European Union: Questions and Answers

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic partnership that represents a unique form of cooperation among sovereign countries. The EU is the latest stage in a process of integration begun after World War II, initially by six Western European countries, to foster interdependence and make another war in Europe unthinkable. The EU currently… Continue Reading European Union: Questions and Answers

Azerbaijan and Armenia: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

  In autumn 2020, a six-week war in the South Caucasus reshaped the dynamics of a decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The dispute centers on the predominantly Armenian populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh (or Mountainous Karabakh, also known in Armenian as Artsakh) and surrounding territories internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The war has resulted… Continue Reading Azerbaijan and Armenia: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations

Mexico, the 10th most populous country globally, has the 15th largest economy in the world. It is currently the top U.S. trade partner and a major source of energy for the United States, with which it shares a nearly 2,000-mile border and strong economic, cultural, and historical ties. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the populist leader… Continue Reading Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations

Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies

Iran’s national security policy is arguably the product of overlapping and sometimes competing priorities such as the ideology of Iran’s Islamic revolution, perception of threats to the regime and to the country, and long-standing national interests. The incoming Biden Administration has indicated that it will seek to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement if Iran comes… Continue Reading Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies

New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

The Obama Administration and outside analysts argued that New START strengthens strategic stability and enhances U.S. national security. Critics, however, questioned whether the treaty would serve U.S. national security interests because, they argued in 2010, Russia was likely to reduce its forces with or without an arms control agreement and because the United States and… Continue Reading New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces

Even though the United States has reduced the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the 2010 New START Treaty, it is also developing new delivery systems for deployment over the next 10-30 years. Congress will review plans for U.S. strategic nuclear forces during the annual authorization… Continue Reading U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces

Intelligence Community Diversity and Equal Opportunity

This report looks at the history of congressional and presidential concerns about a lack of diversity in the intelligence community (IC), offers some of the data available, and examines selected policies, practices, and programs that are intended to achieve greater diversity and equal opportunity in the intelligence community.  Purchase this Volume

Navy Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) Program

The Navy’s new Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program envisions procuring a class of 28 to 30 new amphibious ships to support the Marine Corps, particularly in implementing a new Marine Corps operational concept called Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO). The Navy’s proposed FY2021 budget requests $30 million in research and development funding for initial industry… Continue Reading Navy Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) Program

Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program

The Navy began procuring John Lewis (TAO-205) class oilers in FY2016, and a total of six have been procured through FY2020, including two in FY2020. The first six TAO-205s are being procured under a block buy contract that was authorized by Section 127 of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1356/P.L. 114-92 of November… Continue Reading Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program