U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas: Background and Issues for Congress

In an international security environment described as one of renewed great power competition, the South China Sea (SCS) has emerged as an arena of U.S.-China strategic competition. U.S.China strategic competition in the SCS forms an element of the Trump Administration’s more confrontational overall approach toward China, and of the Administration’s efforts for promoting its construct… Continue Reading U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas: Background and Issues for Congress

El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations

Congress has had significant interest in El Salvador, a small Central American nation that has had a large percentage of its population living in the United States since the country’s civil conflict (1980-1992). During the 1980s, the U.S. government spent billions of dollars supporting the Salvadoran government’s counterinsurgency efforts against the leftist Farabundo Martí National… Continue Reading El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations

Electromagnetic Defense Task Force 2.0: 2019

  In spring 2019 Air University hosted subject matter experts from across the country to expand on the accomplishments of the inaugural Electromagnetic Defense Task Force (EDTF).The 2019 EDTF summit advanced and amplified recommendations to leaders nationwide, ensuring the call for awareness, preparation, defense, and mitigation is sounded far and wide. Using extensive research and… Continue Reading Electromagnetic Defense Task Force 2.0: 2019

Russia’s Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces, and Modernization

  Russia’s nuclear forces consist of both long-range, strategic systems – including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and heavy bombers – and shorter- and medium-range delivery systems. Russia is modernizing its nuclear forces, replacing Soviet-era systems with new missiles, submarines and aircraft while developing new types of delivery systems. Although Russia’s number… Continue Reading Russia’s Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces, and Modernization

Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations

  Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) pose the greatest crime threat to the United States and have “the greatest drug trafficking influence,” according to the annual U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Drug Threat Assessment. These organizations work across the Western Hemisphere and globally. They are involved in extensive money laundering, bribery, gun trafficking, and… Continue Reading Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations

Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options

U.S.-Iran relations have been mostly adversarial—but with varying degrees of intensity—since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. U.S. officials have consistently identified Iran’s support for militant Middle East groups as a significant threat to U.S. interests and allies, and Iran’s nuclear program took precedence in U.S. policy after 2002 as that program advanced. In 2010,… Continue Reading Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options

Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

World events in recent years have led observers, particularly since late 2013, to conclude that the international security environment in recent years has undergone a shift from the post-Cold War era that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power),… Continue Reading Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Energy Sector

The popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology presents both challenges and opportunities to the energy sector. As interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has increased, the energy demand to support cryptocurrency “mining” activities has also increased. The increased energy demand—when localized—can exceed the available power capacity and increase customers’ electricity… Continue Reading Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Energy Sector

Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy

  A 2011 uprising by a mostly Shia opposition to the Sunni-minority-led regime of Bahrain’s Al Khalifa ruling family has subsided, but punishments of oppositionists and periodic demonstrations continue. The uprising did not achieve its goal of establishing a constitutional monarchy, but the unrest has compelled the ruling family to undertake some modest reforms. Elections… Continue Reading Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy

US Foreign Aid to Israel

This report provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. It includes a review of past aid programs, data on annual assistance, and analysis of current issues. Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $142.3 billion (current, or noninflation-adjusted,… Continue Reading US Foreign Aid to Israel