 2005
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Sek, Lenore
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The World Trade Organization: The Hong Kong Ministerial

Description: The World Trade Organization (WTO) held its 6th Ministerial summit in Hong Kong from December 13-18, 2005. WTO Ministerials are held every two years to bring together trade ministers from member states, often to make political decisions for the body. Although an original goal of the Ministerial was to agree on a package of modalities (methods by which the round is negotiated) for the ongoing Doha Development Agenda (DDA) round of trade negotiations, this aim was dropped in order to avoid a high-profile failure similar to previous Ministerials at Cancun and Seattle. Rather, members agreed to some modest advancements in agriculture, industrial tariffs, and duty and quota-free access for least developed countries. The final outcome of these negotiations could provide a substantial boost to the world economy, but if the round itself is not completed, there may be repercussions for the WTO as an institution and for the architecture of the world trading system.
Date: January 20, 2006
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F.; Cooper, William H.; Jones, Vivian C.; Langton, Danielle J.; Hanrahan, Charles E.; Fletcher, Susan R. et al.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Group of Eight Summits: Evolution and Possible Reform

Description: This report discusses the Group of Eight (G8) summit, which is a forum to informally discuss and create policies on major foreign policy issues among the heads of state of the United States, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Russia.
Date: March 17, 2006
Creator: Weiss, Martin A
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department