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Ballistic Missile Defense in the Asia-Pacific Region: Cooperation and Opposition – CRS

The growing number and modernization of ballistic missiles in the Asia-Pacific region poses a security challenge for the United States and its allies and is thus a concern for many in Congress. The United States has made ballistic missile defense (BMD) a central component of protection for forward-deployed U.S. forces and extended deterrence for allied security. The configuration of sensors, command-and-control centers, and BMD assets in the region has slowly evolved with contributions from treaty allies, primarily Japan, Australia, and South Korea.

Observers believe that North Korea has an arsenal of hundreds of short-range ballistic missiles and likely dozens of medium-range Nodong missiles; the extended-range Nodongs are considered capable of reaching Japan and U.S. bases there. Longer-range North Korean missiles appear to be under development but remain unreliable, with only one successful test out of five in the past 15 years. The U.S. intelligence community has not yet concluded that North Korea can build nuclear warheads small enough to put on ballistic missiles, but there is significant debate among experts on this question.

Full Report: Ballistic Missile Defense in the Asia-Pacific Region: Cooperation and Opposition (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

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Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Embedding a Culture of Science and Technology Throughout the Department of State

diplomacyDiplomacy for the 21st Century recommends steps that the Department of State should embrace to take full advantage of the leading science and technology (S&T) capabilities of the United States. These capabilities provide the department with many opportunities to promote a variety of the interests of the United States and its allies in a rapidly changing world wherein S&T are important drivers of economic development at home and abroad and help ensure international security. This report assesses and makes recommendations concerning the changing environment for the conduct of diplomacy in the years ahead, with a focus on the role of S&T in the development and implementation of U.S. policies and programs. According to this report, prompt steps by the department’s leadership are essential to ensure adequate comprehension of the importance of S&T-related developments throughout the world and to incorporate this understanding within the nation’s foreign policy for the 21st century. This report also urges the adoption by the department of a broader whole-of-society approach in carrying out its responsibilities at home and abroad – extending beyond traditional interagency coordination and the narrow band of current external partners to include foundations, universities, research centers, and other groups who are extending their international reach.

Full Report: Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Embedding a Culture of Science and Technology Throughout the Department of State | Full Text Reports…

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GAO — Broadband: Intended Outcomes and Effectiveness of Efforts to Address Adoption Barriers Are Unclear | Full Text Reports…

 

 

 

Full Report: Broadband: Intended Outcomes and Effectiveness of Efforts to Address Adoption Barriers Are Unclear
Source: Government Accountability Office

Home broadband adoption can provide a number of social and economic benefits, according to literature from academic, government, and other research sources and interviews GAO held with researchers, consumer and industry organizations, and government officials. For example, broadband provides access to employment opportunities by providing the means to search and apply for jobs and participate in online job training. It also provides access to a number of government benefits, serves as a conduit for civic participation, and provides a means to connect family members, among other benefits.

Affordability, lack of perceived relevance, and lack of computer skills are the principal barriers to broadband adoption identified by literature and stakeholders GAO interviewed. Efforts to address these barriers include projects to increase broadband adoption that were funded by grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) and outreach and other efforts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and NTIA. GAO identified three key approaches used to address adoption barriers:

  • Discounts on computer equipment and broadband subscriptions.
  • Outreach efforts to promote broadband availability and benefits.
  • Training to help people develop skills in using computers and broadband.

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