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More Full Text Reports from CRS, Lexis-Nexis, and other sources

CRS — Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) Prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, insurance coverage for losses from such attacks was normally included in general insurance policies without specific cost to the policyholders. Following the attacks, such coverage became very […]

 

 

CRS — Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PDT

Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) On January 26, 2012, senior DOD leadership unveiled a new defense strategy based on a review of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. This new strategy envisions a smaller, leaner Army that […]

 

 

CRS — Israel: Background and U.S. Relations (updated)

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 07:30 AM PDT

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) Since Israel’s founding in 1948, successive U.S. Presidents and many Members of Congress have demonstrated a commitment to Israel’s security and to maintaining close U.S.-Israel defense, diplomatic, and economic cooperation. U.S. and Israeli leaders have developed close relations based on […]

 

 

CRS — Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 07:00 AM PDT

Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) While historically the United States has had close relations with Venezuela, a major oil supplier, friction in bilateral relations rose over the past decade under the leftist populist government of President Hugo Chávez, who died in March 2013 after battling cancer […]

 

 

CRS — Direct Overt U.S. Aid Appropriations for and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2015

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 06:30 AM PDT

Direct Overt U.S. Aid Appropriations for and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2015 (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) ChartFiled under: business and economics, Congressional Research Service, international relations, military and defense, Pakistan

 

 

2013 Military Parent Custody and Visitation Legislation

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 06:00 AM PDT

2013 Military Parent Custody and Visitation Legislation Source: National Conference of State Legislatures Over the last decade, legislation addressing issues facing military parents has become a national trend. With the number of custody and visitation issues among military families growing, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws drafted the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody […]

 

 

CRS — China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities — Background and Issues for Congress

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 05:30 AM PDT

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities — Background and Issues for Congress (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) China is building a modern and regionally powerful Navy with a modest but growing capability for conducting operations beyond China’s near-seas region. The question of how the United States should respond […]

 

 

LexisNexis — 2013 Best Practices for Government Libraries

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 05:00 AM PDT

2013 Best Practices for Government Libraries Source: LexisNexis From blog post: The 2013 Best Practices for Government Libraries: Managing Evolving Resources: Strategies, Capabilities, and Alternatives is now available in PDF. 2012 and prior years of Best Practices for Government Libraries are all available from the right sidebar here on the Government Info Pro. The e-book […]

 

 

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Strengthening Understanding and Engagement with China’s Air Force

Strengthening Understanding and Engagement with China’s Air Force
Source: Air & Space Power Journal

Since the historic coming together of China and the United States in 1972, this strategic relationship has benefited both our nations and fostered an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region. Our relationship with China, however, has had its ups and downs over the past four decades. In recent years, growing distrust and increasing misperception have made the need to improve lines of communication between our two governments and militaries all the more urgent.

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U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This CRS report, updated as warranted, discusses policy issues regarding military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and provides a record of major contacts and crises since 1993. The United States suspended military contacts with China and imposed sanctions on arms sales in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. In 1993, the Clinton Administration reengaged with the top PRC leadership, including China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Renewed military exchanges with the PLA have not regained the closeness reached in the 1980s, when U.S.-PRC strategic cooperation against the Soviet Union included U.S. arms sales to China. Improvements and deteriorations in overall bilateral relations have affected military contacts, which were close in 1997-1998 and 2000, but marred by the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, mistaken NATO bombing of a PRC embassy in 1999, the EP- 3 aircraft collision crisis in 2001, and aggressive maritime confrontations (including in 2009).

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CRS New Reports related to Defense and Foreign Policy via Full Text Reports

CRS — Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 01:30 PM PDT

Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) Russia made uneven progress in democratization during the 1990s, but this limited progress was reversed after Vladimir Putin rose to power in 1999-2000, according to many observers. During this period, the State Duma (lower legislative chamber) […]

 

CRS — Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 01:00 PM PDT

Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) Since 2000, the U.S. military has been building up forward-deployed forces on the westernmost U.S. territory of Guam to increase U.S. operational presence, deterrence, and power projection for potential responses to crises and disasters, counterterrorism, and contingencies in support of South […]

 

CRS — North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation (9/13/13)

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 11:00 AM PDT

North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) North Korea has been among the most vexing and persistent problems in U.S. foreign policy in the post-Cold War period. The United States has never had formal diplomatic relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea […]

 

CRS — Chemical Weapons: A Summary Report of Characteristics and Effects

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 10:30 AM PDT

Chemical Weapons: A Summary Report of Characteristics and Effects (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) The potential for terrorist use of chemical agents is a noted concern highlighted by the Tokyo sarin gas attacks of 1995. The events of September 11, 2001, increased congressional attention towards reducing the vulnerability of the […]

 

CRS — Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 10:00 AM PDT

Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) Some Members of Congress have expressed concern over U.S. acquisition of rare earth materials composed of rare earth elements used in various components of defense weapon systems. Rare earth elements consist of […]

CRS — Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress (9/12/13)

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 08:03 AM PDT

Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) Syria has produced, stored, and weaponized chemical agents, but it remains dependent on foreign suppliers for chemical precursors. The regime of President Bashar al Asad possesses stocks of nerve (sarin, VX) and blister (mustard gas) agents, possibly weaponized into […]

 

CRS — Possible U.S. Intervention in Syria: Issues for Congress (9/12/13)

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 08:00 AM PDT

Possible U.S. Intervention in Syria: Issues for Congress (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists) Reports of a mass casualty chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus are reshaping the long-running and contentious debate over poss ible U.S. intervention in Syria’s bloody civil war. Obama Administration officials and some foreign governments […]

 

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Internet Freedom and Political Space | RAND Corporation

Internet Freedom and Political Space
Source: RAND Corporation

The Internet has become a new battleground between governments that censor online content and those who advocate freedom to browse, post, and share information online for all, regardless of their place of residence. This report examines whether and how furthering Internet freedom can empower civil society vis-à-vis public officials, make the government more accountable to its citizens, and integrate citizens into the policymaking process. Using case studies of events in 2011 in Egypt, Syria, China, and Russia, researchers focus on the impact of Internet freedom on freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and the right to cast a meaningful vote, all of which are the key pillars of political space. Researchers analyze the mechanisms by which Internet freedom can enhance the opportunities to enjoy these freedoms, how different political contexts can alter the opportunities for online mobilization, and how, subsequently, online activism can grow out into offline mobilization leading to visible policy changes. To provide historical context, researchers also draw parallels between the effects of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty programs in the Soviet Union during the Cold War and the ongoing efforts to expand Internet freedom for all. The report concludes by discussing implications for the design of Internet freedom programs and other measures to protect “freedom to connect.”

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From Full Text Reports: CRS — U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This CRS report, updated as warranted, discusses policy issues regarding military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and provides a record of major contacts and crises since 1993. The United States suspended military contacts with China and imposed sanctions on arms sales in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. In 1993, the Clinton Administration re-engaged with the top PRC leadership, including China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Renewed military exchanges with the PLA have not regained the closeness reached in the 1980s, when U.S.-PRC strategic cooperation against the Soviet Union included U.S. arms sales to China. Improvements and deteriorations in overall bilateral relations have affected military contacts, which were close in 1997-1998 and 2000, but marred by the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, mistaken NATO bombing of a PRC embassy in 1999, the EP- 3 aircraft collision crisis in 2001, and aggressive maritime confrontations (including in 2009). Issues for Congress include whether the Obama Administration has complied with legislation overseeing dealings with the PLA and pursued co ntacts with the PLA that advance a prioritized set of U.S. security interests, especially the operational safety of U.S. military personnel.

Oversight legislation includes the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY1990-FY1991 (P.L. 101-246) and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2000 (P.L. 106-65). Skeptics and proponents of military exchanges with the PRC have debated whether the contacts have achieved results in U.S. objectives and whether the contacts have contributed to the PLA’s warfighting capabilities that might harm U.S. security interests. Some have argued about whether the value that U.S. officials place on the contacts overly extends leverage to the PLA. Some believe talks can serve U.S. interests that include conflict avoidance/crisis management; military- civilian coordination; transparency and reciprocity; tension reduction over Taiwan; weapons nonproliferation; nuclear/missile/space/cyber talks; counterterrorism; and POW/MIA accounting.

Policymakers could review the approach to mil-to-mil contacts, given concerns about crises. U.S. officials have faced challenges in cooperation from the PLA. The PLA has tried to use its suspensions of exchanges while blaming U.S. “obstacles” (including arms sales to Taiwan, FY2000 NDAA, and air and naval r econnaissance operations).

The PRC’s harassment of U.S. surveillance ships (in 2009) and increasing assertiveness in maritime areas have shown the limits to mil-to-mil talks and PLA restraint. Still, since the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in July 2009, President Obama has called for military contacts to diminish disputes with China. In 2010 and 2011, the PLA criticized U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and claimed to “suspend” U.S.-PRC military contacts. Then, in 2011, the PLA hosted the Defense Secretary in January, and the PLA Chief of General Staff visited in May. The U.S. announcements in 2011-2012 of a strategic rebalancing to Asia (or “pivot” to the Pacific) raised an issue of implications for military ties to ad vance U.S. interests. The Administration included an expansion of cooperation with the PLA. The Defense Secretary visited in September 2012 and invited the PLA Navy to participate in the U.S.-led maritime exercise, RIMPAC 2014. The PLAN’s potential participation at RIMPAC near Hawaii has raised concerns in Congress and elsewhere. In April 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel invited PRC Defense Minister Chang Wanquan to visit. For required reporting, in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the Administration was late in submitting an annual report on security developments involving the PRC, cooperation, and mil-to-mil contacts. The NDAA for FY2013 ( P.L. 112-239 ) adds additional requirements to strengthen the reporting on PRC military and security challenges. Other legislation includes the FY2014 NDAA ( H.R. 1960 and S. 1197 ) and FY2014 Defense Appropriations Act ( H.R. 2397 ).

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