Society and Culture

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CRS: Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act

Author: Edward C Liu

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provides a statutory framework by which government agencies may, when gathering foreign intelligence information, obtain authorization to conduct wiretapping or physical searches, utilize pen registers and trap and trace devices, or access specified business records and other tangible things.

See more in United States; Intelligence; Privacy

Ask CFR Experts

Is it part of the U.S. anti-drug policy to sell weapons to Mexico to combat drug cartels?

Asked by Zub Merch

Under the security cooperation agreement called the Merida Initiative, the United States provides military and law enforcement assistance to the Mexican government in support of efforts to combat drug cartels and organized crime. The United States and Mexico jointly developed this agreement in response to a substantial increase in drug-related criminal activity and violence on both sides of the border.

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See more in Mexico; United States; Drug Trafficking and Control

Primary Sources

Obama Administration: National Drug Control Strategy

In May 2010, President Obama released the administration's first National Drug Control Strategy. The press release states that the report "establishes five-year goals for reducing drug use and its consequences through a balanced policy of prevention, treatment, enforcement, and international cooperation. The Strategy was developed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) with input from a variety of Federal, State, and local partners.

See more in Drug Trafficking and Control; United States

Foreign Affairs Article

The Church Undivided

Author: Victor Gaetan

Pope Benedict XVI made reaching out to other faiths and promoting Christian unity hallmarks of his tenure. Pope Francis will continue this work, not only because he has a history of facilitating religious dialogue, but also because global Catholicism requires it.

See more in Holy See/Vatican; Religion