Army Updates Counterinsurgency Doctrine

“Without accurate and predictive intelligence, it is often better to not act than to act.” That note of prudence and restraint recurs throughout the newly revised U.S. Army Field Manual 3-24 on “Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies” that was published this month. The new manual replaces the celebrated 2006 edition of FM 3-24 (then simply entitled “Counterinsurgency”) associated with Gen. David Petraeus, who coordinated its development.  That earlier manual may have been the most popular and […]

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Nigeria’s Boko Haram, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Nigeria’s Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions, May 20, 2014 The Lord’s Resistance Army: The U.S. Response, May 15, 2014 Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy, May 19, 2014 U.S. International Broadcasting: Background and Issues for Reform, May 2, 2014 U.S. Foreign Trade in Services: Trends and U.S. Policy Challenges, May 15, 2014 Veterans’ Medical Care: FY2015 […]

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CIA Seeks More Time to Declassify Interrogation Documents

The Central Intelligence Agency today asked a court to allow more time to declassify its response to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) activities, which itself is undergoing a time-consuming declassification review. “This complex process requires the careful review of over 500 pages of highly classified material. In addition, sufficient time must be allowed not only for coordination with other agencies, but — after completion of declassification […]

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Army Views Emerging Intelligence Technologies

“Emerging Intelligence Technologies” is the theme of the latest issue of the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin (MIPB), January-March 2014. “Rapid technology developments in response to urgent wartime requirements have brought the intelligence community (IC) some tremendous new capabilities. Advancement in the areas of biometrics, battlefield forensics, miniaturization, SIGINT terminal guidance, DCGS-A, and distributed processing have been vital to the success of Military Intelligence (MI) and the Army,” wrote Maj. Gen. Robert P. Ashley. […]

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Afghanistan: Drug Trafficking, and More from CRS

“Drug trafficking, a long-standing feature of Afghanistan’s post-Taliban political economy, is linked to corruption and insecurity, and provides a source of illicit finance for non-state armed groups,” says a new report from the Congressional Research Service. “Based on recent production and trafficking trends, the drug problem in Afghanistan appears to be worsening,” the CRS report found. See Afghanistan: Drug Trafficking and the 2014 Transition, May 9, 2014. Other new CRS reports that Congress has withheld […]

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ODNI Defends New Pre-publication Review Policy

“Recent media reports have misconstrued ODNI’s policy for pre-publication of information to be publicly released,” according to a May 9 statement that was issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The ODNI policy had been described in articles published in Secrecy News (ODNI Requires Pre-Publication Review of All Public Information, May 8) and in the New York Times (Intelligence Policy Bans Citation of Leaked Material by Charlie Savage, May 8). ODNI said […]

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Selection of FISA Court Judges, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC): Selection of Judges, May 5, 2014 Unauthorized Aliens in the United States: Policy Discussion, May 8, 2014 Apprehensions of Unauthorized Migrants along the Southwest Border: Fact Sheet, May 2, 2014 FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund: Overview and Selected Issues, May 7, 2014 Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background […]

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ODNI Requires Pre-Publication Review of All Public Information

All employees of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are required to obtain authorization before disclosing any intelligence-related information to the public. “All ODNI personnel are required to submit all official and non-official information intended for public release for review,” says ODNI Instruction 80.04 on “Pre-publication Review of Information to be Publicly Released.”  The Instruction was newly updated on April 8. Like the new Intelligence Community policy on Media Contacts (Intelligence Directive Bars […]

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JASON Views Challenges of Electronic Health Data

The ongoing transition to electronic storage of individual health information was examined in a newly released study from the JASON scientific advisory panel. “The two overarching goals of moving to the electronic exchange of health information are improved health care and lower health care costs. Whether either, or both, of these goals can be achieved remains to be seen, and the challenges are immense,” the JASON study says. See A Robust Health Data Infrastructure, prepared […]

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Using Classification Challenges to Curb Secrecy

When government employees believe that classified information in their possession is improperly classified, they “are encouraged and expected” to challenge its classification status, according to President Obama’s executive order 13526 (section 1.8).  And sometimes they do. In Fiscal Year 2012, there were 402 classification challenges filed by government employees. One third of them were granted in whole or in part, according to statistics published by the Information Security Oversight Office. Such classification challenges have the […]

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