Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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U.S.-China Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
This report discusses renewal of the peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The discussion in this report focuses on congressional roles in crafting and carrying out the agreement. Such agreements are subject to Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended (AEA, P.L. 95-242, 42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) and commonly are called "123 agreements.
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.
Iraq: Oil and Gas Legislation, Revenue Sharing, and U.S. Policy
This report reviews policy proposals and interim contracts, analyzes the positions of various Iraqi political actors, and discusses potential implications for U.S. foreign policy goals in Iraq.
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.
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partners, relations with China, and legislation.
U.S. and South Korean Cooperation in the World Nuclear Energy Market: Major Policy Considerations
This report provides an introduction to South Korea's new world role and it discusses South Korea's nuclear energy program and nuclear plant export program.
North Korea: Terrorism List Removal
This report discusses the issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries that has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea demanded that the Clinton and Bush Administration remove North Korea from the terrorism support list. Secretary of State Clinton said on June 7, 2009, that the Obama Administration would consider reinstating North Korea on the list.
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
Between May 2009 and August 2010, arrests were made for 19 "homegrown," jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. The apparent spike in such activity after May 2009 suggests that at least some Americans - even if a tiny minority - continue to be susceptible to ideologies supporting a violent form of jihad. This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. This report also provides official definitions for terms such as "homegrown," "jihadist," and "violent jihadist." The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism, describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
This report looks at how the European Union Emission Trading Scheme's coverage of carbon emission from commercial flights affects air carriers from the United States and other countries.
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
This report looks at how the European Union Emission Trading Scheme's coverage of carbon emission from commercial flights affects air carriers from the United States and other countries.
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
This report looks at how the European Union Emission Trading Scheme's coverage of carbon emission from commercial flights affects air carriers from the United States and other countries.
Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of major legal issues that are likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees, the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought to the United States. It considers selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees. Issues discussed include detainees’ right to a speedy trial, the prohibition against prosecution under ex post facto laws, and limitations upon the admissibility of hearsay and secret evidence in criminal cases.
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
The European Union: Leadership Changes Resulting from the Lisbon Treaty
EU foreign policy decisions of a political or security-related nature require unanimous intergovernmental agreement among the 27 member states. In 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.
The Iran Hostages: Efforts to Obtain Compensation
This report provides background information regarding the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis, and discusses the Hostage Relief Act.
Imports from North Korea: Existing Rules, Implications of the KORUS FTA, and the Kaesong Industrial Complex
This report discusses the implications from the U.S.-South Korean Free Trade Agreement on aspects of U.S. business, particularly the auto industry.
Japan's Possible Entry Into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Its Implications
This report discusses the effects of the possible entry of Japan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The TPP issue presents both risks and opportunities for the United States and Japan. On the one hand, it could reinvigorate an economic relationship that has remained steady but stagnant, by forcing the two countries to address long-standing, difficult issues, and allowing them to raise their relationship to a higher level. On the other hand, failure to do so could indicate that the underlying problems are too fundamental to overcome and could set back the relationship.
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
The world has entered a global recession that is causing widespread business contraction, increases in unemployment, and shrinking government revenues. The process for coping with the crisis by countries across the globe has been manifest in four basic phases. The first has been intervention to contain the contagion and restore confidence in the system. The second has been coping with the secondary effects of the crisis, particularly the global recession and flight of capital from countries in emerging markets and elsewhere that have been affected by the crisis. The third phase of this process is to make changes in the financial system to reduce risk and prevent future crises. The fourth phase of the process is dealing with political, social, and security effects of the financial turmoil. The role for Congress in this financial crisis is multifaceted. This report describes this role, as well as the financial crisis in general, in detail.
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partner, China, and legislation.
The Global Peace Operations Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes in detail the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), the centerpiece of the Bush Administration's efforts to prepare foreign security forces to participate in international peacekeeping operations. This report lists the funding and allocations set aside for GPOI, as well as the function of GPOI and its future.
Managing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Policy Implications of Expanding Global Access to Nuclear Power
After several decades of widespread stagnation, nuclear power is attracting renewed interest. Expanding global access to nuclear power has the potential to lead to the spread of nuclear technology that could be used for nuclear weapons. This report discusses the issue of nuclear power with regard to nuclear weapons nonproliferation policies, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) begun under the Bush Administration, the future of the GNEP under the Obama Administration, and four areas of oversight in which Congress will have a considerable role.
The Lord's Resistance Army: The U.S. Response
A history of the Lord's Resistance Army, which is led by Joseph Kony, and the U.S.A. policies regarding it.
Missile Defense and NATO's Lisbon Summit
Report regarding the November 2010 Lisbon Summit, wherein alliance heads of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization approved a plan to integrate existing NATO members ballistic missile defense capabilities into their overall defense posture. This report looks at advantages, challenges, and current Congressional legislation regarding the Obama Administration's Phased Adaptive Approach, which would be regional ballistic missile defense capability in Europe.
Moldova: Basic Facts
Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union June 1940, and regained its independence on August 27, 1991. Shortly thereafter, Moldova faced challenges from Turkic-speaking Gagauz and ethnic Russians, both residing in Moldova's Dniestr valley, who proclaimed separatist "republics." Other challenges facing Moldovans include pursuing economic reform and choosing between potential reunification with their ethnic cohorts in Romania and forging an independent identity.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
Since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America has intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. This report discusses the issue in relation to the U.S. State Department's April 2009 Country Report on Terrorism; Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's sympathies with terrorist groups and lack of cooperation on antiterrorism efforts; growing U.S. concern over activities of terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay; and various legislative initiatives related to Latin American terrorism issues being considered by the 111th Congress.
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis.
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis.
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses, in brief, the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis.
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis.
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis.
Iraq: Oil and Gas Legislation, Revenue Sharing, and U.S. Policy
This report reviews policy proposals and interim contracts, analyzes the positions of various Iraqi political actors, and discusses potential implications for U.S. foreign policy goals in Iraq.
Western Sahara: Status of Settlement Efforts
This report provides a brief history of Morocco and the independence-seeking and the United Nations Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO). The report discusses the Baker plan and subsequent developments, Moroccan and Algerian views.
U.S.-Vietnam Relations in 2009: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report provides an overview of U.S. relations with Vietnam, including policy issues, the economic and political situation in Vietnam, and a list of pertinent legislation.
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.
Iraq: Oil and Gas Legislation, Revenue Sharing, and U.S. Policy
This report reviews policy proposals and interim contracts, analyzes the positions of various Iraqi political actors, and discusses potential implications for U.S. foreign policy goals in Iraq.
The Iran Hostages: Efforts to Obtain Compensation
This report provides background information regarding the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis, and discusses the Hostage Relief Act.
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress
This report provides a brief history of the chemical weapons program in Syria. It discusses policy issues, latest development regarding the current chemical weapons program.
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partner, China, and legislation.
U.S.-Vietnam Relations in 2009: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report provides an overview of U.S. relations with Vietnam, including policy issues, the economic and political situation in Vietnam, and a list of pertinent legislation.
Terrorism in Southeast Asia
The report looks at the rise of Islamist militancy and the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), network, and discusses terrorism in the region, concluding with options for U.S. policy. Strategies include placing greater emphasis on attacking institutions that support terrorism, building up regional governments' capacities for combating terrorist groups, and reducing the sense of alienation among Muslim citizens.
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia.
El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines current conditions in El Salvador, as well as issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations.
The Proposed U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
This report discusses the free trade agreement (FTA) that the United States and Panama signed on June 28, 2007. While Panama's government ratified the FTA in July 2007, Congress has not yet implemented ratification legislation.
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. It then describes U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as discusses the successes and failures of some recent country and regional anti-trafficking efforts.
Chinese Land Reclamation in the South China Sea: Implications and Policy Options
This report assesses legal, military/operational, and diplomatic implications of the reclamation and construction activity. It surveys U.S. and Chinese statements on the situation, provides a history of reclamation activity by other nations including the United States and other South China Sea claimants, and discusses U.S. strategy and potential options for U.S. policymakers.
Costa Rica: Background and U.S. Relations
Costa Rica is a relatively politically stable and economically developed nation with a long tradition of civilian democracy. Once a predominantly agricultural nation, Costa Rica has established a diversified economy with a strong export sector. This report examines recent political and economic developments in Costa Rica as well as issues in U.S.-Costa Rica relations.
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.
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.