Air Force Updates Doctrine on Cyberspace Operations

Within living memory, even a passing mention of cyber weapons or U.S. offensive activities in cyberspace was deemed sufficient to justify national security classification. Now, although the Obama Administration generally neither claims nor receives credit for it, military cyberspace doctrine has become one of a number of significant policy areas in which this Administration is […]

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Cross-Cutting Intelligence Issues, and More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service raises the possibility that polygraph testing of intelligence employees could be phased out in favor of “continuous evaluation” (CE), i.e. the automated monitoring of financial, criminal and other databases. The notion was suggested in a CRS overview of selected intelligence policy issues, including budget management, the quality […]

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Counting Casualties in Syria & Iraq, and More from CRS

The number of people killed in Syria since March 2011 is variously estimated to be between 250,000 and 470,000. The number of estimated casualties in Iraq ranges from 19,000 to 41,650 deaths since January 2014. A new report from the Congressional Research Service somewhat clinically discusses “the difficulties of collecting war-related casualty data in both […]

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Next U.S. National Military Strategy to be Classified

In a number of national security policy areas, there is a long-term trend in favor of greater transparency and disclosure. For example, the U.S. Army openly published a manual last week on Techniques for Information Collection During Operations Among Populations (ATP 3-55.4). It supersedes and replaces a previous publication from 2007 (FM 2-91.6) that was […]

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Preparing for the Presidential Transition, and More from CRS

The transfer of presidential power from one Administration to the next “is a complex and multi-faceted undertaking” that actually begins several months before the general election, an updated report from the Congressional Research Service explains. The law known as the Presidential Transition Act (PTA) “includes a number of provisions related to the pre-election portion of […]

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DoD: Some FOIA Requesters “Try to Monopolize the System”

Criticism of the Freedom of Information Act is frequently directed at the way that agencies implement the FOIA process, or the ways that they fail to do so. Requesters complain that responses to requests are delayed, often for years, that exemptions from disclosures are interpreted too broadly or in self-serving ways, and that fee waivers […]

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DNI Establishes Intelligence Transparency Council

The notion of “intelligence transparency,” which once would have been considered an oxymoron, is instead becoming institutionalized with the establishment of a new Intelligence Transparency Council. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper signed the Charter of the new Council on April 5. The Council includes representatives of each of the 17 Intelligence Community member agencies. […]

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Brazil in Crisis, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Brazil in Crisis, CRS Insight, April 6, 2016 Peru: Politics, Economy, and Elections in Brief, April 6, 2016 Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances, updated April 6, 2016 United States Supreme Court: Criminal Law Cases in the October 2015 Term, April 6, […]

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Assessing “Security Cooperation,” and More from CRS

There are approximately 80 distinct “security cooperation” programs and statutory authorities by which the U.S. provides security assistance to foreign security forces, according to a Department of Defense tally. The legal and institutional framework for delivering U.S. security aid to foreign countries is detailed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. “Over the […]

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DNI Clapper Embraces Review of Secrecy System

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper threw his weight behind the upcoming Fundamental Classification Guidance Review (FCGR), which requires executive branch agencies to review all of their classification guidance and to eliminate obsolete secrecy requirements every five years. (On the FCGR, see “Secrecy System to Undergo ‘Thoughtful Scrutiny’,” Secrecy News, March 28). In an […]

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