Center for Strategic and International Studies. September 23, 2014.

No action the United States and President Obama takes can eliminate the fact that the campaign against the Islamic State involves major risks, many of which are beyond U.S. control. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [HTML format].

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Congressional Research Service. September 25, 2014.

The UAE has been a significant U.S. partner in Gulf security for more than two decades, and the
alliance is extending to the U.S.-led effort against the Islamic State organization. A 1994 U.S.-
UAE defense cooperation agreement (DCA) provides for U.S. military use of several UAE
facilities, and about 5,000 U.S. military personnel are in the UAE at those facilities. The UAE
was the first Gulf state to order the most sophisticated missile defense system sold by the United
States, demonstrating support for U.S. efforts to assemble a regional missile defense network
against Iran. [PDF format, 33 pages].

The “Khorasan Group” in Syria

On October 1, 2014, in Defense, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, by editor3

Congressional Research Service. September 24, 2014.

On September 22, U.S. military forces launched strikes against Syria-based terrorists referred to by
U.S. officials as the “Khorasan Group,” whose members President Obama has described as “seasoned
Al Qaeda operatives in Syria.” According to Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, the group “includes some former al Qaeda operatives, core al Qaeda operatives from Afghanistan and Pakistan [a region historically known as Khorasan] who made their way to Syria.” [PDF format, 2 pages].

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Congressional Research Service. September 19, 2014.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has assessed that the terrorist group known as the
Islamic State (IS, previously referred to as ISIS or ISIL) currently poses no specific or credible threat to the homeland. The Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Matthew G. Olsen, has also noted that, “any threat to the U.S. homeland from these types of extremists is likely to be limited in scope and scale,” perhaps involving individuals acting without specific IS direction. In this vein, policy makers continue to voice concerns about American IS fighters who may leave Syria or Iraq, return to the United States, and strike targets on their own at home. This CRS Insight offers a framework for considering the challenges to domestic security posed by American IS fighters and outlines some of the ways that U.S. law enforcement responds to such challenges. [PDF format, 2 pages].

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The 2014 Congressional Primaries: Who Ran and Why

On September 30, 2014, in Politics, by editor2

Brookings Institution, September 2014.

Congressional primary elections generate less voter turnout, news coverage, and scholarly research than general elections. Congressional primaries nonetheless have profound impact and demand better understanding of their outcomes. Look no further than the 2010 midterm election primaries where several Tea Party candidates began to challenge mainstream Republican incumbents, shifting the balance of power in the Republican caucus and contributing to the current polarized political system that has paralyzed Congress. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [PDF format, 26 pages].