Primary Sources

Vital primary sources underpinning the foreign policy debate.

Obama Administration: National Security Strategy

The Obama Administration released its first National Security Strategy on May 27, 2010, and the second on February 6, 2015. The National Security Strategy is required by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act and explains the administration's security issues and the strategies for addressing them. All strategies from 1987 are available on the National Security Strategy Archive

See more in United States; Grand Strategy; Defense Strategy

UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

The Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) prepares mid-year reports on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, as mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2096 (2013), which "recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and reporting to the United Nations Security Council on the situation of civilians in Afghanistan's armed conflict and in particular on civilian casualties."

See more in Afghanistan; Conflict Assessment; Human Rights

Remarks by President Castro at the Third Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Summit

Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz spoke at the Third Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, or CELAC) Summit on January 28, 2015. He discussed how CELAC countries have supported each other through economic, security, and political agreements. President Castro also laid out the conditions he wants as Cuba and the United States reestablish diplomatic relations.

See more in Cuba; Sanctions; United States; Regional Security

U.S.-India Joint Statement: "Shared Effort; Progress for All"

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian President Narendra Modi made this joint statement on January 26, 2015. They discussed clean energy and climate change, civil nuclear cooperation, and defense and economic cooperation. Both administrations also discussed their visions to strengthen ties in the Asia-Pacific region. Defense secretaries from both countires met in June 2015 and released the U.S.-India Defense Framework.

See more in United States; India; Renewable Energy; Emerging Markets

Munich Security Report 2015: "Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?"

The Munich Security Report was released on January 26, 2015, described in the press release as "an annual digest on critical questions and important trends in the field of international security policy." The first section of the report focuses on the roles of international actors, Germany, United States, Europe, NATO, Russia, and emerging powers. The second section discusses three "hot spots"-- Ukraine, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. The third section reviews major issues such as terrorism, energy security, and refugee crises, and the fourth section suggests additional reading and research materials.

See more in Global; Global Future Trends; Conflict Assessment

President Obama: State of the Union Address

The State of the Union is a speech given annually by the president to Congress, in which the president outlines the current condition of the United States and national priorities for the coming year, based on the U.S. Constitution, Article Two, Section Three. President Obama has delivered his State of the Union Address speeches on January 27, 2010, January 25, 2011, January 24, 2012, February 12, 2013, January 28, 2014, and January 20, 2015.

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Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): Final Report of the Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Network Agency Accountability Board

The CIA accountability board produced this report in response to accusations from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the CIA had accessed without authorization the Committee's shared computer drive and removed some files, potential violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Wiretap Act. The computer drive contained files related to the Committee's investigation of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" practices. The CIA's report overturned the CIA inspector general's July 31 report that agents had acted improperly in accessing the shared drive.

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

European Agenda on Security

On January 11, 2015, the EU released  a preview and fact sheet of the European Agenda on Security, "Fighting terrorism at EU level, an overview of Commission's actions, measures and initiatives," which will be adopted in early 2015 and provide the focus for security priorities during 2015-2020. Most of the strategy will concetrate on counterterrorism efforts. Additional EU security strategies were released in 2003 and in 2010.

See more in EU; Regional Security

Documents of U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue

The U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue was created by U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in May 2013 and the first cabinet-level meeting was convened September 2013 in Mexico City. Vice President Biden hosted the January 6, 2015 meeting in Washington. Participating U.S. agencies include Departments of State and Commerce, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In 2015, strategic goals are focused on energy; modern borders; work force development; regulatory cooperation; partnering in regional and global leadership; and stakeholder engagement.

See more in Mexico; United States; Competitiveness; Trade

UN Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on April 2, 2013. The press release says the treaty makes it "harder for human rights abusers, criminals and arms traffickers to obtain weapons" and gives a brief history of the treaty from the 1990s. ATT went into effect December 24, 2014. The United States signed the treaty, but Senate has not yet ratified it.

See more in Global; Arms Industries and Trade; Treaties and Agreements

National Defense Authorization Act, 2015

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 was signed on December 19, 2014 as Public Law 113-291, "to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2015 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes." It requires a regular report on U.S. support operations in Afghanistan through 2017.

See more in United States; Defense Budget

Statement by President Obama on Cuba Policy Changes

President Barack Obama announced changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba on December 17, 2014. Changes include reestablishing diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, reviewing Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism according to the U.S. State Department, and increasing travel, trade, and commerce between the countries. In a speech to the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States Summit in January 2015, Cuban President Raul Castro describes conditions he wants as the two countries reestablish relations. At the Summit of the Americas in April 2015, which Cuba attended for the first time, President Obama and President Castro began discussions on these policy changes.

See more in Cuba; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Sanctions

Submission by Denmark to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Treaty covers a variety of ocean-usage issues such as transit, mining, research, pollution, and resource management and sets out guidelines for nations. Territorial claims can be submitted to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. On December 15,  2014, Denmark and Greenland submitted a claim to part of the Arctic, including the North Pole, which Russia and Canada each claim as their territory.

See more in Arctic; Denmark; Oceans; Territorial Disputes