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Nigeria's Boko Haram and the Islamic State
This report discusses the Nigerian Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram, and their statement pledging loyalty to the leader of the Syria/Iraq-based Islamic State (IS/ISIL) organization and the implication for U.S. foreign policy and national security.
The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups--chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population.
Monitoring and Verification in Arms Control
This report reviews some of the monitoring and verification provisions in the new START (Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty) Treaty and compares these with some of the provisions in the original START Treaty. It focuses, specifically, on differences between the treaties in the provisions governing the exchange of data -- known as telemetry -- generated during missle flight tests; provisions governing the monitoring of mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs); and differences in the numbers and types of on-site inspections.
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it relates to nuclear arsenals and nuclear nonproliferation policies. The report includes background information on India's nuclear history and nuclear weapons-specific U.S. legislation.
Northern Ireland: The Peace Process
This report provides background information regarding political violence and the peace process in Northern Ireland. It includes further information about the devolved government and recurrent crises (1999-2002, 2003-2007 and 2008-2010), implementation of police reforms, recent events and ongoing challenges, relevant U.S. policy, and recent legislation.
U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications
This report provides an overview of U.S.-Mexico economic relations, trade trends, the Mexican economy, NAFTA, and trade issues between the United States and Mexico.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation.
East Asian Regional Architecture: New Economic and Security Arrangements and U.S. Policy
The purpose of this report is to examine the developing regional architecture--the growing trade, financial, and political arrangements among countries of East Asia--and what that implies for U.S. interests and policy. The focus is on China, South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia with some mention of links with Australia and New Zealand. The types of arrangements include bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), regional trade pacts, currency and monetary arrangements, and political and security arrangements.
U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications
This report provides an overview of U.S.-Mexico economic relations, trade trends, the Mexican economy, NAFTA, and trade issues between the United States and Mexico.
The "Islamic State" Crisis and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current crisis involving the Islamic State, which is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of parts of Iraq and Syria since 2013.
Venezuela: Issues in the 111th Congress
This report discusses U.S.-Venezuela relations, including a historical overview. It also discusses the current political conditions in Venezuela, and certain Venezuela-related concerns the 111th Congress faces, such as Venezuela's human rights situation and its deepening relations with Iran.
Thailand: Background and U.S. Relations
This report looks at the relationship between the U.S. and Thailand. This includes recent rivalries between populist political forces, nepotism in government, and Thai relationships with neighboring countries.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. U.S. sanctions have been a major feature of U.S. Iran policy since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, but U.N. and worldwide bilateral sanctions on Iran are a relatively recent (post-2006) development.
The European Parliament
This report provides background on the Congress-European Parliament (EP) relationship and the role of the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue (TLD). It also explores potential future options that could strengthen ties between the two bodies.
U.S. Trade and Investment Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa: The African Growth and Opportunity Act
This report presents perspectives on African economic trends and provides an overview of U.S. trade and investment flows with sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It discusses the provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the changes that have occurred since its enactment. It concludes with a brief discussion of issues of congressional interest.
Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement
This report discusses the history of Sudan's civil unrest and the subsequent crisis in Darfur, as well as United Nations and United States aid and peacekeeping efforts, and current related policy under the Obama Administration.
Morocco: Current Issues
This report discusses the current political and foreign policy status of Morocco, especially with regard to its relationship with the United States and its struggles combating terrorism.
Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in the country of Panama, which has made notable political and economic progress since the 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted the regime of General Manuel Noriega from power. The United States has close relations with Panama, stemming in large part from the extensive linkages developed when the canal was under U.S. control. This report describes the U.S.-Panama relationship at length, including trade relations.
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation: Background and Analysis
This report discusses commercial ties between the United States and the 27-member European Union. While ties between the U.S. and EU are substantial, growing, and mutually beneficial, differences in regulatory approaches limit an even more integrated marketplace from developing. To deal with this situation, a variety of government-to-government efforts have been created to dismantle existing regulatory barriers and to prevent new ones from emerging.
Algeria: Current Issues
This report examines the current state of Algeria, including the country's associations with terrorism, despite steady decreases of domestic terrorism; the lessening in power of the Algerian military; and growing oil revenues.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. U.S. sanctions have been a major feature of U.S. Iran policy since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, but U.N. and worldwide bilateral sanctions on Iran are a relatively recent (post-2006) development.
Nigeria's 2015 Elections and the Boko Haram Crisis
This report provides an overview of the political and social situation in Nigeria. The report discusses Nigeria's 2015 elections and the Boko Haram crisis.
Iran's Economic Conditions: U.S. Policy Issues
This report provides a general overview of Iran's economy, addresses related U.S. policy concerns, and discusses policy options for Congress. The purpose of this report is two-fold. First, it provides insight into important macroeconomic trends, policy reforms and objectives, key economic sectors, international trade patterns, and sources of foreign exchange. Second, in the context of U.S. economic sanctions imposed for national security and foreign policy reasons, it evaluates Iran's economic structure, strengths, and vulnerabilities and discusses issues and options for Congress.
Iraq: Politics, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and social climate of Iraq, specifically in regards to the influence of the U.S. military presence over recent years. This report addresses planned and possible future efforts under the Obama Administration, including the scheduled gradual troops withdrawal.
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a summary overview of issues regarding the relationship between the United States and the EU, many of which may be of interest to the second session of the 111th Congress. The global financial crisis and recession has challenged both sides to forge a common response. The United States and EU have a number of lingering trade disputes, but have led the push to liberalize world trade, and have sought to reduce non-tariff and regulatory barriers in the transatlantic marketplace.
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report briefly discusses U.S.-EU responses to the Ukrainian conflict, specifically focusing on the possible expansion of sanctions against Russia.
Moldova: Background and U.S. Policy
This report provides information and analysis on Moldova, including its political and economic situation, foreign policy, and on U.S. policy toward Moldova.
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt, as well as addressing the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Brazil-U.S. Relations
This report analyzes Brazil's political, economic, and social conditions, and how those conditions affect its role in the region and its relationship with the United States.
Central Asia's Security: Issues and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the internal and external security concerns of the Central Asian states. Security concerns faced by the states include mixes of social disorder, crime, corruption, terrorism, ethnic and civil conflict, border tensions, water and transport disputes, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and trafficking in illegal narcotics and persons.
U.S.-China Relations: Policy Issues
This report provides an overview of the U.S.-China relationship, recent developments in the relationship, Obama Administration policy toward China, and a summary of legislation related to China in the 113th and 112th Congresses.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: The 2012 Election Reforms
This report covers the importance of the democratization of Hong Kong to U.S. foreign policy as well as to Hong Kong itself. It specifically looks at two recent election changes which indicate the Hong Kong government's willingness to press for democratic reforms and also give more power to current government officials over incumbent officials.
China's Economic Conditions
This report provides background on China's economic rise and current economic structure and the challenges China faces to keep its economy growing strong, and describes Chinese economic policies that are of concern to U.S. policymakers.
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations.
Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses issues regarding Iran's political history and structure. It also takes a look at economic and defense policy responses for Congress.
U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications
This report provides an overview of U.S.-Mexico economic relations, trade trends, the Mexican economy, NAFTA, and trade issues between the United States and Mexico. It will be updated as events warrant.
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it relates to nuclear arsenals and nuclear nonproliferation policies. The report includes background information on India's nuclear history and nuclear weapons-specific U.S. legislation.
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it relates to nuclear arsenals and nuclear nonproliferation policies. The report includes background information on India's nuclear history and nuclear weapons-specific U.S. legislation.
North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Development and Diplomacy
This report provides background information on the nuclear negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons program that began in the early 1990s under the Clinton Administration. It also provides information on other concerns that the U.S. has with North Korea, and discusses U.S. engagement activities with North Korea.
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it relates to nuclear arsenals and nuclear nonproliferation policies. The report includes background information on India's nuclear history and nuclear weapons-specific U.S. legislation.
China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues
Using a variety of unclassified consultations and sources, this report discusses the national security problem of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response, including legislation, since the mid-1990s.
China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues
Using a variety of unclassified consultations and sources, this report discusses the national security problem of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response, including legislation, since the mid-1990s.
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations, since the economic condition of each nation can affect the world economy and a U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship could influence economic conditions in other countries. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship.
Venezuela: Issues in the 111th Congress
This report discusses U.S.-Venezuela relations, including an historical overview. It also discusses the current political conditions in Venezuela, and certain Venezuela-related concerns the 111th Congress faces, such as Venezuela's human rights situation and its deepening relations with Iran.
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses governmental changes and political reform in Kuwait, which has been pivotal to nearly two decades of U.S. involvement in Iraq. This report also discusses relations between Kuwait and the U.S.