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|Release Date:||Oct. 5, 2012|
|Source Agency:||Congressional Research Service|
A presidential election period is a unique time in America and holds the promise of opportunity, as well as a possible risk to the nation s security interests. While possible changes in Administration during U.S. involvement in national security-related activities are not unique to the 2012-2013 election period, many observers suggest that the current security environment may portend a time of increased risk to the current presidential election period. Whether the enemies of the United States choose to undertake action that may harm the nation s security interests during the 2012-2013 election period, or the existing or new President experiences a relatively peaceful period during the transition, many foreign policy and security challenges will await the Administration. Collaboration and coordination during the presidential election period between the current Administration and that of a potentially new one may have a long-lasting effect on the new President s ability to effectively safeguard U.S. interests and may affect the legacy of the outgoing President. This report discusses historical national security-related presidential transition activities, provides a representative sampling of national security issues a new Administration may encounter, and offers considerations and options relevant to each of the five phases of the presidential election period. Each phase has distinct challenges and opportunities for the incoming Administration, the outgoing Administration, and Congress. This report is intended to provide a framework for national security considerations during the current election period and will be updated to reflect the election outcome.