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Train and Equip Program for Syria: Authorities, Funding, and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the current debate over various aspect of the Syria Train and Equip program. These include U.S. efforts to combat the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria and setting the conditions for a negotiated settlement to Syria's civil war.
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. 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.
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.
Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: The 2017 Election Reforms
This report discusses the current state of democracy in Hong Kong leading up to elections in 2017. The democratization of Hong Kong not only has implications for U.S. relations with Hong Kong, but also for U.S. relations with China and the political development of Taiwan and cross-Strait relations.
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.
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.
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. This report discusses the global and ongoing problem of TIP in detail, as well as anti-TIP programs and U.S. and international efforts to combat TIP.
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. This report discusses the global and ongoing problem of TIP in detail, as well as anti-TIP programs and U.S. and international efforts to combat TIP.
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas.
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
Report that explores current foreign policy issues regarding U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts.
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas.
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas.
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas.
South Africa: Current Issues and U.S. Relations
Report that looks at how the relationship between the United States and South Africa has progressed since the two countries commence a new Strategic Dialogue in 2010. Topics include: foreign policy issues; health (in particular HIV/AIDS) reform; corruption in South African politics; and a recent successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
State and Local Economic Sanctions: Constitutional Issues
This report considers the Constitutionality of states and localities enacting their own sanctions on foreign countries, particularly Iran and Sudan.
Sexual Violence in African Conflicts
This report focuses on conflicts in Africa in which sexual violence is reported to be widespread or systematic. It describes the context in which such violence takes place, selected cases where it is currently occurring, and U.S. policy responses. The report concludes with a discussion of potential policy considerations, including the design and effectiveness of U.S. programs; coordination between agencies and between international donors; and the question of whether policy responses to sexual violence can be separated from the broader context in which such violence occurs. The report includes a detailed case study of DRC, which has drawn particular attention from the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress.
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.
Syria: Overview of the Humanitarian Response
This report examines the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the U.S. and international response. The report discusses the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21, 2013, that triggered an intense debate over possible U.S. military intervention.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
Report concerning multilateral and bilateral Status of Force Agreements (SOFAs). Topics include the common traits of SOFAs, historical examples, and current examples.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
Multilateral and bilateral agreements addressing the status of U.S. armed forces abroad are commonly referred to as Status of Force Agreements (SOFAs). SOFAs establish the framework under which military personnel operate in a foreign country. The United States is currently party to more than 100 agreements that may be considered SOFAs. A list of current agreements included at the end of this report is categorized in tables according to the underlying source of authority, if any, for each of the SOFAs.
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; Colombian 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 112th Congress.
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; Colombian 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.
International Drug Control Policy: Background and U.S. Responses
The report provides background information on drug cultivation, drug trafficking and the consequences of drug trade. This report discusses challenges created by the global illegal drug trade, including: undermining political and regional stability, bolstering the role and capabilities of transnational criminal organizations in the drug trade, and the burden caused by drug use an addition on local communities and economic development. In addition, this report discusses U.S. policy efforts to thwart illegal drug trade.
International Drug Control Policy: Background and U.S. Responses
This report discusses challenges created by the global illegal drug trade, including: undermining political and regional stability, bolstering the role and capabilities of transnational criminal organizations in the drug trade, and the burden caused by drug use an addition on local communities and economic development. In addition, this report discusses U.S. policy efforts to thwart illegal drug trade.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report discusses the “First Responder Initiative,” a proposed block grant program to help state and local first responders prepare for possible terrorist attacks. Under the Administration proposal, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would administer the program, which, if approved, would provide $3.5 billion to states and localities.
Procedures for Congressional Action in Relation to a Nuclear Agreement with Iran: In Brief
This report provides, in brief, analysis of the congressional procedural provisions laid out in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-17). Only provisions relating to congressional actions are covered in this report.
U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends, and the FY2010 Request
This report is an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to the Middle East from FY2005 to FY2009, and of the FY2010 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.
South Africa: Current Issues and U.S. Relations
This report discusses political, social, and economic issues in South Africa, as well as the country's relationship to the United States.
The Changing U.S.-Japan Alliance: Implications for U.S. Interests
This report examines policy changes that have driven actual and proposed shifts in the alliance between the U.S. and Japan. Key features of the proposals include a reduction in the number of U.S. Marines in Japan, the relocation of a controversial Marine air base in Okinawa, expanded cooperation in training and intelligence sharing, and command structure changes.
Madagascar's 2009 Political Crisis
This report discusses political tensions on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar between President Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina, the former mayor of the capital city, which escalated in early 2009, culminating in the President's forced removal from office.
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.
Madagascar's 2009 Political Crisis
This report discusses political tensions on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar between President Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina, the former mayor of the capital city, which escalated in early 2009, culminating in the President's forced removal from office.
Federal Counter-Terrorism Training: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report is an overview of the major training activities and facilities of the federal departments and agencies that provide counter-terrorism training. It identifies some of the issues associated with the training, including the following: possible duplication of federal counter-terrorism training programs; determination of Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism training priorities; and possible redundancy and coordination of DHS counter-terrorism training programs.
China and "Falun Gong"
This report discusses the “Falun Gong” movement, which led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of a political challenge and the spread of social unrest, outlawed Falun Gong in July 1999. Despite a massive government campaign against them and harsh punishments meted out to many followers, Falun Gong members continued to stage demonstrations for over two years.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
Following the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Congress has given considerable attention to the role of first responders in the nation’s homeland security efforts. This report discusses the “First Responder Initiative”, a recent proposal by the Bush Administration to help state and local first responders prepare for possible terrorist attacks.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report discusses a new block grant program proposed by the Bush Administration called the “First Responder Initiative” to help state and local first responders prepare for possible terrorist attacks
Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues
This report discusses the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) signed November 22, 2006, which has not yet been approved by Congress. It includes an overview of the proposed CFTA and U.S.-Colombia trade, background on Colombia, issues for Congress to consider, Colombia's plan to improve labor rights, and the actions that Colombia has already taken to improve violence, labor, and human rights within the country.
Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues
The United States is Colombia's leading trade partner. Colombia accounts for a very small percentage of U.S. trade (0.9% in 2010), ranking 20th among U.S. export markets and 25th as a source of U.S. imports. Economic studies on the impact of a U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA) have found that, upon full implementation of an agreement, the impact on the United States would be positive but very small due to the small size of the Colombian economy when compared to that of the United States (about 1.9%).
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals
The United States and the other 153 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been engaged in a set or "round" of negotiations called the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) since December 2001. The DDA's main objective is to refine and expand the rules by which WTO members conduct foreign trade with one another. This report is designed to assist the 112th Congress to understand and monitor progress of the negotiations and the major issues that the negotiators are addressing. The report provides a brief background section on the significance of 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 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.
Russia's December 2011 Legislative Election: Outcome and Implications
This report discusses the December 2011 elections in Russia, including background information, the campaign, results and assessments of the election, implications for Russia and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and implications for U.S. interests. Congress may consider the implications of another Putin presidency, lagging democratization, and human rights abuses in Russia as it debates possible future foreign assistance and trade legislation and other aspects of U.S.-Russia relations.
Russia's March 2012 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications
Challenges to Russia's democratic development have long been of concern to Congress as it has considered the course of U.S.-Russia cooperation. Some in Congress have criticized the conduct of the election, but have endorsed continued engagement, while others have called for stepping back and reevaluating the Obama Administration's engagement policy which assists in solving mutual strategic concerns. Congress may consider the implications of another Putin presidency, lagging democratization, and human rights abuses in Russia as it debates possible future foreign assistance and trade legislation and other aspects of U.S.-Russia relations.
U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues
This report is a succinct overview of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship including an analysis of issues. For decades, Taiwan has been of significant security, economic, and political interest to the United States. While the United States does not diplomatically recognize Taiwan, it is a significant autonomous actor in the world.
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
Report regarding the role of the United States and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas.
U.S.-Iraw Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report begins by discussing the historical legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq. The report then provides a general background as to the contents of agreements traditionally considered Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Finally, the report discusses specific aspects of the SOFA, highlighting issues that may require continued congressional oversight.
U.S.-Iraw Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report begins by discussing the historical legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq. The report then provides a general background as to the contents of agreements traditionally considered Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Finally, the report discusses specific aspects of the SOFA, highlighting issues that may require continued congressional oversight.