U.S. Capitol

The Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division's work emphasizes analyses of security, political and economic developments at a global level as well as in every region of the world. Experts examine political, economic, and security relations between the United States and other nations; development and foreign assistance; human rights; international organizations; and transnational issues such as terrorism, refugees, crime, and nonproliferation. National security analysis includes a focus on national security and defense strategy, the U.S. defense budget, weapons systems, intelligence, military compensation, and military facilities at home and around the world. Trade analysts assess global economic issues, including trade agreements, exports, imports, tariffs, and international financial questions.

The Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division is divided into seven research sections, each led by a section research manager:

  • Asia — coverage includes
    • Economic, political and security developments across the region and their implications for the United States
    • East Asia (China, Taiwan, Japan and the Koreas)
    • South Asia (India, Pakistan and bordering states)
    • Southeast Asia (Burma, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore)
    • Australasia and the Pacific Islands
  • Defense Policy and Arms Control — coverage includes
    • U.S. national security strategy and operations
    • U.S. force posture and those of allies and adversaries)
    • nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological weapons
    • proliferation and counter proliferation
    • conventional weapons and the global arms trade
    • ballistic missile programs (offensive and defensive)
    • cybersecurity
  • Defense Budget, Manpower and Management — coverage includes
    • budget authorization and appropriation
    • acquisition policies
    • intelligence
    • military facilities
    • military pay and benefits
  • Europe and The Americas — coverage includes
    • political, economic and security developments in these regions
    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
    • European Union
    • Russia and central Asia
    • Organization of American States
  • Foreign Policy Management and Global Issues — coverage includes
    • transnational issues (such as terrorism, international narcotics and crime and sanctions)
    • Department of State (budget, personnel, operations and embassy security)
    • development and foreign assistance and USAID
    • public diplomacy
    • human rights (refugees, religious freedom)
    • international institutions (United Nations, World Health Organization)
  • International Trade and Finance — coverage includes
    • bilateral and multilateral trade agreements exchange rates and foreign currency
    • global economic challenges (the Eurozone crisis, role of state-owned enterprises)
    • global economic institutions (World Bank, International Monetary Fund)
    • trends involving the U.S. trade deficit, investment and balance of payments
    • trade-related issues (intellectual property rights, global trade in services)
  • Middle East/Africa — coverage includes
    • continuing unfolding of the "Arab Spring"
    • challenges in Iran and Afghanistan
    • Middle East peace process
    • African conflicts, governance issues, foreign aid, economic prospects and the role of AFRICOM
    • Illicit human and commodity trafficking (diamonds, minerals, wildlife)

Last Updated: 02/12/2013