Negotiating a treaty to reduce nuclear weapons is so cumbersome and fraught with political minefields that it can actually retard the process of disarmament. “It usually takes far longer to reduce nuclear forces through a bilateral arms control treaty than it takes to adopt unilateral adjustments to nuclear forces,” according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.
“If the Obama Administration reduces U.S. nuclear forces in parallel with Russia, but without a formal treaty, the two nations could avoid months or years in negotiation,” the CRS report says. See Next Steps in Nuclear Arms Control with Russia: Issues for Congress, April 10, 2013.
“Recent data… challenge the belief that the [U.S.] manufacturing sector, taken as a whole, will continue to flourish,” says a newly updated CRS report. “One interpretation of these data is that manufacturing is ‘hollowing out’ as companies undertake a larger proportion of their high-value work abroad. These developments raise the question of whether the United States will continue to generate highly skilled, high-wage jobs related to advanced manufacturing.” See “Hollowing Out” in U.S. Manufacturing: Analysis and Issues for Congress, April 15, 2013.
A rich compilation of information about discretionary government spending was presented in Trends in Discretionary Spending, April 15, 2013.
Some other new or newly updated CRS reports that Congress has not made publicly available include the following.
Federal Authority to Regulate the Compounding of Human Drugs, April 12, 2013
Federal Traffic Safety Programs: An Overview, April 1, 2013
The United Kingdom and U.S.-UK Relations, April 15, 2013