The U.S. Military’s Force Structure: A Primer, 2021 Update

This CBO guide to the structure of the U.S. military describes the size, functions, and operation and support costs of every major element of the armed forces. The primer contains entries that describe the size, costs, and functions of every major element of the military’s force structure. Those elements include the major combat units that… Continue Reading The U.S. Military’s Force Structure: A Primer, 2021 Update

National Cruise Missile Defense: Issues and Alternatives

Since the 1980s, the United States has invested considerable resources to develop and field ballistic missile defenses to protect the U.S. homeland from attack by long-range ballistic missiles. In recent years, concerns have arisen that another type of weapon—land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs)—may also pose a threat to the U.S. homeland. Unfortunately, the systems that the… Continue Reading National Cruise Missile Defense: Issues and Alternatives

Artificial Intelligence: Background, Selected Issues, and Policy Considerations

The field of artificial intelligence (AI)—a term first used in the 1950s—has gone through multiple waves of advancement over the subsequent decades. Today, AI can broadly be thought of as computerized systems that work and react in ways commonly thought to require intelligence, such as the ability to learn, solve problems, and achieve goals under… Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence: Background, Selected Issues, and Policy Considerations

Congress and the Middle East, 2011-2020: Selected Case Studies

Congress shaped U.S. national security policy toward several critical crises and contingencies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) during the decade from 2011 through 2020—a period of upheaval, conflict, and change in that region. This volume presents several case studies. See Table of Contents.    

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans

The current and planned size and composition of the Navy, the annual rate of Navy ship procurement, the prospective affordability of the Navy’s shipbuilding plans, and the capacity of the U.S. shipbuilding industry to execute the Navy’s shipbuilding plans have been oversight matters for the congressional defense committees for many years. On December 9, 2020,… Continue Reading Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans

Israel: May 2021 Violence and U.S. Relations

The following matters are of particular significance to U.S.-Israel relations, and are discussed here. * Violence and unrest over Gaza and Jerusalem. * Domestic issues: An end to or continuation of Netanyahu’s rule? * Palestinians and Arab state normalization * Iran and other regional issues. * China: Investments in Israel and U.S. concerns. Learn more… Continue Reading Israel: May 2021 Violence and U.S. Relations

Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Since the late 1980s, when U.S. officials became aware that North Korea was actively pursuing nuclear weapons capabilities, U.S. administrations have used a combination of pressure, deterrence, and diplomacy to try to reduce the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea. The need for an effective North Korea strategy has become more pressing over the… Continue Reading Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Hypersonic Weapons

The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons—maneuvering weapons that fly at speeds of at least Mach 5—as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s. In recent years, the United States has focused such efforts on developing hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a rocket… Continue Reading Hypersonic Weapons

Lebanon

Seeking to avoid sectarian conflict, Lebanese leaders created a confessional system that allocated power among the country’s religious sects according to their percentage of the population. Since then, Lebanon’s demographics and political dynamics have shifted, exacerbating tension among groups, at times stoking sectarian violence, and creating political gridlock on issues that require dividing power, such… Continue Reading Lebanon