Sub-Saharan Africa: Key Issues and U.S. Engagement

Economic and Development Issues. Much of Africa experienced rapid economic growth starting in the early 2000s, reducing poverty and expanding the middle class in some countries. Since 2014, however, growth has slowed in many countries—and almost all continue to face high poverty rates and long-standing development challenges such as food insecurity and malnutrition, ineffective health… Continue Reading Sub-Saharan Africa: Key Issues and U.S. Engagement

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Normally, the Fed conducts monetary policy by setting a target for the federal funds rate – the rate at which banks borrow and lend reserves on an overnight basis. It meets its target through open market operations, financial transactions traditionally involving U.S. Treasury securities. Beginning in 2007, the federal funds target was reduced from 5.25%… Continue Reading Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

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

Summary Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the United States and Iran have been at odds, although to varying degrees of intensity. During the 1980s and 1990s, U.S. officials identified Iran’s support for militant Middle East groups as the primary threat posed by Iran to U.S. interests and allies. Iran’s nuclear program took… Continue Reading Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Recent debates about U.S. nuclear weapons have questioned what role weapons with shorter ranges and lower yields can play in addressing emerging threats in Europe and Asia. These weapons, often referred to as nonstrategic nuclear weapons, have not been limited by past U.S.-Russian arms control agreements, although some analysts argue such limits would be of… Continue Reading Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Oman: Reform, Security and U.S. Policy

The Sultanate of Oman has been a strategic ally of the United States since 1980, when it became the first Persian Gulf state to sign a formal accord permitting the U.S. military to use its facilities. Oman has hosted U.S. forces during every U.S. military operation in the region since then, and it is a… Continue Reading Oman: Reform, Security and U.S. Policy

Nuclear Cooperation With Other Countries: A Primer

In order for the United States to engage in significant civilian nuclear cooperation with other states, it must conclude a framework agreement that meets specific requirements under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). Significant nuclear cooperation includes the export of reactors, critical parts of reactors, and reactor fuel. The AEA also provides for… Continue Reading Nuclear Cooperation With Other Countries: A Primer

Missile Defense Review 2019

The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) states that the Defense Department’s “enduring mission is to provide combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our nation.” This 2019 Missile Defense Review (MDR) is fully aligned with the NDS, writes acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. The MDR was conducted pursuant to… Continue Reading Missile Defense Review 2019

Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria

President Donald Trump has underscored containing Iran’s sway as a key element in establishing a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria as the United States moves toward bringing its Soldiers home. In pursuing this key American objective, this paper recommends that Washington take advantage of the “daylight” between Russia and Iran, and that it be… Continue Reading Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria

U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America

Central America has received renewed attention from U.S. policymakers over the past few years as the region has become a major transit corridor for illicit drugs and has surpassed Mexico as the largest source of irregular migration to the United States. These narcotics and migrant flows are the latest symptoms of deep-rooted challenges in several… Continue Reading U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America