DoD Regulation on Formulating the Intelligence Budget

A recently revised Defense Department regulation (pdf) provides new detail on the preparation of the annual intelligence budget request, and on the documentation needed to support it.

The U.S. intelligence budget is comprised of two spending “aggregations”: the National Intelligence Program (NIP) and the Military Intelligence Program (MIP). (This configuration replaced the former National Foreign Intelligence Program, Joint Military Intelligence Program, and Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities.)

The NIP budget, which totaled $43.5 billion in 2007 according to last week’s official disclosure, funds intelligence to support national policy makers. The MIP budget, which probably amounts to at least another $10 billion, supports the Secretary of Defense, the military services, and military commanders in the field.

In practice, the distinction between the NIP and the MIP is not crystal clear, and several large “national” intelligence agencies — including NSA, DIA, NGA, NRO — also receive funding through the MIP.

A Defense Department Financial Management Regulation on “Intelligence Programs/Activities,” dated June 2007, presents the definitions of the intelligence budget aggregations, explains their classification levels, and describes the documentation that must be submitted to Congress to justify their appropriations.

Renditions, and More from CRS

Notable new reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following (all pdf).

“Renditions: Constraints Imposed by Laws on Torture,” updated October 12, 2007.

“Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals,” November 2, 2007.

“Burma and Transnational Crime,” October 25, 2007.

“The Army’s Future Combat System (FCS): Background and Issues for Congress,” updated October 11, 2007.

“Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress,” updated October 10, 2007.

Support Secrecy News

If you find Secrecy News useful and informative, please consider supporting our work with a financial donation.

The value of a publication like this can sometimes be hard to define, and its impact difficult to trace. Yet we believe that Secrecy News has made an identifiable contribution, particularly by introducing significant government information and documents into the public domain.

So, for example, the Washington Post reported on October 16 that a controversial internal U.S. government report on Iraqi corruption had been made “widely available on the Internet.” In fact, a Google search indicates that the report was made available only on the Federation of American Scientists web site, where it was published by Secrecy News.

The New York Times reported on October 30 that “several advocacy groups” had filed legal challenges seeking disclosure of the intelligence budget total after September 11, 2001. But there is no record of such a legal challenge brought by anyone other than the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, Secrecy News’ publisher.

A widely-noted New Yorker article (February 19) on torture and U.S. government policy stated that the Intelligence Science Board had “released a report” criticizing coercive interrogation. In private correspondence, however, author Jane Mayer courteously acknowledged that she merely assumed the Board had released the report and that she had actually read it on the FAS web site after it was posted there by Secrecy News. (It has since been published elsewhere.)

What these stories indirectly confirm, even without crediting Secrecy News, is that we have succeeded in creating an effective conduit for transmitting restricted or inaccessible government information to the public.

With almost every issue of Secrecy News, we publish government records that members of the general public cannot readily locate elsewhere– unique resources on foreign affairs and domestic surveillance, psychological operations and special operations, and much more. And we make them available on demand and without charge to a large audience. (Less than a day after we published a U.S. Army Field Manual on “Survival” last week, it had already been downloaded more than 35,000 times.)

We were fortunate to have had support for this work over the past year from several philanthropic foundations– including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the HKH Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Stewart S. Mott Charitable Trust. But their assistance does not cover all of our costs.

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White House Guidance Led to New Nuclear Strike Plans Against Proliferators, Document Shows

The U.S. nuclear war plan that entered into effect in March 2003 included new executable strike options against regional states seeking weapons of mass destruction.
(click on image to download PDF-version)

By Hans M. Kristensen

The 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and White House guidance issued in response to the terrorist attacks against the United States in September 2001 led to the creation of new nuclear strike options against regional states seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction, according to a military planning document obtained by the Federation of American Scientists.

Rumors about such options have existed for years, but the document is the first authoritative evidence that fear of weapons of mass destruction attacks from outside Russia and China caused the Bush administration to broaden U.S. nuclear targeting policy by ordering the military to prepare a series of new options for nuclear strikes against regional proliferators.

Responding to nuclear weapons planning guidance issued by the White House shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, U.S. Strategic Command created a series of scenario driven nuclear strike options against regional states. Illustrations in the document identify the states as North Korea and Libya as well as SCUD-equipped countries that appear to include Iran, Iraq (at the time), and Syria – the very countries mentioned in the NPR. The new strike options were incorporated into the strategic nuclear war plan that entered into effect on March 1, 2003.

The creation of the new strike options contradict statements by government officials who have insisted that the NPR did not change U.S. nuclear policy but decreased the role of nuclear weapons.
Continue reading

Court Authorizes Subpoenas of Senior Officials in AIPAC Case

A federal court authorized issuance of subpoenas to more than a dozen current and former government officials to testify in the case of two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who are accused of unauthorized receipt, transmission and disclosure of classified information.

According to the defense, the testimony of the subpoenaed officials will show that the defendants did “nothing more than the well-established official Washington practice of engaging in ‘back channel’ communication with various non-governmental entities and persons for the purpose of advancing U.S. foreign policy goals.”

The government disputes that claim and says such testimony is irrelevant to whether the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to obtain and disclose classified information.

The court, however, ruled (pdf) that circumstantial evidence of the official use of “back channel” communications could be probative of the defendants’ state of mind and could show a lack of criminal intent.

Judge T.S. Ellis III therefore authorized issuance of subpoenas to the following officials:

    Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State (then-National Security Advisor)

    Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State

    William Burns, U.S. Ambassador to Russia

    Marc Grossman, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs

    Lawrence Silverman, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy to the Slovak Republic

    Matthew Bryza, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

    Marc Sievers, Political Officer, U.S. Embassy to Israel

    David Satterfield, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State and Coordinator for Iraq (then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs)

    Stephen Hadley, National Security Advisory (then-Deputy National Security Advisory)

    Elliot Abrams, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisory for Global Democracy Strategy Affairs

    Kenneth Pollack, former Director for Persian Gulf Affairs for the National Security Council

    Paul Wolfowitz, former Deputy Secretary of Defense

    Douglas Feith, former Undersecretary of Defense

    Michael Makovsky, former employee of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of Near East and South Asia

    Lawrence Franklin, former Department of Defense employee

A copy of the November 2, 2007 Memorandum Opinion in the case of United States of America v. Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman is available here.

Nuclear Weapons in U.S. Policy, and More from CRS

Noteworthy new reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following (all pdf).

“Nuclear Weapons in U.S. National Security Policy: Past, Present, and Prospects,” October 29, 2007.

“National Strategy for Combating Terrorism: Background and Issues for Congress,” November 1, 2007.

“China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities — Background and Issues for Congress,” updated October 18, 2007.

Secrecy Threatens Historical Record, State Dept is Told

Broad classification restrictions on the disclosure of historical intelligence information are making it difficult or impossible to accurately represent the record of U.S. foreign policy, an official advisory committee warned in a report (pdf) to the Secretary of State last summer.

By law, the Department of State is obliged to publish “a thorough, accurate and reliable documentary record” of United States foreign policy in its official Foreign Relations of the United States series.

But due to official secrecy, “the credibility of the series… remains in the balance,” according to the newly disclosed report of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation.

For example, “The blanket denial by the CIA of the right to quote or cite from the President’s Daily Briefs of the Nixon years and beyond will make it difficult to give a full and accurate rendering of the effect of intelligence assessments on the foreign relations of the United States…. [T]he continued exemption of the President’s Daily Briefs may cause serious harm to the intellectual integrity of the Foreign Relations series.”

Similarly, the Committee complained, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board “has not allowed the historians of the [Foreign Relations] series access to its records [which] need to become accessible to the staff of the [State Department] Office of the Historian and be made available for inclusion in appropriate volumes of Foreign Relations of the United States.”

In short, “Committee members believe that unless policies consistent with respect for the right of the American people to be fully informed about their government’s conduct of foreign policy are adopted and implemented by the Executive Branch, it may become impossible for The Historian [of the State Department] to carry out his duties or for the committee to carry out its Congressionally mandated obligations.”

See “Report of the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, January 1-December 31, 2006,” transmitted to the Secretary of State on June 19, 2007.

DNI Discourages Declassification of Intel Estimates

Although summary accounts of several National Intelligence Estimates have recently been declassified and published, this should not become standard practice, the Director of National Intelligence declared last week.

“It is the policy of the Director of National Intelligence that KJs [the Key Judgments from National Intelligence Estimates] should not be declassified,” DNI J. Michael McConnell wrote (pdf).

“No predisposition to declassify KJs should exist in drafting an NIE or its KJs. Any decision to declassify will be made by the DNI and only after he and other National Intelligence Board principals have reviewed and approved the entire NIE.”

“There is both a real and a perceived danger that analysts will adopt less bold approaches, or otherwise modify the way they characterize developments, and that the integrity of the NIE process could be harmed by expectations that all or portions of the NIE are likely to be declassified,” the DNI asserted.

See “Guidance on Declassification of National Intelligence Estimate Key Judgments,” memo to the Intelligence Community Workforce, October 24, 2007.

The new policy was first reported by Pamela Hess of the Associated Press.

Robert Jervis, the distinguished political scientist who advises the CIA on declassification policy, said that he supported the DNI’s position.

With declassification, “you make the pressures of politicization that much greater,” he told the Associated Press. “When you are writing an executive summary it’s hard not to ask ‘How is this sentence going to read in The New York Times?'”

But Michael Tanji, a veteran U.S. intelligence employee, disputed that view. “Having contributed to more than one of these in my career, I’m here to tell you, public opinion does not enter into the calculus,” he wrote in the Danger Room blog.

Various Resources

Noteworthy new publications that we haven’t had a chance to read closely yet include (all pdf):

“National Strategy for Information Sharing: Successes and Challenges in Improving Terrorism-Related Information Sharing,” National Security Council, October 2007.

“Army International Security Cooperation Policy,” Army Regulation AR 11-31, 24 October 2007.

“A.Q. Khan’s Nuclear Wal-Mart: Out of Business or Under New Management?” hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, June 27, 2007.

The Second Superseding Indictment of Noshir S. Gowadia, who was charged with unauthorized disclosure of classified information on stealth programs and technologies to China, Israel and several other countries, October 25, 2007.

Army Field Manual on Survival

“All of us were born kicking and fighting to live, but we have become used to the soft life…. What happens when we are faced with a survival situation with its stresses, inconveniences, and discomforts?”

That question is posed in a 2002 U.S. Army Field Manual (large pdf) on survival strategies and techniques in emergency situations.

Almost all of the contents will be familiar to students of wilderness medicine and first aid. (Except maybe “Prepare yourself to survive in a nuclear environment.”) Nevertheless, U.S. Army web sites do not permit public access to the document, which says that distribution is limited to government agencies and contractors. A copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “Survival,” U.S. Army Field Manual FM 3-05.70, May 2002 (676 pages in a large 20 MB PDF file).