Center for Strategic and International Studies. December 22, 2014.

The U.S. and its Arab partners in the Gulf face a wide range of threats. These include the Islamic State and other Jihadist elements, civil war, instability, and divisions in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. It is Iran, however, which poses the most severe military challenge, and one that goes far beyond its search for nuclear capability. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [PDF format, 192 pages].

Center for Strategic and International Studies. November 13, 2014.

As President Obama oversees military operations against ISIS, he and his advisers should also be sure to focus on the effectiveness of military operations against terrorist groups over the past 13 years. While succeeding in the short term— largely keeping the United States and its citizens safe from attack—U.S.-led strikes have neither stopped the spread of Islamist extremism, nor addressed growing, related state-level instability from Pakistan to Nigeria. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [PDF format, 3 pages].

Center for Strategic and International Studies. November 6, 2014.

The U.S. midterm elections have passed, and, as was largely expected, Republicans now hold a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The elections, like the year that preceded them, were characterized by deep partisanship and a contentiousness that will be hard to leave behind going into the new year. With the GOP in control of the legislature—and largely at odds with the White House—what can we expect of the new Congress in its policies relevant to the Western Hemisphere? [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [HTML format].

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].

Tagged with:  

Council on Foreign Relations. April 2014.

As space systems increasingly perform and support critical operations, a variety of plausible near-term incidents in outer space could precipitate or exacerbate an international crisis. The most grave space contingencies—viewed from the perspective of U.S. interests and international stability—are likely to result from either intentional interference with space systems or the inadvertent effects of irresponsible state behavior in outer space. The threats to U.S. space assets are significant and growing, as potential adversaries continue to pursue and could soon acquire counterspace capabilities. The United States has strategic interests in preventing and mitigating dangerous space incidents, given its high reliance on satellites for a variety of national security missions and unparalleled global security commitments and responsibilities. Like other technology-driven global governance challenges, the longer the United States delays preventive and mitigating efforts, the less dominant its position will be in shaping rules of the road for space. [Note: contains copyrighted material] [PDF format, 8 pages].