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Keeping the South China Sea in Perspective

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Keeping the South China Sea in Perspective
Source: Brookings Institution

The United States seeks to promote Asia-Pacific economic interdependence and dynamism and to mitigate security tensions in the region. Unfortunately, maritime territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea increasingly threaten these dual objectives of U.S.-Asia policy. This policy brief focuses on the South China Sea set of issues.

Complex Rivalries and Claims in the South China Sea

U.S. Principles and Interests

Recommendations for a Diplomatic Strategy

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Issue Guide: What’s at Stake in Hong Kong?

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Issue Guide: What’s at Stake in Hong Kong?
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

Twenty-five years after the brutal Tiananmen crackdown, continuing protests in Hong Kong calling for greater democracy in the territory have once again focused the world’s attention on China’s rise and challenges to its authoritarian rule. The following guide provides background and analysis of the issues at stake for Hong Kong and the wider region.

Inspection of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, High Threat Programs Directorate

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Inspection of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, High Threat Programs Directorate (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector General

Key Findings

+ The establishment of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, High Threat Programs directorate in 2013 enabled the Bureau of Diplomatic Security to enhance its focus on the security needs of overseas posts most susceptible to risk and threat.

+ The High Threat Programs directorate suffers from significant staffing gaps and position shortages. In order to continue to meet its goals, the Department needs to staff the directorate fully.

Erasmus Impact Study confirms EU student exchange scheme boosts employability and job mobility

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Erasmus Impact Study confirms EU student exchange scheme boosts employability and job mobility
Source: European Commission

Young people who study or train abroad not only gain knowledge in specific disciplines, but also strengthen key transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. A new study on the impact of the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. They are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not studied or trained abroad and, five years after graduation, their unemployment rate is 23% lower. The study, compiled by independent experts, is the largest of its kind and received feedback from nearly 80 000 respondents including students and businesses.

Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

The Department of Labor’s annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor focuses on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement mechanisms, policies and social programs.

Interim Report of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation Released

October 10, 2014 Comments off

Interim Report of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation Released
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The United States and Japan today jointly released the interim report of the ongoing review of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation. A full copy of the report can be found here http://www.defense.gov/pubs/20141003_INTERIM_REPORT.pdf.

Israel’s Iron Dome Anti-Rocket System: U.S. Assistance and Coproduction, CRS Insights (September 30, 2014)

October 8, 2014 Comments off

Israel’s Iron Dome Anti-Rocket System: U.S. Assistance and Coproduction, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system—along with other Israeli measures such as an early-warning and sheltering system—has been widely credited with protecting the country’s civilian population from projectiles fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. During the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas and other Gaza-based militants (which Israel refers to as Operation Protective Edge), many lawmakers praised the performance of Iron Dome. On August 1, Congress passed H.J.Res. 76, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Resolution, 2014 (P.L. 113-145), which appropriated an additional $225 million in FY2014 funds for Iron Dome. This brings total U.S. defense appropriations for Iron Dome since FY2011 to $929.3 million. For more information on Iron Dome, see CRS Report RL33222, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel; and CRS Report RL33476, Israel: Background and U.S. Relations.

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