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FOCUS September 2013

Category - International Relations

  1. Bush, Richard C.
    An American Perspective on Maritime Asia. Click to read the full-text
    The Brookings Institution, August 5, 2013, 8 pages.
    "The clash among countries in the maritime domain of East Asia is a manifestation of underlying geopolitical rivalry in the region, a rivalry that usually pits China against other parties in a zero-sum competition. This contest is not the only way in which nations in the region interact with each other." (From the Brookings Institution)

  2. Saunders, Phillip C.
    The Rebalance to Asia: U.S.-China Relations and Regional Security. Click to read the full-text
    National Defense University, August 2013, 16 pages.
    "The rebalance responds to the Asia-Pacific region's increased economic and strategic weight and seeks to bring U.S. global diplomatic, economic, and military resource commitments into balance with expanding U.S. regional interests." (From the National Defense University)

  3. Katzman, Kenneth.
    Summary from Iran Sanctions. Click to read the full-text
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, July 26, 2013, 2 pages.
    "Sanctions have not compelled Iran to change its position on its nuclear program, but might be slowing Iran's nuclear and missile programs by hampering Iran's ability to obtain needed foreign technology." (From CRS Report)

  4. Pitlo, Lucio Blanco, III.
    Fishing Wars: Competition for South China Sea's Resources. Click to read the full-text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 24, 2013, 2 pages.
    "The hydrocarbon potential of the South China Sea (SCS) has become a source of tension between the littoral states of the region and, to a certain extent, a number of outside actors. However, the SCS's significance to global oil and gas supplies is overhyped. Instead, it is the region’s fisheries rather than fossil fuels that have the potential to ignite a regional conflict." (From the CSIS)

  5. Russel, Daniel R.
    Overview of U.S. Policy in the East Asia and Pacific Region. Click to read the full-text
    U.S. Department of State, July 22, 2013, 15 pages.
    "I think that it is very fair to say that our relationships in Northeast Asia are very strong, arguably stronger than they have ever been. I don’t think they've ever been in better shape than they are now, and I'm determined, and see opportunities, to continue to advance and improve all of those relationships." (From U.S. Department of State)

Category - Official Text
  1. Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship in a Globalized Context.Click to read the full-text
    OT-1310, August 13, 2013, 7 pages.
    "When President Obama launched the U.S. government's Strategy for American Innovation, he said, 'Innovation is more important than ever.  It is the key to good, new jobs for the 21st century.  That's how we will ensure a high quality of life for this generation and future generations.'  In fact, in the US, more than 75% of the post-World War 2 GNP growth is due to new innovations." (From AIT)

Category - Economics & Trade

  1. Conley, Heather A.
    Arctic Economics in the 21st Century: The Benefits and Costs of Cold. Click to read the full-text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 30, 2013, 66 pages.
    "This report evaluates both the economic benefits of an increasingly open Arctic region and the costs of exploring the riches of the American Arctic." (From the CSIS)

  2. Labonte, Marc.
    Conclusion from Systemically Important or "Too Big to Fail" Financial Institutions. Click to read the full-text
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, July 30, 2013, 21 pages.
    "Although 'too big to fail' (TBTF) has been a perennial policy issue, it was highlighted by the near-collapse of several large financial firms in 2008. Financial firms are said to be TBTF when policymakers judge that their failure would cause unacceptable disruptions to the overall financial system, and they can be TBTF because of their size or interconnectedness. In addition to fairness issues, economic theory suggests that expectations that a firm will not be allowed to fail creates moral hazard—if the creditors and counterparties of a TBTF firm believe that the government will protect them from losses, they have less incentive to monitor the firm's riskiness because they are shielded from the negative consequences of those risks." (From CRS Report)

  3. Lewis, James Andrew and Stewart Baker.
    The Economic Impact of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage. Click to read the full-text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 24, 2013, 19 pages.
    "Is cybercrime, cyber espionage, and other malicious cyber activities what some call 'the greatest transfer of wealth in human history,' or is it what others say is a 'rounding error in a fourteen trillion dollar economy?'" (From the CSIS)

  4. Morrison, Wayne M.
    China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States.
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, July 23, 2013,  38 pages.
    "China's economic rise has significant implications for the United States and hence is of major interest to Congress. On the one hand, China is a large (and potentially huge) export market for the United States. Many U.S. firms use China as the final point of assembly in their global supply chain networks. China's large holdings of U.S. Treasury securities help the federal government finance its budget deficits. However, some analysts contend that China maintains a number of distortive economic policies (such as protectionist industrial policies and an undervalued currency) that undermine U.S. economic interests. " (From CRS Report

Category - Politics

  1. Obama on 50th Anniversary of March on Washington. Click to read the full-text
    (Remarks by the President at the "Let Freedom Ring" Ceremony Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington)
    IIP Digital, August 28, 2013, 7 pages.
    "We rightly and best remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions; how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike. His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time." (From IIP Digital)

  2. The Executive Office of the President.
    Fixing Our Broken Immigration System: The Economic Benefits of Providing a Path to Earned Citizenship. Click to read the full-text
    The White House, August 2013, 13 pages.
    "This report highlights the economic benefits of citizenship – and what it would cost the country if we were to fail to provide a path to earned citizenship to millions of legalizing workers." (From the White House)

  3. Sontag-Padilla, Lisa and others.
    Maternal Depression: Implications for Systems Serving Mother and Child. Click to read the full-text
    RAND, August 12, 2013, 8 pages.
    "Research indicates women are almost twice as likely as men to experience depression, and given that the majority of women age 15 to 50 have children, maternal depression is an important, potentially costly issue." (From RAND)

  4. Thomas, Rachel Nyswander.
    Securing Cyberspace Through Public-Private Partnerships. Click to read the full-text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 19, 2013, 63 pages.
    "The threat of cybercrime and state-sponsored attacks is growing, and cyber threats are evolving rapidly.  Today, cybersecurity is a national priority, and public-private partnership (PPP) is understood as a vital tool in securing cyberspace." (From the CSIS) 

Category - Global Issues

  1. Bracmort, Kelsi.
    Is Biopower Carbon Neutral? Click to read the full-text
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, July 19, 2013, 14 pages.
    "Congressional support for biopower has aimed to promote energy diversity and improve energy security, and has generally assumed that biopower is carbon neutral. An energy production activity is typically classified as carbon neutral if it produces no net increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a life-cycle basis. The premise that biopower is carbon neutral has come under scrutiny as its potential to help meet U.S. energy demands and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions is more closely examined." (From CRS Report)

  2. Margesson, Rhoda.
    International Crises and Disasters: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Response Mechanisms. Click to read the full-text
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, August 1, 2013, 14 pages.
    "This report examines U.S. humanitarian assistance in international crises and disaster situations.  It considers the sources and types of U.S. government aid, the response mechanisms of key U.S. agencies and departments, and possible issues for Congress—including competing aid and budget priorities, burdensharing and donor-fatigue, the transparency and efficacy of U.S. humanitarian assistance, consequences of such assistance, and potential links to broader U.S. foreign policy goals." (From CRS Report)

  3. "Top 10 Disappearing Futures."
    The Futurist, September-October 2013, pp. 22-39.
    "So, what else might disappear in the next 15-20 years?  And will we miss these things much?  The loss of newspaper vending machines hasn't affected our access to news, for instance.  But in some cases, things have disappeared irrevocably and irreplaceably, some for better (smallpox) and some for worse (passenger pigeons)." (From the Futurist)

  4. Upton, Harold F.
    Ocean Acidification. Click to read the full-text
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, July 30, 2013, 14 pages.
    "Scientists are concerned that increasing hydrogen ion concentration in seawater could alter biogeochemical cycles, disrupt physiological processes of marine organisms, and damage marine ecosystems. This report does not discuss the effects of increasing thermal stress to marine organisms and ecosystems (e.g., coral bleaching) related to climate change. However, marine ecosystems are likely to be affected by the synergistic effects of factors involved in both thermal and chemical processes." (From CRS Report)


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