Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. Record low extents of Arctic sea ice over the past decade… Continue Reading Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

LNG as a Maritime Fuel: Prospects and Policy

The combination of growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies and new requirements for less polluting fuels in the maritime shipping industry has heightened interest in LNG as a maritime fuel. The use of LNG as an engine (“bunker”) fuel in shipping is also drawing attention from federal agencies and is beginning to emerge as an… Continue Reading LNG as a Maritime Fuel: Prospects and Policy

Congress and the War in Yemen: Oversight and Legislation 2015-2019

This volume provides an overview of the role Congress has played in shaping U.S. policy toward the conflict in Yemen. Summary tables provide information on legislative proposals considered in the 115th and 116th Congresses. Various legislative proposals have reflected a range of congressional perspectives and priorities.    

Strategic Overview of Latin America: Identifying New Convergence Centers, Forgotten Territories, and Vital Hubs for Transnational Organized Crime

This book outlines a number of critical strategic challenges in Latin America for U.S. policymakers, which were directly identified in the December 2017 National Security Strategy. However, despite this recognition, these issues are seldom featured in policy discussions about the region. Through the framework of the convergence paradigm, which contends that multiple criminal/ terrorist groups… Continue Reading Strategic Overview of Latin America: Identifying New Convergence Centers, Forgotten Territories, and Vital Hubs for Transnational Organized Crime

China’s Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress

China’s actions in recent years in the South China Sea (SCS)—particularly its island-building and base-construction activities at sites that it occupies in the Spratly Islands—have heightened concerns among U.S. observers that China is rapidly gaining effective control of the SCS, an area of strategic, political, and economic importance to the United States and its allies… Continue Reading China’s Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress

Cambodia: Background and U.S. Relations

U.S. relations with the Kingdom of Cambodia have become increasingly strained in recent years in light of Prime Minister Hun Sen’﷿s suppression of the political opposition and his growing embrace of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). During the previous decade, U.S. engagement with the Kingdom slowly strengthened as Western countries continued to pressure Hun… Continue Reading Cambodia: Background and U.S. Relations

Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations

Venezuela remains in a deep political crisis under the authoritarian rule of President Nicolás Maduro of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Maduro, narrowly elected in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chávez (1999-2013), is unpopular. Nevertheless, he has used the courts, security forces, and electoral council to repress the opposition. On January 10,… Continue Reading Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations

Artificial Intelligence and National Security

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing field of technology with potentially significant implications for national security. As such, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and other nations are developing AI applications for a range of military functions. AI research is underway in the fields of intelligence collection and analysis, logistics, cyber operations, information operations,… Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence and National Security

International Trade and Finance: Overview and Issues for the 116th Congress

During his first two years in office, President Trump has focused on reevaluating many U.S. international trade and economic policies and relationships. The President’s focus on these issues could continue over the next two years. Broad policy debates during the 116th Congress may include the impact of tariffs, trade and trade agreements on the U.S.… Continue Reading International Trade and Finance: Overview and Issues for the 116th Congress

Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress

The United States and Soviet Union signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in December 1987. Negotiations on this treaty were the result of a “dual-track” decision taken by NATO in 1979. At that time, in response to concerns about the Soviet Union’s deployment of new intermediate-range nuclear missiles, NATO agreed both to accept deployment… Continue Reading Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress