Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Israel's Blockade of Gaza, the Mavi Marmara Incident, and Its Aftermath
This report provides background information on the Israel's blockade on Gaza, and it discusses the raid on the MV Marmara, the free Gaza Movement, views form Israel and Turkey, international reaction and the U.S. position.
U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the United States counterterrorism cooperation with China after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This effort raised short-term policy issues about how to elicit cooperation and how to address China's concerns about military action (Operation Enduring Freedom). Longer-term questions have concerned whether counterterrorism has strategically transformed bilateral relations and whether China's support has been valuable and not obtained at the expense of other U.S. interests.
United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
This report tracks the process by which Congress provides the funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations, its agencies, and U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts, as well as for U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and funds. It includes information on the President's request and the congressional response, as well as congressional initiatives during this legislative process. Basic information is provided to help the reader understand this process.
Nigeria's 2015 Elections and the Boko Haram Crisis
This report provides an overview of the social and political situation in Nigeria. The report discusses the 2015 election in Nigeria, the rising threat of Boko Haram, and the U.S. policy and assistance.
The Islamic State in Egypt: Implications for U.S.-Egyptian Relations
This report discusses Islamist militancy in Egypt; specifically the presence the Islamic State organization (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS). The report also briefly discusses what the propagation of militants means for relations between the United States and Egypt.
United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
This report tracks the process by which Congress provides the funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations, its agencies, and U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts, as well as for U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and funds. It includes information on the President's request and the congressional response, as well as congressional initiatives during this legislative process. Basic information is provided to help the reader understand this process.
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is both an international and a domestic crime that involves violations of labor, public health, and human rights standards. This report focuses on human trafficking both internationally and within the United States. The report begins with an overview of human trafficking including a discussion of the definition of human trafficking, the scope of the problem globally, and an examination of the victims. It follows with an analysis of global anti-trafficking efforts by the United States and the international community. The report then focuses on trafficking into and within the United States, examining relief for trafficking victims in the United States and discussing U.S. law enforcement efforts to combat domestic trafficking. The report concludes with an overview of anti-trafficking legislation and an analysis of policy issues related to human trafficking.
Bangladesh: Political and Strategic Developments and U.S. Interests
This report provides historical background and geography of Bangladesh. The report discusses the contemporary political situation, election and Bangladesh politics.
U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends, and the FY2011 Request
This report is an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to the Middle East from FY2006 to FY2010, and of the FY2011 budget request. It includes a brief history of aid to the region, a review of foreign aid levels, a description of selected country programs, and an analysis of current foreign aid issues. It will be updated periodically to reflect recent developments.
Israel's Blockade of Gaza and the Mavi Marmara Incident
This report discusses the blockade that has severely affected the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, although Israel and its critics differ about the effects. It provides information on the number of trucks allowed to enter Gaza and lists their cargos of food, medicine, and other supplies.
The April 2010 Coup in Kyrgyzstan: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the most recent developments in Kyrgyzstan, the coup and its aftermath and the implications for Russia, China and other Euroasian states.
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is both an international and a domestic crime that involves violations of labor, public health, and human rights standards. This report focuses on human trafficking both internationally and within the United States. The report begins with an overview of human trafficking including a discussion of the definition of human trafficking, the scope of the problem globally, and an examination of the victims. It follows with an analysis of global anti-trafficking efforts by the United States and the international community. The report then focuses on trafficking into and within the United States, examining relief for trafficking victims in the United States and discussing U.S. law enforcement efforts to combat domestic trafficking. The report concludes with an overview of anti-trafficking legislation and an analysis of policy issues related to human trafficking.
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is both an international and a domestic crime that involves violations of labor, public health, and human rights standards. This report focuses on human trafficking both internationally and within the United States. The report begins with an overview of human trafficking including a discussion of the definition of human trafficking, the scope of the problem globally, and an examination of the victims. It follows with an analysis of global anti-trafficking efforts by the United States and the international community. The report then focuses on trafficking into and within the United States, examining relief for trafficking victims in the United States and discussing U.S. law enforcement efforts to combat domestic trafficking. The report concludes with an overview of anti-trafficking legislation and an analysis of policy issues related to human trafficking.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Israel's Blockade of Gaza, the Mavi Marmara Incident, and Its Aftermath
This report provides background information on the blockade imposed of by Israeli in response to Hamas's takeover. Israel considered its actions to be legitimate self-defense. Turkey, whose nationals comprised the largest contingent in the flotilla and among the casualties, considered them to be unjustifiable and in contravention of international law.
Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda
This report discusses the current political conditions of Uganda, which have long been ravaged by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an armed rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. In particular, the report focuses on largely unsuccessful Ugandan efforts to resolve the conflict with the LRA, as well as talks with the U.S. under the Bush Administration and the recent suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010.
Latin America and Climate Change
This report briefly discusses recent policy efforts in Latin America to confront climate change and the Obama Administrations' Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA).
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
Nigeria
This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report discusses Nigeria's most recent general elections, which the U.S. State Department called "deeply flawed," were held in April 2007.
United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
This report tracks the process by which Congress provides the funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations, its agencies, and U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts, as well as for U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and funds. It includes information on the President's request and the congressional response, as well as congressional initiatives during this legislative process. Basic information is provided to help the reader understand this process.
NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues
Member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) contribute to the activities of the alliance in several ways, the chief of which is through the deployment of their own armed forces, funded by their national budgets. Certain commonly conducted activities, however, are paid for out of three NATO-run budgets. These three accounts--the civil budget, the military budget, and the security investment program--are funded by individual contributions from the member states. This report discusses North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) burdensharing in funding such operations.
NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues
Member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) contribute to the activities of the alliance in several ways, the chief of which is through the deployment of their own armed forces, funded by their national budgets. Certain commonly conducted activities, however, are paid for out of three NATO-run budgets. These three accounts--the civil budget, the military budget, and the security investment program--are funded by individual contributions from the member states. This report discusses North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) burdensharing in funding such operations.
Stability in Russia's Chechnya and Other Regions of the North Caucasus: Recent Developments
This report provides background information on terrorist attacks in Russia's North Caucasus that includes the formerly breakaway Chechnya and other ethnic-based regions--appeared to increase substantially in 2007-2009. The report discusses impact of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict and the recent development in the Northern Caucasus.
Costa Rica: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines recent political and economic developments in Costa Rica as well as issues in U.S.-Costa Rica relations.
Madagascar's Political Crisis
This report discusses the current situation in Madagascar and U.S. concerns about foreign aid spending, the countries unique ecosystem, and the country's political and developmental challenges.
Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence
This report focuses on how policy makers would identify any spillover of drug trafficking-related violence into the United States. It provides an overview of Mexican drug trafficking organization structures, how they conduct business, and the relationship between the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and their partnerships operating here in the United States; a discussion of the illicit drug trade between Mexico and the United States; and other related issues.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Stability in Russia's Chechnya and Other Regions of the North Caucasus: Recent Developments
This report provides background information on terrorist attacks in Russia's North Caucasus that includes the formerly breakaway Chechnya and other ethnic-based regions--appeared to increase substantially in 2007-2009. The report discusses impact of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict and the recent development in the Northern Caucasus.
Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord
This report discusses the nuclear agreement talks between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1, which finalized an interim agreement ("Joint Plan of Action," JPA) requiring Iran to freeze many aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions.
Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress
This report provides a background on organized crime in the United States as well as the tools that Congress has afforded for the federal government to combat it.
Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications
This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights, major human rights issues, PRC human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
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.
Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress
This report provides a background on organized crime in the United States as well as the tools that Congress has afforded for the federal government to combat it.
Peace Talks in Colombia
This report provides background on Colombia's armed conflict and describes its key players. It briefly analyzes prior negotiations with the FARC and the lessons learned from those efforts that apply to the current talks. It examines what has transpired in the talks during more than two years of closed door sessions. The report also examines some of the constraints that could limit the success of the peace talks and looks at the prospects for the current negotiations.
International Drug Control Policy: Background and U.S. Responses
The global illegal drug trade represents a multi-dimensional challenge that has implications for U.S. national interests as well as the international community. This report discusses U.S. international policy frameworks and approaches in response to the issue.
Nigeria
This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also considers the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are mentioned, as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria.
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals
The report provides a brief background section on the significance of trade in services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results.
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iraq, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines current conditions in El Salvador, as well as issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations.
Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act
This report discusses the Logan Act, which was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments. There has been renewed interest in the Logan Act in 2015 as the result of a letter signed by 47 U.S. Senators to Iran suggesting that negotiations about a nuclear deal between the President and the Iranian leadership would be an executive agreement that another President or Congress would be able to abrogate.
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.
Seventh Summit of the Americas: In Brief
This report discusses the Summits of the Americas, which have been held roughly every three years since 1994 and serve as opportunities for the Western Hemisphere's leaders to engage directly with one another and discuss issues of collective concern. On April 10-11, 2015, President Obama is scheduled to attend the seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
The European Union: Leadership Changes Resulting from the Lisbon Treaty
This report discusses EU foreign policy decisions of a political or security-related nature that require unanimous intergovernmental agreement among the 27 member states. And many other issues which may relate to external affairs, however, EU members have agreed to pool their decision-making sovereignty. A number of additional EU actors often have particular relevance in these matters.
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report discusses the efforts currently underway to improve coordination and encourage better analysis amongst the various agencies within the U.S. Intelligence Community, especially with regard to the ongoing and prominent issue of international terrorism. In particular, this report addresses the false intelligence regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the current efforts in Iraq and Iran in general.
U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the United States counterterrorism cooperation with China after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This effort raised short-term policy issues about how to elicit cooperation and how to address China's concerns about military action (Operation Enduring Freedom). Longer-term questions have concerned whether counterterrorism has strategically transformed bilateral relations and whether China's support has been valuable and not obtained at the expense of other U.S. interests.
Taiwan's Political Status: Historical Background and Its Implications for U.S. Policy
This report provides background information from Mainland China to Taiwan. The report discusses the U.S. relations with China and Taiwan and policy implications for Congress.
Iran's Foreign Policy
This report provides an overview of Iran's foreign policy, which has been a subject of numerous congressional hearings and of sanctions and other legislation for many years. The report analyzes Iranian foreign policy as a whole and by region. The regional analysis discusses those countries where Iranian policy is of U.S. concern. The report also makes reference to Iran's efforts to utilize its ties to various countries to try to mitigate the effects of U.S. sanctions.