Joint Chiefs Issue Doctrine on “Homeland Defense”

A new publication of the Joint Chiefs of Staff presents U.S. military doctrine on “homeland defense” (pdf).

“It provides information on command and control, interagency and multinational coordination, and operations required to defeat external threats to, and aggression against, the homeland.”

See “Homeland Defense,” Joint Publication 3-27, July 12, 2007.

The document further extends the unfortunate use of the term “homeland” to refer to the United States, a relatively recent coinage that became prevalent in the George W. Bush Administration.

Not only does the word “homeland” have unhappy echoes of the Germanic “Heimat” and the cult of land and soil, it is also a misnomer in a nation of immigrants.

Moreover, “homeland” is defined by the military exclusively in terms of geography: It is “the physical region that includes the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, United States territories and possessions, and surrounding territorial waters and airspace.”

This means that actions to defend the Constitution and the political institutions of American democracy are by definition excluded from “homeland defense.”

For the Joint Chiefs, constitutional liberties are subordinate to, and contingent upon, physical security:

“To preserve the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the Nation must have a homeland that is secure from threats and violence, especially terrorism.” (page I-1).

Clinton Campaign Urges Publication of All Agency Budgets

Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has put forward an agenda to increase transparency in government that includes “publishing budgets for every government agency.”

This appears to be a roundabout way of endorsing disclosure of intelligence agency budgets, since the budgets of all other agencies are already published.

The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment or elaboration on the proposal.

Intelligence budget secrecy is perhaps the preeminent and most enduring example of overclassification, i.e. classification that is not justified by a valid national security concern.

A proposal to declassify the aggregate figure for the National Intelligence Program, comprised of over a dozen individual agency intelligence budgets, is pending in the Senate version of the FY 2008 Intelligence Authorization Act (S. 1538 [pdf]).

The 9/11 Commission went further and said “the overall amounts of money being appropriated for national intelligence and to its component agencies should no longer be kept secret.” (Final Report, p. 416).

The Clinton campaign appears to have adopted this bipartisan Commission recommendation for release of component agency budget information. The Bush Administration opposes any disclosure (pdf) of any intelligence budget data, even the aggregate figure.

CRS Reports on the Middle East

Recent reports of the Congressional Research Service on Middle East-related topics, obtained by Secrecy News without CRS authorization, include the following.

“U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends, and the FY2008 Request,” updated July 3, 2007.

“Libya: Background and U.S. Relations,” updated June 19, 2007.

“U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” updated April 25, 2007.

“Lebanon,” updated July 11, 2007.

“The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA),” updated July 9, 2007.

“Iran’s Influence in Iraq,” updated July 9, 2007.

CRS Reports on Various Topics

More publicly unreleased reports from the Congressional Research Service on various topics of interest to some include these (all pdf).

“Journalists’ Privilege to Withhold Information in Judicial and Other Proceedings: State Shield Statutes,” updated June 27, 2007.

“Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Background, Legal Analysis, and Policy Options,” updated June 30, 2007.

“Critical Infrastructure: The National Asset Database,” updated July 16, 2007.

“Chemical Facility Security: Regulation and Issues for Congress,” updated June 21, 2007.

“Pipeline Safety and Security: Federal Programs,” updated July 11, 2007.

Maggot Therapy and Other Special Forces Medicine

Under extreme conditions, live maggots may be inserted into a wound to consume damaged or diseased flesh, according to a medical manual for U.S. Army Special Forces (large pdf).

“Despite the hazards involved, maggot therapy should be considered a viable alternative when, in the absence of antibiotics, a wound becomes severely infected, does not heal, and ordinary debridement [removal of diseased tissue] is impossible,” according to the 1982 manual (at page 22-3).

See “U.S. Army Special Forces Medical Handbook,” ST 31-91B, 1 March 1982 (407 pages, 16 MB PDF file).

It turns out that maggot therapy is recognized and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sterilized maggot colonies can be ordered, by prescription only, from specialized suppliers.

The Special Forces manual, however, envisions the use of unsterilized maggots for emergency use.

Along with a lot of standard wilderness medicine, the manual also describes various unorthodox, potentially dangerous remedies that may be considered when conventional medical alternatives are unavailable.

For example, the manual suggests that intestinal worms can be combated by eating cigarettes. “The nicotine in the cigarette kills or stuns the worms long enough for them to be passed.”

Another option for dealing with intestinal parasites is to swallow kerosene. “Drink 2 tablespoons. Don’t drink more.” (page 22-2).

Update: But see also “A Caveat on the Special Forces Medical Manual.”

Licensing Exemptions, Round Two: The Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty

At a press briefing on Monday, Assistant Secretary of State John Rood elaborated on the Bush Administration’s latest attempt to secure license-free defense exports to the UK, a contentious issue that sparked a bruising battle between the administration and House Republicans three years ago. This time the exemptions are packaged in the form of a Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty (DTCT), the stated goal of which is to “improve transatlantic defence information sharing by reducing the barriers to exchanges of defence goods, services and information between the US and UK.” By pursuing a treaty, the administration avoids another confrontation with the House, but it remains to be seen whether the Democrat-controlled Senate will tolerate what appears to be an end-run around their colleagues, especially given the administration’s apparent failure to adequately consult either chamber before negotiating the treaty.
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New Jersey Woman finds “missile” in her front yard

Note: After this entry was posted, the Associated Press revealed that the item in question is actually a 20-year-old expended AT-4 anti-tank missile launcher that posed no threat.

This morning a woman from Jersey City discovered a “missile” lying in the grass on her front lawn. Niranjana Besai showed the missile to her neighbor, who told CBS 2 News that at first he thought the 6-foot-long item was just a pipe. Upon closer inspection, he concluded that it looked like the missile launchers he’d seen on TV. The New Jersey television station said that their “sources” told them that the “device is the type used ot shoot shoulder-fired rockets and is capable of taking down an aircraft.”

Little else is known about the item, but initial descriptions are consistent with the physical appearance of many man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), the launch tubes of which are approximately 5 to 6 feet long and look a bit like a pipe. Private ownership of MANPADS is ilegal in the United States, and the version used by the US military – the Stinger missile – is one of the most tighly guarded weapons in its arsenals. If the item is indeed a MANPADS, it would have profound national security and policy implications.
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Targeting Missile Defense Systems

By Hans M. Kristensen

The now month-long clash between Russia and the West over U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in Europe should warn us that – despite important progress in some areas – Cold War thinking is alive and well.

The missile defense system, Moscow says, is but the latest step in a gradual military encroachment on Russian borders by NATO, and could well be used to shoot down Russian ballistic missiles. The head of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces and President Putin have suggested that Russia might target the defenses with nuclear weapons. The United States has rejected the complaints insisting that Russia has nothing to fear and that the defenses will only be used against Iranian ballistic missiles. European allies have complained that the Russian threats are unacceptable and have no place in today’s Europe.

That may be true, but the reactions have revealed a frightening degree of naiveté about strategic war planning in the post-Cold War era, a widespread belief that such planning has somehow stopped. It has certainly changed, but all the major nuclear weapon states insist that they must hedge against an uncertain future and continue to adjust their strike plans against potential adversaries that have weapons of mass destruction. Russia continues to plan against the West and the West continues to plan against Russia. The plans are not the same that existed during the Cold War, but they are strike plans nonetheless.

The argument made by some officials that missile defense systems are merely defensive and don’t threaten anyone is disingenuous because it glosses over a fact that all planners know very well: Even limited missile defenses become priority targets if they can disturb other important strike plans. The West concluded that very early on in its military relationship with Russia.
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Army Views “Civil Affairs” Operations

The crucial interactions between military forces and the civilian environment in which they operate are the domain of “civil affairs,” a subject of urgent interest to the U.S. military in Iraq and elsewhere.

Civil affairs operations that promote cooperation between the military and the local population help to advance the military mission. Activities that generate friction or inspire opposition are not helpful.

“A supportive civilian population can provide resources and information that facilitate friendly operations. It can also provide a positive climate for the military and diplomatic activity a nation pursues to achieve foreign policy objectives,” according to U.S. military doctrine.

“A hostile civilian population threatens the immediate operations of deployed friendly forces and can often undermine public support at home for the policy objectives of the United States and its allies.”

“The problem of achieving maximum civilian support and minimum civilian interference with U.S. military operations will require the coordination of intelligence efforts, security measures, operational efficiency, and the intentional cultivation of goodwill.”

“Failure to use CA [civil affairs] assets in the analysis of political, economic, and social bases of instability may result in inadequate responses to the root causes of the instability and result in the initiation or continuation of conflict.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Army issued a revised “how-to” manual on the conduct of civil affairs. That manual has not been approved for public release and is not readily available. But a copy of the prior edition from 2003 was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “Civil Affairs Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures,” U.S. Army Field Manual FM 3-05.401, September 2003 (535 pages, 16 MB PDF file).

A more concise treatment of the same subject was given in another recent manual. Though not approved for public release, a copy was obtained by Secrecy News. See “Civil Affairs Operations,” U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.40, September 2006 (183 pages, 4 MB PDF file).