Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Understanding China's Political System
This report provides an overview of contemporary PRC (People's Republic of China) politics by analyzing the main institutional actors and their interactions. The goal is not so much to provide the definitive study of the current political dynamics in China, but to offer a framework for examining and understanding PRC politics as they play out with respect to particular policies or issues.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues
Using a variety of unclassified consultations and sources, this report discusses the national security problem of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response, including legislation, since the mid-1990s.
The United Arab Emirates Nuclear Program and Proposed U.S. Nuclear Cooperation
This report provides background information on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and U.S. and it discusses the UAE nuclear program and the proposed U.S.-UAE cooperation.
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
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.
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. This report focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and Bahrain's relationship with the United States.
U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues
This report discusses background information on U.S. public diplomacy, the current structure of public diplomacy within the Department of State as well as its budget and personnel levels, overview of some of the major related policy issues, and proposed legislation intended to reform and improve U.S. public diplomacy.
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it relates to nuclear arsenals and nuclear nonproliferation policies. The report includes background information on India's nuclear history and nuclear weapons-specific U.S. legislation.
Greece Update
This report discusses current issues in Greece, including the formation of the new government following recent elections, the economy, terrorism, and foreign policy. The Greek government's foreign policy focuses on the European Union (EU), sometimes-strained relations with Turkey, reunifying Cyprus, resolving a dispute with Macedonia over its name, other Balkan issues, and sustaining good relations with the United States. Greece has assisted with the war on terrorism, but is not a member of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and has a limited presence with NATO in Afghanistan.
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.
China's Economic Conditions
This report provides background on China's economic rise and current economic structure and the challenges China faces to keep its economy growing strong, and describes Chinese economic policies that are of concern to U.S. policymakers.
Chile: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report provides a brief historical background of Chile, examines recent political and economic developments, and addresses issues in U.S.-Chilean relations.
Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: The 2012 Election Reforms
This report covers the importance of the democratization of Hong Kong to U.S. foreign policy as well as to Hong Kong itself. It specifically looks at two recent election changes which indicate the Hong Kong government's willingness to press for democratic reforms and also give more power to current government officials over incumbent officials.
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress
This report discusses the background of the G-20 (an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies) and some of the issues that it has addressed. It includes historic background on the work of the G-20, information about how the group operates, overviews of G-20 summits, major issues that the group is likely to address and the likely effectiveness of the G-20 in the near future.
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses governmental changes and political reform in Kuwait, which has been pivotal to nearly two decades of U.S. involvement in Iraq. This report also discusses relations between Kuwait and the U.S.
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
This report discusses Pakistan's efforts to produce fissile material and other issues related to nuclear proliferation and improving its nuclear arsenal. It also discusses the steps Pakistan has taken to increase international confidence in its nuclear security. However, continued instability in Pakistan has caused some to question the effectiveness of its nuclear security reforms.
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
This report provides an overview of Iraq's political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions. This report also addresses ongoing governmental instabilities and their causes, as well as U.S. concerns about possible Iranian influence in Iraq as U.S. forces depart the country.
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
This report explores various aspects of the Chinese economy, including specific policies that some Members of Congress consider a form of currency manipulation, the U.S.-China economic relationship, and the state of the Chinese economy with respect to the current global economic crisis.
Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options
The United States and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991; it entered into force in December 1994 and expired in December 2009. This report provides background information about the START Treaty and reviews the discussions about a possible successor to START. It also presents a range of alternatives that the United States and Russia might consider if they choose to follow START with a new framework for the arms control process.
The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement
This report discusses the evolving economic and strategic architectures of Asia. One part of this evolving architecture is the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific.
Gangs in Central America
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.
NATO in Afghanistan: A Test of the Transatlantic Alliance
This report discusses the mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan, the purpose of which is to stabilize and reconstruct Afghanistan by combating emerging threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This report also discusses how the Obama Administration has made the Afghanistan conflict a policy priority, and what this stance could mean for potential future endeavors.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan (calling itself Republic of China (ROC)), including policy issues for Congress and legislation.
European Union Enlargement: A Status Report on Turkey's Accession Negotiations
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union's (EU) accession process; Turkey's path to EU membership; the impact of the Cyprus problem; and a review of the United States' interest in Turkey's future in the European Union.
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
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.
Lebanon: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Lebanese politics, recent events in Lebanon, and current issues in U.S.-Lebanon relations.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the relationship between the United States and Japan, including Japanese efforts to support the U.S. in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks and the two countries' economic ties, especially with regards to the recent economic downturn. This report also discusses the general political atmosphere of Japan, including the recent and ongoing political turmoil in Tokyo.
Africa: U.S. Foreign Assistance Issues
This report discusses the issue of U.S. economic assistance to sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the importance of continued assistance in light of U.S. national security and also various U.S.-led efforts to promote reform amongst African citizens themselves. U.S. assistance finds its way to Africa through a variety of channels, including the USAID-administered DA program, food aid programs, and indirect aid provided through international financial institutions and the United Nations.
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
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.
China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report addresses relevant policy questions in current U.S.-China relations, discusses trends and key legislation in the current Congress, and provides a chronology of developments and high-level exchanges.
Tunisia: Current Issues
This report discusses the governmental structure and current political state of Tunisia, as well as additional general information regarding Tunisia's economy and dealings with terrorist groups. This report also describes the U.S.-Tunisian relationship in brief.
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
This report provides an overview of Iraq's political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions. This report also addresses ongoing governmental instabilities and their causes, as well as U.S. concerns about possible Iranian influence in Iraq as U.S. forces depart the country.
Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations
This report presents an overview of Qatar's history and recent economic and political developments. The report discusses U.S. relations with Qatar, U.S. military cooperation and foreign assistance, political reform and elections, as well as human rights and social issues.
Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options
The United States and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991; it entered into force in December 1994 and expired in December 2009. This report provides background information about the START Treaty and reviews the discussions about a possible successor to START. It also presents a range of alternatives that the United States and Russia might consider if they choose to follow START with a new framework for the arms control process.
Venezuela: Issues in the 111th Congress
This report discusses U.S.-Venezuela relations, including an historical overview. It also discusses the current political conditions in Venezuela, and certain Venezuela-related concerns the 111th Congress faces, such as Venezuela's human rights situation and its deepening relations with Iran.
The Rise of China's Auto Industry and Its Impact on the U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry
This report provides background information on China as a major auto producer and consumer, and it discusses the foreign and domestic producers in Chinese motor vehicle industry.
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant political and economic influence as the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large energy reserves. This report provides background information about Saudi Arabia and analyzes current issues in U.S.-Saudi relations.
United States Relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
This report provides an overview of U.S. interests towards the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The report discusses the U.S. policy developments toward the region and policy issues.
Colombia: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of recent political developments in Colombia, including the administration of President Uribe (2002-2010), continuing into the election of President Juan Manuel Santos. It discusses the political issues including Colombia's longstanding conflict with internal armed groups and ongoing challenges such as human rights, demobilization and displacement, drug trends, and Colombia's regional relations.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Iran, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Iran relationship and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Guinea's 2008 Military Coup and Relations with the United States
This report analyzes developments since the Guinean military's seizure of power in December 2008, Guinea's relations with the United States, and U.S. policy in the wake of the coup. It also provides background on Guinean history and politics.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. The report also discusses ways which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it relates to nuclear arsenals and nuclear nonproliferation policies. The report includes background information on India's nuclear history and nuclear weapons-specific U.S. legislation.
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.