Primary Sources

Vital primary sources underpinning the foreign policy debate.

UN Report: Without a Trace: Enforced Disappearances in Syria

This investigative report from a UN panel was released December 19, 2013 and uncovered a consistent country-wide pattern in which people, mainly adult males, have been seized by the Syrian security and armed forces, as well as by pro-Government militias, during mass arrests, house searches, at checkpoints and in hospitals.

See more in Syria; Human Rights

UN Report on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

The United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic submitted an investigative report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday, September 15, 2013. The "Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013" concludes that "chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale, resulting in numerous casualties, particularly among civilians and including many children." On December 12, 2013, the final report on the investigation was released. It includes a timeline of events in Syria and actions of the UN and evidence that led to the conclusion that chemical weapons were used.

See more in Syria; Weapons of Mass Destruction; International Organizations and Alliances

Volcker Rule

On December 10, 2013, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approved the "Prohibitions and Restrictions on Proprietary Trading and Certain Interests in, and Relationships With, Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds," part of the Dodd-Frank Act commonly known as the Volcker Rule.

See more in United States; Banks and Banking; Financial Regulation

Open Letter to President Obama and Congress from U.S. Technology Companies

Several U.S. technology companies, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL, published an open letter to the government in newspapers on December 9, 2013. The letter requests an end bulk collection of user data, including email, address books, and video chats, and lists accountability and transparency principles the companies support.

See more in United States; Privacy; Organization of Government

Asahi Shimbun Interview with Vice President Biden

The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, conducted a written interview with Vice President Joe Biden on December 2, 2013, before the vice president's trip to China, Japan, and South Korea. The interview covers China's announcement of its Air Defense Identification Zone, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, defense and cybersecurity alliances, and the Obama administration's "pivot to Asia."

See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Grand Strategy; Regional Security

U.S. Officials Responses to China's East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone

Author: John F. Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel responded to China's announcement of its Air Defense Identification Zone, which includes territories administered by Japan and South Korea. On December 5, 2013, The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent the Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai a letter urging the Chinese government not to implement an Air Defense Zone in the East China Sea. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released a report on January 14 , 2014 to analyze China's purpose in announcing its ADIZ.

See more in United States; China; Territorial Disputes