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.

http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/232500.pdf [PDF format, 2 pages].

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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]

http://i.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/CPA_ContingencyMemo_21.pdf [PDF format, 8 pages].

Office of the Secretary of Defense. March 5, 2014.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

http://www.defense.gov/pubs/North_Korea_Military_Power_Report_2013-2014.pdf [PDF format, 27 pages].

Center for Strategic and International Studies. February 4, 2014.

The Government of France is poised to readjust its military presence in the Sahel region of Africa. Prompted by perceived terrorist threats and risks to French and European interests, the re-organization may have significant implications for future U.S. Government policy and French-American cooperation in the region. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

http://csis.org/publication/french-counterterrorism-sahel-implications-us-policy [HTML format]

The RAND Corporation. July 29, 2013.

This testimony is divided into four sections. The first outlines al Qa’ida’s objectives. The second section examines its organizational structure. The third focuses on the al Qa’ida threat to the United States today. And the fourth section offers a brief conclusion. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/testimonies/CT300/CT396-1/RAND_CT396-1.pdf [PDF format, 15 pages].