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European Security and Islamist Terrorism
This report briefly discusses the current security climate in Europe, as well as policy considerations for the U.S. Over the last two years, European governments and the European Union (EU) have grown increasingly alarmed by the rise of the Islamic State terrorist organization, its ability to attract European citizens to join the fighting in the Syria-Iraq region, and its use of violent extremist propaganda to inspire others.
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the INF Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It includes a historical overview and summary of the provisions of the INF Treaty and Russia's concerns with U.S. compliance with the treaty and concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue to address its concerns with Russia's activities and options that it might pursue if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles.
U.S. Foreign Assistance as Colombia's Peace Talks on Cusp of Completion
This report discusses the ongoing peace process in Colombia and the potential effects for U.S. policy. On July 18, 2016, the Colombian Constitutional Court approved a plebiscite to allow Colombian voters to decide the fate of the peace accord under negotiation between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the country's largest insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Foreign Aid and the Education Sector: Programs and Priorities
This report is a descriptive profile of recent U.S. foreign aid education sector activities; it outlines actors, policy, funding levels, and programs.
Federal Assistance for Victims of Terrorism or Mass Violence: In Brief
This report focuses solely on assistance available from Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)--the primary federal assistance available to victims of terrorism or mass violence. Jurisdictions and individuals may be eligible to receive various types of victim assistance both directly from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and indirectly from DOJ through their respective state victim assistance agencies or other programs following incidents of terrorism or mass violence in the United States.
Economic Implications of a United Kingdom Exit from the European Union
This report provides an analysis of the possible economic implications for the United States and the global economy of an exit from the European Union (EU) by the United Kingdom (UK), commonly referred to as Brexit. It offers background information on possible implications of the vote to leave the EU, an overview of U.S.-UK trade and investment relations, and various estimates of Brexit's financial implications for the U.S. and global economies.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. Legislative initiatives in the 114th Congress are noted throughout the report, and four appendixes provide a listing of enacted measures, bills receiving some action in 2015, bills seeing action in 2016, and additional bills and resolution this Congress.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations.
North American Leaders' Summit
This report discusses the 10th annual North American Leaders' Summit (NALS), in which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hosted President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Human Trafficking and Forced Labor: Trends in Import Restrictions
This report discusses issues regarding a provision against forced labor in the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307), which prohibited from import into the United States "all goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions" (Section 307 of the Act).
TPP: American Agriculture and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
This report identifies four considerations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that are particularly relevant for U.S. food and agriculture. It includes a partial snapshot of some of the higher-profile improvements in market access for agricultural products in the agreement, a summary of selected provisions beyond market access that are of interest to food and agriculture, a brief overview of industry reactions to the agreement, and a review of what would need to occur for the agreement to enter into force for the United States.
U.S. International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues
This report includes three principal sections: a description of U.S. international food aid programs under current law; a discussion of several important policy issues related to U.S. international food aid; and a description of Administration and congressional proposals intended to change the nature of U.S. food international aid.
U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications
This report provides an overview of U.S.-Mexico trade and economic trends, the Mexican economy, the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and major trade issues between the United States and Mexico.
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the political and security situation in Qatar as well U.S. policy towards the Qatari government.
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
This report discusses the application of American criminal law outside the United States.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and provides an overview of U.S. Policy responses. The rise of the insurgent terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) and Russia's military intervention on behalf of the Syrian government have reshaped debates over U.S. policy toward the ongoing civil conflict in Syria, now in its fifth year.
EU State Aid and Apple's Taxes
This report discusses the recent investigations by the European Union (EU) regarding claims that certain countries had provided illegal state aid via favorable tax rulings.
Trafficking in Persons and U.S. Foreign Policy Responses in the 114th Congress
This report provides an overview of recent global trends and U.S. foreign policy responses to address human trafficking. The report focuses in particular on efforts conducted by the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) and the President's Interagency Task Force (PITF) on human trafficking, as well as discussion of the 2016 TIP Report.
Argentina: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides background on the political and economic situation in Argentina and U.S.-Argentine relations. It also summarizes political and economic conditions in Argentina and issues in Argentine-U.S. relations.
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report examines Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. Kuwait remains pivotal to U.S. efforts to secure the Persian Gulf region because of its willingness to cooperate with U.S. strategy and military operations in the region and its proximity to both Iran and Iraq.
Al Qaeda's Syria Affiliate Declares Independence
This report briefly discusses the implications of a recent announcement from Al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra, stating that it was reconstituting itself as an independent group.
The 2016 G-20 Summit
This report discusses the 2016 G-20 summit where the leaders of the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries met in Hangzhou, China.
Leadership Succession in Uzbekistan
This report discusses the succession of Uzbekistan President, Islam Karimov. The 78-year-old Karimov served as Uzbekistan's only President from the time of its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.
The Islamist Militant Threat in Bangladesh
This report discusses the current security climate in Bangladesh in regards to terrorism. Bangladesh is attractive to jihadists because it is a politically destabilized Muslim majority nation that could offer inroads to both Burma, through the alienated Muslim Rohingya refugee group, or to neighboring India.
Burma Holds Peace Conference
This report discusses the Burma Peace conference that could be a step toward ending Burma's six-decade long, low-grade civil war and establishing a process eventually leading to reconciliation and possibly the formation of a democratic federated state.
Turkey: Failed Coup and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report briefly examines the failed coup in Turkey and what it means for U.S. foreign policy. On July 15-16, 2016, elements within the Turkish military tried, but failed, to seize political power from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
Nicaragua: In Brief
This report discusses Nicaragua's current politics, economic development and relations with the United States and provides context for Nicaragua's controversial November 6, 2016, elections.
Financing U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba
This report discusses a new policy approach toward Cuba that, in part, seeks to reduce the role of long-standing U.S. sanctions on commercial relations with Cuba while also promoting greater engagement and normal relations with the island nation.
Orlando Nightclub Mass Shooting: Gun Checks and Terrorist Watchlists
This report discusses the policy climate surrounding gun control in the wake of the attack in an Orlando, Florida nightclub. On June 12, 2016, an armed assailant killed 49 people and wounded over 50 others in the club.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations.
Stafford Act Assistance and Acts of Terrorism
This report provides a brief overview of Stafford Act declarations under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and the types of assistance they could authorize in response to terrorist incidents. This report also provides examples of Stafford Act declarations that have been issued for previous terrorist attacks.
The Islamic State's Acolytes and the Challenges They Pose to U.S. Law Enforcement
This report provides an analysis of publicly available information on homegrown violent jihadist activity in the United States since September 11, 2001, which suggests that the Islamic State (IS) and its acolytes may pose broad challenges to domestic law enforcement and homeland security efforts.
U.S.-Nordic Relations
This report briefly discusses U.S. relations with the Nordic countries--Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Direct Overt U.S. Aid Appropriations for and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2017
This report provides data regarding the direct overt U.S. aid appropriations and military reimbursements to Pakistan.
The United Kingdom and the European Union: Stay or Go?
This report briefly examines the debate surrounding whether or not the United Kingdom should leave the European Union.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program, and discusses the implications for U.S.-Iran relations.
State Sponsors of Acts of International Terrorism--Legislative Parameters: In Brief
This brief report provides information on legislation that authorizes the designation of any foreign government as a state sponsor of acts of international terrorism. It addresses how each statute defines acts of international terrorism; establishes a list to limit or prohibit aid or trade; provides for systematic removal of a foreign government from a list, including timeline and reporting requirements; authorizes the President to waive restrictions on a listed foreign government; and provides (or does not provide) Congress with a means to block a delisting. The report closes with a summary of delisting in the past.
Possible Economic Impact of Brexit
This report briefly discusses the possible economic impact of a June 23, 2016 referendum in which a majority of British voters supported the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the European Union (EU), stunning global financial markets that expected the vote to fail.
After Brexit: A Diminished or Enhanced EU?
This report briefly discusses the United Kingdom's (UK's) "Brexit" vote and what it means for the future of the European Union.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense-related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.
Information Warfare: DOD's Response to the Islamic State Hacking Activities
This report briefly examines the Islamic State's (IS) strategy of accessing U.S. government computer systems for a variety of purposes, and the Department of Defense's (DOD) response.
Trade Negotiations During the 109th Congress
This report discusses trade issues in the 109th Congress. For over 50 years, U.S. trade officials have negotiated multilateral trade agreements to achieve lower trade barriers and rules to cover international trade. During the 108th Congress, U.S. officials negotiated and Congress approved four bilateral free-trade agreements with Australia, Chile, Morocco, and Singapore.
DOD's Rotation to the Philippines
This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD's) announcement of its intention to "rebalance" by focusing more of its attention and activity on Asia. One goal is to influence the development of regional norms and rules, particularly as China exerts greater influence.
Status of the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses ongoing efforts to control Ebola in West Africa, analyzes persistent challenges in fighting the spread of the disease, and tracks Ebola emergency funds. The 2014-2015 outbreak and spread of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa became an international public health emergency that, in no small part due to international intervention, abated significantly by the end of 2015 and early 2016. The issue remains of interest toward the end of the 114th Congress for a number of reasons, including ongoing concerns about the status of disease and risks of future outbreaks, and interest in the disposition of funds appropriated by Congress in response to Ebola, especially in view of the more recent health challenge posed by the Zika virus.
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines the political and economic situation in Venezuela and U.S.-Venezuelan relations. It is divided into three main sections -- political background, current political and economic environment, U.S. relations and policy -- and also includes introductory and outlook information.
Climate Change Paris Agreement Opens for Signature
This report discusses the new international Paris Agreement, signed by 175 out of 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on April 22, 2016 to address greenhouse-gas-induced climate change.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense-related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report examines the bilateral trade issues between United States and Vietnam, discussing their main elements and exploring their potential implications for the 114th Congress.
United Kingdom Votes to Leave the European Union
This report briefly examines the ramifications of a British exit from the EU (often referred to as "Brexit"). Nearly 52% of British voters in the June 23 referendum on European Union (EU) membership answered that the United Kingdom (UK) should leave the EU.