FAS Roundup: January 27, 2014

General confirms enhanced targeting with B61-12 bomb, Defense Science Board urges more global monitoring and more.

From the Blogs

Defense Science Board Urges Expanded Global Monitoring: A new report by the Defense Science Board urges the U.S. government to expand and accelerate global monitoring for the purposes of detecting nuclear proliferation. The report also emphasized the need for increased openness and transparency to strengthen international confidence and stability and to simplify the challenge of global monitoring of proliferation.

Sen. McCain Blasts Secret Legislation on Drone Policy: Steven Aftergood writes that in a striking new example of secret lawmaking, a classified provision in the consolidated appropriations bill passed by Congress last week prohibited the transfer of CIA drone operations to the Department of Defense. The term “secret law” is most often used to refer to executive branch actions that mandate national policy without public notice, or that reinterpret existing statutes in dubious or counterintuitive ways that are not disclosed to the public. But in this case, an important national policy measure was literally written into law by Congress in secret.

General Confirms Enhanced Targeting Capabilities of B61-12 Nuclear Bomb: Former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz, has confirmed that the B61-12 nuclear bomb planned by the Obama administration will have improved military capabilities to attack targets with greater accuracy and less radioactive fallout. Hans Kristensen writes that this confirmation is important because it violates the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review which states that Life Extension Programs will not provide for new military capabilities. Additionally, this confirmation contradicts the goals of the United States and NATO to reduce the role of nuclear weapons.

GAO to Issue Report on Intelligence Contractors: The Government Accountability Office will issue a long-awaited report on intelligence community contractors in the next few weeks, a congressional official said. The GAO report is an unclassified version of a classified assessment that was completed last year. By its nature, GAO tends not to deal with intelligence operations, or with sources and methods. Rather, it is mainly concerned with workforce management, human capital, and similar issues in which it has particular expertise.

Hiroshima Survivor Shares Perspectives: In the first of a series of posts, Adjunct Fellow for Emerging Technologies Michael Edward Walsh, writes about his trip to Kakehashi, Japan as part of the Japan Foundation’s Kakehashi Young Public Intellectuals Trip and the delegation’s meeting with one of the survivors of Hiroshima and the lasting impacts on his life.

Privacy Board Urges New Criteria for Secrecy: The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released a new report on January 23 which states that the government needs to develop new criteria for secrecy and openness in the wake of the NSA collection of telephone records. However, implementing the report recommendations may pose a challenge.

Shadow Banking and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as the energy-water nexus and policy issues related to shadow banking.

IAEA 2014 Safeguards Symposium

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the European Safeguards Research and Development Association (ESARDA) and the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) is hosting a symposium on international safeguards in Vienna, Austria from October 20-24, 2014.

The purpose of the symposium is to foster dialogue and information exchange between IAEA Member States, nuclear industry representatives and technical experts to discuss strategic and technical issues facing the safeguards community.

For more information on the symposium, visit the event site here.

Office Space for Rent

FAS has office space available for rent in the heart of Washington’s central business district and close proximity to the Farragut West (orange and blue lines) and Farragut North Metro (red line) Stations. Currently, there is 2.500 to 8.000 rentable square feet available (up to 15 windowed options); price is negotiable. Office space can be furnished and includes: reception area, two conference rooms, copy room, kitchen and storage space. Parking is available in building.

Click here to view the flyer with additional information regarding space, price and location. 

FAS in the News

Jan 21: Wall Street Journal“Panel Calls For More Spy Capability”

Jan 16: Global Security Newswire“U.S. Bill Would Deny Funds To Close Underground Missile Silos”

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