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.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Scot Marciel, testified onDecember 18, 2013 about the economic aspects of the Obama Administration's rebalance to Asia, before theSenate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies released this report on December 18, 2013. The document details forty-six recommendations for protecting national security and foreign policy interests while continuing to value privacy, civil liberties, and the public's trust.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a press conference with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on December 16, 2013. They discussed the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership and tensions in the South and East China Seas.
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.
The French newspaper Le Monde interviewed Afghan President Hamid Karzai on December 10, 2013. He discussed the U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement about U.S. military assistance in Afghanistan after 2014 and his conditions for signing it.
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.
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.
Vice President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 4, 2013, during the vice president's trip to Asia. The vice president also spoke to the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and the U.S.-China Business Council on December 5, 2013.
The World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency works to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) into developing countries and produces a report on investors' perceptions of political risk as they affect FDI, as well as the role of the political risk insurance industry in mitigating these risks.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice delivered a speech at Human Rights First's Annual Summit on December 4, 2013. She discussed the relation of human rights and security in the United States and the Obama administration's human rights policies and actions.
Vice President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered remarks to the press in Tokyo on December 3, 2013. The meeting was the beginning of the vice president's travel in Asia, to discuss the Obama administration's rebalance to Asia and China's announcement of an Air Defense Identification Zone.
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."
Senior administration officials preview Vice President Joe Biden's trip to China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea during December 1-8, 2013. According to the briefing, the trip will underscore the Obama administration's "rebalance" to Asia.
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.
China's Government and its Ministry of National Defense announced on November 23, 2013 the establishment of and rules for its East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, which includes territories administered by Japan and South Korea. The defense minister responded to U.S. officials' concerns.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.