Ukraine: Background, Conflict with Russia, and U.S. Policy

Ukraine has been governed by President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Servant of the People party since 2019. During Zelensky’s presidency, Ukraine has enacted difficult economic and governance reforms, albeit with some resistance and delays, and grappled with the social and economic consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Under President Zelensky, Ukraine also has… Continue Reading Ukraine: Background, Conflict with Russia, and U.S. Policy

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief

Israel has forged close bilateral cooperation with the United States in many areas. U.S. law requires the executive branch to take certain actions to preserve Israel’s “qualitative military edge,” or QME, and expedites aid and arms sales to Israel in various ways. Additionally, a 10- year bilateral military aid memorandum of understanding—signed in 2016—commits the… Continue Reading Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief

Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief

U.S. relations with Turkey take place within a complicated environment featuring several bilateral, regional, and Turkish domestic considerations. Current tensions have raised questions about the future of bilateral relations and have led to U.S. actions against Turkey, including sanctions and informal congressional holds on major new arms sales (such as upgrades to F-16 aircraft). Nevertheless,… Continue Reading Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief

U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas

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. China’s actions in the SCS in recent years—including extensive island-building and base-construction activities at sites that it occupies in the Spratly Islands, as well as actions by its… Continue Reading U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas

India-U.S. Relations

India is expected to become the world’s most populous country, home to about one of every six people. Many factors combine to infuse India’s government and people with “great power” aspirations: its rich civilization and history; expanding strategic horizons; energetic global and international engagement; critical geography (with more than 9,000 miles of land borders, many… Continue Reading India-U.S. Relations

Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations

The current structure of Palestinian governing entities dates to 1994. In that year, Israel agreed with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to permit a Palestinian Authority (PA) to exercise limited rule over Gaza and specified areas of the West Bank, subject to overarching Israeli military administration that dates back to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Under… Continue Reading Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations

Northern Ireland: The Peace Process, Ongoing Challenges, and U.S. Interests

Between 1969 and 1999, roughly 3,500 people died as a result of political violence in Northern Ireland, which is one of four component “nations” of the United Kingdom(UK). The conflict, often referred to as “the Troubles,” has its origins in the 1921 division of Ireland and has reflected a struggle between different national, cultural, and… Continue Reading Northern Ireland: The Peace Process, Ongoing Challenges, and U.S. Interests

Canada-U.S. Relations

The United States and Canada typically enjoy close relations. The two countries are bound together by a common 5,525-mile border—“the longest undefended border in the world”—as well as by shared history and values. They have extensive trade and investment ties and longstanding mutual security commitments under NATO and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Canada… Continue Reading Canada-U.S. Relations

U.S. Agent Orange/Dioxin Assistance to Vietnam

U.S. assistance to Vietnam for the environmental and health damage attributed to a dioxin contained in Agent Orange and other herbicides sprayed over much of the southern portion of the country during the Vietnam War remains a significant bilateral issue. Between fiscal years (FY) 2007 and 2021, Congress appropriated nearly $390 million to address these… Continue Reading U.S. Agent Orange/Dioxin Assistance to Vietnam

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

The 117th Congress may review U.S. engagement in sub-Saharan Africa (“Africa”) as it establishes budgetary and policy priorities and responds to developments in the region. Issues for Congress include the authorization and appropriation of funding for U.S. foreign aid programs and U.S. military activities in the region, and oversight of U.S. programs and policies. Major… Continue Reading Sub-Saharan Africa: Key Issues and U.S. Engagement