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Friday, May 28, 2010

Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

Names for Navy ships traditionally have been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President and in accordance with rules prescribed by Congress. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time. There have been exceptions to the Navy's ship-naming rules, particularly for the purpose of naming a ship for a person when the rule for that type of ship would have called for it to be named for something else. Some observers in recent years have perceived a breakdown in, or corruption of, the rules for naming Navy ships. 

The 10 most recently named aircraft carriers have been named for U.S. presidents (8 ships) and Members of Congress (2 ships). Virginia (SSN-774) class attack submarines are being named for states. An exception occurred on January 8, 2009, when the Secretary of the Navy announced that SSN-785, the 12th ship in the class, would be named for former Senator John Warner. Destroyers are named for U.S. naval leaders and heroes. Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) are being named for small and medium-sized cities. San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ships are being named for U.S. cities. An exception occurred on April 23, 2010, when the Secretary of the Navy announced that LPD-26, the 10th ship in the class, would be named for the late Representative John P. Murtha. The Navy announced on June 27, 2008, that the first LHA-6 class amphibious assault ship would be named America, a name previously used for an aircraft carrier (CV-66) that served in the Navy from 1965 to 1996. Lewis and Clark (TAKE-1) class cargo and ammunition ships are being named for noted explorers and pioneers of various kinds. Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSVs) are being named for American traits and values. An exception has occurred with JHSV-4, the Navy's second JHSV (JHSVs 1 and 3 are to be operated by the Army), which the Secretary of the Navy announced on March 25, 2010, was being named Fall River. Fall River is a city in Massachusetts that is the location of Battleship Cove, a maritime museum and war memorial with several deactivated warships, including a post-World War II cruiser named Fall River. 

The Navy historically has only rarely named ships for living persons. At least 11 U.S. military ships since the 1970s have been named for persons who were living at the time the name was announced. 

Members of the public are sometimes interested in having Navy ships named for their own states or cities, for older U.S. Navy ships (particularly those on which they or their relatives served), for battles in which they or their relatives participated, or for people they admire. Citizens with such an interest sometimes contact the Navy, the Department of Defense, or Congress seeking support for their proposals. 

Congress has long maintained an interest in how Navy ships are named, and has influenced the naming of certain Navy ships. The Navy suggests that congressional offices wishing to express support for proposals to name a Navy ship for a specific person, place, or thing contact the office of the Secretary of the Navy to make their support known. Congress may also pass legislation relating to ship names. Measures passed by Congress in recent years regarding Navy ship names have all been sense-of-the-Congress provisions. In the 111th Congress, H.Con.Res. 83 would express the sense of the Congress that that a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, either CVN-79 or CVN-80, should be named for former Senator Barry M. Goldwater, and H.Res. 330 would express the sense of the House of Representatives that the Secretary of the Navy should name an appropriate Navy ship in honor of Marine Corps General Clifton B. Cates of Tiptonville, TN. Section 1022 of the FY2010 defense authorization act (H.R. 2647/P.L. 111-84 of October 28, 2009) designated the historic Navy ship USS Constitution as "America's Ship of State."


Date of Report: May 18, 2010
Number of Pages: 17
Order Number: RS22478
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Defense: FY2011 Authorization and Appropriations

Pat Towell, Coordinator
Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget


The President's FY2011 budget request, released February 1, 2010, included $733.3 billion in new budget authority for national defense. In addition to $548.9 billion for the regular (non-war) operations of the Department of Defense (DOD), the request included $159.3 billion for ongoing military operations, primarily funding the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, bringing the total DOD request for FY2011 to $708.3 billion. The balance of the request is $25.1 billion for defense-related activities by agencies other than DOD, the largest component of which was $17.8 billion for Energy Department programs related to either nuclear weapons or nuclear power plants for Navy ships. 

The President also requested supplemental appropriations for FY2010 totaling $33.6 billion. This included $33.0 billion for war costs and $655 million to pay DOD's share of the cost of humanitarian relief operations in Haiti, which was struck on January 12, 2010 by a devastating earthquake. 

The $548.9 billion requested for DOD's so-called "base budget" – that is, all activities other than those associated with ongoing combat operations – is $18.2 billion higher than the amount appropriated for DOD non-war costs in FY2010. By DOD's estimate, this 3.4% increase would amount to a "real" increase of 1.8% in "purchasing power, after taking into account the cost of inflation. 

The budget request would continue the Administration's policy of expanding the proportion of DOD's budget invested in capabilities oriented toward counterinsurgency and other unconventional types of combat, including helicopters, special operations forces, and unmanned vehicles. The budget includes no funding to continue production of the C-17 cargo plane or to continue development of the F-136 alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, two programs Congress has funded in recent years over the objections of the Bush and Obama Administrations. 

The House Armed Services Committee began formal legislative action on the FY2011 defense budget request, approving on May 19, 2010 H.R. 5136, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2011. As reported by the committee (H.Rept. 111-491), the bill would authorize $725.9 billion for DOD and other defense-related activities, a reduction of $2.7 million from the Administration's request for programs covered by that legislation. 

The bill would add to the budget $485 million to continue development of the alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, despite warnings by Defense Secretary Robert H. Gates that he would recommend a veto of any bill that would continue that project. The committee bill included no funds for the procurement of additional C-17s.



Date of Report: May 25, 2010
Number of Pages: 49
Order Number: R41254
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The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

Amy F. Woolf
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy

The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. New START provides the parties with 7 years to reduce their forces, and will remain in force for a total of 10 years. The New START Treaty limits each side to no more than 800 deployed and nondeployed ICBM and SLBM launchers and deployed and nondeployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. Within that total, each side can retain no more than 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. The treaty also limits each side to no more than 1,550 deployed warheads. Deployed warheads include the actual number of warheads carried by deployed ICBMs and SLBMs, and one warhead for each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments. 

New START contains detailed definitions and counting rules that will help the parties calculate the number of warheads that count under the treaty limits. Moreover, the delivery vehicles and their warheads will count under the treaty limits until they are converted or eliminated according to the provisions described in the treaty's Protocol. These provisions are far less demanding than those in the original START Treaty and will provide the United States and Russia with far more flexibility in determining how to reduce their forces to meet the treaty limits. 

The monitoring and verification regime in New START Treaty has been streamlined to make it less costly and complex than the regime in START. Nevertheless, like the regime in START, it contains detailed definitions of items limited by the treaty; provisions governing the use of national technical means (NTM) to gather data on each side's forces and activities; an extensive database that identifies the numbers, types, and locations of items limited by the treaty; provisions requiring notifications about items limited by the treaty; and inspections allowing the parties to confirm information shared during data exchanges. 

New START does not limit current or planned U.S. missile defense programs. It does ban the conversion of ICBM and SLBM launchers to launchers for missile defense interceptors, but the United States never intended to pursue such conversions when deploying missile defense interceptors. Under New START, the United States can deploy conventional warheads on its ballistic missiles, but these will count under the treaty limit on nuclear warheads. The United States may deploy a small number of these systems during the time that New START is in force. 

The Obama Administration and outside analysts argue that New START will strengthen strategic stability and enhance U.S. national security. They contend that New START will contribute to U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals by convincing other nations that the United States is serious about its obligations under the NPT. This might convince more nations to cooperate with the United States in pressuring nations who are seeking their own nuclear weapons. 

Critics, however, question whether the treaty serves U.S. national security interests, as Russia was likely to reduce its forces with or without an arms control agreement and because the United States and Russia no longer need arms control treaties to manage their relationship. Some also consider the U.S.-Russian arms control process to be a distraction from the more important issues on the nonproliferation agenda. 

The U.S. Senate is currently holding hearings on the New START Treaty. The U.S. Senate will have to offer its advice and consent to ratification and the Russian parliament will have to approve ratification before the Treaty can enter into force.


Date of Report: May 19, 2010
Number of Pages: 27
Order Number: R41219
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Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

Ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) carry submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which are large, long-range missiles armed with multiple nuclear warheads. The SSBNs' basic mission is to remain hidden at sea with their SLBMs, so as to deter a nuclear attack on the United States by another country. Navy SSBNs form one leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear deterrent force, or "triad," which also includes land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and landbased long-range bombers. The Navy currently operates 14 Ohio (SSBN-726) class SSBNs, the first of which is projected to reach the end of its service life in 2027. 

The Navy is currently conducting development and design work on a planned class of 12 nextgeneration ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, which the service wants to procure as replacements for the 14 Ohio-class boats. The SSBN(X) program, also known as the Ohio-class replacement program, received $497.4 million in research and development funding in the Navy's FY2010 budget, and the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget requests an additional $672.3 million in research and development funding for the program. Navy plans call for procuring the first SSBN(X) in FY2019, with advance procurement funding for the boat beginning in FY2015. 

The Navy preliminarily estimates the procurement cost of each SSBN(X) at $6 billion to $7 billion in FY2010 dollars—a figure equivalent to roughly one-half of the Navy's budget each year for procuring new ships. Some observers are concerned that procuring 12 SSBN(X)s during the 15-year period FY2019-FY2033, as called for in Navy plans, could lead to reductions in procurement rates for other types of Navy ships during those years. 

Potential FY2011 issues for Congress include the following: 

• the accuracy of the Navy's preliminary estimate of the procurement cost of each SSBN(X); 

• the prospective affordability of the SSBN(X) program and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs; 

• the question of which shipyard or shipyards will build SSBN(X)s; 

• the impact of UK preferences for the design of its new SSBNs on U.S. consideration of SSBN(X) design options; and 

• congressional access to the SSBN(X) analysis of alternatives (AOA). 

Options for reducing the cost of the SSBN(X) program or its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs include procuring fewer than 12 SSBN(X)s; reducing the number of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) to be carried by each SSBN(X); designing the SSBN(X) to carry a smaller SLBM; stretching out the schedule for procuring SSBN(X)s and making greater use of split funding (i.e., two-year incremental funding) in procuring them; funding the procurement of SSBN(X)s in a part of the Department of Defense (DOD) budget other than the Navy's shipbuilding account; and increasing the Navy's shipbuilding budget. 

This report focuses on the SSBN(X) as a Navy shipbuilding program. CRS Report RL33640,
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues, by Amy F. Woolf, discusses the SSBN(X) as an element of future U.S. strategic nuclear forces in the context of strategic nuclear arms control agreements. .


Date of Report: May 18, 2010
Number of Pages: 34
Order Number: R41129
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Terrorism, Miranda, and Related Matters

Charles Doyle
Senior Specialist in American Public Law

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides in part that "No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." In Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court declared that statements of an accused, given during a custodial interrogation, could not be introduced in evidence in criminal proceedings against him, unless he were first advised of his rights and waived them. In Dickerson v. United States, the Court held that the Miranda exclusionary rule was constitutionally grounded and could not be replaced by a statutory provision making all voluntary confessions admissible. In New York v. Quarles, the Court recognized a "limited" "public safety" exception to Miranda, but has not defined the exception further. The lower federal courts have construed the exception narrowly in cases involving unwarned statements concerning the location of a weapon possibly at hand at the time of an arrest. 

The Supreme Court has yet to decide to what extent Miranda applies to custodial interrogations conducted overseas. The lower federal courts have held that the failure of foreign law enforcement officials to provide Miranda warnings prior to interrogation does not preclude use of any resulting statement in a subsequent U.S. criminal trial, unless interrogation was a joint venture of U.S. and foreign officials or unless the circumstances shock the conscience of the court. They suggest that warnings are a prerequisite for admissibility in U.S. courts following overseas interrogation by U.S. officials. 

Miranda
applies to courts-martial that are subject to a requirement for an additional warning under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The statutory provisions governing military commissions call for the admission of some unwarned, involuntary custodial statements. At least one tribunal operating under those provisions has concluded that the Fifth Amendment protections do not apply in the commission trial at Guantanamo Bay of an unprivileged foreign belligerent. 

Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure requires that federal arrestees be brought before a committing magistrate without unnecessary delay. In the McNabb v. United States and Mallory v. United States cases, the Court declared inadmissible confessions extracted during a period of unnecessary delay. The cases were decided under the Court's supervisory authority over the lower federal courts, and in Corley v. United States, the Court held that McNabb-Mallory had been statutorily supplemented with a provision that made admissible voluntary confession given within six hours of presentment. 

Neither Miranda nor McNabb-Mallory violations preclude the subsequent prosecution of the accused; they simply preclude the uninvited use of any unwarned, unwaived statements in such prosecutions. 

Related legislative proposals have been introduced in the 111th Congress. P.L. 111-84 (H.R. 2647) prohibits members of the military from providing Miranda warnings to foreign nationals captured, or held in Defense Department custody, outside the United States as enemy belligerents. Among the legislative proposals yet to secure enactment, one would prohibit the use of funds to provide such warnings (H.R. 2701); others would restrict their use in the interrogation of highvalue detainees overseas (S. 3081 and H.R. 4892); and still others would call upon the Administration to provide Congress with information related to the use of Miranda warnings in such circumstances (H.R. 3170, H.Res. 537, H.Res. 570, H.Res. 602).


Date of Report: May 24, 2010
Number of Pages: 13
Order Number: R41252
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Ballistic Missile Defense and Offensive Arms Reductions: A Review of the Historical Record

Steven A. Hildreth
Specialist in Missile Defense

Amy F. Woolf
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy

The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010, and it awaits Senate consideration. The preamble to the Treaty contains a "provision on the interrelationship of strategic offensive arms and strategic defensive arms." This statement does not contain any limits on current or planned U.S. missile defense programs. However, some analysts have questioned whether Russia's threat to withdraw from New START if the United States expands its missile defense capabilities might have a "chilling effect" on U.S. missile defense plans and programs. 

Ballistic missile defenses have been an issue in U.S.-Soviet and U.S.-Russian arms control talks since the 1970s. During the Cold War, the nations sought to balance limits on offensive weapons and defensive weapons so that they could maintain "strategic stability," which refers to the ability of each side to launch a retaliatory strike after absorbing a first strike by the other side. Most analysts argued that missile defenses would undermine stability by protecting the attacking nation from the effects of a second strike; some argued that defenses could enhance stability by undermining the effectiveness of the first strike. The former construct was evident in the Strategic Arms Limitation talks (SALT), where the United States and Soviet Union agreed to limit both offensive forces and ballistic missile defenses. The latter formula was evident in the Reagan Administration's advocacy of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). 

During the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) in the 1980s, the Soviet Union sought to link limits on offensive weapons to limits on ballistic missile defenses and SDI. The United States rejected this linkage, and the 1991 START Treaty did not contain any limits on missile defenses. The Soviet Union issued a unilateral statement indicating that it would withdraw from START if the United States violated the 1972 ABM Treaty. However, when the United States withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002, Russia did not withdraw from START. 

Moreover, during the 1990s, when the United States faced Russia's threat to withdraw from START, the U.S. commitment to missile defense strengthened. In the early part of the decade, U.S. missile defense programs focused on the threat posed by shorter- and medium-range missiles, like those the United States encountered during Desert Storm. However, growing concerns in the latter half of the decade about long-range ballistic missiles fueled an increase in emphasis and growing funding on national missile defenses. The Clinton Administration initiated a program, known as 3+3, that explored the technical feasibility of deploying such defenses in the early part of the 2000s. When the Bush Administration took office, it withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty and began to deploy long-range missile defense interceptors in Alaska and California. 

A review of the budget data on ballistic missile defenses shows that U.S. funding for these programs grew steadily through the 1990s. Funding has leveled off in the past 10 years, but support for missile defense has been strong across the political spectrum in the United States. Congressional appropriations have nearly equaled the budget requests for these programs each year. The Obama Administration has also emphasized its support for ballistic missile defenses, in both its Ballistic Missile Defense Review and its budget request for FY2011.


Date of Report: May 25, 2010
Number of Pages: 25
Order Number: R41251
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quadrennial Defense Review 2010: Overview and Implications for National Security Planning

Stephen Daggett
Specialist in Defense Policy and Budgets


On February 1, 2010, the Defense Department released a report on the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), a legislatively mandated assessment of defense strategy and priorities. The review is the sixth full scale assessment of U.S. defense policy since the end of the Cold War, beginning with the 1990 Base Force analysis and the 1993 Bottom-Up Review and continuing with QDRs completed in 1997, 2001, 2006, and 2010. These official reviews have been supplemented by assessments of independently chartered panels. 

The four QDRs reflect an ongoing evolution of strategic thinking away from planning for smaller versions of Cold War-era conventional conflicts, on the model of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and toward planning to cope with a much more diverse array of challenges. By the time of the 2006 and 2010 QDRs, the basic strategic assumptions guiding military planning had shifted dramatically. One premise is that no future adversary is likely to confront U.S. conventional, Cold War-era military capabilities directly. Instead, any foe, ranging from violent, radical non-state terrorist groups to a technologically advanced near-peer competitor, will try to exploit weaknesses in U.S. defenses through asymmetric means. A related premise is that the notion of a spectrum of conflict, ranging from unsophisticated insurgents or terrorists at the low end to sophisticated national armies at the high end, is becoming blurred, with "low-end" terrorist groups using advanced technologies and near-peer competitors likely to use indirect means of attack. 

The 2010 QDR concludes that changes in the global security environment require some adjustments in the balance of investments among elements of the U.S. military force posture. It argues for an emphasis, first of all, on prevailing in current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and against Al Qaeda elsewhere. It revises force planning to put diverse, overlapping scenarios, including long-duration stability operations and defense of the homeland, on a par with major regional conflicts in assessing the size and composition of the force. And, it calls for new investments in critical joint missions, including countering "anti-access strategies" aimed at defeating U.S. power projection forces; building the capacity of partner states; and ensuring access to cyberspace. The 2010 report also proposes measures to reform institutional procedures that it sometimes describes as "relics of the Cold War," including acquisition, security assistance, and export control processes. 

Critiques of the current and earlier QDRs raise a number of issues: Is the review overly constrained by budget limitations? Does it make sufficiently disciplined choices among the many priorities it cites? Does the focus on current conflicts come too much at the expense of preparations for future conflicts? Does the review realistically assess threats from Russia and China? A fundamental issue is whether the quite radical reassessment of global security challenges in recent QDRs has been matched by sufficiently far-reaching changes in the composition of the force. 

A question for future QDRs may be whether the reviews should be tasked to address broader security policy issues as a means of assessing defense plans in a more complete context. Potential policy issues to address include when to use military force, the effects of global financial trends on U.S. defense plans, the effects of domestic economic and budget trends on defense resources, the evolution of alliances to reflect post-Cold War era challenges, the prospects for more cooperative global security rules and institutions to enhance security, and the integration of U.S. defense planning with broader, interagency policies to address global trends.



Date of Report: May 17, 2010
Number of Pages: 81
Order Number: R41250
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North Korea: Back on the Terrorism List?

Mark E. Manyin
Specialist in Asian Affairs

Whether North Korea should be included on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea demanded that the Clinton and Bush Administrations remove it from the terrorism support list. On October 11, 2008, the Administration removed North Korea from the terrorism list. 

This move was part of the measures the Bush Administration took to implement a nuclear agreement that it negotiated with North Korea in September 2007 and finalized details of in April 2008. The agreement was reached under the format of the six party talks, which involve the United States, North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia. The President also announced that he was immediately lifting sanctions on North Korea under the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act. North Korea's obligations under this nuclear agreement were to allow the disabling of its plutonium facility at Yongbyon and present to the United States and other government in the six party talks a declaration of its nuclear programs. North Korea submitted its declaration in June 2008. 

The removal of North Korea from the terrorism list, however, did not result in an early conclusion of the February 2007 six party nuclear agreement. The North Korean government and the Bush Administration disagreed over the content of an October 2008 agreement on verification, particularly over whether it allowed inspectors to take samples of nuclear materials from the Yongbyon installations. The other parties to the talks also had not completed the delivery of 1 million tons of heavy oil that they had promised in the February 2007 agreement. Against this backdrop, along with an apparent stroke suffered by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the six party process broke down. 

In the months since the breakdown of the talks, North Korea has taken a series of actions that have led to calls for its reinstatement on the terrorism list. In April 2009, North Korea launched devices suspected of being long-range missiles. In May 2009, North Korea tested a nuclear device. In March 2010, a South Korean naval vessel, the Cheonan, sank in waters disputed by the two Koreas. Nearly 50 South Korean sailors died in the incident. A multinational investigation team led by South Korea determined that the ship was sunk by a North Korean submarine. Meanwhile, reports from French, Japanese, South Korean, and Israeli sources described recent North Korean programs to provide arms and training to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, two groups on the U.S. list of international terrorist organizations. Large quantities of North Korean arms bound for Iran, intercepted in 2009, contained weapons that Iran supplies heavily to Hezbollah and Hamas. Moreover, a large body of reports describe a longstanding, collaborative relationship between North Korea and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps that has continued throughout 2009. 

This report describes the rationales for including North Korea on the terrorism list from 1988- 2008, for North Korea's delisting in 2008, and the debate in 2010 over whether to re-list North Korea. This report was originally written by Larry Niksch, who left CRS at the end of January 2010.


Date of Report: May 24, 2010
Number of Pages: 36
Order Number: RL30613
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians

Susan G. Chesser
Information Research Specialist

This report collects statistics from a variety of sources on casualties sustained during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which began on October 7, 2001, and is ongoing. OEF actions take place primarily in Afghanistan; however, OEF casualties also include American casualties in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen. 

Casualty data of U.S. military forces are compiled by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), as tallied from the agency's press releases. Also included are statistics on those wounded but not killed. Statistics may be revised as circumstances are investigated and as records are processed through the U.S. military's casualty system. More frequent updates are available at DOD's website at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/ under "Casualty Update." 

A detailed casualty summary of U.S. military forces that includes data on deaths by cause, as well as statistics on soldiers wounded in action, is available at the following DOD website: http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/castop.htm

NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) does not post casualty statistics of the military forces of partner countries on the ISAF website at http://www.isaf.nato.int/. ISAF press releases state that it is ISAF policy to defer to the relevant national authorities to provide notice of any fatality. For this reason, this report uses fatality data of coalition forces as compiled by CNN.com and posted online at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2004/oef.casualties/index.html

Casualty data of Afghan civilians are reported quarterly by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA). Deaths of Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army personnel are reported by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction in the quarterly reports to Congress that are required as part of P.L. 110-181. 

Because the estimates of Afghan casualties contained in this report are based on varying time periods and have been created using different methodologies, readers should exercise caution when using them and should look to them as guideposts rather than as statements of fact.


Date of Report: May 11, 2010
Number of Pages: 5
Order Number: R41084
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. Two of the Coast Guard's three polar icebreakers—Polar Star and Polar Sea—have exceeded their intended 30-year service lives. The Polar Star is not operational and has been in caretaker status since July 1, 2006. Congress in FY2009 and FY2010 provided funding to repair Polar Star and return it to service for 7 to 10 years; the Coast Guard expects the reactivation project to be completed in FY2012. 

The Coast Guard's third polar icebreaker—Healy—entered service in 2000. Compared to Polar Star and Polar Sea, Healy has less icebreaking capability, but more capability for supporting scientific research. The ship is used primarily for supporting scientific research in the Arctic. 

A 2007 report from the National Research Council (NRC) on the U.S. polar icebreaking fleet states that "U.S. [polar] icebreaking capability is now at risk of being unable to support national interests in the north and the south." On July 16, 2008, Admiral Thad Allen, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, testified that: "Today, our nation is at a crossroads with Coast Guard domestic and international icebreaking capabilities. We have important decisions to make. And I believe we must address our icebreaking needs now.... " On May 3, 2010, he stated: "We need to have a serious discussion about icebreakers. It has not concluded. It's not even started, and you can see me be a little more vocal on that on the 26th of May [2010] because my change of command [i.e., retirement from the Coast Guard] is the 25th of May." 

The Coast Guard since 2008 has been studying how many polar icebreakers, with what capabilities, should be procured as replacements for Polar Star and Polar Sea. Following a decision to design and build one or more new polar icebreakers, the first replacement polar icebreaker might enter service in 8 to 10 years, by which time Polar Star and Polar Sea could be more than 40 years old. The Coast Guard estimated in February 2008 that new replacement ships might cost $800 million to $925 million each in 2008 dollars, and that the alternative of extending the service lives of Polar Sea and Polar Star for 25 years might cost about $400 million per ship. 

Potential policy issues for Congress regarding Coast Guard polar icebreaker modernization include the numbers and capabilities of polar icebreakers the Coast Guard will need in the future; whether to provide these icebreakers through construction of new ships or service life extensions of Polar Start and/or Polar Sea; whether to accelerate the Coast Guard's current schedule for acquiring replacement ships; whether new ships should be nuclear powered; whether new ships should be funded entirely in the Coast Guard budget, or partly or entirely in some other part of the federal budget, such as the Department of Defense (DOD) budget, the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget, or both; and whether, as an interim measure, the Polar Star should be repaired and placed back into service. 

The Coast Guard's proposed FY2011 budget does not request any funding in the service's Acquisition, Construction, and Improvements (AC&I) account for polar icebreaker sustainment or for acquisition of new polar icebreakers.



Date of Report: May 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 57
Order Number: RL34391
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Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN)Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The Navy's five Atlantic Fleet nuclear powered aircraft carriers (CVNs) are all homeported at Norfolk, VA. The Department of Defense's (DOD's) final report on the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), released on February 1, 2010, endorses the Navy's desire to establish a second Atlantic Fleet CVN home port by homeporting a CVN at Mayport, FL. Navy plans call for having Mayport ready to homeport a CVN in 2019. 

Transferring a CVN from Norfolk to Mayport would shift from Norfolk to Mayport the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. 

DOD's proposal to homeport a CVN at Mayport has become an issue of strong interest to certain Members of Congress from Florida and Virginia. Certain Members of Congress from Florida have expressed support for DOD's proposal to homeport a CVN at Mayport, arguing (as do DOD and the Navy) that the benefits in terms of mitigating risks to the Navy's Atlantic Fleet CVNs are worth the costs associated with moving a CVN to Mayport. Certain Members of Congress from Virginia have expressed skepticism regarding, or opposition to, the proposal, arguing that the benefits in terms of mitigating risks to the Navy's Atlantic Fleet CVNs are questionable or uncertain, and that the funding needed to implement the proposal could achieve greater benefits if it were spent on other Navy priorities. 

The Navy estimates the nonrecurring cost of transferring a CVN to Mayport at $589.7 million, including $490.7 in Military Construction (MilCon) funding for construction work at Mayport to make Mayport capable of homeporting a CVN, and $99 million in other one-time costs. The $490.7 million in MilCon funding includes $46.3 million in dredging costs that the Navy requested in its FY2010 budget. Congress, as part of its action on the FY2010 defense budget, approved the request for $46.3 million for dredging. The conference report (H.Rept. 111-288 of October 7, 2009) on the FY2010 defense authorization act (H.R. 2647/P.L. 111-84 of October 28, 2009) states: 

The conference agreement includes authorization for $46.3 million for channel and turning basin dredging at Naval Station (NS) Mayport, Florida. The Navy requested this project in order to allow a nuclear aircraft carrier to enter Naval Station Mayport on a temporary basis with an embarked air wing, full stores, and under any tidal conditions. The conferees authorize funding for this project based on the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations' assurances that the dredging is needed for current operational considerations to permit the use of Mayport as a transient dock and is 'required irrespective of the final decision on aircraft carrier homeporting at Mayport.' 

The conferees emphasize that the inclusion of an authorization for dredging at NS Mayport is not an indication of conferee support for the establishment of an additional homeport for nuclear aircraft carriers on the east coast, or intended to influence the ongoing Quadrennial Defense Review, which may include a recommendation on the establishment of a second east coast homeport for nuclear aircraft carriers. Furthermore, the conferees note that this funding is provided solely to permit use of Mayport as a transient port, and that any potential designation of Mayport as a nuclear carrier homeport will require future authorizations from the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives. (Page 870) 

The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget requests about $2 million in MilCon planning and design funding for the project to establish a CVN homeport at Mayport.


Date of Report: May 13, 2010
Number of Pages: 54
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Leading Opinions on Wartime Detentions

Anna C. Henning
Legislative Attorney

Justice John Paul Stevens played a pivotal role in determining the scope of executive-branch power in a post-9/11 world. After 9/11, Congress quickly authorized the Executive to respond to the terrorist attacks using military force. Difficult legal questions emerged from the consequences of the ensuing military actions, particularly as suspected members of al Qaeda and the Taliban were captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere and transferred to the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Key questions included: What legal authorities restrict the Executive's ability to detain and try such persons as it sees fit? To what extent do detainees outside of the United States have the right to challenge their detentions in federal courts? When may Congress remove federal courts' jurisdiction over habeas cases? 

Justice Stevens authored majority opinions in two leading cases, Rasul v. Bush and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in which the Court allowed detainees' habeas petitions to proceed and invalidated the early incarnation of military commissions, thereby rejecting the broader views of executive power articulated shortly after the 9/11 attacks. In the cases, his view prevailed over strongly articulated dissenting opinions authored by Justice Scalia and other justices. 

For a more in-depth examination of the Supreme Court's post -9/11 decisions regarding habeas corpus, see CRS Report RL33180,
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court, by Jennifer K. Elsea and Michael John Garcia. .


Date of Report: May 13, 2010
Number of Pages: 11
Order Number: R41238
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Air Force KC-X Tanker Aircraft Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Jeremiah Gertler
Specialist in Military Aviation

On February 24, 2010, the Department of Defense (DOD) released its Request for Proposals for a program to build 179 new KC-X aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force, a contract valued at roughly $35 billion. 

On March 8, 2010, the team of Northrop Grumman and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) announced that they would not bid for the contract, leaving Boeing as the only expected bidder. DOD then extended the bid deadline by 60 days, to July 9, 2010. Subsequently, on April 20, 2010, EADS announced that it would submit an independent bid for the KC-X contract. Boeing will offer a KC-X design based on its 767 airliner, to be built in Seattle, WA, and Wichita, KS. EADS is expected to offer a KC-X design based on the Airbus A330 airliner, to be built in Mobile, AL. 

The KC-X acquisition program is a subject of intense interest because of the dollar value of the contract, the number of jobs it would create, the importance of tanker aircraft to U.S. military operations, and because DOD's attempts to acquire a new tanker over the past several years have ultimately failed. DOD's proposed new KC-X acquisition competition strategy poses several potential oversight issues for Congress, including the following: Has DOD adequately defined the required capabilities for the KC-X and established a fair and adequate framework for scoring and evaluating bids against those required capabilities? Should a March 23, 2010, World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on commercial aircraft subsidies be taken into account in evaluating the KC-X bids? Should Boeing's pricing data for the 2007-2008 KC-X competition be shared with EADS in a manner equivalent to how Northrop/EADS' pricing data for the 2007-2008 competition was shared with Boeing? Should the Air Force be in charge of the new KC-X competition? If there is only one bidder, how will DOD determine an appropriate price for the tankers and control costs throughout the program? 

FY2010 defense authorization bill:
The conference report (H.Rept. 111-288 of October 7, 2009) on the FY2010 defense authorization act (H.R. 2647/P.L. 111-84 of October 28, 2009) authorizes the Administration's request for $439.6 million in Air Force research and development funding for the KC-X program. Section 1081 of the act amends Section 1081(a) of the FY2008 defense authorization act (H.R. 4986/P.L. 110-181 of January 28, 2008) to require the Secretary of the Air Force to conduct a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of using commercial fee-for-service air refueling tanker aircraft for Air Force operations, unless the Secretary of Defense submits a notification that pursuing such a program is not in the national interest. Section 1082 provides the Secretary of the Air Force authority to use multiyear contracts to conduct the pilot program described in Section 1081 of the FY2008 defense authorization act. 

FY2010 DOD appropriations bill:
In lieu of a conference report, the House Appropriations Committee on December 15, 2009, released an explanatory statement on a final version of H.R. 3326. This version was passed by the House on December 16, 2009, and by the Senate on December 19, 2009, and signed into law on December 19, 2009, as P.L. 111-118. 

The bill establishes a Tanker Replacement Transfer Fund in the amount of $291.7 million. In lieu of a conference report on H.R. 3326, the House Appropriations Committee on December 15, 2009, released an explanatory statement on an intended final version of H.R. 3326. The explanatory statement provides $15 million for management of the tanker program.


Date of Report: May 14, 2010
Number of Pages: 69
Order Number: RL34398
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Monday, May 17, 2010

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

Amy F. Woolf
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy

During the Cold War, the U.S. nuclear arsenal contained many types of delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons. The longer range systems, which included long-range missiles based on U.S. territory, long-range missiles based on submarines, and heavy bombers that could threaten Soviet targets from their bases in the United States, are known as strategic nuclear delivery vehicles. At the end of the Cold War, in 1991, the United States deployed more than 10,000 warheads on these delivery vehicles. That number has declined to less than 6,000 warheads today, and is slated, under the 2002 Moscow Treaty, to decline to 2,200 warheads by the year 2012. The United States and Russia recently completed a new START treaty that will further reduce U.S. forces to between 1,550 deployed warheads. 

At the present time, the U.S. land-based ballistic missile force (ICBMs) consists of 450 Minuteman III ICBMs, each deployed with between one and three warheads, although they will all be reduced to only one warhead over the next few years. The Air Force has deactivated all 50 of the 10-warhead Peacekeeper ICBMs; it plans to deploy Peacekeeper warheads on some of the Minuteman ICBMs. It has also deactivated 50 Minuteman III missiles. The Air Force is also modernizing the Minuteman missiles, replacing and upgrading their rocket motors, guidance systems, and other components. The Air Force had expected to begin replacing the Minuteman missiles around 2018, but has decided, instead, to continue to modernize and maintain the existing missiles, so that they can remain in the force through 2030. 

The U.S. ballistic missile submarine fleet currently consists of 14 Trident submarines; each carries 24 Trident II (D-5) missiles. The Navy has converted 4 of the original 18 Trident submarines to carry non-nuclear cruise missiles. The remaining submarines currently carry around 1,200 warheads in total, a number that has been declining decline as the United States implements the Moscow Treaty. The Navy has shifted the basing of the submarines, so that nine are deployed in the Pacific Ocean and five are in the Atlantic, to better cover targets in and around Asia. It also has undertaken efforts to extend the life of the missiles and warheads so that they and the submarines can remain in the fleet past 2020, and to begin design work on a new submarine. 

The U.S. fleet of heavy bombers currently includes 19 B-2 bombers and 94 B-52 bombers. The B-1 bomber no longer is equipped for nuclear missions. The 2006 QDR recommended that the Air Force reduce the B-52 fleet to 56 aircraft; Congress rejected that recommendation, but will allow the fleet to decline to 76 aircraft. The Air Force has also begun to retire the nuclear-armed cruise missiles carried by B-52 bombers, leaving only about half the B-52 fleet equipped to carry nuclear weapons. 

The Obama Administration recently completed a review of the size and structure of the U.S. nuclear force as a part of the congressionally mandated Nuclear Posture Review. It has also recently signed a New START Treaty with Russia that will limit the number of deployed missiles and warheads in the U.S. strategic force. Congress will review the Administration's plans for U.S. strategic nuclear forces during the annual authorization and appropriations process, and if it assesses the terms of a prospective nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.


Date of Report: May 3, 2010
Number of Pages: 33
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War in Afghanistan: Strategy, Military Operations, and Issues for Congress

Steve Bowman
Specialist in National Security

Catherine Dale
Specialist in International Security

With a deteriorating security situation and no comprehensive political outcome yet in sight, most observers view the war in Afghanistan as open-ended. By early 2009, a growing number of Members of Congress, Administration officials, and outside experts had concluded that the effort—often called "America's other war"—required greater national attention. For the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA), the war is both a struggle for survival and an effort to establish sustainable security and stability. For the United States, the war in Afghanistan concerns the security of Afghanistan and the region, including denying safe haven to terrorists and helping ensure a stable regional security balance. For regional states, including India and Russia as well as Afghanistan's neighbors Pakistan and Iran, the war may have a powerful impact on the future balance of power and influence in the region. For individual members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the war may be about defeating terrorist networks, ensuring regional stability, proving themselves as contributing NATO members, and/or demonstrating NATO's relevance in the 21st century. 

Since 2001, the character of the war in Afghanistan has evolved from a violent struggle against al Qaeda and its Taliban supporters to a multi-faceted counterinsurgency (COIN) effort. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in order to end the ability of the Taliban regime to provide safe haven to al Qaeda and to put a stop to al Qaeda's use of the territory of Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities. In that first phase, U.S. and coalition forces, working with Afghan opposition forces, quickly removed the Taliban regime. 

After the fall of the Taliban, the character of the war shifted to a multifaceted COIN effort aimed at smothering the diffuse insurgency by shoring up GIRoA efforts to provide security, governance, and economic development. The three areas are generally viewed as interdependent and mutually-reinforcing—security is a prerequisite for some governance and development efforts, and longer-term, sustainable security requires both functional governance and economic opportunity. As one pillar of the COIN campaign in Afghanistan, the Afghan and international military effort aims broadly at defeating the remnants of the Taliban and other insurgents, securing the population, and helping extend the reach of the Afghan government. The international military effort includes both the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to which the United States contributes troops, and the separate U.S.-led OEF mission. 

In his December 3, 2009, speech President Obama identified several objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan: (1) disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda; (2) deny al Qaeda a safe haven; (3) reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government; and (4) strengthen the capacity of the Afghan security forces and government to better protect and serve population centers. To accomplish this, President Obama ordered the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops to the region, which will bring the U.S. total to almost 100,000 troops. This deployment will be staged over several months, with the full additional complement being in country by the end of the summer 2010. Noting that Afghan operations continue to be an international effort, President Obama expressed confidence that some of 42 coalition allies will also be increasing their contributions. NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen echoed this confidence, stating that he expects NATO allies to contribute at least an additional 5,000 troops in 2010.


Date of Report: May 6, 2010
Number of Pages: 76
Order Number: R40156
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

United States Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Hannah Fischer
Information Research Specialist

This report presents difficult-to-find statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), including those concerning post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense's (DOD's) website, whereas others have been obtained through contact with experts at DOD. 

Daily updates of total U.S. military casualties in OIF and OEF can be found at the DOD's website, at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf. In addition, CRS Report R40824, Iraq Casualties: U.S. Military Forces and Iraqi Civilians, Police, and Security Forces
contains statistics on U.S. military and Iraqi civilian casualties, while CRS Report R41084, Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians
contains statistics on U.S. military and Afghan civilian casualties.


Date of Report: May 4, 2010
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: RS22452
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Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options

Amy F. Woolf
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy

The United States and Russia signed a new strategic arms reduction treaty (New START) on April 8, 2010. This Treaty replaces the original START Treaty, which the United States and Soviet Union signed in July 1991. START entered into force in December 1994 and expired on December 5, 2009. 

The original START Treaty counted each deployed ICBM, SLBM, and bomber as a single delivery vehicle under the Treaty limit of 1,600 delivery vehicles and attributes an agreed number of warheads to each deployed delivery vehicle. This attribution rule provides the total number of warheads that count under the 6,000 warhead limit in the Treaty. To verify compliance with START, each side monitors the numbers and locations of ballistic missiles, launchers and heavy bombers deployed by the other country. The parties use a wide variety of means to collect information—or monitor—these forces and activities. Some of these monitoring systems, such as overhead satellites, operate outside the territories of the treaty parties. They have also been required to exchange copious amounts of data on locations, operations, and technical characteristics of the treaty-limited items. This verification regime has allowed the parties to remain confident in each other's compliance with the Treaty. 

The United States and Russia began to discuss their options for arms control after START in mid- 2006. During the Bush Administration, they were unable to agree on a path forward. Neither side wanted to extend START in its current form, as some of the Treaty's provisions have begun to interfere with some military programs on both sides. Russia wants to replace START with a new Treaty that would further reduce deployed forces while using many of the same definitions and counting rules in START. The United States initially did not want to negotiate a new treaty, but, under the Bush Administration, would have been willing to extend, informally, some of START's monitoring provisions. In 2008, the Bush Administration agreed to conclude a new Treaty, with monitoring provisions attached, but this Treaty would resemble the far less formal Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty that the two sides signed in 2002. In December 2008, the two sides agreed that they wanted to replace START before it expired, but acknowledged that this task would have to be left to negotiations between Russia and the Obama Administration. President Obama and President Medvedev agreed at their meeting on April 2, 2009, to pursue "new and verifiable reductions" in their strategic offensive arms. The two sides have just completed negotiations on new START Treaty. 

The United States and Russia could have chosen from a number of options for the future of their arms control relationship. They have allowed START to lapse while negotiating a new Treaty, but they could have extended START for five years during this process. They could also have extended START, then amended it to ease some of the outdated provisions. Instead of negotiating a new Treaty, they could have pursued less formal arrangements to manage their nuclear forces. Moreover, if a new treaty includes further reductions in nuclear weapons, it could use some START definitions and counting rules or the less formal Moscow Treaty declarations. 

This report will no longer be updated. Additional information on the New START Treaty can be found in CRS Report R41219, The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions.


Date of Report: May 6, 2010
Number of Pages:40
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


Ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) carry submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which are large, long-range missiles armed with multiple nuclear warheads. The SSBNs' basic mission is to remain hidden at sea with their SLBMs, so as to deter a nuclear attack on the United States by another country. Navy SSBNs form one leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear deterrent force, or "triad," which also includes land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and landbased long-range bombers. The Navy currently operates 14 Ohio (SSBN-726) class SSBNs, the first of which is projected to reach the end of its service life in 2027. 

The Navy is currently conducting development and design work on a planned class of 12 next generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, which the service wants to procure as replacements for the 14 Ohio-class boats. The SSBN(X) program, also known as the Ohio-class replacement program, received $497.4 million in research and development funding in the Navy's FY2010 budget, and the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget requests an additional $672.3 million in research and development funding for the program. Navy plans call for procuring the first SSBN(X) in FY2019, with advance procurement funding for the boat beginning in FY2015. 

The Navy preliminarily estimates the procurement cost of each SSBN(X) at $6 billion to $7 billion in FY2010 dollars—a figure equivalent to roughly one-half of the Navy's budget each year for procuring new ships. Some observers are concerned that procuring 12 SSBN(X)s during the 15-year period FY2019-FY2033, as called for in Navy plans, could lead to reductions in procurement rates for other types of Navy ships during those years. 

Potential FY2011 issues for Congress include the following: 

• the accuracy of the Navy's preliminary estimate of the procurement cost of each SSBN(X); 

• the prospective affordability of the SSBN(X) program and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs; 

• the question of which shipyard or shipyards will build SSBN(X)s; 

• the impact of UK preferences for the design of its new SSBNs on U.S. consideration of SSBN(X) design options; and 

• congressional access to the SSBN(X) analysis of alternatives (AOA). 

Options for reducing the cost of the SSBN(X) program or its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs include procuring fewer than 12 SSBN(X)s; reducing the number of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) to be carried by each SSBN(X); designing the SSBN(X) to carry a smaller SLBM; stretching out the schedule for procuring SSBN(X)s and making greater use of split funding (i.e., two-year incremental funding) in procuring them; funding the procurement of SSBN(X)s in a part of the Department of Defense (DOD) budget other than the Navy's shipbuilding account; and increasing the Navy's shipbuilding budget. 

This report focuses on the SSBN(X) as a Navy shipbuilding program. CRS Report RL33640,
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues, by Amy F. Woolf, discusses the SSBN(X) as an element of future U.S. strategic nuclear forces in the context of strategic nuclear arms control agreements.


Date of Report: May 7, 2010
Number of Pages: 33
Order Number: R41127
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Federal Building and Facility Security

Shawn Reese
Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy

Lorraine H. Tong
Analyst in American National Government

The security of federal government buildings and facilities affects not only the daily operations of the federal government but also the health, well-being, and safety of federal employees and the public. Recent congressional action concerning the security of federal buildings includes P.L. 111-83 (FY2010 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security), which addressed the issue of the transfer of the Federal Protective Service from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the National Protection and Programs Directorate. 

For the purposes of this report, federal facilities include any building leased or owned by the General Services Administration. In FY2007, the federal government's real property portfolio comprised 446,000 buildings with an area of 3.3 billion square feet and a replacement value of $772.8 billion. Federal courthouses and facilities are also discussed in this report. Additionally, it should be noted that many Members of Congress have state and district offices located in multitenant federal buildings. 

Security of federal facilities includes physical security assets such as closed-circuit television cameras, barrier material, and security guards (both federally employed and contracted). Federal facility security practices have been subject to criticism by government auditors and security experts. Elements that have received criticism include the use of private security guards, the management and security practices of the Federal Protective Service, and the coordination of federal facility security. 
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Date of Report: April 27, 2010
Number of Pages: 20
Order Number: R41138
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Long-Range Ballistic Missile Defense in Europe

Steven A. Hildreth
Specialist in Missile Defense

Carl Ek
Specialist in International Relations

In early 2007, after several years of internal discussions and consultations with Poland and the Czech Republic, the Bush Administration formally proposed to defend against an Iranian missile threat by deploying a ground-based mid-course defense (GMD) element in Europe as part of the global U.S. BMDS (Ballistic Missile Defense System). The system would have included 10 interceptors in Poland, a radar in the Czech Republic, and another radar that would have been deployed in a country closer to Iran, to be completed by 2013 at a reported cost of at least $4 billion. The proposed European BMD capability raised a number of foreign policy challenges in Europe and with Russia. The United States negotiated and signed agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic, but for a number of reasons those agreements were not ratified by the end of the Bush Administration. 

On September 17, 2009, the Obama Administration announced it would cancel the Bush proposed European BMD program. Instead, Defense Secretary Gates announced U.S. plans to develop and deploy a regional BMD capability in Europe that could be surged on relatively short notice during crises or as the situation may demand. Gates argued this new capability in the near term would be based on expanding existing BMD sensors and interceptors. Gates argued this new Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) would be more responsive and adaptable to the pace and direction of Iranian short- and medium-range ballistic missile proliferation. This capability would continue to evolve and expand over the next decade to include BMD capabilities against medium and long-range Iranian ballistic missiles. 

The Polish and Romanian governments have signaled their willingness to host facilities for the new system. However, Russia, though initially positive over the abandonment of the Bush Administration's BMD plan, soon found reasons to object to the Obama Administration's alternative. 

Although the terms of the debate over the Bush-proposed European BMD capability have changed significantly in the wake of President Obama's decision, this report will be retained for historical purposes to include background information and analysis through the Obama Administration's decision to cancel it.

Date of Report: April 26, 2010
Number of Pages: 34
Order Number: RL34051
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Federal Evacuation Policy: Issues for Congress

Bruce R. Lindsay
Analyst in American National Government

When government officials become aware of an impending disaster, they may take steps to protect citizens before the incident occurs. Evacuation of the geographic area that may be affected is one option to ensure public safety. If implemented properly, evacuation can be an effective strategy for saving lives. Evacuations and decisions to evacuate, however, can also entail complex factors and elevated risks. Decisions to evacuate may require officials to balance potentially costly, hazardous, or unnecessary evacuations against the possibility of loss of life due to a delayed order to evacuate. 

Some observers of evacuations, notably those from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, claim evacuations pose unique challenges to certain segments of society. From their perspective, special-needs populations, the transit-dependent, and individuals with pets faced particular hardships associated with the storm. This, they claim, is because some evacuation plans, and the way in which they were carried out, appeared to inadequately address their unique circumstances or needs. 

In responding to these challenges, then-Senator Obama introduced S. 1685 in the 109th Congress, which would have directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that each state provided detailed and comprehensive information regarding its pre-disaster and post-disaster plans for the evacuation of individuals with special needs in emergencies. President Barack Obama indicated during his campaign that he would continue to pursue similar evacuation polices. 

Another facet of evacuation is sheltering displaced individuals. For short-term sheltering, federally provided resources include food, water, cots, and essential toiletries. When displaced individuals need long-term sheltering, federal policy provides financial assistance for alternative accommodations such as apartments, motels and hotels, recreational vehicles, and modular units. 

While federal law provides for certain aspects of civilian emergency evacuation, evacuation policy generally is established and enforced by state and local officials. In recent years, Members of Congress have focused, in part, on policy options that addressed issues of equity during evacuations as well as attempts to integrate federal, state, and local evacuation efforts more fully. 

This report discusses federal evacuation policy and analyzes potential lessons learned from the evacuations of individuals in response to the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005. Several issue areas that might arise concerning potential lawmaking and oversight on evacuation policy are also highlighted.


Date of Report: April 29, 2010
Number of Pages: 19
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Defense Logistical Support Contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Issues for Congress

Valerie Bailey Grasso
Specialist in Defense Acquisition


This report examines Department of Defense (DOD) logistical support contracts for troop support services in Iraq and Afghanistan administered through the U.S. Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), as well as legislative initiatives which may impact the oversight and management of logistical support contracts for the delivery of troop support services. LOGCAP is an initiative designed to manage the use of civilian contractors that perform services during times of war and other military mobilizations. On April 18, 2008, DOD announced the Army's LOGCAP IV contract awards to three companies—DynCorp International LLC, Fort Worth, TX; Fluor Intercontinental, Inc, Greenville, SC; and KBR, Houston, TX, through a full and open competition. The LOGCAP IV contract calls for each company to compete for task orders. Each company may be awarded up to $5 billion annually for troop support services with a maximum annual value of $15 billion. As of March 2010, each company has been awarded at least one task order under LOGCAP IV. Over the life of LOGCAP IV, the maximum contract value is $150 billion. The U.S. Army Sustainment Command awarded the first performance task order on September 25, 2008, to Fluor Intercontinental, Inc., for logistical support services in Afghanistan. 

LOGCAP, an Army program designed to manage civilian contractors, is now in transition. The current LOGCAP III contractor supports the drawdown in Iraq by providing logistical services, theater transportation, augmentation of maintenance services, and other combat support services. According to Army contracting officials, all LOGCAP requirements in Kuwait have successfully transitioned from LOGCAP III to LOGCAP IV contracts. The transition of requirements is continuing from LOGCAP III to LOGCAP IV contracts, and will be used for combat support services in Afghanistan. Twelve tasks orders have been awarded under LOGCAP IV, and a total of $1.8 billion has been obligated under LOGCAP IV contracts. 

Congress is concerned about the federal oversight and management of DOD contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly under programs like LOGCAP. Recent assessments from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), DOD Office of the Inspector General (DOD-IG), the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), and the Defense Contract Audit Agency reveal a lack of accountability for large sums of money spent for Iraq contracts. According to the congressional testimony of Charles Williams, director of the Defense Contract Management Agency, there are more than 600 oversight positions still vacant in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress is also concerned about the size of contractor insurance premiums through the Defense Base Act (DBA); such premiums comprise significant costs under LOGCAP. The DBA requires that many federal government contractors and subcontractors provide workers' compensation insurance for their employees who work outside of the United States. The U.S. Army's LOGCAP contract covers costs for DBA insurance and includes significant overheard and other costs beyond the costs of the actual insurance claims. In March 2009, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) appointed a Panel on Defense Acquisition Reform to conduct a systematic review of the defense acquisition system. On March 23, 2010, the panel issued its final report, and provided the HASC its findings and recommendations. Largely as a result of the panel's work, H.R. 5013, the Implementing Management for Performance and Related Reforms to Obtain Value in Every Acquisition Act (IMPROVE) of 2010, was introduced on April 14, 2010. The bill seeks to improve the management and oversight of DOD's procurement of goods and services. The bill was amended by the HASC on April 21, 2010, discharged by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on April 23, 2010, and reported favorably in a HASC vote of 56-0.


Date of Report: April 28, 2010
Number of Pages: 44
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. Under current MDA and Navy plans, the number of BMD-capable Navy Aegis ships is scheduled to grow from 20 at the end of FY2010 to 38 at the end of FY2015. MDA and Navy plans also call for an increasing portion of the Navy's BMD-capable Aegis ships to be equipped with newer and more capable versions of the Aegis BMD system. 

BMD-capable Aegis ships operate in the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf to provide regional defense against potential ballistic missile attacks from countries such as North Korea and Iran. The Administration's Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) for BMD operations, announced in September 2009, calls for operating BMD-capable Aegis ships in European waters to defend Europe from potential ballistic missile attacks from countries such as Iran. 

Some observers are concerned—particularly following the Administration's announcement of its intention to use Aegis-BMD ships to defend Europe against potential ballistic missile attacks— that demands from U.S. regional military commanders for BMD-capable Aegis ships are growing faster than the number of BMD-capable Aegis ships. They are also concerned that demands from U.S. regional military commanders for Aegis ships for conducting BMD operations could strain the Navy's ability to provide regional military commanders with Aegis ships for performing non- BMD missions. There is also some concern regarding the adequacy of planned numbers of SM-3 missiles—the interceptor missiles used by Aegis ships for conducting BMD operations. 

The Aegis BMD program is funded mostly through MDA's budget. The Navy's budget provides additional funding for the program. MDA's proposed FY2011 budget requests a total of $2,161.6 million for the Aegis BMD program. 

FY2011 issues for Congress include whether to approve, reject, or modify the FY2011 MDA and Navy funding requests for the Aegis BMD program, and whether to provide MDA or the Navy with additional direction concerning the program. FY2011 options for Congress regarding the Aegis BMD program include, among other things, the following: accelerating the modification of Aegis ships to BMD-capable configurations, increasing procurement of new Aegis destroyers, increasing procurement of SM-3 missiles, and providing funding for integrating the SM-2 Block IV BMD interceptor missile into the 4.0.1 version of the Aegis BMD system.


Date of Report: April 26, 2010
Number of Pages: 52
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The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

Amy F. Woolf
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy

The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. New START provides the parties with 7 years to reduce their forces, and will remain in force for a total of 10 years. The New START Treaty limits each side to no more than 800 deployed and nondeployed ICBM and SLBM launchers and deployed and nondeployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. Within that total, each side can retain no more than 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. The treaty also limits each side to no more than 1,550 deployed warheads. Deployed warheads include the actual number of warheads carried by deployed ICBMs and SLBMs, and one warhead for each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments. 

New START contains detailed definitions and counting rules that will help the parties calculate the number of warheads that count under the treaty limits. Moreover, the delivery vehicles and their warheads will count under the treaty limits until they are converted or eliminated according to the provisions described in the treaty's Protocol. These provisions are far less demanding than those in the original START Treaty and will provide the United States and Russia with far more flexibility in determining how to reduce their forces to meet the treaty limits. 

The monitoring and verification regime in New START Treaty has been streamlined to make it less costly and complex than the regime in START. Nevertheless, like the regime in START, it contains detailed definitions of items limited by the treaty; provisions governing the use of national technical means (NTM) to gather data on each side's forces and activities; an extensive database that identifies the numbers, types, and locations of items limited by the treaty; provisions requiring notifications about items limited by the treaty; and inspections allowing the parties to confirm information shared during data exchanges. 

New START does not limit current or planned U.S. missile defense programs. It does ban the conversion of ICBM and SLBM launchers to launchers for missile defense interceptors, but the United States never intended to pursue such conversions when deploying missile defense interceptors. Under New START, the United States can deploy conventional warheads on its ballistic missiles, but these will count under the treaty limit on nuclear warheads. The United States may deploy a small number of these systems during the time that New START is in force. The Obama Administration and outside analysts argue that New START will strengthen strategic stability and enhance U.S. national security. They contend that New START will contribute to U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals by convincing other nations that the United States is serious about its obligations under the NPT. This might convince more nations to cooperate with the United States in pressuring nations who are seeking their own nuclear weapons. 

Critics, however, question whether the treaty serves U.S. national security interests, as Russia was likely to reduce its forces with or without an arms control agreement and because the United States and Russia no longer need arms control treaties to manage their relationship. Some also consider the U.S.-Russian arms control process to be a distraction from the more important issues on the nonproliferation agenda. 

The U.S. Senate is currently holding hearings on the New START Treaty. The U.S. Senate will have to offer its advice and consent to ratification and the Russian parliament will have to approve ratification before the Treaty can enter into force.


Date of Report: May 3, 2010
Number of Pages: 27
Order Number: R41219
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Latin America and the Caribbean: Illicit Drug Trafficking and U.S. Counterdrug Programs

Clare Ribando Seelke, Coordinator
Specialist in Latin American Affairs

Liana Sun Wyler
Analyst in International Crime and Narcotics

June S. Beittel
Analyst in Latin American Affairs

Drug trafficking is viewed as a primary threat to citizen security and U.S. interests in Latin America and the Caribbean despite decades of anti-drug efforts by the United States and partner governments. The production and trafficking of popular illicit drugs—cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and methamphetamine—generates a multi-billion dollar black market in which Latin American criminal and terrorist organizations thrive. These groups challenge state authority in source and transit countries where governments are often fragile and easily corrupted. Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) largely control the U.S. illicit drug market and have been identified by the U.S. Department of Justice as the "greatest organized crime threat to the United States." Drug trafficking-related crime and violence in the region has escalated in recent years, raising the drug issue to the forefront of U.S. foreign policy concerns. 

Since the mid-1970s, the U.S. government has invested billions of dollars in anti-drug assistance programs aimed at reducing the flow of Latin American-sourced illicit drugs to the United States. Most of these programs have emphasized supply reduction tools, particularly drug crop eradication and interdiction of illicit narcotics, and have been designed on a bilateral or subregional level. Many would argue that the results of U.S.-led drug control efforts have been mixed. Temporary successes in one country or sub-region have often led traffickers to alter their cultivation patterns, production techniques, and trafficking routes and methods in order to avoid detection. As a result of this so-called "balloon effect," efforts have done little to reduce the overall availability of illicit drugs in the United States. In addition, some observers assert that certain mainstays of U.S.-funded counterdrug programs, particularly aerial spraying to eradicate drug crops, have had unintended social and economic consequences. 

The Obama Administration has continued U.S. support for Plan Colombia and the Mérida Initiative, but is gradually broadening the focus of those aid packages to address the societal and institutional effects of the drug trade and related criminality and violence, rather than mainly funding supply control efforts. Newer programs like the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) include more of an emphasis on rule of law, anti-corruption, and community and youth development programs. In order to complement these international efforts, President Obama and his top advisers have acknowledged the role that U.S. drug demand has played in fueling the drug trade in the region and requested increased funding for prevention and treatment programs. 

The 111th Congress has influenced U.S. drug control policy in Latin America by appropriating certain types and levels of funding for counterdrug assistance programs in P.L. 111-8, P.L. 111-32, and P.L. 111-117. Congress has also conditioned the provision of antidrug funding on the basis of human rights and other reporting requirements. It has sought to ensure that counterdrug programs are implemented in tandem with judicial reform, anti-corruption, and human rights programs. Several bills address counternarcotics issues in the region, including House-passed H.R. 2410 (Berman), House-passed H.R. 2134 (Engel) and S. 3172 (Menendez). Congress has been active in evaluating drug assistance programs through multiple oversight hearings. 

This report provides an overview of the drug flows in the Americas and U.S. antidrug assistance programs in the region. It also raises some policy issues for Congress to consider as it exercises oversight of U.S. antidrug programs and policies in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, see CRS Report RL34543, International Drug Control Policy, by Liana Sun Wyler, CRS Report RL32250, Colombia: Issues for Congress; and CRS Report R40135, Mérida Initiative for Mexico and Central America: Funding and Policy Issues.


Date of Report: April 30, 2010
Number of Pages: 38
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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Inherently Governmental Functions and Other Work Reserved for Performance by Federal Government Employees: The Obama Administration’s Proposed Policy Letter

L. Elaine Halchin
Specialist in American National Government

Kate M. Manuel
Legislative Attorney

Shawn Reese
Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy

Moshe Schwartz
Specialist in Defense Acquisition

On March 31, 2010, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a proposed policy letter on inherently governmental functions and other "work reserved for performance by federal government employees." While not final, the policy letter represents the Obama Administration's proposed guidance for agencies determining (1) whether particular functions are inherently governmental and (2) when functions closely associated with the performance of inherently governmental functions and critical functions should be performed by government personnel. Under existing law, agencies cannot contract out inherently governmental functions, and they must give "special consideration" to using government personnel in performing functions closely associated with the performance of inherently governmental functions. No limitations upon contracting out critical functions currently exist, although legislation introduced in the 111th Congress (S. 924) would, if enacted, require agency heads to ensure that "mission essential functions" are performed by government employees. Some commentators consider mission-essential functions to be critical ones. 

In keeping with the requirements of Section 321 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for FY2009 (P.L. 110-417), which tasked OMB with developing a "single consistent definition" of "inherently governmental function," the proposed policy letter adopts the definition of the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act. The FAIR Act defines an "inherently governmental function" as one that is "so intimately related to the public interest as to require performance by Federal Government employees." However, neither the proposed policy letter nor the notice from OFPP introducing it indicates whether or how the Obama Administration would amend the definitions of "inherently governmental function" in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, OMB Circular A-76, or other executive branch regulations and policy documents. 

The proposed policy letter defines a "critical function" as one that is "necessary to the agency being able to effectively perform and maintain control of its mission and operations." This definition, and the accompanying guidance on when critical functions and functions associated with the performance of inherently governmental functions should be performed in-house, also respond to the requirements of Section 321 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act. Among other things, Section 321 tasked OMB with developing criteria that agencies could use in identifying critical functions and positions that should be performed by government personnel to ensure that agencies develop and maintain "sufficient organic expertise and technical capacity." President Obama's March 4, 2009, memorandum on government contracting similarly charged OMB with clarifying when outsourcing is "appropriate." 

The proposed policy letter raises several legal and policy issues of potential interest to Congress, given recently enacted and proposed legislation regarding inherently governmental functions and other limitations upon contracting out (e.g., P.L. 111-8, P.L. 111-84, P.L. 111-117, H.R. 1436, H.R. 2142, H.R. 2177, H.R. 2682, H.R. 2736, H.R. 2868, S. 924). Key among these issues are (1) the relationship between the proposed policy letter and other executive branch authorities on inherently governmental and related functions; (2) whether the proposed policy letter would necessarily result in changes in agencies' use of contractors to perform certain functions that some Members of Congress and commentators claim are inherently governmental (e.g., security services during contingency operations); and (3) the potential demands of any new requirements upon the acquisition workforce.


Date of Report: April 26, 2010
Number of Pages: 20
Order Number: R41209
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