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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring an 11th and final San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship in FY2012. The Navy estimates the procurement cost of this ship at $2,040.6 million. The ship received $184.0 million in FY2010 advance procurement funding, and the Navy plans to request the remaining $1,856.6 million of the ship's procurement cost in the FY2012 budget. Accordingly, the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget does not request any procurement or advance procurement funding for the LPD-17 program. 

Some observers have suggested using the LPD-17 design as the basis for the LSD(X), a new class of amphibious ships that the Navy plans to start procuring in FY2017 as replacements for the Navy's 12 aging Whidbey Island/Harpers Ferry (LSD-41/49) class amphibious ships. Procuring a 12th LPD-17 in FY2014 or FY2015 might be consistent with a strategy of using the LPD-17 design as the basis for the LSD(X) because it would keep the LPD-17 production line open until the start of LSD(X) procurement. Navy officials have mentioned the option of modifying the LPD-17 design as one possible approach for developing the LSD(X) design, but the Navy is also studying other possible approaches, including developing an all-new design. Navy plans do not call for procuring any LPD-17s beyond the 11th ship planned for FY2012. 

Although the Navy's planned 313-ship fleet, first presented to Congress in February 2006, calls for a 31-ship amphibious force that includes 10 LPD-17s, Navy and Marine Corps officials agree that a 33-ship amphibious force that includes 11 LPD-17s would be needed to minimally meet the Marine Corps' goal of having an amphibious ship force with enough combined capacity to lift the assault echelons (AEs) of two Marine Expeditionary Brigades (MEBs). A 33-ship force would include 15 amphibious ships for each MEB, plus three additional ships to account for 10% to 15% of the amphibious ship force being in overhaul at any given time. 

Marine Corps and Navy officials agree that a 38-ship amphibious force would more fully meet the Marine Corps' 2.0 MEB AE amphibious lift requirement. Such a force would include 17 amphibious ships for each MEB, plus four additional ships to account for 10% to 15% of the amphibious ship force being in overhaul at any given time. Although a 38-ship force would more fully meet the Marine Corps' lift requirement, the Navy and Marine Corps have agreed to accept the operational risks associated with having a 33-ship force rather than a 38-ship force. 

FY2011 issues for Congress include whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's proposed funding profile for procuring the 11th LPD-17, and whether to provide the Navy with any direction concerning the design of the LSD(X) or procurement of LPD-17s beyond the 11th ship. Congress's decisions on these issues will affect, among other things, Navy and Marine Corps funding requirements and capabilities, and the shipbuilding industrial base.



Date of Report: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 44
Order Number: RL34476
Price: $29.95

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Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Service-Connected Disabilities

Douglas Reid Weimer
Legislative Attorney

Congress provides various benefits to American veterans and their dependents through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). One of these benefits is disability compensation, which is a monthly cash benefit program for veterans currently impaired from past serviceconnected activities. 

A claim for disability compensation is initially analyzed by the VA at the local level to determine (1) whether the claimant is considered a "veteran" (eligible for benefits); (2) whether the veteran qualifies for disability compensation (entitled to benefits); (3) the extent of the impairment and the "rate" of the disability; and (4) the effective date for the compensation. 

Three requirements to qualify for disability compensation are (1) medical diagnosis of the current impairment; (2) evidence of an in-service occurrence or an aggravation of the disease or injury; and (3) medical proof of a connection between the in-service incident or aggravation of an injury or illness and the current disability. The requisite standard of proof and certain medical presumptions are set by statute. The VA is required to provide assistance to the veteran in his/her case preparation by providing records and medical examinations. Special rules have been established for certain specific situations involving combat veterans, prisoners of war, and veterans exposed to Agent Orange. 

If the veteran is found eligible for disability compensation, the VA then uses the Schedule for Rating Disabilities (SRD) to set the amount of earnings impairment on a percentage basis; the higher the percentage, the greater the compensation will be. Certain complications arise with the use of the rating system. A veteran's rating may be increased or decreased over time—depending on his/her medical condition. Rating decisions may be appealed administratively. 

Legislation passed in the first session of the 111th Congress increased the 2010 monthly disability compensation payments by providing veterans a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for their VA benefits equal to the COLA for Social Security benefits (P.L. 111-37). However, in an unprecedented situation, no COLA for Social Security benefits was enacted. Therefore, there was no increase in the 2010 VA monthly disability compensation payments. The 111th Congress has considered additional legislation that may affect service-connected disabilities. Bills have been introduced to deal with the number of claims pending at the VA and issues related to the receipt of disability benefits. These include H.R. 3504 (the VA Case Backlog Alleviation and Economic Stimulus Act of 2009); H.R. 4121 (the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2009); S. 3286; S. 3348; S. 3368; S. 3370; S. 728; and H.R. 1037. 
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Date of Report: June 16, 2010
Number of Pages: 15
Order Number: RL33323
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Security Assistance Reform: “Section 1206” Background and Issues for Congress

Nina M. Serafino
Specialist in International Security Affairs


Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2006 provides the Secretary of Defense with authority to train and equip foreign military and foreign maritime security forces. The Department of Defense (DOD) values this authority as an important tool to train and equip military partners. Funds may be obligated only with the concurrence of the Secretary of State. Thus far, the Department of Defense (DOD) has used Section 1206 authority primarily to provide counterterrorism (CT) support. These funds may also be used to train and equip foreign military forces for military and stability operations in which U.S. forces participate. 

As of the date of this report, Section 1206 allocations for FY2006-FY2009 and congressionally notified plans for FY2010 total about $1.2 billion. For FY2010, Congress provided $345 million in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010, P.L. 111-118. (The amount is not specified in the act but is included under the total appropriated to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.). Of this amount, about $238 million has been notified to and accepted by congressional oversight committees to date. Almost two-thirds of this funding ($155.3 million) is provided for CT support in Yemen. Some $18 million is provided for CT support in the Philippines and $64 million to assist 12 countries in greater Europe in preparing troops to participate in the NATO International Stabilization Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 

Through the use of nearly $1 billion in FY2006 through FY2009 funds, Section 1206 supported bilateral programs in 24 countries, 13 multilateral programs, and a global human rights program. Just over 40% of the FY2006-FY2009 Section 1206 funding was obligated for three countries: Pakistan, Lebanon, and Yemen. Another 20% was allocated for bilateral programs in four countries: Bahrain, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. 

Some Members are concerned with several issues related to Section 1206 authority, both narrow and broad. Specific current concerns include whether Section 1206 funds are being used appropriately and effectively, and whether the authority should be expanded to provide training not only military forces but also to a wide range of foreign security forces. (Currently, Section 1206 limits security force training to maritime security forces.) An overarching issue is whether Congress should place Section 1206 train and equip (T&E) authority under the State Department with other T&E authorities. (Members have thus far refrained from codifying Section 1206 in permanent law, as requested by DOD.) A related issue is whether Congress should grant the State Department its own security assistance contingency fund with purposes that overlap Section 1206, as provided in the House-passed FY2010-FY2011 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 2410, Section 841). Finally, as the Obama Administration conducts an overall assessment of foreign assistance, including security assistance, some Members may wish to examine the status of Section 1206 in the context of broader security assistance reform. 

In its FY2011 budget request, the Obama Administration indicates that it seeks about $490 million in Section 1206 funding for FY2011, even though the authorized funding level is $350 million. The FY2011 National Defense Authorization Act, H.R. 5136, as passed by the House on May 28, 2010, would raise the authorized funding limit to $500 million and extend the authority, currently set to expire in FY2011, through FY2012.



Date of Report: June 21, 2010
Number of Pages: 40
Order Number: RS22855
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Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress


Ronald O'Rourke, Coordinator
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened 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 January 12, 2009, the George W. Bush Administration released a presidential directive, called National Security Presidential Directive 66/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 25 (NSPD 66/HSPD 25), establishing a new U.S. policy for the Arctic region.

Record low extent of Arctic sea ice in 2007 focused scientific and policy attention on its linkage to global climate change, and to the implications of projected ice-free seasons in the Arctic within decades. The Arctic has been projected by several scientists to be perennially ice-free in the late summer by the late 2030s.

The five Arctic coastal states—the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, and Denmark (of which Greenland is a territory)—are in the process of preparing Arctic territorial claims for submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The Russian claim to the enormous underwater Lomonosov Ridge, if accepted, would reportedly grant Russia nearly onehalf of the Arctic area. There are also four other unresolved Arctic territorial disputes.

The diminishment of Arctic ice could lead in the coming years to increased commercial shipping on two trans-Arctic sea routes. Current international guidelines for ships operating in Arctic waters are being updated, with a targeted completion date of 2010.

Changes to the Arctic brought about by warming temperatures will likely allow more exploration for oil, gas, and minerals. Warming that causes permafrost to melt could pose challenges to onshore exploration activities. Increased oil and gas exploration and tourism (cruise ships) in the Arctic increase the risk of pollution in the region. Cleaning up oil spills in ice-covered waters will be more difficult than in other areas, primarily because effective strategies have yet to be developed.

Large commercial fisheries exist in the Arctic. The United States is currently meeting with other countries regarding the management of Arctic fish stocks. Changes in the Arctic could affect threatened and endangered species. Under the Endangered Species Act, the polar bear was listed as threatened on May 15, 2008. Arctic climate change is also expected to affect the economies, subsistence, health, population, societies, and cultures of Arctic indigenous peoples.

Two of the Coast Guard's three polar icebreakers—Polar Star and Polar Sea—have exceeded their intended 30-year service lives. 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. The possibility of increased sea traffic through Arctic waters also raises an issue concerning Arctic search and rescue capabilities.

The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. Although there is significant international cooperation on Arctic issues, the Arctic is also increasingly being viewed by some observers as a potential emerging security issue. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region.


Date of Report: June 23, 2010
Number of Pages: 66
Order Number: R41153
Price: $29.95

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Intelligence Reform After Five Years: The Role of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI)


Richard A. Best Jr.
Specialist in National Defense

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458) was the most significant legislation affecting the U.S. intelligence community since the National Security Act of 1947. Enacted in the wake of the 9/11 Commission's final report, the 2004 act attempted to ensure closer coordination among intelligence agencies especially in regard to counterterrorism efforts. Most notably, the Intelligence Reform Act established the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with more extensive authorities to coordinate the nation's intelligence effort than those formerly possessed by Directors of Central Intelligence. The DNI speaks for U.S. intelligence, he briefs the President, has authority to develop the budget for the national intelligence effort and manage appropriations made by Congress, and, to some extent, can transfer personnel and funds from one agency to another. The Office of the DNI (ODNI), a staff of some 1,600 officials along with additional contract personnel, works to carry out the DNI's responsibilities.

Observers are divided over the success of the DNI position and the ODNI. Three DNIs have been successively appointed and confirmed; none served more than two years. A number of innovations have been undertaken in the intelligence community to encourage coordination and information sharing. However, some observers remain skeptical of the need for a DNI or ODNI. A widespread perception is that coordinative mechanisms and authorities as currently established are inadequate to the goal of creating a more flexible and agile intelligence effort. Still others see cooperative efforts in the intelligence community as a test-case of the extent to which independent federal agencies can work closely together without being merged under a single leader.

Congress has monitored the work of DNIs and the ODNI, but oversight has thus far been largely informal, given the absence of enacted intelligence authorization legislation since 2004, shortly after passage of the Intelligence Reform Act. Some outside observers would repeal the act, but there appears to be little enthusiasm among Members to undo a major piece of legislation and return to the status quo ante. On the other hand, there appears to be limited sympathy for creating a "Department of Intelligence," directly managed by one official.

The roles of the DNI and the ODNI are likely to form the backdrop for congressional consideration of intelligence authorization legislation for FY2010 (H.R. 2701 and S. 1494) and for FY2011. In addition, confirmation hearings for General James R. Clapper, Jr., nominated by President Obama on June 7, 2010, to serve as the fourth DNI, are likely to include consideration of the responsibilities of the position.

Additional information on issues related to the DNI and the ODNI can be found in CRS Report RL33539, Intelligence Issues for Congress, by Richard A. Best Jr.; CRS Report RL34231, Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals, by Richard A. Best Jr. and Alfred Cumming; and CRS Report R41284, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Acquisition: Issues for Congress, by Richard A. Best Jr.


Date of Report: June 22, 2010
Number of Pages: 14
Order Number:R41295
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources


Julissa Gomez-Granger
Information Research Specialist

Anne Leland
Information Research Specialist

This guide provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It includes contact information for military history centers, websites for additional sources of research, and a bibliography of other publications.

Date of Report: June 15, 2010
Number of Pages: 11
Order Number: RS21282
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Friday, June 25, 2010

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 seven 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: June 18, 2010
Number of Pages: 28
Order Number: R41219
Price: $29.95

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

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

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

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
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Date of Report: June 18, 2010
Number of Pages: 40
Order Number: R41129
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Organized Retail Crime


Kristin M. Finklea
Analyst in Domestic Security


Organized retail crime (ORC) involves the large-scale theft of everyday consumer items and potentially has much broader implications. Organized groups of professional shoplifters, or "boosters," steal or fraudulently obtain merchandise that is then sold, or "fenced," to individuals and retailers through a variety of venues. In an increasingly globalized society, more and more transactions take place online rather than face-to-face. As such, in addition to relying on physical resale markets, organized retail thieves have turned to online marketplaces as means to fence their ill-gotten goods.

ORC exposes the United States to costs and harms in the economic, public health, and domestic security arenas. The exact loss from ORC to the retail industry is unknown, but an often-cited estimate of this loss is $15 billion to $30 billion annually. The economic impact, however, extends beyond the manufacturing and retail industry and includes costs incurred by consumers and taxes lost by the states. The theft and resale of stolen consumable or health and beauty products such as infant formula (that may have been repackaged, relabeled, and subjected to altered expiration dates) poses potential safety concerns for individuals purchasing such goods from ORC fences. In addition, some industry experts and policy makers have expressed concern about the possibility that proceeds from ORC may be used to fund terrorist activities.

Current efforts to combat ORC largely come from retailers, online marketplaces, and law enforcement alike. Retailers responding to the 2008 National Retail Security Survey spent an average of 0.34% of their annual sales on loss prevention measures. These loss prevention costs are ultimately born by the consumers in the form of higher prices on goods. Also, online marketplaces report taking various measures to combat the sale of stolen and fraudulently obtained goods on their websites, including educating sellers and consumers, monitoring suspicious activity, and partnering with retailers and law enforcement. Combating retail theft has traditionally been handled by state law enforcement under state criminal laws. Some, however, have begun to question whether state laws—which vary in the quantity of monetary losses that constitute major theft—are adequate to combat ORC.

While many agree that ORC is a national problem, there is debate over the federal government's role in deterring ORC and sanctioning various actors that may be involved in committing or aiding these crimes. One policy issue facing Congress is whether criminalizing organized retail crime in the U.S. Code would allow for more effective investigation and prosecution of these criminals. Congress may also wish to consider whether regulating resale marketplaces (online markets, in particular), to require such entities to increase information sharing with retailers and law enforcement, would strengthen investigations and prosecutions of ORC as well as decrease the prevalence of retail thieves relying on legitimate online marketplaces to fence stolen goods. Several pieces of legislation have been introduced in the 111th Congress that would address these issues.



Date of Report: June 16, 2010
Number of Pages: 29
Order Number: R41118
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Nunn-McCurdy Act: Background, Analysis, and Issues for Congress


Moshe Schwartz
Specialist in Defense Acquisition


On September 8, 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Department of Defense (DOD) Authorization Act, 1983 (P.L. 97-252), which included what has come to be known as the Nunn-McCurdy Act (10 U.S.C. § 2433). The Nunn-McCurdy Act requires DOD to report to Congress whenever a major defense acquisition program experiences cost overruns that exceed certain thresholds. The purpose of the act was to help control cost growth in major defense systems by holding the appropriate Pentagon officials and defense contractors publicly accountable and responsible for managing costs.

A program that experiences cost growth exceeding any of the established thresholds is said to have a Nunn-McCurdy breach. There are two types of breaches: significant breaches and critical breaches. A "significant" breach is when the Program Acquisition Unit Cost (the total cost of development, procurement, and construction divided by the number of units procured) or the Procurement Unit Cost (the total procurement cost divided by the number of units to be procured) increases 15% or more over the current baseline estimate or 30% or more over the original baseline estimate. A "critical" breach occurs when the program acquisition or the procurement unit cost increases 25% or more over the current baseline estimate or 50% or more over the original baseline estimate.

The Nunn-McCurdy Act has been statutorily amended a number of times over the years. One of the most significant changes to the reporting requirements occurred in the FY2006 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 109-163), when Congress added the original baseline estimate as a threshold against which to measure cost growth. The new standard prevents DOD from avoiding a Nunn-McCurdy breach by simply re-baselining a program. Another significant change occurred in the FY2009 Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act (P.L. 111-23), when Congress enacted a requirement that programs with critical breaches should be presumed terminated unless the Secretary of Defense certifies the program. For programs that are certified, DOD must (1) revoke the prior milestone approval, (2) restructure the program, and (3) provide Congress a written explanation of the root-cause of the cost growth. These changes were fueled in part over Congressional concern that programs with chronic cost growth and schedule delays were not being terminated and Congress was not being provided specific information explaining what caused the cost growth.

Some analysts believe that the Nunn-McCurdy Act has been effective as a reporting mechanism for informing Congress of cost overruns in major acquisition programs. As a result of the Nunn- McCurdy process, Congress has increased its visibility into the cost performance of the acquisition stage of MDAPs. However, some analysts suggest that Nunn-McCurdy is not a sufficiently comprehensive reporting mechanism because program managers can sometimes take steps to avoid a breach and because Nunn-McCurdy does not apply to all elements of a weapon system's life-cycle costs, such as its operations, support, or disposal costs.



Date of Report: June 21, 2010
Number of Pages: 32
Order Number: R41293
Price: $29.95

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Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC) Programs


Umar Moulta-Ali
Presidential Management Fellow

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC)— administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) respectively—are two of the largest federal disability programs, but strongly differ along several dimensions, including the populations served, how each program defines a "disability," as well as varying eligibility requirements.

First, SSDI is an insurance program that replaces a portion of earnings for an eligible worker whose illness or injury—while not necessarily caused by a work-related incident—results in an inability to work. SSDI is one of several federal programs funded through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll tax and the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) tax to which all workers and employers in covered occupations (including military personnel) and selfemployed individuals make contributions. On the other hand, VDC is not insurance, but is a compensation program in that payments are made to veterans who develop medical conditions that are related to their service in the military. VDC is non-contributory and neither veterans nor active military personnel pay into the program, which is funded through a mandatory appropriation as part of the VA annual budget.

Second, while the purpose of both SSDI and VDC is to provide income security, SSDI provides a financial "safety-net" to eligible civilian and military workers due to their inability to work as a result of long-term or terminal injury or illness. Conversely, VDC provides veterans with tax-free, cash benefits specifically for service-connected illnesses or injuries. The ability to work is not factored into VDC disability determinations, although additional compensation is available for veterans who are unemployable as the result of a service-connected condition(s).

Third, SSDI only compensates workers that are fully disabled, whereas VDC compensates veterans for both partial and fully disabling injuries and illnesses. The VA is further guided by a principle that views disability compensation as an obligation, owed to veterans, for injuries impacting employment that were incurred or aggravated by their service to the country. SSDI benefits are granted solely on medical and economic grounds and other noneconomic factors are not considered. Eligibility requirements generally tend to be more stringent for SSDI than VDC, and most veterans will not likely meet the criteria for both programs.

Both SSA and the VA have faced challenges in the administration of benefits and have been criticized for a lack of interagency coordination, processes that are "out-of-sync" with modern conceptions of disability, and extensive processing delays for claims and appeals. These are a few issues which led, in part, to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation and determination of federal disability programs as "high risk." Both agencies have made efforts to address issues surrounding pending claims and appeals, but differ in their responses to other recommendations.

This report provides a description and comparative analysis of the SSDI and VDC programs. These issues will be of particular interest to Congress because of the expected increase in the numbers of SSDI and VDC claims. The recent economic decline and aging baby-boomers have continued to place a strain on SSA's resources. The aging of the veteran population and expansion of presumptive conditions policies have contributed to the increase in VDC claims.


Date of Report: June 17, 2010
Number of Pages: 23
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Securing America’s Borders: The Role of the Military

R. Chuck Mason
Legislative Attorney

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is charged with preventing the entry of terrorists, securing the borders, and carrying out immigration enforcement functions. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of DHS, has primary responsibility for securing the borders of the United States, preventing terrorists and their weapons from entering the United States, and enforcing hundreds of U.S. trade and immigration laws. Within CBP, the U.S. Border Patrol's mission is to detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens across the nearly 7,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian international borders and 2,000 miles of coastal borders surrounding Florida and Puerto Rico. 

Although the military does not have primary responsibility to secure the borders, the Armed Forces generally provide support to law enforcement and immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in criminal activity and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border region. On May 25, 2010, President Obama announced that up to 1,200 National Guard troops would be sent to the border to support the Border Patrol. Addressing domestic laws and activities with the military, however, might run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA), which prohibits use of the Armed Forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement unless explicitly authorized. There are alternative legal authorities for deploying the National Guard, and the precise scope of permitted activities and funds may vary with the authority exercised. 

In the 111th Congress, various types of legislation have been introduced, including S. 3332 and H.R. 4321, which, if enacted, would authorize the utilization of National Guard troops along the southern border. Additionally, H.Con.Res. 273 expresses the sense of Congress that the escalating violence along the southern border is a national threat and that National Guard troops should be deployed to the border.


Date of Report: June 16, 2010
Number of Pages: 10
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Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicles: Background and Issues for Congress

Andrew Feickert
Specialist in Military Ground Forces

In late 2007, the Department of Defense (DOD) launched a major procurement initiative to replace most up-armored High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) in Iraq with Mine- Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles by FY2009. MRAPs have been described as providing significantly more protection against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) than uparmored HMMWVs. Currently, DOD has approved an acquisition of objective of 25,700 vehicles, of which 8,100 are the newer Military-All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) version designed to meet the challenges of Afghanistan's rugged terrain. DOD officials have indicated that this total may be increased depending upon the operational needs in Afghanistan. 

Through FY2010, Congress appropriated $34.95 billion for all versions of the MRAP. In March 2010, DOD reprogrammed an additional $3.9 billion from the Overseas Contingency Operations fund to MRAP procurement. Both the House and Senate have now approved an additional $1.2 billion for MRAP procurement included in the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 4899). The full FY2011 DOD budget request of $3.4 billion for the MRAP Vehicle Fund has been authorized by the House (H.R. 5136). The Senate Armed Services Committee has recommended approval of DOD's request, though floor action has not yet occurred. The DOD budget request remains under consideration by both House and Senate Appropriations Committees. 

Among potential issues for congressional consideration are the disposition of MRAPs among active forces, pre-positioned stocks, and U.S. allies; adequacy of logistical support; rate of vehicle production from a sole source; and contract oversight.


Date of Report: June 7, 2010
Number of Pages: 8
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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Defense Base Act (DBA): The Federally Mandated Workers’ Compensation System for Overseas Government Contractors


Valerie Bailey Grasso
Specialist in Defense Acquisition

Baird Webel
Specialist in Financial Economics

Scott Szymendera
Analyst in Disability Policy


Many overseas federal contractors are covered by the Defense Base Act (DBA), which mandates that they provide workers' compensation insurance for their employees. As the U.S. military has increased operations in Iraq, the size of the DBA program has grown. Since September 2001, there have been 49,472 DBA cases, including 1,584 cases involving the deaths of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly $200 million in cash and medical benefits were paid to DBA claimants in 2008.

Congress has become increasingly concerned with the costs involved in the DBA program because the federal government usually reimburses its contractors for their DBA premiums. The Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have seen some cost savings since adopting single-source models for their DBA insurance in which contractors for each agency are required to purchase insurance from a single company selected by the agency. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is currently testing such a model for its DBA system. For the rest of the Department of Defense (DOD), however, including the Army's large Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract, individual contractors are free to select their own DBA insurers and negotiate their own rates, and one contractor, KBR, has been criticized by DOD auditors for failing to demonstrate that it sought to control DBA premium costs when selecting an insurer.

Although not directly related to the Defense Base Act, Congress has expressed concern over negligent contractor behavior that may jeopardize the health and safety of both contractors and government personnel. Accordingly, H.R. 5136, the proposed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, includes a provision that requires the Secretary of Defense to report to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, by September 1, 2011, on incidents where contractors have earned reduced award fees or been denied award fees because of incidents where the contractor jeopardized the health or safety of government personnel. P.L. 111-84, the NDAA for FY2010, authorizes the Secretary of Defense to reduce or deny award fees due to such incidents, as defined in Section 823 of P.L. 111-84.

The NDAA for FY2009 (P.L. 110-417) includes a provision that requires DOD to change the way its contractors provide DBA coverage for their workers. In a report issued pursuant to this legislation, DOD concluded that making improvements to the current open-market DBA insurance system would best meet the criteria for reform recommended by Congress and the agency. The report also found advantages that could result from having the federal government self-insure, with third-party administration, for DBA costs. However, there may be limitations to the utility of this report as a guide for Congress in making overall changes to the DBA program.

This report provides an overview of the DBA and the systems used to provide DBA insurance at DOS, USAID, DOD, and USACE. Also included are criticisms of the current DOD DBA policy raised by GAO and Army auditors as well as responses to those criticisms by DOD and USACE. The report concludes with a discussion of several DBA reform options suggested by the House of Representatives in recent legislation and analyzed by DOD. A list of acronyms used in this report is provided in the Appendix
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Date of Report: June 2, 2010
Number of Pages: 33
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Navy CG(X) Cruiser Program: Background forCongress


Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


The Navy's FY2011 budget proposes canceling the CG(X) program as unaffordable and instead building an improved version of the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class Aegis destroyer called the Flight III version. This report provides background information on the CG(X) program as it existed prior to its proposed cancellation. For further discussion of the proposal to build Flight III DDG-51s in lieu of CG(X)s, see CRS Report RL32109, Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.


Date of Report: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 35
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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: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 63
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Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress


Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The basic version of the LCS, without any mission packages, is referred to as the LCS sea frame.

The Navy wants to field a force of 55 LCSs. The first two (LCS-1 and LCS-2) were procured in FY2005 and FY2006 and were commissioned into service on November 8, 2008, and January 16, 2010. Another two (LCS-3 and LCS-4) were procured in FY2009 and are under construction. Two more (LCS-5 and LCS-6) were procured in FY2010.

The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring 17 more LCSs in annual quantities of 2, 3, 4, 4, and 4. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget requests $1,231.0 million in procurement funding for the two LCSs that the Navy wants to procure in FY2011, and $278.4 million in FY2011 advance procurement funding for the 11 LCSs that the Navy wants to procure in FY2012-FY2014. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget also requests procurement funding to procure LCS mission packages, LCS module weapons, and research and development funding for the LCS program.

There are currently two very different LCS designs—one developed and produced by an industry team led by Lockheed, and another developed and produced by an industry team led by General Dynamics. LCS-1 and LCS-3 use the Lockheed design; LCS-2 and LCS-4 use the General Dynamics design.

On September 16, 2009, the Navy announced a proposed new LCS acquisition strategy. Under the strategy, the Navy would hold a competition to pick a single design to which all LCSs procured in FY2010 and subsequent years would be built. (The process of selecting the single design for all future production is called a down select.) The winner of the down select would be awarded a contract to build 10 LCSs over the five-year period FY2010-FY2014, at a rate of two ships per year. The Navy would then hold a second competition—open to all bidders other than the shipyard building the 10 LCSs in FY2010-FY2014—to select a second shipyard to build up to five additional LCSs to the same design in FY2012-FY2014 (one ship in FY2012, and two ships per year in FY2013-FY2014). These two shipyards would then compete for contracts to build LCSs procured in FY2015 and subsequent years.

Section 121(a) and (b) of the FY2010 defense authorization act (H.R. 2647/P.L. 111-84 of October 28, 2009) grant the Navy contracting and other authority needed to implement this new LCS acquisition strategy.

The Navy plans to make the down select decision and award the contract to build the 10 LCSs sometime this summer.

FY2011 issues for Congress include whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's request for FY2011 procurement and advance procurement funding for the LCS program, and whether to provide any additional direction to the Navy regarding LCS acquisition strategy.



Date of Report: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 58
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Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress


Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


All of the Navy's aircraft carriers, but none of its other surface ships, are nuclear-powered. Some Members of Congress, particularly on the House Armed Services Committee, have expressed interest in expanding the use of nuclear power to a wider array of Navy surface ships, starting with the CG(X), a planned new cruiser that the Navy had wanted to start procuring around FY2017. Section 1012 of the FY2008 Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4986/P.L. 110-181 of January 28, 2008) makes it U.S. policy to construct the major combatant ships of the Navy, including ships like the CG(X), with integrated nuclear power systems, unless the Secretary of Defense submits a notification to Congress that the inclusion of an integrated nuclear power system in a given class of ship is not in the national interest.

The Navy studied nuclear power as a design option for the CG(X), but did not announce whether it would prefer to build the CG(X) as a nuclear-powered ship. The Navy's FY2011 budget proposes canceling the CG(X) program and instead building an improved version of the conventionally powered Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class Aegis destroyer. The cancellation of the CG(X) program would appear to leave no near-term shipbuilding program opportunities for expanding the application of nuclear power to Navy surface ships other than aircraft carriers.

A 2006 Navy study on the potential for applying nuclear-power to Navy surface ships other than aircraft carriers concluded the following, among other things:

• In constant FY2007 dollars, building a Navy surface combatant or amphibious ship with nuclear power rather than conventional power would add roughly $600 million to $800 million to its procurement cost.

• The total life-cycle cost of a nuclear-powered medium-size surface combatant would equal that of a conventionally powered medium-size surface combatant if the cost of crude oil averages $70 per barrel to $225 per barrel over the life of the ship.

• Nuclear-power should be considered for near-term applications for medium-size surface combatants.

• Compared to conventionally powered ships, nuclear-powered ships have advantages in terms of both time needed to surge to a distant theater of operation for a contingency, and in terms of operational presence (time on station) in the theater of operation. 



Date of Report: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 33
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Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress


Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Until April 2007, the Coast Guard pursued these programs as a single, integrated acquisition program that was known as the Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) program or Deepwater program for short. The now-separated Deepwater acquisition programs include plans for, among other things, 91 new cutters, 124 new small boats, and 247 new or modernized airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The year 2007 was a watershed year for Deepwater acquisition. The management and execution of what was then the single, integrated Deepwater program was strongly criticized by various observers. House and Senate committees held several oversight hearings on the program. Bills were introduced to restructure or reform the program in various ways. Coast Guard and industry officials acknowledged certain problems in the program's management and execution and defended the program's management and execution in other respects. The Coast Guard announced a number of reform actions that significantly altered the service's approach to Deepwater acquisition (and to Coast Guard acquisition in general). Among these was the change from a single, integrated Deepwater acquisition program to a collection of separate Deepwater acquisition programs.

The Coast Guard's management of Deepwater acquisition programs, including implementation of recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), is a topic of continuing congressional oversight. Additional oversight issues include cost growth in Deepwater acquisition programs and the execution of individual Deepwater acquisition efforts, particularly those for surface ships.

The Coast Guard's proposed FY2011 budget requests $1,112.5 million in acquisition funding for Deepwater programs, including $101.0 million for aircraft, $856.0 million for surface ships and boats, and $155.5 million for other items.


Date of Report: May 28, 2010
Number of Pages: 45
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U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress


Mary Beth Nikitin
Analyst in Nonproliferation

The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. The agreement was withdrawn from congressional consideration by President George W. Bush on September 8, 2008, in response to Russia's military actions in Georgia. President Obama transmitted the proposed text of the agreement to Congress on May 10, 2010, along with the required Nuclear Proliferation Assessment (NPAS) and his determination that the agreement promotes U.S. national security. Congress has 30 days of continuous session for consultations with the administration, followed by an additional 60 days of continuous session to review the agreement. If not opposed by a joint resolution of disapproval or other legislation, then the agreement will be considered approved at the end of this time period.

This report discusses key policy issues related to the agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russian policies toward Iran. These issues were also relevant to the debate when the agreement was being considered in the 110th Congress.


Date of Report: May 28, 2010
Number of Pages: 15
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Friday, June 18, 2010

The Army’s M-4 Carbine: Background and Issues for Congress

Andrew Feickert
Specialist in Military Ground Forces

The M-4 carbine is the Army's primary individual combat weapon for infantry units. While there have been concerns raised by some about the M-4's reliability and lethality, some studies suggest that the M-4 is performing well and is viewed favorably by users. The Army is undertaking both the M4 Carbine Improvement Program and the Individual Carbine Competition, the former to identify ways to improve the current weapon, and the latter to conduct an open competition among small arms manufacturers for a follow-on weapon. An integrated product team comprising representatives from the Infantry Center; the Armament, Research, Development, and Engineering Center; the Program Executive Office Soldier; and each of the armed services will assess proposed improvements to the M4. The proposal for the industry-wide competition is currently before the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and with the anticipated approval, solicitation for industry submissions could begin this fall. It is expected, however, that a selection for a follow-on weapon will not occur before FY2013, and that fielding of a new weapon would take an additional three to four years.


Date of Report: June 8, 2010
Number of Pages: 12
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Intelligence Issues for Congress

Richard A. Best Jr.
Specialist in National Defense


To address the challenges facing the U.S. intelligence community in the 21st century, congressional and executive branch initiatives have sought to improve coordination among the different agencies and to encourage better analysis. In December 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. 108-458) was signed, providing for a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with substantial authorities to manage the national intelligence effort. The legislation also established a separate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Making cooperation effective presents substantial leadership and managerial challenges. The needs of intelligence "consumers"—ranging from the White House to Cabinet agencies to military commanders—must all be met, using the same systems and personnel. Intelligence collection systems are expensive and some critics suggest there have been elements of waste and unneeded duplication of effort while some intelligence "targets" have been neglected. 

The DNI has substantial statutory authorities to address these issues, but the organizational relationships remain complex, especially for Defense Department agencies. Members of Congress will be seeking to observe the extent to which effective coordination is accomplished. 

International terrorism, a major threat facing the United States in the 21st century, presents a difficult analytical challenge, vividly demonstrated by the attempted bombing of a commercial aircraft approaching Detroit on December 25, 2009. Counterterrorism requires the close coordination of intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but there remain many institutional and procedural issues that complicate cooperation between the two sets of agencies. 

Techniques for acquiring and analyzing information on small groups of plotters differ significantly from those used to evaluate the military capabilities of other countries. U.S. intelligence efforts are complicated by unfilled requirements for foreign language expertise. Whether all terrorist surveillance efforts have been consistent with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) has been a matter of controversy. 

Intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was inaccurate and Members have criticized the performance of the intelligence community in regard to current conditions in Iraq, Iran, and other areas. Improved analysis, while difficult to mandate, remains a key goal. Better human intelligence, it is widely agreed, is also essential. 

Intelligence support to military operations continues to be a major responsibility of intelligence agencies. The use of precision guided munitions depends on accurate, real-time targeting data; integrating intelligence data into military operations challenges traditional organizational relationships and requires innovative technological approaches. Stability operations now underway in Afghanistan may require very different sets of intelligence skills. 
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Date of Report: June 11, 2010
Number of Pages: 28
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Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. 

The Navy's FY2011 budget submission retains, for the time being at least, the goal of achieving and maintaining a 313-ship fleet that the Navy first presented to Congress in February 2006. Although the 313-ship goal remains in place, some elements of Navy ship force planning that have emerged since 2006 appear to diverge from elements of the 313-ship plan. The Navy's report on its FY2011 30-year (FY2011-FY2040) shipbuilding plan refers to a forthcoming force structure assessment (FSA). Such an assessment could produce a replacement for the 313-ship plan. It is not clear when the FSA might be conducted, or when a replacement for the 313-ship plan might be issued. 

The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget requests funding for the procurement of nine new battle force ships (i.e., ships that count against the 313-ship goal). The nine ships include two attack submarines, two destroyers, two Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), one amphibious assault ship, one Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ship (i.e., a maritime prepositioning ship), and one Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). 

The Navy's five-year (FY2011-FY2015) shipbuilding plan includes a total of 50 new battle force ships, or an average of 10 per year. Of the 50 ships in the plan, half are relatively inexpensive LCSs or JHSVs. 

The Navy's FY2011 30-year (FY2011-FY2040) shipbuilding plan includes 276 ships. The plan does not include enough ships to fully support all elements of the 313-ship plan over the long run. The Navy projects that implementing the 30-year plan would result in a fleet that grows from 284 ships in FY2011 to 315 ships in FY2020, reaches a peak of 320 ships in FY2024, drops below 313 ships in FY2027, declines to 288 ships in FY2032-FY2033, and then increases to 301 ships in FY2039-FY2040. The Navy projects that the attack submarine and cruiser-destroyer forces will drop substantially below required levels in the latter years of the 30-year plan. 

The Navy estimates that executing the 30-year shipbuilding plan would require an average of $15.9 billion per year in constant FY2010 dollars. A May 2010 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that the plan would require an average of $19.0 billion per year in constant FY2010 dollars, or about 19% more than the Navy estimates. The CBO report states: "If the Navy receives the same amount of funding for ship construction in the next 30 years as it has over the past three decades—an average of about $15 billion a year in 2010 dollars—it will not be able to afford all of the purchases in the 2011 plan." 
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Date of Report: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 29
Order Number: RL32665
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Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress


Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) at a rate of one per year for the past several years, and a total of 12 boats have been procured through FY2011. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget increases the procurement rate to two boats per year. The eight boats to be procured in the five-year period FY2009-FY2013 (boats 11 through 18) are being procured under a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement.

The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget requests $3,441.5 million in procurement funding to complete the procurement cost of the 13th and 14th Virginia-class boats. The FY2011 budget estimates the combined procurement cost of these two boats at $5,344.4 million, and the boats have received a total of $1,903.0 million in prior-year advance procurement (AP) and Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) funding. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget also requests $1,436.8 million in AP funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years, and $254.4 million in Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) purchases of long-leadtime items for Virginia-class boats to be procured under the FY2009-FY2013 MYP arrangement. 
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Date of Report: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 26
Order Number: RL32418
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Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress


Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The FY2010 budget that the Navy submitted to Congress last year proposed ending procurement of Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyers at three ships and resuming procurement of Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class Aegis destroyers. Congress, as part of its action on the FY2010 defense budget, supported this proposal: the FY2010 budget funded the procurement of one DDG-51 (the first to be procured since FY2005), provided advance procurement funding for two DDG-51s the Navy wants to procure in FY2011, completed the procurement funding for the third DDG-1000 (which was authorized but only partially funded in FY2009), and provided no funding for procuring additional DDG-1000s.

The Navy's FY2011 budget submission calls for procuring two DDG-51s in FY2011 and six more in FY2012-FY2015. The two DDG-51s that the Navy wants to procure in FY2011 received $577.2 million in FY2010 advance procurement funding. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget requests another $2,922.2 million in procurement funding for the two ships, so as to complete their estimated combined procurement cost of $3,499.2 million. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget also requests $48.0 million in advance procurement funding for the one DDG-51 that the Navy wants to procure in FY2012, and $186.3 million in procurement funding for DDG-1000 program-completion costs.

The Navy's FY2011 budget also proposes terminating the Navy's planned CG(X) cruiser program as unaffordable. Rather than starting to procure CG(X)s around FY2017, as the Navy had previously envisaged, the Navy is proposing to build an improved version of the DDG-51, called the Flight III version, starting in FY2016. Navy plans thus call for procuring the current version of the DDG-51, called the Flight IIA version, in FY2010-FY2015, followed by procurement of Flight III DDG-51s starting in FY2016. Navy plans call for procuring 24 Flight III DDG-51s between FY2016 and FY2031. Flight III DDG-51s are to carry a smaller version of the new Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) that was to be carried by the CG(X). The Navy's proposed

FY2011 budget requests $228.4 million in research and development funding for the AMDR. Detailed design work on the Flight III DDG-51 reportedly is to begin in FY2012 or FY2013. FY2011 issues for Congress include the following:

• whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's proposal to develop the Flight III DDG-51 design and start procuring it in FY2016;

• the potential impact on the DDG-1000 program of DOD's determination that the program has experienced a critical cost breach under the Nunn-McCurdy provision;

• whether to use multiyear procurement (MYP) for Flight IIA DDG-51s that the Navy wants to procure in FY2011-FY2015; and

• whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's FY2011 funding request for procurement of Flight IIA DDG-51s, for DDG-1000 program-completion costs, and for research and development on the AMDR.


Date of Report: June 14, 2010
Number of Pages: 35
Order Number: RL32109
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Federal Crime Control Issues in the 111th Congress

Kristin M. Finklea
Analyst in Domestic Security


States and localities have traditionally been responsible for preventing and controlling domestic crime. As crime rates continued to increase throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the federal government increased its involvement in crime control efforts. Over a period of 10 years (1984- 1994), Congress passed five major anti-crime bills and increased appropriations for federal assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, federal law enforcement efforts have been focused on countering terrorism and maintaining homeland security. Amid these efforts, however, Congress continues to address many traditional crimerelated issues. 

After peaking in the early 1990s, violent and property crime rates have generally tended to decrease. Despite this decline, policy makers have remained concerned with combating the various types of crime that still exist around the country. 

This report aggregates various issues surrounding federal crime control into five broad themes: violent crime control, combating fraud and theft, drug control, sentencing reform, and state and local justice assistance. Within these themes, the report examines more specific issues confronting the 111th Congress. Issues discussed under the umbrella of violent crime control include hate crimes, gangs, and gun control. Issues related to the federal government's efforts to combat fraud and theft include identity theft and organized retail crime. Selected drug control issues discussed include methamphetamine control and drug trafficking. Congress may also consider sentencing reform issues such as the disparities in crack and powder cocaine sentencing as well as early prison release. With respect to state and local justice assistance, issues regarding the adequacy of federal assistance grants to state and local law enforcement—via the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program—and the creation of a new witness protection grant program as well as juvenile justice are discussed.



Date of Report: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 20
Order Number: R40812
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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, page 870) stated 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." 

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. 

Section 2201(c)(4) of the FY2011 defense authorization bill (H.R. 5136) as reported by the House Armed Services Committee (H.Rept. 111-491 of May 21, 2010) states: "None of the funds appropriated pursuant to this authorization of appropriations may be used for architectural and engineering services and construction design of any military construction project necessary to establish a homeport for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at Naval Station Mayport, Florida." H.Rept. 111-491 includes report language requiring the Navy and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to submit reports concerning the costs and maintenance impacts of homeporting a CVN at Mayport. 

The FY2011 defense authorization bill (S. 3454) as reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee (S.Rept. 111-201 of June 4, 2010) does not contain a provision similar to Section 2201(c)(4) of H.R. 5136 as reported by the House Armed Services Committee. S.Rept. 111-201 does not discuss the issue of homeporting a CVN at Mayport.


Date of Report: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 57
Order Number: R40248
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Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Acquisition: Issues for Congress

Richard A. Best Jr.
Specialist in National Defense


Increasing calls for intelligence support and continuing innovations in intelligence technologies combine to create significant challenges for both the Executive and Legislative Branches. Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems are integral components of both national policymaking and military operations, including counterterrorism operations, but they are costly and complicated and they must be linked in order to provide users with a comprehensive understanding of issues based on information from all sources. Relationships among organizations responsible for designing, acquiring, and operating these systems are also complicated as are oversight arrangements in Congress. These complications have meant that even though many effective systems have been fielded, there have also been lengthy delays and massive cost overruns. Uncertainties about the long-term acquisition plans for ISR systems persist even as pressures continue for increasing the availability of ISR systems in current and future military operations and for national policymaking. 

These challenges have been widely recognized. A number of independent assessments have urged development of "architectures" or roadmaps setting forth agreed-upon plans for requirements and acquisition and deployment schedules. Most observers would agree that such a document would be highly desirable, but there are significant reasons why developing such an architecture and gaining an enduring consensus remain problematical. First, ISR technologies are not static; whereas it is possible to plan for aircraft, ships or tanks that can be used for decades, it is doubtful that today's inventory of satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, and manned aircraft will still be the right mix a few years hence. Some believe that a "cast-in-concrete" plan would inhibit the ability to take advantage of new technologies or techniques as they emerge. Secondly, achieving consensus on such a plan would be greatly affected by the separate priorities of different parts of the Intelligence Community, the Defense Department, and Washington policymakers. The needs of policymakers and military commanders are different and are usually reconciled only on a caseby- case basis. Furthermore, different congressional oversight committees may also have different perspectives on priorities and some may seek to emphasize funding for specific systems. 

The Director of National Intelligence could be given authority to reach across current organizational boundaries to define requirements and priorities. Some propose establishing a position for a separate "ISR Czar" to do this. Few observers believe that ISR programs could be carved out of the intelligence budget and/or the defense budget, and placed under the control of a single officer or lead agency. There is a strong likelihood that separate needs and concerns that effect the current systems will not disappear; even if one official has a new and expansive charter. Similar concerns would exist in regard to the jurisdictions of congressional oversight committees. 

A fundamental question is not whether a long-term plan can be agreed upon and implemented, or whether the current disparate bureaucratic arrangements can be transformed, but whether the conflicting priorities and budgetary realities can be at least recognized and addressed in approximately the same timeframe by all responsible officials. ISR systems can be viewed as providing a test case for the interagency cooperation that observers believe will be increasingly important throughout the Federal Government. 
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Date of Report: June 15, 2010
Number of Pages: 26
Order Number: R41284
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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: June 10, 2010
Number of Pages: 39
Order Number: R41129
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