Primary Sources

Vital primary sources underpinning the foreign policy debate.

Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR): Leading Through Civilian Power

The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) release the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which "identifies major global and operational trends that constitute threats or opportunities, delineates priorities and reforms, to ensure our civilian institutions are in the strongest position to shape and respond to a rapidly changing world." The first QDDR was published in 2010.

See more in United States; Grand Strategy; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Arctic Council: Iqaluit Declaration 2015

The Arctic Council released this Iqaluit Declaration on April 24, 2015. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting and discussed five priorities for cooperation as the United States chairs the council for the year: increased participation in the Arctic Council from indigenous populations, support for the Arctic Economic Council, reduction of emissions, and reduction and response to oil spills.

See more in Arctic; Environmental Policy; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity

Department of Energy: Quadrennial Energy Review

President Obama established this review on January 9, 2014, which is meant to provide an integrated view of federal energy policy and recommends priorities, actions, and needed tools for new legislation and research. The first report, released April 2015, focused on U.S. energy infrastructures.

See more in United States; Energy Policy

Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace

The first Department of Defense strategy report on cyberspace was released on July 14, 2011 and an update to the strategy was released April 23, 2015. The strategy outlines the three missions in the cyber domain: to defend Department of Defense networks, systems, and information; to defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. national interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and to provide integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.

See more in Cybersecurity; United States

Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced this legislation on April 16, 2015. The legislation allows the White House to continue pursuing trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and allows Congress to vote on the treaties.

See more in United States; Trade; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures

U.S. Global Change Research Program: The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released this draft of its report Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States on April 7, 2015, in response to President Obama's Climate Action Plan. The final report, expected to be published in early 2016, is "intended to present a comprehensive, evidence-based, and, where possible, quantitative estimation of observed and projected public health impacts related to climate change in the United States."

See more in United States; Climate Change; Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Framework for P5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's Nuclear Program

In November 2013, the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) and Iran released a Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which required Iran to stop developing its nuclear capabilities and in return P5+1 would reduce economic sanctions. In March 2015, the P5+1 met again with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland and on April 2, 2015, released a joint statement on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The framework lays out the parameters for the final text of the plan, which is due June 30, 2015.

See more in Iran; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

Federal Communications Commission Open Internet Order

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on February 26, 2015, on rules governing regulation of U.S. broadband networks. The FCC published rules (FCC 15-24) regulating this order on March 12, 2015. The rules ban the ability of broadband companies to prioritize traffic from sources that pay more and reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC news release states that the rules are focused on making networks "fast, fair, and open."

See more in United States; Internet Policy; Digital Infrastructure

Statement by the Vice President on the March 9 Letter From Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran

Author: Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Vice President Joseph Biden wrote a response to the May 9, 2015 letter from Republican Senators to Iran, which stated that Congress had to approve international agreements related to Iran's nuclear program. Vice President Biden responded that international negotiations and diplomacy often take place outside of congressional approval.

See more in Iran; United States; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

Executive Order on Venezuela

President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on March 9, 2015, which includes targeted sanctions of individuals who have violated the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014.

See more in Venezuela; Sanctions