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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gun Control Legislation

William J. Krouse
Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy


Congress has continued to debate the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition, with strong advocates arguing for and against greater gun control. Past legislative proposals have raised the following questions: What restrictions on firearms are permissible under the Constitution? Does gun control help reduce violent crime? Would household, street corner, and schoolyard disputes be less lethal if firearms were more difficult to acquire? Or, would more restrictive gun control policies diminish an individual's ability to defend himself? Speaking to these questions either in whole or part, on June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court issued its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller and found that the District of Columbia (DC) handgun ban violated an individual's right under the Second Amendment to possess lawfully a firearm in his home for self-defense. On June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court issued a related decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago and found that this individual right also applied to the states. In the 110th Congress, pro-gun Members of the House of Representatives, who were dissatisfied with the District's response to the Heller decision, passed a bill that would have further overturned provisions of the District's gun laws. In the 111th Congress, pro-gun Members of the Senate amended the DC voting rights bill (S. 160) with similar language and passed that bill. While attempts were made to end the impasse and revive the voting rights bill (see H.R. 157), these efforts were unsuccessful, as Members supporting DC voting rights were unwilling to risk passage of amendments that would have further overturned the District's gun laws. Pro-gun Members have introduced revised proposals to overturn DC gun laws (H.R. 5162/S. 3265). 

In the 111th Congress, Members also revisited several other gun control issues that were previously considered in the 110th Congress. For example, Senator Tom Coburn successfully amended the Credit CARD Act of 2009 (H.R. 627) with a provision that allows people to carry firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The House voted on the Coburn amendment as a separate measure and passed it. President Barack Obama signed H.R. 627 into law (P.L. 111-24). Senator Roger Wicker amended the FY2010 Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill (H.R. 3288) to authorize private persons to carry firearms in their checked luggage on Amtrak trains. H.R. 3288 became the vehicle for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, and the Wicker provision was included in this bill. President Obama signed H.R. 3288 into law (P.L. 111-117). In the 110th Congress, the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee approved a bill (S. 2969) that was amended to include a provision that would have revamped procedures by which veterans are adjudicated "mentally incompetent" and, thus, lose their firearms eligibility. In the 111th Congress, this committee reported a stand-alone bill that addresses this issue (S. 669). 

In addition, the Senate considered an amendment offered by Senator John Thune to the FY2010 Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390) to provide for "national reciprocity" between states regarding the concealed carry of firearms, but this amendment was narrowly defeated. The Senate passed amendments (S. 1132) to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA; P.L. 108- 277) that would clarify provisions that authorize qualified police officers to carry concealed firearms across state lines. The House Financial Services Committee reported a bill (H.R. 3045) that includes a provision to prohibit public housing authorities from barring tenants from possessing firearms, and approved another bill that includes a similar provision (H.R. 4868). The House passed a bill (H.R. 5827) that would allow a limited number of firearms to be exempted under federal bankruptcy law, and both chambers have passed versions of an FY2010 supplemental appropriations bill that would increase funding to combat Southwest border gun trafficking. Other salient gun control issues for Congress could include (1) denying firearms and explosives to persons watch-listed as known or suspected terrorists, (2) more strictly regulating certain long-range .50 caliber rifles and other firearms previously defined in statute as "assault weapons," and (3) requiring background checks for private firearm transfers at gun shows.



Date of Report: August 11, 2010
Number of Pages: 51
Order Number: RL32842
Price: $29.95

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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."



Date of Report: August 17, 2010
Number of Pages: 36
Order Number: RL32665
Price: $29.95

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations

Daniel H. Else
Specialist in National Defense

Christine Scott
Specialist in Social Policy

Sidath Viranga Panangala
Specialist in Veterans Policy


The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide. It capitalizes military family housing and the U.S. share of the NATO Security Investment Program, and finances the implementation of installation closures and realignments. It underwrites veterans benefit and health care programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides for the creation and maintenance of U.S. cemeteries and battlefield monuments within the United States and abroad, and supports the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Armed Forces Retirement Homes, and Arlington National Cemetery. The bill also funds construction supporting military operations overseas (known as Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO), a function previously carried out through emergency supplemental appropriations, and advance appropriations for veterans medical services. 

President Barack Obama submitted his request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 appropriations on February 1, 2010. For the appropriations accounts included in this bill, his request totaled $191.7 billion in new budget authority, divided into four major categories: Title I (military construction and family housing) at $18.7 billion; Title II (veterans affairs) at $171.4 billion; Title III (related agencies) at $283.8 million; and Title IV (a new category of funding for construction in support of active military operations overseas) at $1.3 billion. All told, the request comprised $20.0 billion in Department of Defense (DOD), $171.4 billion in veterans affairs, and $283.8 million in other agency funding. Of the total, $76.0 billion (39.6%) would be discretionary appropriations, with the remainder considered mandatory. 

Simultaneously, the President requested an emergency supplemental appropriation for FY2010 that contained $521.4 million for Army and Air Force construction in Afghanistan. 

The military construction funding amounts requested by the President and recommended by the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations have fallen off as building for the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) round has nearly reached completion. Funding support for military family housing construction has also declined as the military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force) continue their efforts to privatize formerly government-owned accommodations. 

In the area of non-medical benefits, the largest dollar increases in funding for the VA between FY2010 and FY2011 in the Administration request, the House Appropriations Committee recommendation (H.R. 5822) and the Senate Appropriations Committee recommendation (S. 3615) are for disability compensation and pension benefits, and readjustment benefits, where the largest component is for education benefits. 

The appropriations subcommittees in both chambers reported their versions of the bill (S. 3615) on July 14, 2010. The Senate introduced S. 3615 and placed it on the Legislative Calendar (Calendar No. 469) on July 19. The House introduced H.R. 5822 on July 22, took it up on July 28, and passed it with amendments. The Senate received H.R. 5822 on July 29 and placed it on the Legislative Calendar under General Orders (Calendar No. 494).



Date of Report: August 6, 2010
Number of Pages: 27
Order Number: R41345
Price: $29.95

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FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs

Amy Belasco, Coordinator
Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget

Daniel H. Else
Specialist in National Defense

Bruce R. Lindsay
Analyst in Emergency Management Policy

Rhoda Margesson
Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy

Kennon H. Nakamura
Analyst in Foreign Affairs

Maureen Taft-Morales
Specialist in Latin American Affairs

Curt Tarnoff
Specialist in Foreign Affairs


The Administration requested $64.3 billion in FY2010 supplemental appropriations: 

• $5.1 billion to replenish the U.S. Disaster Relief Fund administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); 

• $33 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) primarily for deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan; $4.5 billion in war-related foreign aid; and $2.8 billion for Haiti earthquake-related relief and reconstruction aid; 

• $243 million for activities related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; 

• $600 million for border security, and $129 million to reduce backlogs in patent requests; and 

• $13.4 billion to compensate veterans exposed to Agent Orange, and $3.4 billion to settle court cases about trust claims of American Indians (Cobell) and $1.2 billion for discrimination claims of black farmers (Pigford II). 

Much of the debate about this year's supplemental focused on the effect on the deficit of additional spending and, particularly, whether certain spending should be designated as emergency spending that Congress is not required to offset under congressional rules. Offsets can come from either rescissions, which cancel prior year budget authority (BA), and then apply that BA to new spending, thus reducing the amount of new budget authority required, or from savings in direct spending or mandatory programs. 

On March 24, 2010, the House passed H.R. 4899, the Disaster Relief and Summer Jobs Act, by a vote of 239 to 175, with $5.7 billion in funding, including $5.1 billion to replenish FEMA's Disaster Assistance Fund and $600 million for a Labor Department summer jobs program. Taking the bill's $600 million in offsetting rescissions into account, the bill required $5.1 billion in new budget authority (BA). A House Appropriations Committee (HAC) markup of an $84.8 billion draft bill with additional domestic spending scheduled for May 26, 2010, was cancelled. 

On May 27, the Senate passed its version of H.R. 4899 by a vote of 67-28, with $59.2 billion in funding for disaster assistance, war funding, Haiti relief, and new VA benefits, but without funding for the two court cases. Including its $380 million in rescissions, the Senate version required $58.8 billion in new budget authority. 

On July 1, 2010, the House passed an amended version of H.R. 4899 totaling $81.8 billion for disaster assistance, wars, Haiti relief, and new VA benefits, and additional domestic spending to prevent teacher layoffs, provide agricultural and energy loans, and Pell Grants, in discretionary spending and funding to settle the two court cases. With its $12.2 billion in rescissions and $4.5 billion in 10-year mandatory savings from lower government drug prices, this bill would have required $65.1 billion in new BA. On July 22, 2010, the Senate sent a message to the House disagreeing with the earlier version passed by the House on July 1, 2010. On July 27th, the House passed the Senate's May 27 version, which was signed by the President on July 29, 2010, and became P.L. 111-212. 

Part of the debate and timing of congressional action was driven by funding deadlines cited by the Department of Defense, FEMA, and the Coast Guard, some which proved to be somewhat flexible.



Date of Report: August 6, 2010
Number of Pages: 99
Order Number: R41232
Price: $29.95

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

William J. Krouse
Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with administering and enforcing federal laws related to the manufacture, importation, and distribution of firearms and explosives. Congress transferred ATF's enforcement and regulatory functions for firearms and explosives from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the Homeland Security Act (P.L. 107-296). ATF is also responsible for investigating arson cases with a federal nexus, as well as criminal violations of federal laws governing the manufacture, importation, and distribution of alcohol and tobacco. Congress authorized appropriations for ATF in the Department of Justice Authorization Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-162) for FY2006 through FY2009; however, to date the 111th Congress has not considered legislation to reauthorize annual appropriations for DOJ or ATF. 

For three fiscal years, FY2008 through FY2010, Congress has provided about $49 million in program increases to address firearms trafficking. About $43 million of this funding has been allocated to Project Gunrunner, an ATF initiative to reduce gun trafficking across the Southwest border, or other projects to assist the government of Mexico. In the 110th Congress, the House passed a bill (H.R. 6028) that would have authorized appropriations over three years, for FY2008 through FY2010, of $73.5 million to increase ATF resources dedicated to stemming illegal gun trafficking into Mexico. In the 111th Congress, bills with similar authorizations have been introduced (S. 205, H.R. 495, H.R. 1448, and H.R. 1867). 

For FY2011, the Administration has requested $1.163 billion for ATF, an increase of 3.8% over the agency's FY2010 appropriation ($1.121 billion). For Project Gunrunner, the request includes $11.8 million to annualize 37 positions that were previously funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5). It also includes $1.2 million to enable ATF to coordinate state and local law enforcement efforts in the event of a national emergency and, thus, fulfill the Attorney General's Emergency Support Function #13 obligations under the National Response Framework. The FY2011 request assumes $35.2 million and 46 FTE positions in base adjustments, less offsets and other reductions. The Senate Appropriations Committee has reported a bill that would match the FY2011 request (S. 3636). On August 10, 2010, the House passed a supplemental appropriation bill for border security, (H.R. 6080, now awaiting Senate action) with identical language to the Senate-passed version of H.R. 5875. H.R. 6080 would provide $37.5 million for ATF in supplemental FY2010 appropriations. 

In March 2010, the House Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing on the ATF FY2011 budget submission. Members of the subcommittee raised questions about gun trafficking on the Southwest border, regulatory backlogs, violent crime impact teams, and interagency coordination on gang violence. Congress has passed and the President has signed into law the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (P.L. 111-154). This act grants ATF greater authority to inspect the businesses and records of "cigarette deliverers." In addition, under the Mérida Initiative, ATF has recently released a Spanish language version of its firearms trace request software (e-Trace 4.0) to Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, and has established a U.S.-Mexico ballistic information exchange capability. Also of note, in the fall of 2009, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General released three reports on ATF operations. The first examined ATF's Project Gunrunner. The second examined ATF's efforts to investigate contraband cigarette trafficking. The third examined ATF's concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for explosives-related investigations. This report complements CRS Report RL34514, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2008, FY2009, and FY2010, and will be updated as needed.


Date of Report: August 11, 2010
Number of Pages: 27
Order Number: R41206
Price: $29.95

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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: August 5, 2010
Number of Pages: 58
Order Number: RL33741
Price: $29.95

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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.



Date of Report: August 6, 2010
Number of Pages: 29
Order Number: RL33539
Price: $29.95

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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: August 2, 2010
Number of Pages: 46
Order Number: RL34476
Price: $29.95

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Federal Cocaine Sentencing Disparity: Sentencing Guidelines, Jurisprudence, and Legislation

Brian T. Yeh
Legislative Attorney


Pursuant to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, Congress established basic sentencing levels for crack cocaine offenses. Congress amended 21 U.S.C. § 841 to provide for a 100:1 ratio in the quantities of powder cocaine and crack cocaine that trigger a mandatory minimum penalty. As amended, 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) required a mandatory minimum 10-year term of imprisonment and a maximum life term of imprisonment for trafficking offenses involving 5 kilograms of cocaine or 50 grams of cocaine base. In addition, 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B) established a mandatory 5-year term of imprisonment for offenses involving 500 grams of cocaine or 5 grams of cocaine base. 21 U.S.C. § 844(a) called for a 5-year mandatory minimum punishment for simple possession of crack cocaine. Although the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 revises these penalties (as discussed below), there still remains a disparity in the threshold amount of powder cocaine and crack cocaine that triggers the mandatory minimums in 21 U.S.C. § 841. 

Federal sentencing guidelines (the Guidelines) established by the U.S. Sentencing Commission reflect the statutory differential treatment of crack and powder cocaine offenders. Until 2005, the Guidelines were binding on federal courts: the judge had discretion to sentence a defendant, but only within the narrow sentencing range that the Guidelines provided. In its 2005 opinion United States v. Booker, the Supreme Court declared that the Guidelines must be considered advisory rather than mandatory, in order to comply with the Constitution. Instead of being bound by the Guidelines, sentencing courts must treat the federal guidelines as just one of a number of sentencing factors (which include the need to avoid undue sentencing disparity). 

In the aftermath of Booker, some judges, who did not believe that crack cocaine is 100 times worse than powder cocaine, imposed lower sentences on crack cocaine offenders than the ones recommended by the Guidelines. In 2007, the Supreme Court in Kimbrough v. United States upheld this practice, ruling that a court may impose a below-the-Guidelines sentence based on its conclusion that the 100:1 ratio is greater than necessary or may foster unwarranted disparity. 

Also in 2007, the Sentencing Commission revised the Guidelines by lowering the base offense level for crack cocaine offenses by two levels, thereby eliminating the 100:1 ratio for future sentencing guideline purposes (except at the point at which the statutory mandatory minimums are triggered). In addition, the Sentencing Commission decided to make these amendments retroactively applicable, thus allowing eligible crack cocaine offenders who were sentenced prior to November 1, 2007, to petition a federal judge to reduce their sentences. On June 17, 2010, the Supreme Court decided Dillon v. United States, in which it held that Booker does not apply in a sentence modification proceeding that is based on the retroactive crack cocaine amendment to the Guidelines; thus, district courts do not have the authority to further reduce a crack cocaine offender's sentence in such proceedings below the retroactive, amended Guidelines range. 

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (S. 1789) changes the statutory 100:1 ratio in crack/powder cocaine quantities that trigger the mandatory minimum penalties under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1). President Obama signed the bill into law on August 3, 2010 (P.L. 111-220). S. 1789 reduces the statutory 100:1 ratio to 18:1, by increasing the threshold amount of crack cocaine to 28 grams (for the 5-year sentence) and 280 grams (for the 10-year sentence). S. 1789 also eliminates the 5-year mandatory minimum for simple possession of crack cocaine. Other bills introduced in the 111th Congress would completely eliminate the statutory disparity in cocaine sentencing, including H.R. 18, H.R. 265, H.R. 1459, H.R. 2178, and H.R. 3245. Another bill, H.R. 1466, would repeal all statutory mandatory minimums for drug offenses.



Date of Report: August 5, 2010
Number of Pages: 25
Order Number: RL33318
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China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs


The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, has emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning. Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, stated in June 2010 that "I have moved from being curious to being genuinely concerned" about China's military programs. The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort is of particular importance to the U.S. Navy, because many U.S. military programs for countering improved Chinese military forces would fall within the Navy's budget. 

Decisions that Congress and the executive branch make regarding U.S. Navy programs for countering improved Chinese maritime military capabilities could affect the likelihood or possible outcome of a potential U.S.-Chinese military conflict in the Pacific over Taiwan or some other issue. Some observers consider such a conflict to be very unlikely, in part because of significant U.S.-Chinese economic linkages and the tremendous damage that such a conflict could cause on both sides. In the absence of such a conflict, however, the U.S.-Chinese military balance in the Pacific could nevertheless influence day-to-day choices made by other Pacific countries, including choices on whether to align their policies more closely with China or the United States. In this sense, decisions that Congress and the executive branch make regarding U.S. Navy programs for countering improved Chinese maritime military forces could influence the political evolution of the Pacific, which in turn could affect the ability of the United States to pursue goals relating to various policy issues, both in the Pacific and elsewhere. 

China's naval modernization effort, which began in the 1990s, encompasses a broad array of weapon acquisition programs, including anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs), submarines, and surface ships. China's naval modernization effort also includes reforms and improvements in maintenance and logistics, naval doctrine, personnel quality, education, training, and exercises. 

DOD and other observers believe that the near-term focus of China's military modernization effort has been to develop military options for addressing the situation with Taiwan. Consistent with this goal, observers believe that China wants its military to be capable of acting as a socalled anti-access force—a force that can deter U.S. intervention in a conflict involving Taiwan, or failing that, delay the arrival or reduce the effectiveness of intervening U.S. naval and air forces. Some observers believe that China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is increasingly oriented toward pursuing additional goals, such as asserting or defending China's claims in maritime territorial disputes, protecting China's sea lines of communications, displacing U.S. influence in the Pacific, and asserting China's status as a major world power. 

Placing an increased emphasis on U.S. Navy programs for countering improved Chinese maritime military capabilities in coming years could lead to one more of the following: developing and procuring highly capable ships, aircraft, and weapons for defeating Chinese anti-access systems; assigning a larger percentage of the Navy to the Pacific Fleet (and, as a result, a smaller percentage to the Atlantic Fleet); homeporting more of the Pacific Fleet's ships at forward locations such as Hawaii, Guam, and Japan; increasing training and exercises in operations relating to countering Chinese maritime anti-access forces, such as antisubmarine warfare (ASW) operations; and increasing activities for monitoring and understanding developments in China's navy, as well as activities for measuring and better understanding operating conditions in the Western Pacific
.


Date of Report: August 5, 2010
Number of Pages: 63
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Drug Offenses: Maximum Fines and Terms of Imprisonment for Violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Related Laws

Brian T. Yeh
Legislative Attorney


This is a chart of the maximum fines and terms of imprisonment that may be imposed as a consequence of conviction for violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and other drug supply and drug demand related laws. 

It lists the penalties for: heroin, cocaine, crack, PCP, LSD, marihuana (marijuana), amphetamine, methamphetamine, listed (precursor) chemicals, paraphernalia, date rape drugs, rave drugs, designer drugs, ecstasy, drug kingpins, as well as the other substances including narcotics and opiates assigned to Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (Title II and Title III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act). 

It maps the penalty structure for violations of 21 U.S.C. 841 (drug trafficking), 21 U.S.C. 841(b)(5) (cultivation on federal property), 21 U.S.C. 841(b)(6) (environmental damage from illegal manufacturing), 21 U.S.C. 841(b)(7) (crime of violence), 21 U.S.C. 841(c) (offenses involving listed chemicals), 21 U.S.C. 841(d)(booby traps on federal lands), 21 U.S.C. 841(f) (distribution/possession of listed chemicals), 21 U.S.C. 841(g) (Internet sales of date rape drugs), 21 U.S.C. 841(h) (dispensing controlled substances that are prescription drugs by means of the Internet), 21 U.S.C. 842 (regulatory offenses), 21 U.S.C. 843 (communications-related offenses), 21 U.S.C. 844 (simple possession), 21 U.S.C. 846, 963 (attempt and conspiracy), 21 U.S.C. 849 (drug dealing at truck stops), 21 U.S.C. 848 (continuing criminal enterprises (CCE)), 21 U.S.C. 854, 855 (investment of illicit drug profits), 21 U.S.C. 856 (establishing manufacturing operations), 21 U.S.C. 858 (endangering human life), 21 U.S.C. 859 (distribution to infants, minors, children, juveniles, and those under 18 years of age), 21 U.S.C. 860 (distribution in school zones), 21 U.S.C. 861 (distribution to pregnant women), 21 U.S.C. 863 (trafficking in drug paraphernalia), 21 U.S.C. 864 (theft of anhydrous ammonia, or transportation of stolen anhydrous ammonia), 21 U.S.C. 865 (smuggling methamphetamine into the United States), 21 U.S.C. 960 (illicit drug import and export), 21 U.S.C. 960a (narco-terrorism), 21 U.S.C. 962 (recalcitrant drug smugglers), 21 U.S.C. 1906 (financial transactions with designated foreign narcotics traffickers), 18 U.S.C. 545 (smuggling goods into the United States), 18 U.S.C. 546 (smuggling goods into foreign countries), 18 U.S.C. 924(c) (firearms and armor piercing ammunition in connection to drug trafficking crime), 18 U.S.C. 924(e) (armed career criminals), 18 U.S.C. 1952 (Travel Act), 18 U.S.C. 1956 (money laundering), 18 U.S.C. 1957 (monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity), 18 U.S.C. 1959 (compensated crime of violence in aid of racketeering), 18 U.S.C. 1963 (racketeering (RICO)), 18 U.S.C. 3559(c)(three strikes), 19 U.S.C. 1590 (aviation smuggling), 26 U.S.C. 7201 (tax evasion), 26 U.S.C. 7203 (failure to file required returns), 26 U.S.C. 7206 (fraud and false statements), 31 U.S.C. 5322 (currency transaction reporting (smurfing)), 31 U.S.C. 5332 (bulk cash smuggling into or out of the United States), 46 U.S.C. 70506 (maritime drug law enforcement). 

This report reflects amendments to the Controlled Substances Act made by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-220) that increased the quantities of crack cocaine necessary to trigger certain penalties and also increased the fine amounts for major drug traffickers.



Date of Report: August 5, 2010
Number of Pages: 16
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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

William J. Krouse
Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with administering and enforcing federal laws related to the manufacture, importation, and distribution of firearms and explosives. Congress transferred ATF's enforcement and regulatory functions for firearms and explosives from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the Homeland Security Act (P.L. 107-296). ATF is also responsible for investigating arson cases with a federal nexus, as well as criminal violations of federal laws governing the manufacture, importation, and distribution of alcohol and tobacco. Congress authorized appropriations for ATF in the Department of Justice Authorization Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-162) for FY2006 through FY2009; however, to date the 111th Congress has not considered legislation to reauthorize annual appropriations for DOJ or ATF. 

For three fiscal years, FY2008 through FY2010, Congress has provided about $49 million in program increases to address firearms trafficking. About $43 million of this funding has been allocated to Project Gunrunner, an ATF initiative to reduce gun trafficking across the Southwest border, or other projects to assist the government of Mexico. In the 110th Congress, the House passed a bill (H.R. 6028) that would have authorized appropriations over three years, for FY2008 through FY2010, of $73.5 million to increase ATF resources dedicated to stemming illegal gun trafficking into Mexico. In the 111th Congress, bills with similar authorizations have been introduced (S. 205, H.R. 495, H.R. 1448, and H.R. 1867). 

For FY2011, the Administration has requested $1.163 billion for ATF, an increase of 3.8% over the agency's FY2010 appropriation ($1.121 billion). For Project Gunrunner, the request includes $11.8 million to annualize 37 positions that were previously funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5). It also includes $1.2 million to enable ATF to coordinate state and local law enforcement efforts in the event of a national emergency and, thus, fulfill the Attorney General's Emergency Support Function #13 obligations under the National Response Framework. The FY2011 request assumes $35.2 million and 46 FTE positions in base adjustments, less offsets and other reductions. The Senate Appropriations Committee has reported a bill that would match the FY2011 request (S. 3636). The House and Senate, meanwhile, have passed FY2010 supplemental appropriations bills (H.R. 5875) that would provide ATF with $39.1 and $37.5 million, respectively, to combat gun trafficking on the Southwest border. 

In March 2010, the House Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations subcommittee held a hearing on the ATF FY2011 budget submission. Members of the subcommittee raised questions about gun trafficking on the Southwest border, regulatory backlogs, violent crime impact teams, and interagency coordination on gang violence. Congress has passed and the President has signed into law the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (P.L. 111-154). This act grants ATF greater authority to inspect the businesses and records of "cigarette deliverers." In addition, under the Mérida Initiative, ATF has recently released a Spanish language version of its firearms trace request software (e-Trace 4.0) to Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, and has established a U.S.-Mexico ballistic information exchange capability. Also of note, in the fall of 2009, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General released three reports on ATF operations. The first examined ATF's Project Gunrunner. The second examined ATF's efforts to investigate contraband cigarette trafficking. The third examined ATF's concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for explosives-related investigations. This report complements CRS Report RL34514, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2008, FY2009, and FY2010, and will be updated as needed.



Date of Report: August 6, 2010
Number of Pages: 27
Order Number: R41206
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Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress

Frank Gottron
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy

Dana A. Shea
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy


Recent reports by congressional commissions and others, the inclusion of bioterrorism issues in President Obama's State of the Union address, and issuance of executive orders have increased congressional attention to the threat of bioterrorism. Federal efforts to combat the threat of bioterrorism predate the anthrax attacks of 2001 but have significantly increased since then. The U.S. government has developed these efforts as part of and in parallel with other defenses against conventional terrorism. The continued attempts by terrorist groups to launch attacks targeted at U.S. citizens have increased concerns that federal counterterrorism activities insufficiently address the threat. 

Several strategy and planning documents direct the federal government's biodefense efforts. Many different agencies have a role. These agencies have implemented numerous disparate actions and programs in their statutory areas to address the threat. 

Despite these efforts, many experts, including congressional commissions, non-governmental organizations, and industry representatives, have highlighted weaknesses or flaws in the federal government's biodefense activities. Recent reports by congressional commissions have stated that the federal government could significantly improve its efforts to address the bioterrorism threat. 

Key questions face congressional policymakers: How sufficiently do the efforts already underway address the threat of bioterrorism? Have the federal investments to date met the expectations of Congress or other stakeholders? Should Congress alter, augment, or terminate these existing programs in the current environment of fiscal challenge? What is the appropriate federal role in response to the threat of bioterrorism, and what mechanisms are most appropriate for involving other stakeholders, including state and local jurisdictions, industry, and others? 

Congressional oversight of bioterrorism crosses the jurisdiction of many congressional committees. As a result, congressional oversight is often issue-based. Because of the diversity of federal biodefense efforts, this report does not provide a complete view of the federal bioterrorism effort. Instead, this report focuses on four areas under congressional consideration deemed critical to the success of the biodefense enterprise: strategic planning; risk assessment; surveillance; and the development, procurement, and distribution of medical countermeasures. 

Congress, through authorizing and appropriations legislation and its oversight activities, continues to influence the federal response to the bioterrorism threat. Congressional policymakers will likely face many difficult choices about the priority of maintaining, shrinking, or expanding existing programs versus creating new programs to address identified deficiencies. Augmenting such programs may incur additional costs in a time of fiscal challenges while maintaining or shrinking such programs may pose unacceptable risks, given the potential for significant casualties and economic effects from a large-scale bioterror attack
.


Date of Report: August 6, 2010
Number of Pages: 16
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Charles A. Henning
Specialist in Military Manpower Policy


The military retirement system is a non-contributory, defined benefit system that has historically been viewed as a significant incentive in retaining a career military force. The system currently includes monthly compensation and benefits after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement for those physically unfit to continue to serve, and survivor benefits for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees. The monthly retirement annuity is adjusted annually by a Cost-of- Living Allowance (COLA) to ensure that the annuity is protected from the adverse consequences of inflation. Military retirees are also entitled to non-monetary benefits which include exchange and commissary privileges, medical care through TRICARE, and access to Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities and programs. 

The active component retirement system provides a choice between two retirement options based on career expectations and an individual's financial situation. Eligibility is based on years of active duty, generally becoming retirement eligible after completing 20 years of service. For reserve component personnel, their retirement system is based on "points" and reservists do not generally begin to receive retired pay until age 60. There is a third retirement system for those who are retired with a physical disability regardless of the amount of time they have spent on active duty. Disability retirement offers a choice between two retirement options; one based on longevity and one on the severity of the disability. 

Congress grapples with constituent concerns as well as budgetary constraints when considering military retirement issues. While congressionally mandated changes to the military retirement system have been infrequent, any potential future changes are closely monitored by current and future retirees, and the veterans' service organizations who support them. Today, there are approximately 2.2 million military retirees and survivor benefit recipients, and roughly 6 million to 8 million family members, who are generally believed to be an articulate and well-educated constituent group. 

It is estimated that approximately $50 billion will be paid to military retirees and survivor benefit recipients in FY2010. With military retired pay protected from inflation by annual adjustments due to the Cost of Living Allowance, retirement costs will continue to increase. 

The 10th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC) recently recommended a revision of both the active and reserve retirement systems. However, with ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the recruiting and retention challenges being faced by the Services, the executive branch and the 111th Congress may be reluctant to alter the present system.



Date of Report: July 27, 2010
Number of Pages: 17
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Friday, August 13, 2010

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: July 29, 2010
Number of Pages: 50
Order Number: RL33753
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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
.


Date of Report: July 27, 2010
Number of Pages: 39
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Costs of Major U.S. Wars

Stephen Daggett
Specialist in Defense Policy and Budgets

This CRS report provides estimates of the costs of major U.S. wars from the American Revolution through current conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. It presents figures both in "current year dollars," that is, in prices in effect at the time of each war, and in inflationadjusted "constant dollars" updated to the most recently available estimates of FY2011 prices. All estimates are of the costs of military operations only and do not include costs of veterans benefits, interest paid for borrowing money to finance wars, or assistance to allies. The report also provides estimates of the cost of each war as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the peak year of each conflict and of overall defense spending as a share of GDP at the peak. 

Comparisons of war costs over a 230-year period, however, are inherently problematic. One problem is how to separate costs of military operations from costs of forces in peacetime. In recent years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has tried to identify the additional "incremental" expenses of engaging in military operations, over and above the costs of maintaining standing military forces. Figures used in this report for the costs of the Vietnam War and of the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War are official DOD estimates of the incremental costs of each conflict. Costs of post-9/11 military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere are estimates of amounts appropriated to cover war-related expenses. These amounts appear to reflect a broader definition of war-related expenditures than earlier DOD estimates of incremental Vietnam or Persian Gulf War costs. 

Before the Vietnam conflict, the Army and Navy, and later the DOD, did not identify incremental expenses of military operations. For the War of 1812 through World War II, CRS estimated the costs of conflicts by calculating the increase in expenditures of the Army and Navy compared to the average of the three years before each war. The premise is that increases reflect the cost of a temporary buildup to fight each war. Costs of the Revolutionary War and of the Confederate side in the Civil War are from other published sources. Costs of the Korean War were calculated by comparing DOD expenditures during the war with a trend line extending from the average of three years before the war to the average of three years after the war. 

Figures are problematic, as well, because of difficulties in comparing prices from one vastly different era to another. Inflation is one issue—a dollar in the past would buy more than a dollar today. Perhaps a more significant problem is that wars appear vastly more expensive over time as the sophistication and cost of technology advances, both for military and for civilian purposes. The estimates presented in this report, therefore, should be treated, not as truly comparable figures on a continuum, but as snapshots of vastly different periods of U.S. history
.


Date of Report: June 29, 2010
Number of Pages: 8
Order Number: RS22926
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Monday, August 9, 2010

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010

Cassandria Dortch
Analyst in Education Policy


Since enactment of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (Post-9/11 GI Bill; P.L. 110-252; Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 33), there has been discussion of problems and possible enhancements to improve the program's implementation, administration, and benefits. This report summarizes provisions in the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (S. 3447), scheduled for Senate committee mark-up on August 5, 2010. 

Major provisions of S. 3447 would amend the Post-9/11 GI Bill (except as otherwise noted) to 

• allow National Guard members to include full-time duty under Title 32 toward their qualifying active duty service; 

• provide full tuition and fees to individuals who are eligible at the 100% benefit level and who attend public institutions of higher learning (IHLs); 

• provide the national average amount for tuition and fees to individuals who are eligible at the 100% benefit level and who attend private or foreign IHLs, subject to the actual tuition and fees charges; 

• reduce the monthly housing allowance received by an eligible individual attending an IHL more than half-time but less than full-time; 

• provide a monthly housing allowance to eligible individuals enrolled more than half-time at an IHL through distance learning on more than a half-time basis; 

• Expand the eligible programs of education to include most programs approved under the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD; Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 30), such as on-the-job and apprenticeship, flight, and correspondence training; 

• allow eligible individuals on active duty to receive the books and supplies stipend in the same manner as individuals not on active duty; 

• remove the limit on the number of licensing and certification tests; 

• allow eligible individuals entitled to supplemental educational assistance for additional service under the MGIB-AD to receive remaining payments if the individual elects to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill; 

• allow eligible individuals to designate dependents to which benefits would be transferred after the eligible individual is separated from the Armed Forces; 

• allow commissioned officers in the Public Health Service (PHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their dependents; 

• require the Secretaries concerned to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits transferred to dependents and supplemental educational assistance; and 

• amend the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E; Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 31) program to allow eligible individuals to elect to receive the national average of the monthly basic allowance for housing (BAH) for a member of the Armed Forces with dependents in pay grade E-5 in lieu of the monthly subsistence allowance currently authorized
.


Date of Report: August 2, 2010
Number of Pages: 18
Order Number: R41356
Price: $29.95

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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."



Date of Report: July 30, 2010
Number of Pages: 33
Order Number: RL32665
Price: $29.95

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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 FY2010. 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.



Date of Report: July 30, 2010
Number of Pages: 22
Order Number: RL32418
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress


Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The Department of Defense (DOD) is placing an increased planning and budgeting emphasis on irregular warfare (IW) operations, such as counterinsurgency operations. In addition, counterterrorism (CT) operations have been a DOD area of emphasis since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of IW and CT activities, and has taken some steps in recent years to strengthen its ability to conduct such activities. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities, specific Navy IW budget priorities, and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.


D
ate of Report: July 30, 2010
Number of Pages: 20
Order Number: RS22373
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Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations


Daniel H. Else
Specialist in National Defense

Christine Scott
Specialist in Social Policy

Sidath Viranga Panangala
Specialist in Veterans Policy


The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide. It capitalizes military family housing and the U.S. share of the NATO Security Investment Program, and finances the implementation of installation closures and realignments. It underwrites veterans benefit and health care programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides for the creation and maintenance of U.S. cemeteries and battlefield monuments within the United States and abroad, and supports the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Armed Forces Retirement Homes, and Arlington National Cemetery. The bill also funds construction supporting military operations overseas (known as Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO), a function previously carried out through emergency supplemental appropriations, and advance appropriations for veterans medical services.

President Barack Obama submitted his request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 appropriations on February 1, 2010. For the appropriations accounts included in this bill, his request totaled $191.7 billion in new budget authority, divided into four major categories: Title I (military construction and family housing) at $18.7 billion; Title II (veterans affairs) at $171.4 billion; Title III (related agencies) at $283.8 million; and Title IV (a new category of funding for construction in support of active military operations overseas) at $1.3 billion. All told, the request comprised $20.0 billion in Department of Defense (DOD), $171.4 billion in veterans affairs, and $283.8 million in other agency funding. Of the total, $76.0 billion (39.6%) would be discretionary appropriations, with the remainder considered mandatory.

Simultaneously, the President requested an emergency supplemental appropriation for FY2010 that contained $521.4 million for Army and Air Force construction in Afghanistan.

The military construction funding amounts requested by the President and recommended by the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations have fallen off as building for the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) round has nearly reached completion. Funding support for military family housing construction has also declined as the military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force) continue their efforts to privatize formerly government-owned accommodations.

In the area of non-medical benefits, the largest dollar increases in funding for the VA between FY2010 and FY2011 in the Administration request, the House Appropriations Committee recommendation (H.R. 5822) and the Senate Appropriations Committee recommendation (S. 3615) are for disability compensation and pension benefits, and readjustment benefits, where the largest component is for education benefits.

The appropriations subcommittees in both chambers reported their versions of the bill (S. 3615) on July 14, 2010. The Senate introduced S. 3615 and placed it on the Legislative Calendar (Calendar No. 469) on July 19. The House introduced H.R. 5822 on July 22 and placed it on the Union Calendar (Calendar No. 320)
.


Date of Report: July 30, 2010
Number of Pages: 27
Order Number: R41345
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Wednesday, August 4, 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. The Coast Guard's two heavy 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 2013. On June 25, 2010, the Coast Guard announced that Polar Sea had suffered an unexpected engine casualty and consequently will likely be unavailable for operation until at least January 2011. The United States, which has various interests in the polar regions, currently has no operational heavy polar icebreakers.

The Coast Guard's third polar icebreaker—Healy—entered service in 2000. Compared to Polar Star and Polar Sea, Healy has less icebreaking capability (it is considered a medium polar icebreaker), 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., the end of his term in office as Commandant of 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 potential impact on U.S. polar missions of the United States currently having no operational heavy polar icebreakers; 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 Star 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 refurbishment, or for acquisition of new polar icebreakers.



Date of Report: July 21, 2010
Number of Pages: 64
Order Number: RL34391
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11


Amy Belasco
Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget


With the December 2009 enactment of the FY2010 Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 3326/P.L. 111- 118) and the FY2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3288/P.L. 111-117), Congress has approved a total of $1.086 trillion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans' health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan and other counter terror operations; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

Of this $1.086 trillion total, CRS estimates that Iraq will receive about $748 billion (69%), OEF about $304 billion (28%) and enhanced base security about $29 billion (3%), with about $5 billion that CRS cannot allocate (1%). About 94% of the funds are for DOD, 5% for foreign aid programs and embassy operations, and 1% for medical care for veterans.

As of April, 2010, more than halfway through FY2010, monthly spending, or obligations for contracts and military and civilian pay, averaged $10.9 billion, including $5.4 billion for Iraq and $5.5 billion for Afghanistan. While this year's average to date is 11% below last year's $12.3 billion average, average spending may grow as troop levels rise to 98,000 in Afghanistan and fall to 50,000 in Iraq because higher costs in Afghanistan may more than offset decreases in Iraq.

Congress is currently considering the FY2010 Supplemental request for an additional $36.6 billion for DOD and the State Department, largely to cover the cost of deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan that President Obama announced on December 1, 2009. Most recently, the House adopted an amended version on June 30th and the Senate passed its version on May 27th, 2010. Instead of a formal conference, the Senate is expected to revise the House version and send it back to the House, in a "ping pong" process, sometime in July.

If the pending FY2010 supplemental request is enacted, cumulative war costs would total $1.1 trillion including $751 billion for Iraq, $336 billion for Afghanistan, and $29 billion for enhanced security. By FY2010, Afghanistan would account for about two-thirds of the cost and Iraq one-third, a reversal of the previous year.

The Administration requested $171 billion in both FY2010 and FY2011 while average troop strength for both wars is due to fall from 185,000 to 145,000, a 20% drop. Average strength in Iraq would fall from 100,000 in FY2010 to 43,000 in FY2011 while strength in Afghanistan would grow from 84,000 in FY2010 to 98,000 in FY2011. The final withdrawal from Iraq is slated to be complete by December 2011, the end of the first quarter of FY2012, as required by the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement.

If both the Administration's FY2010 Supplemental and FY2011 war request are enacted, total war related funding would reach almost $1.3 trillion, including $802 billion for Iraq, $455 billion for Afghanistan, $29 billion for enhanced security, and $6 billion that cannot be allocated. Of this cumulative total, 62% would be for Iraq, 35% for Afghanistan, and 2% for enhanced security.

In a January 2010 update, the Congressional Budget Office projected that additional war costs for FY2012-FY2020 could range from $274 billion if troop levels fell to 30,000 by early 2013 to $588 billion if troop levels fell to 60,000 by about 2015. Under these CBO projections, funding for Iraq, Afghanistan and the Global War on Terror could total from about $1.56 trillion to about $1.88 trillion for FY2001-FY2020 depending on the scenario. 
.


Date of Report: July 16, 2010
Number of Pages: 53
Order Number: RL33110
Price: $29.95


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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: July 26, 2010
Number of Pages: 36
Order Number: RL32109
Price: $29.95


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