Contesting a Presidential Election, & More from CRS

The procedures for challenging the outcome of a presidential election are summarized in a new publication from the Congressional Research Service. “The initial responsibility for resolving challenges, recounts, and contests to the results of a presidential election” lies with each individual state, CRS noted. But under some circumstances, challenges to a presidential election can work […]

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Autonomous Military Technology at a “Tipping Point”

Autonomous military technologies that are capable of independently selecting a course of action to achieve a goal are maturing rapidly, the Defense Science Board said in a newly published study. “Autonomy, fueled by advances in artificial intelligence, has attained a ‘tipping point’ in value,” the DSB study said. “Autonomy will deliver substantial operational value–in multiple […]

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DoD Security Cooperation Programs, & More from CRS

The Department of Defense has assumed a growing role in providing assistance to foreign military and security services over the past decade, often supplanting the Department of State. The evolution of DoD security cooperation activities is traced in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. “Since military aid became a major component of U.S. […]

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Active Protection for Combat Vehicles, & More from CRS

Efforts to develop Active Protection Systems (APS) to defend military combat vehicles against rocket-propelled grenades or anti-tank missiles are reviewed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. An Active Protection System is supposed to detect an incoming threat, such as a grenade or a missile, and employ countermeasures to destroy or deflect it, […]

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Knowing the Enemy: DoD Identity Activities

The Department of Defense is devoting increased attention to what it calls “identity activities,” which seek to identify individuals who may pose a threat on or off the battlefield. “Identity activities are a collection of functions and actions that appropriately recognize and differentiate one person or persona from another person or persona to support decision […]

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No First Use of Nuclear Weapons, & More from CRS

Recent reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been publicly released include the following. U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: Considering “No First Use”, CRS Insight, August 16, 2016 Coordinated Party Expenditures in Federal Elections: An Overview, updated August 15, 2016 Introduction to FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), August 16, 2016 The United Arab […]

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Security for Domestic Intelligence Facilities Revised

On June 13, a mentally ill man rammed his car into the gate at CIA headquarters, causing some damage and disruption (See “CIA Gate Crasher Gets 30-day Sentence” by Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, August 16). Three days later, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a new directive on Security Standards For Protecting Domestic IC […]

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Book Review: The Ethics of Technological Innovation

My review of the new book The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future by Sheila Jasanoff appeared in this week’s Nature magazine. It begins: “Technological innovation in fields from genetic engineering to cyberwarfare is accelerating at a breakneck pace, but ethical deliberation over its implications has lagged behind. Thus argues Sheila Jasanoff — […]

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Defense Support of Civil Authorities: Overview

The conditions under which U.S. military capabilities can be brought to bear in domestic civilian affairs are explained in a new three–volume manual published last week by the Department of Defense. As a rule, DoD intervention comes “in response to a request for assistance from civil authorities for domestic emergencies, law enforcement agency support, and […]

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Natural Gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, & More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service in the last few days include the following. Natural Gas Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean, August 15, 2016 Al Qaeda and U.S. Policy: Middle East and Africa, updated August 11, 2016 Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: 2007-2016, updated August 15, […]

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