International Conflict Resolution, Military Affairs, & Security: Find Government Information

This guide provides resources for research in conflict resolution

Using Government Information

For more see the Government Information portal at Columbia. If you are unfamiliar with how the American Government is set up (it's confusing!) please consult this fabulous set of resources from U.S.A.Gov

Some useful places to begin:

  • U.S. Congress. Congressional Budget Office: The CBO publishes numerous publications relating to national security, including:
  • Congressional Publications: Access to hearings, committee prints, CRS reports, legislative histories, the Congressional Record, federal regulations, and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Many documents are in full text and cover the years 1789 to the present; others are citations that are available in full text in print or microform in the library.
  • Congressional Research Service Reports: CRS, a branch of the Library of Congress, prepares research reports at the request of members of Congress, their staff, and Congressional committees.
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO) : Known as "the investigative arm of Congress" and "the congressional watchdog." GAO supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.

  • US Trade Representatives Office Topics: USTR is an agency with decades of specialized experience in trade issues and regions of the world. It negotiates directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements, to resolve disputes, and to participate in global trade policy organizations.

Main U.S. Departments To Consult

  1. Department of Defense
  2. Department of Homeland Security: On March 1, 2003, the majority of 180,000 employees from 22 agencies were merged to create the 15th department in the federal government. The department has three primary missions: prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.
  3. Department of State: The Department of State is the primary source of foreign affairs information for the U.S. Government and is responsible for implementing the President's foreign policies.
    • ​Country Reports on Terrorism
    • Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security: The Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs provides policy direction in the areas of non-proliferation, arms control, regional security and defense relations, and export control policy related to materials that might contribute to proliferation or otherwise harm U.S. interests.
    • Background Notes - U.S. Department of State: Brief profiles of most countries of the world. Includes information on government type and structure, names of major government officials, and an overview of foreign relations.
    • Don't forget that the State Department has had many versions of their website that can be accessed at their web-archive. 


  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): Provides information on foreign intelligence, counterintelligence activities, special activities, and other functions relating to national security.
    • Annual Worldwide Threat Assessment
      A report from the Director of National Intelligence to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Armed Services Committee.
  • National Security Council: Since its inception under President Truman, the function of the Council has been to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies. The Council also serves as the President's principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies.
  • U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute

International Government Information

Centers, Boards, & Institutes

  • Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB): Congress created the DNFSB in 1988 as an independent oversight organization within the Executive Branch to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy regarding public health and safety at DOE's defense nuclear facilities.
  • George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies: The Center provides instruction in national security affairs to Europe's senior defense officials; conducts research on European security issues; holds conferences on those issues; conducts specialized regional studies and language training courses.
  • Institute for Defense Analyses: IDA is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to promote national security and the public interest and whose primary mission is to assist the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands and defense agencies in addressing important national security issues, particularly those requiring scientific and technical expertise. To avoid institutional pressures in support of Service positions, IDA does not work directly for the Military Departments.
  • Institute for National Strategic Studies: INSS was established in July 1984 as an interdisciplinary research institute staffed by senior civilian and military analysts from all four Services. The Institute Director sets the research agenda of the Institute to meet the needs and requirements of the Department of Defense.