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Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
A comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties currently limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. This report outlines the CTBT and related legislation.
Arms Control After START II: Next Steps on the U.S.-Russian Agenda
The United States and Russia signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) on January 3, 1993. This report presents the background on the Russian parliament approval of the START II ratification. The report also discusses the linkage between U.S. withdrawal from ABM treaty and Russia’s possible withdrawal from START II. It discusses the alternative approaches for the United States and the future for the U.S.-Russian arms control process.
Article 98 Agreements and Sanctions on U.S. Foreign Aid to Latin America
This report discusses the so-called “Article 98 agreements”. The article contains a provision that the Bush Administration has sought bilateral agreements worldwide to exempt U.S. citizens from ICC prosecution. In 2002, Congress passed the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act or ASPA (P.L. 107-206, title II), which prohibits military assistance to countries that are party to the ICC and that do not have Article 98 agreements. Some Members of Congress and Bush Administration officials have expressed concerns about the unintended effects of these sanctions on U.S. relations with Latin America. Policymakers are considering some options to mitigate these effects without undermining ASPA or diplomatic efforts to secure Article 98 agreements.
Article 98 Agreements and Sanctions on U.S. Foreign Aid to Latin America
This report discusses the so-called “Article 98 agreements”. The article contains a provision that the Bush Administration has sought bilateral agreements worldwide to exempt U.S. citizens from ICC prosecution. In 2002, Congress passed the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act or ASPA (P.L. 107-206, title II), which prohibits military assistance to countries that are party to the ICC and that do not have Article 98 agreements. Some Members of Congress and Bush Administration officials have expressed concerns about the unintended effects of these sanctions on U.S. relations with Latin America. Policymakers are considering some options to mitigate these effects without undermining ASPA or diplomatic efforts to secure Article 98 agreements.
Afghanistan: Connections to Islamic Movements In Central and South Asia and Southern Russia
After several years of relative peace in Central Asia and southern Russia, Islamic extremist movements have become more active in Russia and in Central and South Asia, threatening stability in the region. Although numerous factors might account for the upsurge in activity, several of these movements appear to have connections to the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These linkages raise questions about whether the United States, as part of a broader effort to promote peace and stability in the region, should continue to engage the Taliban regime, or strongly confront it. This report will be updated as events warrant.
9/11 Terrorism: Global Economic Costs
The 9/11 attacks were part of Al Qaeda’s strategy to disrupt Western economies and impose both direct and secondary costs on the United States and other nations. The immediate costs were the physical damage, loss of lives and earnings, slower world economic growth, and capital losses on stock markets. Indirect costs include higher insurance and shipping fees, diversion of time and resources away from enhancing productivity to protecting and insuring property, public loss of confidence, and reduced demand for travel and tourism. In a broader sense, the 9/11 attacks led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq (and the Global War on Terrorism) and perhaps emboldened terrorists to attack in Bali, Spain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. A policy question for Congress is how to evaluate the costs and benefits of further spending to counter terrorism and its economic impact.
China and "Falun Gong"
“Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
Trade Promotion (Fast-Track) Authority: H.R. 3005 Provisions and Related Issues
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Removing Terrorist Sanctuaries: The 9/11 Commission Recommendations and U.S. Policy
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Terrorism in Southeast Asia
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Terrorism in Southeast Asia
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Terrorism in Southeast Asia
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Undisclosed U.S. Detention Sites Overseas: Background and Legal Issues
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U.S.-Thailand Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
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U.S.-Thailand Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
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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 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.
Weapons of Mass Destruction - the Terrorist Threat
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U.S.-Thailand Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
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U.S.-India Bilateral Agreements and "Global Partnership"
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U.S.-India Bilateral Agreements in 2005
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Palestinian Elections
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Navy Role in Global War on Terrorism (GWOT): Background and Issues for Congress
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Social Unrest in China
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Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Relations: Six Key Questions in the Continuing Policy Debate
This report provides background information and a general overview of the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy. It includes a discussion of some traditional arguments about how international human rights concerns might be integrated with other foreign policy factors. It also includes a discussion of the definition of human rights, of U.S. international obligations to promote human rights, and the apparatus and procedures available to the U.S. Government for implementing human rights policy. Particular attention is paid to congressional actions, not only in debating and holding hearings on human rights issues, but especially in enacting laws to assure that U.S. foreign policy formulation and practice include consideration of the status of human rights in other countries.
Background to the Overthrow of President Aristide
This report provides background information on the violent and authoritarian traditions that have characterized Haiti's political dynamics since Haiti attained independence in 1804. It examines Haiti's difficult path toward democracy after the fall of the Duvalier regime, from numerous short-lived governments until the election of Aristide. Finally, the report also surveys Aristide's rule and his subsequent overthrow by the Haitian military.
Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation: Key to Peace in Bosnia?
The Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina was established in March 1994, with U.S. mediation. It aims to unite areas held by the largely Bosniak (Muslim) pre-war republic government with areas held by Croats. The Bosnian peace agreement, signed in Dayton in November 1995, recognized the Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska as two largely autonomous entities within a weak, but sovereign Bosnia and Hercegovina union. Real political, economic and military integration of Bosniak and Croat-held areas has been slow to materialize. The United States has played a key role in setting up the Federation and in efforts to make it viable. The long term viability of the Federation is open to question, however, due to continued mistrust between the two sides and significant differences in their perceived interests.
START II Debate in the Russian Duma: Issues and Prospects
The Russian Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament approved ratification of the START II Treaty on April 14, 2000, after 7 years of debate and dissension. (The United States Senate approved ratification of the treaty in January 1996.) This report describes key concerns raised by Members of the Duma during their discussions of START II. These include concerns with treaty provisions, such as its ban on multiple warhead ICBMs and its warhead "downloading" provisions, and concerns with Russia's ability to maintain and finance its strategic nuclear forces in the future.
Iraq-Kuwait: U.N. Security Council Resolutions -- Texts and Votes
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 1-2, 1990, set into motion a series of actions by the United Nations Security Council. Between August 2 and December 4, 1990, the Council adopted 12 resolutions. The numbers and votes of those resolutions are listed and the full text of each resolution is included in the this report.
Terrorism: U.S. Policy Options
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Antarctica: Environmental Protection, Research, and Conservation of Resources
This report discusses protocols and treaties designed and implemented to protect Antarctica as a haven for environmental research, preservation, and conservation, as well as related legislation and Congressional efforts.
The Persian Gulf and the U.S. Naval Presence: Issues for Congress
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The Reagan Administration Posture Toward the ABM Treaty - Possible Implications
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The Reagan Administration Posture Toward the ABM Treaty - Possible Implications
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Economic Sanctions to Achieve U.S. Foreign Policy Goals: Discussion and Guide to Current Law
This report provides background on foreign policy sanctions and the events that might necessitate their use, criteria to consider when determining if sanctions are appropriate, approaches that might be effective, and aspects of the use of sanctions that are sometimes overlooked or not considered fully. The report also provides an uncomplicated map of where sanctions policies and options currently may be found in U.S. law.
Economic Sanctions to Achieve U.S. Foreign Policy Goals: Discussion and Guide to Current Law
This report provides background on the range of actions that might be termed foreign policy sanctions and the events that might necessitate their use. Criteria are offered that legislators might consider to judge when sanctions might be appropriate, approaches that might be effective, aspects of the use of sanctions that are sometimes overlooked or not considered fully. The report provides an uncomplicated "map" of where sanctions policies and options currently lay in U. S. law.
Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support
Most provisions of the current “farm bill,” the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-171), do not expire until 2007. However, hearings on a 2007 farm bill could begin in late 2005. At that time, Congress will begin to examine farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2007. A key question likely to be asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AA), which commits the United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm support programs most likely to distort trade. The AA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs. This report describes the steps for making these determinations.
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.
Border Security and the Southwest Border: Background, Legislation, and Issues
As the number of illegal aliens that are present in the United States continues to grow, attention is directed at the border patrol and the enforcement of immigration laws within the interior of the country. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) units have launched several initiatives aimed at apprehending illegal aliens and dismantling human and drug smuggling organizations. Despite these efforts, the flow of illegal migration continues. Issues such as enforcement of immigration laws and organizational issues such as inter- and intra-agency cooperation, coordination and information sharing continue to be debated.
Sudan: Humanitarian Crisis, Peace Talks, Terrorism, and U.S. Policy
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Sudan: Humanitarian Crisis, Peace Talks, Terrorism, and U.S. Policy
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Sudan: Humanitarian Crisis, Peace Talks, Terrorism, and U.S. Policy
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Sudan: Humanitarian Crisis, Peace Talks, Terrorism, and U.S. Policy
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The Proposed U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
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The Proposed U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
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The Proposed U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
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Terrorism and the Military's Role in Domestic Crisis Management: Background and Issues for Congress
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Terrorism and the Military's Role in Domestic Crisis Management: Background and Issues for Congress
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Uzbekistan's Closure of the Airbase at Karshi-Khanabad: Context and Implications
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United Nations Peacekeeping: Issues for Congress
A major issue facing the United Nations, the United States, and the 110th Congress is the extent to which the United Nations has the capacity to restore or keep the peace in the changing world environment. This report serves as a tracking report for action by Congress on United Nations peacekeeping.
United Nations Reform: U.S. Policy and International Perspectives
This report focuses on current U.N. reform efforts and priorities from the perspective of several key actors, including the U.S. government, the U.N. Secretary-General, selected groups of member states, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and a cross-section of groups tasked with addressing U.N. reform. It also examines congressional actions related to U.N. reform, as well as future policy considerations.