Islamic State Acolytes, and More from CRS

Domestic supporters of the Islamic State “have accounted for 67 homegrown violent jihadist plots between 2014 and early June 2016” involving more than 100 individuals, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service. “In November 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly had more than 900 investigations of IS suspects in the […]

Read More

Congress Passes FOIA Improvement Act

The House of Representatives yesterday approved the Freedom of Information Act Improvement Act, which had previously been adopted by the Senate. If signed by President Obama, as expected, it will strengthen several provisions of the FOIA and should enhance disclosure of government records. The bill “reaffirms the public’s right to know and puts in place […]

Read More

Funding Overseas Contingency Ops, and More from CRS

The use of the “overseas contingency operations” budget construct to circumvent limits on discretionary spending was examined in a report from the Congressional Research Service published yesterday. “Some DOD officials argue that this funding approach is essential to enable a timely military response to a dynamic enemy operating in a complex battlespace,” the CRS report […]

Read More

SSCI Bill Adopts Fundamental Classification Review

The Fundamental Classification Guidance Review (FCGR) that was launched by President Obama’s 2009 executive order 13526 would be written into statute by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in its version of the FY intelligence authorization act (S. 3017), released this week. The FCGR has become the primary mechanism for systematically updating agency classification rules […]

Read More

Social Media in Congress, and More from CRS

“In less than 20 years, the entire nature of Member-constituent communication has been transformed, perhaps more than in any other period in American history,” observes a new report from the Congressional Research Service. Congressional offices now receive hundreds of millions of electronic communications from constituents each year, vastly more than they ever did using postal […]

Read More

Intelligence Reform in the Jimmy Carter Era

“Public trust and confidence in the Intelligence Community have been seriously undermined by disclosures of activities in the past that were illegal, injudicious or otherwise improper by today’s standards,” according to a 1977 interagency memorandum circulated by National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. “Moreover, many disillusioned persons who have come to believe the worst of their […]

Read More

DoD’s Rotation to the Philippines, and More from CRS

“On March 18, 2016, the United States and the Republic of the Philippines announced the selection of five military sites that will host a rotation of U.S. military units. This marks the first time that U.S. units will be welcomed by the Republic on regularly scheduled visits since the last permanent garrisons were withdrawn in […]

Read More

Four Cold War Covert Actions to be Disclosed

The Central Intelligence Agency said that it will disclose four previously unacknowledged Cold War covert actions. The four have not yet been publicly identified, but they will be addressed in forthcoming editions of the U.S. State Department’s official Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series. “In 2015 [CIA] agreed to acknowledge four covert actions […]

Read More

Congress Isn’t Helping to “Rebuild” CRS

Most public controversy concerning the Congressional Research Service revolves around the question of whether Congress should authorize CRS to make its reports publicly available, or whether unauthorized access to CRS reports is a satisfactory alternative. But a more urgent question is whether CRS itself will survive as a center of intellectual and analytical vitality. Already […]

Read More