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Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: An Overview of Congressional Action

Description: Several environmental statutes contain national security exemptions, which the Department of Defense (DOD) can obtain on a case-by-case basis. Since FY2003, DOD has sought broader exemptions that it argues are needed to preserve training capabilities and ensure military readiness. There has been disagreement in Congress over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness. There has also been disagreement over the potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality. This report outlines this issue and relevant legislation in detail.
Date: July 11, 2006
Creator: Bearden, David M.

Saudi Arabia: Current Issues and U.S. Relations

Description: The United States and Saudi Arabia have long-standing economic and defense ties, and the U.S. has a strong security commitment to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was a key member of the allied coalition that expelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991. Bombing attacks against several U.S. and foreign-operated installations in Saudi Arabia have raised some concerns about security of U.S. citizens and what appears to be growing anti-Americanism in some segments of the Saudi population. Other principal issues of bilateral interest include security in the post-war Gulf region, the Saudi position on the Arab-Israeli conflict, arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, Saudi external aid programs, bilateral trade relationships and oil production, and Saudi policies on human rights and democracy.
Date: July 11, 2006
Creator: Prados, Alfred B. & Blanchard, Christopher M.

War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance

Description: Two separate but closely related issues confront Congress each time the President introduces armed forces into a situation abroad that conceivably could lead to their involvement in hostilities. One issue concerns the division of war powers between the President and Congress, whether the use of armed forces falls within the purview of the congressional power to declare war and the War Powers Resolution. The other issue is whether or not Congress concurs in the wisdom of the action. A longer-term issue is whether the War Powers Resolution is an appropriate and effective means of assuring congressional participation in actions that might get the United States involved in war.
Date: July 11, 2006
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F.