Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade: Key Issues for the 110th Congress [December 20, 2006]   [open pdf - 406KB]

"The 110th Congress will face a number of pressing foreign affairs, defense, and trade issues in the opening days of its tenure. This report identifies major issues most likely to be on the legislative agenda, discusses critical policy choices at stake, and summarizes some of the major alternatives that Congress may consider. The report lists Congressional Research Service reports that address these issues, and it identifies key analysts and their areas of responsibility. A major issue confronting the new Congress is what to do in Iraq. The Baker/Hamilton-led Iraq Study Group recommended pursuing a new diplomatic initiative, including negotiations with Iran and Syria; and making the training of Iraqi security forces the primary U.S. military mission. U.S. and allied progress in Afghanistan may also be among the key issues in the 110th Congress along with international counter-terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional geopolitical dynamics, and trade developments. Defense spending, and particularly budgeting for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, will also be one of the major issues facing the 110th Congress. Congress may be asked to consider large increases in funding for the Army, and it faces a potentially difficult tradeoff between increases in the size of the Army and funding for major weapons programs. Other defense issues include the implementation of recent base closure plans, the status of intelligence reform, pay and benefits of military personnel, and the role and structure of National Guard and Reserve forces. Trade issues have become increasingly controversial in recent years, and may well remain so as many Members grapple with the real and perceived effects of globalization. Many Members have concerns about instances of lost jobs and lower wages, the growing income gap in the United States, and about burgeoning U.S. trade deficits."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33760
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