United States

Other Report

Trends in U.S. Military Spending

Author: Dinah Walker

Policymakers are currently debating the appropriate level of U.S. military spending given increasingly constrained budgets and the winding down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The following charts present historical trends in U.S. military spending and analyze the forces that may drive it lower.

See more in United States; Defense Budget

Primary Sources

Background Briefing on P5+1 Negotiations, July 2014

Senior administration officials updated the press regarding negotations between the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany) and Iran on nuclear nonproliferation, held July 2-20, 2014. The discussions are a continuation of deal reached in November 2013, which provided sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for limiting its nuclear activities by July 20, 2014. P5+1 met again in November 2014 and agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

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

Primary Sources

United States-China Strategic Economic Dialogue

President George W. Bush and President Hu Jintao initiated the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in 2006, where leaders from both nations meet twice a year to seek opportunities for bilateral cooperation. From 2009, President Barack Obama continued this series as the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), though on an annual basis and with separate "tracks," the Treasury Department leading the Economic Track and State Department leading the Strategic track. The sessions conclude with a jointly-produced "Fact Sheet" detailing the agreements reached at that round of the SED.

See more in China; United States; Economics; Politics and Strategy

Op-Ed

Three Misconceptions About Drones

Author: Janine Davidson
Defense One

Janine Davidson discusses three misconceptions about the United States' increasing deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles: that they "cause" disproportionately high civilian casualties, that they inherently cost less than manned aircraft, and that most of them are weaponized (in fact, less than one percent carry weapons at any given time).

See more in United States; Drones

Primary Sources

U.S. Department of Justice Memo: Applicability of Federal Criminal Laws and the Constitution to Contemplated Lethal Operations Against Shaykh Anwar al-Aulaqi

This U.S. Court of Appeal's Second Circuit ruled that this redacted version of a 2010 Justice Department memo, which "signed off on the effort to target Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen deemed a terrorist, for killing without a trial," had to be released, in response to FOIA requests filed by the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union.

See more in United States; Organization of Government; Terrorism and the Law

Op-Ed

In Iraq, Obama Has Two Terrible Choices

Author: Meghan L. O'Sullivan
Politico

In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.

See more in Iraq; United States; Defense Strategy