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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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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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2014 Military and Security Development Involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

2014 Military and Security Development Involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (PDF) Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Under Kim Jong Il, DPRK strategy focused on internal security; coercive diplomacy to compel acceptance of its diplomatic, economic, and security interests; development of strategic military capabilities to deter external attack; and challenging the ROK and the U.S.-ROK Alliance. We anticipate these strategic goals will be consistent under North Korea’s current leader, Kim Jong Un.

North Korea fields a large, forward-deployed military that retains the capability to inflict serious damage on the ROK, despite significant resource shortfalls and aging hardware. The DPRK continues to be deterred from conducting large-scale attacks on the ROK primarily due to the strength of the U.S.-ROK Alliance. On a smaller scale, however, the DPRK has demonstrated its willingness to use military provocation to achieve national goals. In 2010, it sank the ROK naval vessel CHEONAN, killing 46 ROK Navy sailors, and shelled Yeonpyeong Island, killing two ROK Marines and two civilians.

North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear technology and capabilities and development of intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile programs, as reflected in the December 2012 Taepo Dong-2 missile launch and February 2013 nuclear test, underscore the threat to regional stability and U.S. national security posed by North Korea. These programs, and North Korea’s expressed hostility toward the ROK and proliferation of items prohibited under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087,and 2094, make the DPRK a continued security challenge for the United States and its Allies and partners.

North Korea’s third nuclear test in February 2013 and subsequent announcement of plans to restart and refurbish nuclear facilities at Yongbyon highlight the continued challenge posed by its nuclear programs. The September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094 call for the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea. Given North Korea’s unwillingness to abide by these commitments, the U.S. Department of Defense will continue to manage the North Korean security challenge through close coordination and consultation with the international community, particularly with our ROK and Japanese Allies.

The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korea’s continued provocations and steadfast in its commitments to Allies in the region, including the security provided by extended deterrence commitments through the nuclear umbrella and conventional forces.

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Terrorism Designations FAQs

Terrorism Designations FAQs
Source: U.S. Department of State

There are two main authorities for terrorism designations of groups and individuals. Groups can be designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under Executive Order 13224, a wider range of entities, including terrorist groups, individuals acting as part of a terrorist organization, and other entities such as financiers and front companies, can be designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).

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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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