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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Federal Conspiracy Law, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that were issued last week include the following. Federal Conspiracy Law: A Brief Overview, updated January 20, 2016 Methods of Estimating the Total Cost of Federal Regulations, January 21, 2016 Judicial Redress Act 101 — What to Know as Senate Contemplates Passing New Privacy Law, CRS […]

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An AUMF Against the Islamic State, and More from CRS

Ongoing U.S. military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria lacks any specific authorization from Congress.  A comparative analysis of various proposals for Congress to enact an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State is provided in an updated report from the Congressional Research Service. “Although the Obama Administration […]

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