SSCI Holds Open Hearing on Worldwide Threats

Last year Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI), abandoned the Committee’s longstanding practice of holding a public hearing with intelligence agency heads on the global threat environment. But yesterday, the annual threat hearing was once again held in public. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) noted last year’s lapse. “It’s […]

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Intelligence Budgets on a Downward Slope

Intelligence community budgets appear set to continue on the modest downward slope of the last several years. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said yesterday that it was requesting $53.5 billion for the National Intelligence Program (NIP) in FY 2017, a slight reduction from the $53.9 billion that was requested for the NIP […]

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Oman, Saudi Arabia, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public disclosure include the following. Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy, updated February 5, 2016 Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations, updated February 5, 2016 Senate Committee Rules in the 114th Congress: Key Provisions, February 8, 2016 Medicare Trigger, updated […]

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NSC Staffer John Ficklin Retires

John W. Ficklin retired last month from his position as Senior Director for Records and Access Management at the National Security Council. In that capacity he was responsible for declassification of White House records, among other records management duties. He also chaired an interagency classification reform committee that met (and still meets) to consider improvements […]

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The Gig Economy, and More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines the “gig” economy and its implications for workers. “The gig economy is the collection of markets that match providers to consumers on a gig (or job) basis in support of on-demand commerce. In the basic model, gig workers enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies (e.g., […]

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Coming to Terms with Secret Law

The topic of “secret law” is probed at great length in a new law review paper, which substantiates the concept and suggests a set of principles for addressing it. See “Coming to Terms with Secret Law” by Dakota S. Rudesill, to be published in the Harvard National Security Journal. Secret law is defined here as […]

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Trans-Pacific Partnership: Strategic Implications, and More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines claims that the 12-nation free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will (or will not) advance the strategic interests of the United States by enabling it to exert influence in economic as well as security domains. See The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Strategic Implications, February 3, […]

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DoD Building Foreign Defense Institutions

As part of its international defense cooperation activities, the Department of Defense has long been involved in supporting military institutions in various allied nations. Yesterday, a new DoD directive was issued to formally structure and to assign responsibility for executing what is called the Defense Institution Building (DIB) program. “DoD, in coordination with other appropriate […]

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Drones in Domestic Airspace, and More from CRS

A survey of policy issues raised by the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in domestic U.S. airspace was presented in a new report yesterday from the Congressional Research Service. The report described the current and projected market for UAS, applications of UAS in government and industry, safety and security issues, the current regulatory environment, […]

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ODNI Workforce Profiled in Human Capital Plan

Demographic information concerning the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Intelligence Community as a whole is provided in a newly-released ODNI Strategic Human Capital Plan, 2012-2017. As of 2012, the total Intelligence Community workforce was 76.6% white, and 61.6% male, both higher than the overall federal workforce (which was 65.6% white and […]

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