Congressional Research Service Reports - 283 Matching Results

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Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues

Description: This report discusses the legal framework that applies to private security contractors (PSCs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. After presenting a general description of the types of law applicable, including international humanitarian law and relevant status of forces agreements, the report addresses some implications of international law and a multilateral proposal for the adoption of international "best practices" regarding the use of PSCs. The report follows up with a discussion of jurisdiction over PSC personnel in U.S. courts, whether federal or military courts, identifying possible means of prosecuting contractor personnel who are accused of violating the law overseas in the context of U.S. military operations, including a listing of known cases that have occurred or are pending. Finally, the report briefly discusses the possible implication of the roles of private security contractors with respect to inherently governmental functions.
Date: January 7, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations

Description: The Copenhagen conference in December 2009 achieved only mandates to continue negotiating toward the next Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Mexico City in December 2010. As a background to these proceedings, this document provides a U.S.-centric chronology of the international policy deliberations to address climate change from 1979-2009. Negotiations underway since 2007 have run on two tracks, the Kyoto Protocol the Convention under the Bali Action Plan. Many in the U.S. Congress are concerned with the goals and obligations that a treaty or other form of agreement might embody. For U.S. legislators, additional issues include the compatibility of any international agreement with U.S. domestic policies and laws; the adequacy of appropriations, fiscal measures, and programs to achieve any commitments under the agreement; and the desirable form of the agreement and related requirements, with a view toward potential Senate ratification of the agreement and federal legislation to assure that U.S. commitments are met.
Date: January 7, 2010
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Periods of War

Description: This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
Date: January 7, 2010
Creator: Salazar Torreon, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process

Description: This report reviews the process and procedures that currently apply to congressional consideration of foreign arms sales proposed by the President. This includes consideration of proposals to sell major defense equipment, defense articles and services, or the re-transfer to third party nations of such military items.
Date: January 8, 2010
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues

Description: This report summarizes what is known from open sources about the North Korean nuclear weapons program -- including weapons-usable fissile material and warhead estimates -- and assesses current developments in achieving denuclearization.
Date: January 8, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups--chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population.
Date: January 8, 2010
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

Description: This report looks at the background and current status of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which was formed to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Date: January 8, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

Description: This report describes issues related to U.S. aid provided to Palestine to support prevention/combating against terrorism, creating coexistence with Israel and self-governance, and meeting humanitarian needs. In includes introductory and historical background as well as in-depth analysis of the types of U.S. bilateral aid to Palestine, U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA), and the issues involved in determining future aid.
Date: January 8, 2010
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Security Assistance to the Palestinian Authority

Description: Since shortly after the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the United States has periodically provided assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) for civil security and counterterrorism purposes. This report examines this assistance and related obstacles and limitations moving forward.
Date: January 8, 2010
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance

Description: This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai to address corruption within the Afghan government.
Date: January 11, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Automatic Cost of Living Adjustments: Some Economic and Practical Considerations

Description: This report looks at how automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) influence the budget and identifies major programs that have indexing provisions. It also explains what price indexes attempt to measure and discusses some of their weaknesses. Finally, it points out some practical things to keep in mind when establishing an indexing provision.
Date: January 11, 2010
Creator: Cashell, Brian W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: This report discusses the current status of Central Asian states and U.S. policy, which has been aimed at facilitating their cooperation with U.S. and NATO stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and their efforts to combat terrorism, proliferation, and trafficking in arms, drugs, and persons. Congress will be considering an increase in support for the programs in Central Asia.
Date: January 11, 2010
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gangs in Central America

Description: This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America.
Date: January 11, 2010
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department