FAS Roundup: April 14, 2014

Obama admin decision weakens New START, countering CIA’s conflict of interest in declassification and more.

From the Blogs

Countering the CIA’s Conflict of Interest in Declassification: Last week the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to submit the 480-page executive summary, findings and conclusions of its five-year investigation into the post-9/11 CIA Detention and Interrogation Program for declassification review. But in an obvious conflict of interest, the review is expected to be performed by the CIA itself. The standard process for declassification therefore puts the CIA in the awkward and untenable position of deciding whether to enable (or to prevent) the release of information that portrays the Agency itself, or some of its personnel, as having engaged in behavior that was brutal, lawless, and unaccountable.

Obama Administration Decision Weakens New START Implementation: The U.S. Air Force has decided to empty 50 ICBM silos, but instead of destroying the silos they will be kept to allow for future reloading of the missiles if necessary. Hans Kristensen writes that the decision to retain the 50 silos reduced under the NEW Start treaty instead of destroying them is a disappointing development that threatens to weaken New START implementation.

Book Review: Secrets and Leaks: Steven Aftergood reviews the new book by Princeton political scientist Rahul Sagar, “Secrets and Leaks: The Dilemma of State Secrecy.” The review can be found on the Lawfare Blog.

CIA Agrees to Provide Softcopy Records to Requester: After the CIA refused to release records requested under the Freedom of Information Act in softcopy format, requester Jeffrey Scudder filed a lawsuit against the Agency demanding that it comply, and he received a rather sympathetic hearing from the judge. On April 9, both parties reported that they found “a creative solution… that will render the issue moot.“

Screening and Panel Discussion of “Garwin: Witness to History”

On Tuesday, April 22, FAS, Syracuse University, and AAAS are hosting a screening of a new documentary exploring the distinguished (and controversial) career of Dr. Richard Garwin, “Garwin: Witness to History.” The event will be held at AAAS  in Washington, DC.

Dr. Garwin was a principal member of the team that designed the first hydrogen bomb in 1952 and has served as an advisor to every president since Eisenhower on issues of war and peace. He has dealt with important security issues such as nuclear proliferation, arms control, missile defense, and global warming. The filmmakers traveled across the country with Dr. Garwin as he pursued these and other issues.

Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion with Dr. Garwin and filmmakers Professor Richard Breyer and Mr. Anand Kamalakar.

RSVP and event schedule available here. 

Conference: Faith Communities on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

Soka Gakkai International-USA, the Federation of American Scientists, Abolition 2000, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Pax Christi International, Pax Christi USA and Women’s Action for New Directions invite you to a one-day conference examining the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and means for collaboration between the faith and advocacy communities on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. The event will be held from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Leaders from faith-based organizations, advocacy groups and government will come together to examine topics such as how faith views nuclear weapons, areas for partnership and U.S. nuclear policy.

The conference is free but advanced registration is required.

To RSVP and for conference agenda, click here. 

Short Course on CBRN Weapons, Science and Policy

FAS and George Mason University will host a short course from July 7-9, 2014 as part of GMU’s 2014 summer program in International Security. This three day, non-credit short course is designed to introduce participants to the science, security, and policy dimensions of the threats of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons as well as ballistic and cruise missile.

This course is aimed at professionals in energy policy, nuclear policy, nuclear industry, public health, life sciences, law enforcement, emergency management and national security who have responsibilities for preventing, preparing for, or responding to acts by states, criminals, or terrorists using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. Early bird registration is $1,300 until May 15 and 2.1 Continuing Ed Units will be awarded upon completion of course.

Click here for course information and registration. 

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