Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. August 2, 2013.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes. The 113th Congress extended this authority through October 4, 2013. Congressional policymakers have debated the scope and details of reauthorization and continue to consider establishing an authority with longer duration. Some Members of Congress support an extension, either short- or long-term, of the existing authority. Other Members call for revision and more extensive codification of chemical facility security regulatory provisions. Questions regarding the current law’s effectiveness in reducing chemical facility risk and the sufficiency of federal chemical facility security efforts exacerbate the tension between continuing current policies and changing the statutory authority.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R42918.pdf [PDF format, 45 pages].
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].
Center for American Progress. July 17, 2013.
The curious case of Edward Snowden’s stay in the Sheremetyevo airport transit zone in Russia has highlighted both the promise of U.S.-Russian security relations and their limitations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/SnowdenAffair-brief1.pdf [PDF format, 7 pages].
Congressional Research Service. June 7, 2013.
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. On May 10, 2013, the Obama Administration released a national strategy document for the Arctic region. Record low extents of Arctic sea ice over the past decade have focused scientific and policy attention on links to global climate change and projected ice-free seasons in the Arctic within decades. These changes have potential consequences for weather in the United States, access to mineral and biological resources in the Arctic, the economies and cultures of peoples in the region, and national security.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41153.pdf [PDF format, 109 pages].
Peterson Institute for International Economics. May 2013.
The author cites recent instances of the US government intervening to block foreign producers of information technology (IT) from selling goods and services to US firms and argues that such actions based on the nationality of the foreign firm is ineffective, discriminatory, and unfair. The dangers and risks of compromise of US national security are real. But in a world where supply chains of IT companies of every nationality are thoroughly globalized, a better way to protect national security would be to establish a multilateral nondiscriminatory system to ensure the integrity of equipment, software, patches, and upgrades from all sources. Much remains to be done to establish an appropriate regime to protect national security and also the rights of investors and companies doing business with foreign firms. The goal should be to strike a balance between protecting national security without discouraging foreigners from investing in and doing business with US firms. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.iie.com/publications/pb/pb13-11.pdf [PDF format, 4 pages].