A sobering compilation of statistics on injuries sustained by U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan was updated this week by the Congressional Research Service based in part on data that CRS gathered from the Pentagon.
“This report includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties,” the CRS report said. “Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) website, whereas others have been obtained through contact with experts at DOD.” See U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom, February 5, 2013.
Another newly updated CRS report presents an informative and diverting account of politics in China.
“China’s Communist Party dominates state and society in China, is committed to maintaining a permanent monopoly on power, and is intolerant of those who question its right to rule. Nonetheless, analysts consider China’s political system to be neither monolithic nor rigidly hierarchical. Jockeying among leaders and institutions representing different sets of interests is common at every level of the system.” See Understanding China’s Political System, January 31, 2013.
And for good measure there is a CRS report on the legal foundation for public access to government records. See Access to Government Information In the United States: A Primer, January 16, 2013.
There is no legal foundation that would guarantee public access to CRS reports. So they have to be obtained through alternate channels.