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Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security

Description: Operation Iraqi Freedom succeeded in overthrowing Saddam Hussein, but Iraq remains unstable because of Sunni Arab resentment and a related insurgency, compounded by burgeoning sectarian violence. Mounting U.S. casualties and financial costs -- without clear signs of security progress -- have intensified a debate within the United States over the wisdom of the invasion and whether to wind down U.S. involvement without completely accomplishing U.S. goals. Administration critics, including some in Congress, believe the U.S. mission in Iraq is failing and that major new policy initiatives are required. Some believe that U.S. counter-insurgent operations are hampered by an insufficient U.S. troop levels and that sectarian violence threatens to place U.S. forces in the middle of an all out civil war in Iraq. Others believe that a U.S. move to withdraw might undercut popular support for the insurgency and force compromise among Iraq's factions.
Date: June 14, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Israel: Background and Relations with the United States

Description: Armed conflict has marked every decade of Israel's existence. Despite its unstable regional environment, Israel has developed a vibrant parliamentary democracy, albeit with relatively fragile governments. Israel has an advanced industrial, market economy in which the government plays a substantial role. The economy is now doing very well, and increased social spending is expected. Israel's foreign policy is focused largely on its region, Europe, and the United States. European countries collectively are Israel's second largest trading partner, and the EU participates in the peace process. Since 1948, the United States and Israel have developed a close friendship based on common democratic values, religious affinities, and security interests. Current issues in U.S.-Israeli relations include Israel's military sales to China, inadequate Israeli protection of U.S. intellectual property, and espionage-related cases.
Date: June 14, 2006
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran's Influence in Iraq

Description: Iran's influence over the post-Saddam government in Iraq is substantial because the predominant parties in that government have long enjoyed Tehran's sponsorship. An emerging concern is that Iran's influence has extended to support for militant groups in Iraq. U.S. officials say that sophisticated explosive devices are entering Iraq from Iran, suggesting that Iran, or factions within Iran, are backing Iraqi factions that use violence to oppose the U.S. presence in Iraq.
Date: June 13, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Libya: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: On May 15, 2006, the Bush Administration announced its intention to restore full diplomatic relations with Libya and to rescind Libya's listing as a state sponsor of terrorism and a country not fully cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts. The announcements mark the culmination of a period of improvement and rapprochement in U.S.-Libyan relations that begin in December 2003. Observers expect that these changes will usher in a new era in the U.S.-Libyan relationship, which has been strained and hostile for much of the last 35 years. This report provides background information on Libya and U.S.-Libyan relations; profile Libyan leader Muammar Al Qadhafi; discusses Libya's political and economic reform efforts; and reviews current issues of potential congressional interest.
Date: June 13, 2006
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
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: June 13, 2006
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Throughout much of the George W. Bush Administration, U.S.-China relations have remained unusually smooth and stable. But U.S. policy toward China now appears to be subject to competing reassessments. State Department officials late in 2005 unveiled what they described as a new policy framework for the relationship -- one in which the United States was willing to work cooperatively with a non-democratic China while encouraging Beijing to become a "responsible stakeholder" in the global system. Other U.S. policymakers appear to be adopting somewhat tougher stances on issues involving China and U.S.-China relations, expressing their concerns about strong PRC economic growth and a more assertive and influential PRC diplomacy in the international arena.
Date: June 8, 2006
Creator: Dumbaugh, Kerry
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Taiwan: Recent Developments and U.S. Policy Choices

Description: Under the Bush Administration, U.S.-China-Taiwan relations have undergone a number of changes. Initially, the new Administration seemed to abandon the long-standing U.S. policy of "strategic ambiguity" on Taiwan in favor of "strategic clarity" that placed more emphasis on Taiwan's interests and less on PRC concerns. President Bush's first term has been a time of increasing complexity and unpredictability in Taiwan's political environment. Political trends in Taiwan have raised anxieties about its future and the implications for U.S. policy.
Date: June 8, 2006
Creator: Dumbaugh, Kerry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Korea: U.S.-Korean Relations -- Issues for Congress

Description: North Korea's decision in December 2002 to restart nuclear installations at Yongbyon that were shut down under the U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework of 1994 and its announced withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty create an acute foreign policy problem for the United States. The Bush Administration maintains that North Korea must do certain things, such as the dismantling of both its plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) programs, as well as the institution of financial sanctions at foreign banks and companies that cooperate with North Korea in international illegal activities. Differences have emerged between the Bush Administration and South Korea over policies toward North Korea; South Korea has become critical of the Bush Administration's policies and the U.S. military presence. South Korea emphasizes bilateral reconciliation with North Korea, anti-U.S. demonstrations erupted in 2002, and Roh Moo-hyun was elected President after criticizing the United States.
Date: June 7, 2006
Creator: Niksch, Larry A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States recognized the independence of all the former Central Asian republics, supported their admission into Western organizations, and elicited Turkish support to counter Iranian influence in the region. Soon after the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, all the Central Asia states offered overflight and other support to coalition anti-terrorist efforts in Afghanistan. After September 11, 2001, U.S. policy emphasized bolstering the security of the Central Asian states to help them combat terrorism, proliferation, and arms trafficking. Other U.S. objectives include promoting democratization, free markets, human rights, and energy development, as well as integrating these states into the international community.
Date: June 5, 2006
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. policy concerns and relations with countries in central Asia. The report discusses issues such as Fostering Pro-Western Orientations, Obstacles to Peace and Independence, Democratization and Human Rights, Security and Arms Control, Trade and Investment, and provides an Aid Overview.
Date: June 5, 2006
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Options

Description: This report discusses the debate over U.S. policy toward Iran, much of which has centered on the nature of the current regime. Some experts believe that Iran, a country of almost 70 million people, is a threat to U.S. interests because hardliners in Iran’s regime dominate and set a policy direction intended to challenge U.S. influence and allies in the region. President Bush, in his January 29, 2002, State of the Union message, labeled Iran part of an “axis of evil” along with Iraq and North Korea.
Date: June 2, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Description: According to an Administration national security strategy document released on March 16, 2006, the United States "may face no greater challenge from a single country than Iran." The Bush Administration announced May 31, 2006, that it would negotiate with Iran in concert with U.S. allies. If diplomacy and sanctions do not succeed, some advocate military action against Iran's nuclear infrastructure rather than acquiescence to a nuclear-armed Iran. U.S. concerns regarding Iran include Iran's nuclear program, Iran's influence on Iraq by way of providing arms and other material assistance to Shiite Islamist militias, and Iran's human rights practices, which include strict limits on free expression and repression of ethnic and religious minorities.
Date: June 2, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nigeria in Political Transition

Description: On June 8, 1998, General Sani Abacha, the military leader who took power in Nigeria in 1993, died of a reported heart attack and was replaced by General Abdulsalam Abubakar. General Abubakar released political prisoners and initiated political, economic, and social reforms. Relations between the United States and Nigeria improved with the subsequent transfer of power to a civilian government. Nigeria continues to make progress in strengthening its fragile democracy but faces serious economic challenges. Nigeria remains relatively stable, although ethnic and religious clashes in some parts of the country have led to massive displacement of civilian populations.
Date: June 1, 2006
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

India-U.S. Relations

Description: The end of the Cold War freed India-U.S. relations from the constraints of global bipolarity, but interactions continued for a decade to be affected by the burden of history, most notably the longstanding India-Pakistan rivalry and nuclear weapons proliferation in the region. Recent years, however, have witnessed a sea change in bilateral relations, with more positive interactions becoming the norm. India's swift offer of full support for U.S.-led counterterrorism operations after September 2001 was widely viewed as reflective of such change. The United States seeks to curtail the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in South Asia. Continuing U.S. interest in South Asia focuses on ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan. U.S. concerns about human rights issues related to regional dissidence and separatism in several Indian states continue. Many U.S. business interests view India as a lucrative market and candidate for foreign investment.
Date: May 26, 2006
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and Falun Gong

Description: “Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Lum, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Operations (House)/State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (Senate): FY2007 Appropriations

Description: This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and the Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Nowels, Larry; Veillette, Connie & Epstein, Susan B.
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department