A Shot in the Arm for Adult Vaccination

May 19, 2012 Comments off
Source:  RAND Corporation

Vaccine-preventable diseases take a heavy toll on U.S. adults despite the widespread availability of vaccines. Office-based providers can do more to promote adult vaccinations but need clearer guidance and a better business case to offer them.

The Risk and Prevention of Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities

May 19, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Child Welfare Information Gateway

This bulletin for child welfare professionals describes child abuse and neglect of children with disabilities in terms of the scope of the problem, risk factors, and strategies for prevention. The background section looks at statistics and research and highlights what might be happening with families that come into the child welfare system. The second section offers tips to identify and assess abuse and neglect in children with disabilities, respond collaboratively, and locate training resources.

The Relationship between the EEOC’s Decision that Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and the Enforcement of Executive Order 11246

May 19, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Williams Institute
New analysis finds that a recent ruling from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that gender identity discrimination is unlawful will likely be extended to federal contractors. The EEOC opinion held that gender identity or expression discrimination violates the prohibition on sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. By executive order (EO 11246), federal contractors are similarly prohibited from sex discrimination.
Sex discrimination complaints against federal contractors filed pursuant to the existing executive order are enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an agency within the Department of Labor. The OFCCP has an explicit policy of interpreting the executive order in a manner consistent with Title VII, and has followed the EEOC’s regulations and guidance in enforcing the order. Further, complaints filed with the OFCCP are either directly enforced by the EEOC or enforced by OFCCP officers acting as agents of the EEOC.

Full Report (PDF)

Profile of Immigrants in Napa County

May 19, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Migration Policy Institute

This report offers a comprehensive profile of immigration to Napa County, examining the important role that immigrant workers play in the Napa Valley’s wine-related sectors and their fiscal contributions and costs. The authors examine demographic changes in Napa County, tracing immigrants’ origins, economic well-being, education, residence and home ownership, tax payments and public expenditures, and more.

Keeping the Faith: African American Faith Leaders’ Perspectives and Recommendations for Reducing Racial Disparities in HIV/AIDS Infection

May 19, 2012 Comments off

Keeping the Faith: African American Faith Leaders’ Perspectives and Recommendations for Reducing Racial Disparities in HIV/AIDS Infection
Source: PLoS ONE

In Philadelphia, 66% of new HIV infections are among African Americans and 2% of African Americans are living with HIV. The city of Philadelphia has among the largest numbers of faith institutions of any city in the country. Although faith-based institutions play an important role in the African American community, their response to the AIDS epidemic has historically been lacking. We convened 38 of Philadelphia’s most influential African American faith leaders for in-depth interviews and focus groups examining the role of faith-based institutions in HIV prevention. Participants were asked to comment on barriers to engaging faith-based leaders in HIV prevention and were asked to provide normative recommendations for how African American faith institutions can enhance HIV/AIDS prevention and reduce racial disparities in HIV infection. Many faith leaders cited lack of knowledge about Philadelphia’s racial disparities in HIV infection as a common reason for not previously engaging in HIV programs; others noted their congregations’ existing HIV prevention and outreach programs and shared lessons learned. Barriers to engaging the faith community in HIV prevention included: concerns about tacitly endorsing extramarital sex by promoting condom use, lack of educational information appropriate for a faith-based audience, and fear of losing congregants and revenue as a result of discussing human sexuality and HIV/AIDS from the pulpit. However, many leaders expressed a moral imperative to respond to the AIDS epidemic, and believed clergy should play a greater role in HIV prevention. Many participants noted that controversy surrounding homosexuality has historically divided the faith community and prohibited an appropriate response to the epidemic; many expressed interest in balancing traditional theology with practical public health approaches to HIV prevention. Leaders suggested the faith community should: promote HIV testing, including during or after worship services and in clinical settings; integrate HIV/AIDS topics into health messaging and sermons; couch HIV/AIDS in social justice, human rights and public health language rather than in sexual risk behavior terms; embrace diverse approaches to HIV prevention in their houses of worship; conduct community outreach and host educational sessions for youth; and collaborate on a citywide, interfaith HIV testing and prevention campaign to combat stigma and raise awareness about the African American epidemic. Many African American faith-based leaders are poised to address racial disparities in HIV infection. HIV prevention campaigns should integrate leaders’ recommendations for tailoring HIV prevention for a faith-based audience.

See: Clergy Can Fight HIV On Faith-Friendly Terms (Science Daily)

Senior Hunger Report Card™ from Meals On Wheels Research Foundation Finds America Failing Nation’s Seniors

May 18, 2012 Comments off
The Meals On Wheels Research Foundation (MOWRF) today issued the first annual Senior Hunger Report Card™ (Report Card), which evaluates the nation’s performance in reducing food insecurity and eradicating hunger. The Senior Hunger Report Card™ examined America’s progress in eight categories and assigned grades including the following:
  • A grade of “F” for Overall Performance: 8.3 million seniors faced the threat of hunger in 2010. This reflects a 78% increase since 2001 – and a 34% increase since the start of the recession in 2007.
  • A grade of “F” for Economics: Since 2009 and the end of the recession, the risk of hunger for the overall US population has declined. However, during the same time period food insecurity increased among those age 60 and older – primarily among the near-poor, with income one to two times the poverty level.
  • A grade of “F” for Women’s Studies: The effects of food insecurity are disproportionately borne by women, who make up over 60% of seniors facing the threat of hunger. Senior women are more likely to face the threat of hunger than their male counterparts – and the gender gap has widened since 2009.
  • A grade of “F” in Ethics: In the richest nation on Earth, more than 1 in 7 seniors is threatened by hunger. This increase from 1 in 9 seniors in 2005 foretells an alarming human cost if this national crisis is not reversed.
  • Other grades include: a “D-” for Geography, a “D+” for Multicultural Studies, a “C-” for Home Economic and an Incomplete for Health & Physical Education.

Medicines to Help You: Depression

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Office of Women’s Health)

Lists the brands and generic names of various anti-depressants. Learn the side effects, who should not take them, and warning signs regarding harmful drug and food interactions.

Gay Men Report High Rates of Hate-Motivated Physical Violence

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Williams Institute
According to a new study from the Williams Institute, gay men face higher rates of hate-motivated physical violence than lesbians, bisexuals or other federally protected groups with high rates of hate crimes. This finding is especially troubling given prior research has shown that sexual orientation-motivated hate crimes tend to be more violent.
Among the research findings, 26 in 100,000 gay men reported being victims of hate-motivated crimes against persons, compared to 10 in 100,000 lesbians, 5 in 100,000 African Americans, and 5 in 100,000 Jewish Americans. Gay men also face the second highest risk of being victims of hate-motivated property crime (9 in 100,000 gay men). Further, reporting of such hate crimes is likely under represented since data reflect only those who report such crimes to local law enforcement, who then choose whether to report the data to the FBI.
Although prior research has suggested that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, Jews, and African Americans experience similar levels of overall victimization, this study is the first to demonstrate that when lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals are considered separately, gay men experience more hate crimes.

Full Report

Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education

May 18, 2012 Comments off

Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher EducationSource: National Research Council
From Summary (PDF):

Higher education is a linchpin of the American economy and society: Teaching and research at colleges and universities contribute significantly to the nation’s economic activity, both directly and through their impact on future growth; federal and state governments support teaching and research with billions of taxpayers’ dollars; and individuals, communities, and the nation gain from the learning and innovation that occurs in higher education.

Notwithstanding its prominent role, effective use of resources is (and should be) a serious concern in the delivery of higher education, as it is for other sectors of the economy. In the current environment of increasing tuition and shrinking public funds, a sense of urgency has emerged to better track the performance of colleges and universities in the hope that their costs can be contained while not compromising quality or accessibility. Metrics ranging from graduation rates to costs per student have been developed to serve this purpose. However, the capacity to assess the performance of higher education institutions and systems remains incomplete, largely because the inputs and outputs in the production process are difficult to define and quantify. For higher education, productivity improvement—increasing the number of graduates, amount of learning, and innovation relative to the inputs used—is seen as the most promising strategy in the effort to keep a high-quality college education as affordable as possible.

It was within this context that this panel was charged to identify an analytically welldefined concept of productivity for higher education and to recommend practical guidelines for its measurement. The objective is to construct valid productivity measures to supplement the body of information used to (1) guide resource allocation decisions at the system, state, and national levels and to assist policymakers who must assess investments in higher education against other compelling demands on scarce resources; (2) provide administrators with better tools for improving their institutions’ performance; and (3) inform individual consumers and communities to whom colleges and universities are ultimately accountable for private and public investments in higher education. Though it should be noted that the experimental measure developed in this report does not directly advance all of these objectives—particularly that pertaining to measurement of individual institution perfomance—the overall report pushes the discussion forward and offers first steps.

Pay-to-play sports keeping lower-income kids out of the game

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  University of Michigan Health System
In an era of tight funding, school districts across the country are cutting their athletic budgets. Many schools are implementing athletic participation fees to cover the cost of school sports. But those fees have forced kids in lower-income families to the sidelines, according to a new poll that found nearly one in five lower-income parents report their children are participating less in school sports.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health recently asked parents of middle- and high-school-age children nationwide about participation and cost of school sports.

Overall, 61 percent of children playing middle or high school sports were charged a pay-to-play fee. The average fee was $93, according to the poll respondents, but 21% of children faced a pay-to-play fee of $150 or more.

However, pay-to-play fees are only one component of the school sports costs reported by parents. Including equipment, uniforms and additional team fees,, the average cost for a child’s sports participation was $381.

Researchers found that 12 percent of parents overall said that the cost of school sports caused a drop in participation for at least one of their children. However, that varied substantially based on income. Among lower-income families, those earning less than $60,000 per year, 19 percent said their children’s participation decreased because of costs. But among families earning more than $60,000 per year, only 5 percent reported costs had caused their children to participate less.

New From the GAO

May 18, 2012 Comments off

New GAO ReportsSource: Government Accountability Office

1. Air Emissions and Electricity Generation at U.S. Power Plants. GAO-12-545R, April 18.

2. Food and Drug Administration: Employee Performance Standards for the Timely Review of Medical Product Applications. GAO-12-650R, April 18.

Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis using Administrative Data

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Quarterly Journal of Economics (via Till von Wachter)

We use administrative data on the quarterly employment and earnings of Pennsylvanian workers in the 1970s and 1980s matched to Social Security Administration death records covering 1980–2006 to estimate the effects of job displacement on mortality. We find that for high-seniority male workers, mortality rates in the year after displacement are 50%–100% higher than would otherwise have been expected. The effect on mortality hazards declines sharply over time, but even twenty years after displacement, we estimate a 10%–15% increase in annual death hazards. If such increases were sustained indefinitely, they would imply a loss in life expectancy of 1.0–1.5 years for a worker displaced at age forty. We show that these results are not due to selective displacement of less healthy workers or to unstable industries or firms offering less healthy work environments. We also show that workers with larger losses in earnings tend to suffer greater increases in mortality. This correlation remains when we examine predicted earnings declines based on losses in industry, firm, or firm-size wage premiums.

CRS — Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees

May 18, 2012 Comments off

Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Although the United States remains the leading host country for international students in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields, the global competition for talent has intensified. A record number of STEM graduates—both U.S. residents and foreign nationals—are entering the U.S. labor market, and there is a renewed focus on creating additional immigration pathways for foreign professional workers in STEM fields. Current law sets an annual worldwide level of 140,000 employment-based admissions, which includes the spouses and children in addition to the principal (i.e., qualifying) aliens. “STEM visa” is shorthand for an expedited immigration avenue that enables foreign nationals with graduate degrees in STEM fields to adjust to legal permanent resident (LPR) status without waiting in the queue of numerically limited LPR visas. The fundamental policy question is should the United States create additional pathways for STEM graduates to remain in the United States permanently?

The number of full-time graduate students in science, engineering, and health fields who were foreign students (largely on F-1 nonimmigrant visas) grew from 91,150 in 1990 to 148,923 in 2009, with most of the increase occurring after 1999. Despite the rise in foreign student enrollment, the percentage of STEM graduate students with temporary visas in 2009 (32.7%) was comparable to 1990 (31.1%). Graduate enrollments in engineering fields have exhibited the most growth of the STEM fields in recent years.

After completing their studies, foreign students on F-1 visas are permitted to participate in employment known as Optional Practical Training (OPT), which is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Generally, a foreign student may work up to 12 months in OPT status. In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (HHS) expanded the OPT work period to 29 months for F-1 students in STEM fields.

Many F-1 visa holders (especially those who are engaged in OPT) often change their immigration status to become professional specialty workers (H-1B). Most H-1B beneficiaries are typically admitted to work in STEM occupations. In FY2010, the most recent year for which detailed data on H-1B beneficiaries (i.e., workers renewing their visas as well as newly arriving workers) are available, almost 91,000 H-1B workers were employed in computer-related occupations, and they made up 47% of all H-1B beneficiaries that year.

The H-1B visa and the OPT often provide the link for foreign students to become employmentbased LPRs. In total, foreign nationals reporting STEM occupations made up 44% of all of the 676,642 LPRs who were employment-based principal immigrants during the decade of FY2000- FY2009. Of all of the LPRs reporting STEM occupations (297,668) over this decade, 52% entered as professional and skilled workers. STEM graduates seeking LPR status are likely to wait in line to obtain LPR status. Those immigrating as professional and skilled workers face wait times of many years, but those who meet the criteria of the extraordinary ability or advanced degrees preference categories have a much shorter wait.

There may be renewed interest in establishing STEM visas in the 112th Congress, and several bills (H.R. 399, H.R. 2161, H.R. 3146, S. 1965, and S. 1986) have been introduced. The House Committee on the Judiciary held two hearings on these issues in 2011. These issues also arose during a 2011 Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing on the economic rationale for immigration reform. No legislation on STEM visas, however, has moved through committees thus far.

Sunburn and Sun Protective Behaviors Among Adults Aged 18–29 Years — United States, 2000–2010

May 18, 2012 Comments off

Sunburn and Sun Protective Behaviors Among Adults Aged 18–29 Years — United States, 2000–2010
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Skin cancer is an important public health concern. Nonmelanoma skin cancers, comprised mainly of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are the most common malignancies in the United States (1). Melanoma, although less common, is the deadliest form of skin cancer (2). Both melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers can be disfiguring, negatively affect quality of life, and create economic burden (2,3). Furthermore, age-adjusted incidence rates of both have increased in recent years (1,4). Different patterns of sun exposure are associated with different types of skin cancer. Continuous, chronic sun exposure, such as that observed among outdoor workers is associated with squamous cell carcinoma (3). Intermittent exposure, such as recreational exposure, is associated with melanoma and basal cell carcinoma (3,5–7). Sunburn typically occurs after intermittent exposure, and the risk for melanoma increases with an increasing number of sunburns during all periods of life (4–7). Sunburn is more common among persons aged 18–29 years compared with older adults (8). To evaluate trends in sunburn and sun protective behaviors among persons aged 18–29 years, CDC and the National Cancer Institute analyzed data from the 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The results indicated that although protective behaviors such as sunscreen use, shade use, and wearing long clothing to the ankles have increased in recent years, sunburn prevalence remains high, with 50.1% of all adults and 65.6% of whites aged 18–29 years reporting at least one sunburn in the past 12 months. These results suggest that additional efforts are needed to identify and implement effective strategies targeting younger adults to improve their sun protective behaviors and prevent sunburn and ultimately skin cancer.

Where There Is No Health Research: What Can Be Done to Fill the Global Gaps in Health Research?

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  PLoS Medicine
Summary Points
+ Efforts to strengthen capacity in health research have, so far, concentrated on countries where there is existing capacity rather than those where it is almost completely lacking.
+ Judged by absolute numbers of scientific papers, those with the fewest are mainly small islands and a few countries that are politically isolated.
+ Judged by papers per capita, the lowest include countries in the former Soviet Union and Africa, both regions experiencing declines in life expectancy in recent years, and states experiencing conflict.
+ Although there is a positive association between economic development and research output, some relatively wealthy countries seriously underperform.
+ There are many examples of good practice, including regional networks and international partnerships.
+ There is a strong argument for donors to look to the long term and consider how best to build health research capacity where it is virtually absent.

Working the Network: A Manager’s Guide for Using Twitter in Government

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  IBM Center for the Business of Government
Twitter—a microblogging service that allows for short updates of 140 characters—has grown to over 540 million registered accounts as of early 2012 . News organizations, corporations, and the U .S . government have adopted this new practice as an innovative form of interaction with their stakeholders . Many government agencies maintain at least one Twitter account, and even multiple accounts, based on their operational needs and their diverse audiences . It can be unclear to government Twitter users what the best strategies are for interacting with the public on Twitter, and how an agency can use Twitter in a meaningful way to support its organizational mission.
Twitter updates are seen as public conversations and are increasing not only transparency and potentially accountability, but can also—when used appropriately—lead to increased inclusion of public opinion in policy formulation through information aggregation processes . Twitter can be used effectively to involve a large number of citizens and create conversations with an engaged, networked public . The outcome of these conversations can be new insights and even innovations in the public sector including suggestions on how to make government more effective, or rapidly accelerating emergency responses that help to improve public safety.
This report is based on insights gained from discussions with social media directors in U .S . federal government agencies and observations of their daily Twitter tactics . Part I provides an overview of current strategies for using Twitter to interact with citizens. Four main strategies are identified:
  • push
  • pull
  • networking
  • customer service

In addition, hands-on best practices are presented for both public managers and social media administrators.

Injuries Associated With Bottles, Pacifiers, and Sippy Cups in the United States, 1991–2010

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Pediatrics
To describe the epidemiology of injuries related to bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups among young children in the United States.
A retrospective analysis was conducted by using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children <3 years of age treated in emergency departments (1991–2010) for an injury associated with a bottle, pacifier, or sippy cup.
An estimated 45 398 (95% confidence interval: 38 770–52 026) children aged <3 years were treated in emergency departments for injuries related to these products during the study period, an average of 2270 cases per year. Most injuries involved bottles (65.8%), followed by pacifiers (19.9%) and sippy cups (14.3%). The most common mechanism was a fall while using the product (86.1% of injuries). Lacerations comprised the most common diagnosis (70.4%), and the most frequently injured body region was the mouth (71.0%). One-year-old children were injured most often. Children who were aged 1 or 2 years were nearly 2.99 times (95% confidence interval: 2.07–4.33) more likely to sustain a laceration compared with any other diagnosis. Product malfunctions were relatively uncommon (4.4% of cases).
This study is the first to use a nationally representative sample to examine injuries associated with these products. Given the number of injuries, particularly those associated with falls while using the product, greater efforts are needed to promote proper usage, ensure safety in product design, and increase awareness of American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for transitioning to a cup and discontinuing pacifier use.

Multiculturalism: Success, Failure, and the Future

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Migration Policy Institute

Despite substantial evidence to the contrary, a chorus of political leaders in Europe has declared multiculturalism policies a failure – in effect mischaracterizing the multiculturalism experiment, its future prospects, and its progress over the past three decades. This report challenges the recent rhetoric and addresses the advancement of policy areas for countries, examining factors that impede or facilitate successful the implementation of multiculturalism.

CRS — Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

May 17, 2012 Comments off

Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

On February 7, 2010, Viktor Yanukovych defeated Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko to win Ukraine’s presidency. International monitors praised the conduct of the election, although Tymoshenko charged that the election had been fraudulent. Yanukovych was able to quickly to form a new parliamentary majority in the current parliament by inducing scores of supporters of the previous government to change sides. Government opponents charged that bribery and threats to the business interests of members were used to effect the change.

The global economic crisis hit Ukraine hard. Ukraine’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by an estimated 15% in 2009. The economy began to recover in 2010, and GDP increased by 4.7% in 2011, due in part to a surge in demand for Ukrainian steel exports. However, living standards for many Ukrainians remain low, leading to a rapid drop in Yanukovych’s popularity when compared to the period soon after his inauguration. Expected slow growth in western Europe will likely result in slower growth in 2012 for Ukraine as well.

President Yanukovych has pursued closer ties with Russia, especially in the economic sphere. A major focus of his policy has been to seek reduced prices for natural gas supplies from Moscow. In April 2010, he agreed to extend the lease of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine for 25 years in exchange for a reduction in gas prices. However, the impact of the deal on gas prices has been less than anticipated, as oil prices (on which Ukraine’s gas price is calculated) have soared due to unrest in the Middle East. As a result, Ukraine has sought additional gas price cuts from Moscow, so far without success.

Yanukovych has said that EU integration is a key priority for Ukraine, but U.S. and European criticism of what is widely viewed as the politically motivated conviction and imprisonment of Tymoshenko in October 2011 on charges of abuse of power, has called into question whether a long-awaited association agreement with the EU (including a free trade agreement) will be signed and enter into force. Ukraine continues to reject Russian proposals that it join a customs union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Yanukovych has made clear that his country is not seeking NATO membership, but wants to continue cooperation with NATO, including the holding of joint military exercises.

The Obama Administration has worked to “reset” relations with Russia, but has warned that it will not accept any country’s assertion of a sphere of influence, a reminder of U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. The Administration has not publicly expressed concern about what some observers view as the pro-Russian tilt of Ukraine’s foreign policy under Yanukovych.

The Administration has focused on helping Ukraine rid itself of its supplies of highly enriched uranium, assisting Ukraine with the clean-up of the Chornobyl nuclear site, and diversifying Ukraine’s sources of energy, including advice on developing Ukraine’s shale gas reserves. Administration officials have expressed concerns about regression in Ukraine’s democratic development since Yanukovych took power, including in such areas as media freedoms, election laws and the conduct of elections, and selective prosecution of the government’s political opponents.

CRS — NATO’s Chicago Summit

May 17, 2012 Comments off

NATO’s Chicago Summit (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

NATO’s 2012 summit of alliance heads of state and government is scheduled to take place in Chicago on May 20-21. U.S. and NATO officials have outlined what they expect to be the Summit’s three main agenda items:

  • Defining the next phase of formal transition in Afghanistan and shaping a longer term NATO commitment to the country after the planned end of combat operations by the end of 2014;
  • Securing commitments to maintain and develop the military capabilities necessary to meet NATO’s defense and security goals, including through a new “Smart Defense” initiative; and
  • Enhancing NATO’s partnerships with non-NATO member states.
  • Although NATO is not expected to issue membership invitations to any of the four countries currently seeking NATO membership, it could reaffirm their commitment to do so in the future.

Congress has played an important role in guiding U.S. policy toward NATO and shaping NATO’s post-Cold War evolution. Members of the 112 th Congress have expressed interest in each of the key agenda items to be discussed in Chicago. For example, proposed companion legislation in the House and Senate—The NATO Enhancement Act of 2012 (S. 2177 and H.R. 4243)—endorses NATO enlargement to the Balkans and Georgia, reaffirms NATO’s role as a nuclear alliance, and calls on the U.S. Administration to seek further allied contributions to a NATO territorial missile defense system, and to urge NATO allies to develop critical military capabilities.

In the run-up to and aftermath of the Chicago Summit, Congress may consider a range of issues relating to NATO’s current operations and activities and its longer term mission. These include questions pertaining to:

  • NATO’s commitment to Afghanistan, both during the ongoing transition away from a primary emphasis on combat and after the transition;
  • Allied conventional military capabilities and burden-sharing within the alliance;
  • Future NATO operations and allied military readiness;
  • NATO’s future as a nuclear alliance;
  • NATO’s relations with non-NATO member states and multilateral organizations; and
  • Prospects and conditions for future NATO enlargement.

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