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Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan and the Afghan government. It 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.
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, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
Afghanistan's planned political transition was completed with the convening of a parliament in December 2005, but insurgent threats to Afghanistan's government persist and are even growing in some southern provinces. A new constitution was adopted in January 2004, and successful presidential elections were held on October 9, 2004, followed by parliamentary elections on September 18, 2005. Afghan citizens are enjoying new personal freedoms that were forbidden under the Taliban. Women are participating in economic and political life; however, the insurgency led by remnants of the former Taliban regime has conducted numerous lethal attacks since mid-2005, narcotics trafficking is rampant, and independent militias remain through the country. U.S. stabilization measures focus on strengthening the central government and its security forces while combating insurgents.
Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
The United States and its allies are helping Afghanistan emerging from more than 22 years of warfare, although substantial risk to Afghan stability remains. Before the U.S. military campaign against the orthodox Islamist Taliban movement began on October 7, 2001, Afghanistan had been mired in conflict since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The defeat of the Taliban has enabled the United States and its coalition partners to send forces throughout Afghanistan to search for Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters and leaders that remain at large, including Osama bin Laden. As the war against remaining Al Qaeda and Taliban elements winds down, the United States is shifting its military focus toward stabilizing the interim government, including training a new Afghan national army, and supporting the international security force (ISAF) that is helping the new government provide security.
Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
The United States and its allies are helping Afghanistan emerging from more than 22 years of warfare, although substantial risk to Afghan stability remains. Before the U.S. military campaign against the orthodox Islamist Taliban movement began on October 7, 2001, Afghanistan had been mired in conflict since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The defeat of the Taliban has enabled the United States and its coalition partners to send forces throughout Afghanistan to search for Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters and leaders that remain at large, including Osama bin Laden. As the war against remaining Al Qaeda and Taliban elements winds down, the United States is shifting its military focus toward stabilizing the interim government, including training a new Afghan national army, and supporting the international security force (ISAF) that is helping the new government provide security.
Appropriations for FY2001: Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs
Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittees.
Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict
This report presents an overview of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. This is a clash between the principles of territorial integrity and self-determination that is occurring in the Caucasus, creating the longest inter-ethnic dispute in the former Soviet Union. The report includes the background and analysis of history, warfare and peace process in the region. The report discusses the Armenian and Azerbaijani perspective, the role and views of others (Iran, Turkey, Russia), as well as the U.S. policy regarding the conflict.
Azerbaijan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests
This report discusses political, economic, and security challenges facing Azerbaijan, including the unsettled conflict in the breakaway Nagorno Karabakh region. A table provides basic facts and biographical information. Related products include CRS Report RL33453, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, by Jim Nichol.
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
After instability during the late 1990s, Bahrain undertook substantial political reforms, but the Shiite majority continues to simmer over the Sunni-led government's perceived manipulation of laws and regulations to maintain its grip on power. Bahrain's stability has long been a key U.S. interest; it has hosted U.S. naval headquarters for the Gulf for nearly 60 years. In September 2004, the United States and Bahrain signed a free trade agreement (FTA).
Burma's 2010 Elections: Implications of the New Constitution and Election Laws
This report provides background information on social and political situation in Burma and it discusses the 1990 parliamentary election.
Canada-U.S. Relations
This report provides a short overview of Canada's political scene, its economic conditions, and its recent security and foreign policy, focusing particularly on issues that may be relevant to U.S. policymakers. This brief country survey is followed by several summaries of current bilateral issues in the political, trade, and environmental arenas. The report is updated annually.
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States recognized the independence of all the former Central Asian republics, supported their admission into Western organizations, and elicited Turkish support to counter Iranian influence in the region. The Administration's diverse goals in Central Asia reflect the different characteristics of these states. U.S. interests in Kazakhstan include securing and eliminating Soviet-era nuclear and biological weapons materials and facilities. In Tajikistan, U.S. aid focuses on economic reconstruction. U.S. energy firms have invested in oil and natural gas development in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. This report outlines the above, as well as several ongoing debates regarding general relations between the U.S. and Central Asia.
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy concerns and relations with countries in central Asia. The report discusses issues such as Fostering Pro-Western Orientations, Obstacles to Peace and Independence, Democratization and Human Rights, Security and Arms Control, Trade and Investment, and provides an Aid Overview.
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy concerns and relations with countries in central Asia. The report discusses issues such as Fostering Pro-Western Orientations, Obstacles to Peace and Independence, Democratization and Human Rights, Security and Arms Control, Trade and Investment, and provides an Aid Overview.
Central Asia's New States: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States recognized the independence of all the former Central Asian republics and established diplomatic relations with each by mid-March 1992. This report provides an overview of U.S. policy concerns after the Soviet collapse. The report presents the U.S. policy attention and aid to support conflict amelioration, humanitarian needs, economic development, transport (including energy pipelines) and communications, border controls, democracy, and the creation of civil societies in the South Caucasian and Central Asian states. The United States has some economic and business interests in Central Asia, particularly in oil and natural gas development in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues
Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances the national interest in reducing the role of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles that could deliver them. China has taken some steps to mollify U.S. concerns about its role in weapons proliferation. Skeptics question whether China's cooperation in weapons nonproliferation has warranted President Bush's pursuit of stronger bilateral ties. This report discusses the national security problem of China's role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response, including legislation, since the mid-1990s.
China-Southeast Asia Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications for the United States
This report explores what is behind this shift in China - ASEAN relations and how it may affect American interests in the region. The key policy issue for Congress is to assess how the United States should view China’s expanding posture in Southeast Asia and decide what is the best way to react to this phenomenon. This report may be of assistance to Congressional decision makers as they review legislation such as H.Res. 43 or H.Con.Res. 33 (109th Congress).
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. China is now the third largest U.S. trading partner, its second largest source of imports, and its fourth largest export market. However, U.S.-China commercial ties have been strained by a number of issues, including a surging U.S. trade deficit with China, China's refusal to float its currency, and failure to fully comply with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, especially its failure to provide protection for U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR). This report explores these issues in detail, especially concerning the lack of protection for U.S. IPR.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. China is now the third largest U.S. trading partner, its second largest source of imports, and its fourth largest export market. However, U.S.-China commercial ties have been strained by a number of issues, including a surging U.S. trade deficit with China, China's refusal to float its currency, and failure to fully comply with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, especially its failure to provide protection for U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR). This report explores these issues in detail, especially concerning the lack of protection for U.S. IPR.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. China is now the third largest U.S. trading partner, its second largest source of imports, and its fourth largest export market. However, U.S.-China commercial ties have been strained by a number of issues, including a surging U.S. trade deficit with China, China's refusal to float its currency, and failure to fully comply with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, especially its failure to provide protection for U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR). This report explores these issues in detail, especially concerning the lack of protection for U.S. IPR.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report provides an overview of U.S.-China economic relations, surveys major trade disputes, and lists bills introduced in the 111th Congress that would impact bilateral commercial ties.
China's Economic Conditions
This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to keep its economy growing strong; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States.
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to keep its economy growing strong; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). Congress's decisions on these three programs could substantially affect Coast Guard capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Colombia: Issues for Congress
Recent debate on U.S. policy toward Colombia has taken place in a context of concern for the volume of drugs readily available in the United States and elsewhere in the world, and regional security issues. The United States has made a significant commitment of funds and material support to help Colombia and the Andean region fight drug trafficking since the development of Plan Colombia in 1999. Congress passed legislation providing $1.3 billion in assistance for FY2000 (P.L. 106-246) and has provided more than $4 billion for programs in Colombia from FY2000 through FY2005 in both State Department and Defense Department counternarcotics accounts.
Cuba: Issues for the 111th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba, as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba, including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations.
Cuba: Issues for the 111th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba, as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba, including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations.
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
This report examines developments in U.S. policy restricting travel and remittances to Cuba, current permissible travel and remittances, enforcement of the travel restrictions, and debate on lifting the travel restrictions. Appendix A provides a chronology of major actions taken on travel restrictions; Appendix B provides a history of related legislative.
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
This report covers the contentious travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba from the 1960s to the present time. Congress, under the Obama Administration, is easing restrictions on family, marketing, agricultural, and medical sales travel. The report also covers legislative action that has taken place in the 112th Congress to harshen travel restrictions.
The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)
This report addresses the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The CAFTA-DR is a regional agreement with all parties subject to “the same set of obligations and commitments,” but with each country defining its own market access schedule.
The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)
On August 5, 2004, the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic signed the Dominican Republic- Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, or the DR-CAFTA. The DR-CAFTA was negotiated as a regional agreement in which all parties would be subject to the “the same set of obligations and commitments,” but with each country defining its own separate schedules for market access. It is a comprehensive and reciprocal trade agreement, which distinguishes it from the unilateral preferential trade arrangement between the United States and these countries as part of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), as amended. It liberalizes trade in goods, services, government procurement, intellectual property, investment, and addresses labor and environment issues.
Drug Trafficking and North Korea: Issues for U.S. Policy
At least 50 documented incidents in more than 20 countries around the world, many involving arrest or detention of North Korean diplomats, link North Korea to drug trafficking. Such events, in the context of credible, but unproven, allegations of large scale state sponsorship of drug production and trafficking, raise important issues for the United States and its allies in combating international drug trafficking. The challenge to policy makers is how to pursue an effective counter drug policy and comply with U.S. law which may require cutting off aid to North Korea while pursuing other high-priority U.S. foreign policy objectives including (1) limiting possession and production of weapons of mass destruction; (2) limiting ballistic missile production and export; (3) curbing terrorism, counterfeiting, and international crime; and (4) addressing humanitarian needs.
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt, U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt, U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Egypt in Transition
This report provides a brief overview of the transition underway and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. U.S. policy toward Egypt has long been framed as an investment in regional stability, built primarily on long-running military cooperation and sustaining the March 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Successive U.S. Administrations have viewed Egypt's government as a moderating influence in the Middle East. U.S. policy makers are now grappling with complex questions about the future of U.S.-Egypt relations and these debates are likely to influence consideration of appropriations and authorization legislation in the 112th Congress.
Embassy Security: Background, Funding, and the Budget
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon led to the closing the following day of 50 of the nearly 260 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. A week later, however, all U.S. facilities were open for business. Additionally, three embassies – in Pakistan, Yemen, and Turkmenistan – allowed for voluntary evacuations immediately after the attack. In the months prior to the attack, travel warnings were issued and embassies were put on high alert as Osama bin Laden had issued vague, but credible, threats against Americans and American interests around the world.
The European Parliament
This report provides background on the Congress-European Parliament (EP) relationship and the role of the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue (TLD). It also explores potential future options that coukd strengthen ties between the two bodies.
European Union Enlargement
This report discusses the evolution of the European Union and its process for enlargement. The EU has long viewed the enlargement process as an historic opportunity to further the integration of the continent by peaceful means.
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.
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report serves as a primer on the EU and provides a brief description of U.S.-EU relations that may be of interest in the 113th Congress.
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States.
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report serves as a primer on the European Union and provides a brief description of U.S.-EU relations that may be of interest in the 114th Congress.
Foreign Investment and National Security: Economic Considerations
This report assesses recent international developments as the leaders from a number of nations work to reach a consensus on an informal set of best practices regarding national restrictions on foreign investment for national security purposes. This report also provides one possible approach for assessing the costs and benefits involved in using national policies to direct or to restrict foreign direct investment for national security reasons.
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis
This report briefly discusses the March 11, 2001 earthquake off the east coast of Honshu, Japan's largest island. The earthquake caused an automatic shutdown of eleven of Japan's fifty-five operating nuclear power plants, though the plants closest to the earthquake's epicenter, Fukushima and Onagawa, were damaged by the earthquake and resulting tsunami. This report also discusses efforts by the United States and other countries to provide assistance to Japan to deal with the nuclear crisis.
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.
Georgia's October 2013 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications
This report discusses Georgia's October 27, 2013, presidential election and its implications for U.S. interests. The election took place one year after a legislative election that witnessed the mostly peaceful shift of legislative and ministerial power from the ruling party, the United National Movement (UNM), to the Georgia Dream (GD) coalition bloc.
Ghana: Recent Developments and U.S. Relations
This report provides information on current developments in Ghana and Ghana's relations with the United States, which are close. It describes the purpose of President Barack Obama's forthcoming trip to Ghana, which will focus on issues of good governance and socio-economic and political development, and characterizes the current state of play in bilateral relations. It also summarizes the policy agenda of Ghana's president, John Atta Mills, who won office by a narrow margin in elections in late 2008. The dynamics of that election are described in the report, as are recent policy-centered developments, economic challenges and performance, and socio-economic prospects. Ghana's international relations and bilateral development cooperation with the United States are also covered in the report.
Haiti: Developments and U.S. Policy Since 1991 and Current Congressional Concerns
Following elections that were widely heralded as the first free and fair elections in Haiti's then-186-year history, Jean-Bertrand Aristide first became Haitian President in February 1991. Elections held under Aristide and his successor, Rene Preval (1996-2000), including the one in which Aristide was reelected in 2000, were marred by alleged irregularities, low voter turnout, and opposition boycotts. Congressional concerns regarding Haiti include fostering stability and democratic development, the cost and effectiveness of U.S. assistance, protection of human rights, improvement of security conditions, combating narcotics trafficking, addressing Haitian migration, and alleviating poverty.
Haiti: Developments and U.S. Policy Since 1991 and Current Congressional Concerns
This report discusses the sociopolitical situation in Haiti, and U.S. policy, as well as Congressional concerns.