National Security Space Launch, and More from CRS

In a worst-case scenario, the United States could be left without a launch vehicle needed to deploy national security space payloads within the next several years. The ongoing turbulence within national security space policy is reviewed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. See National Security Space Launch at a Crossroads, May 13, […]

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Using Social Media in Background Investigations

A directive signed by the Director of National Intelligence yesterday formally authorizes the use of social media by official investigators who are conducting background investigations for security clearances. See Collection, Use, and Retention of Publicly Available Social Media Information in Personnel Security Background Investigations and Adjudications, Security Executive Agent Directive 5, May 12, 2016. The […]

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What Kind of Military Officers Does the US Need? (CRS)

There is a lack of consensus about what the U.S. military officer corps should look like, a new report from the Congressional Research Service says. Divergent views exist about what type of military officers the country needs, what skills they should have, how they should be distributed by grade, what criteria should be used for […]

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Delivery Drones, Confederate Flags, and More from CRS

The growing prospect of the use of drones for commercial delivery purposes is considered in a new memorandum from the Congressional Research Service. “Can you prevent a drone from flying over your house to deliver a package to your neighbor? Until now, that question has been of purely theoretical interest. However, the Senate recently passed […]

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Archivist Won’t Call “Torture Report” a Permanent Record

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero last week rebuffed requests to formally designate the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogation practices a “federal record” that must be preserved. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy had urged the Archivist to exercise his authority to certify that the Senate report is a federal record. […]

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HASC Favors Classified National Military Strategy

The forthcoming National Military Strategy, unlike previous versions of the Strategy, should be a classified document, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) said in its markup of the FY2017 defense authorization bill. Paradoxically, the Committee said that classifying the Strategy would enable increased disclosure of information– to the Committee, not to the public. “The committee […]

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Questions for the Record: Arctic Camouflage

The camouflage netting used by the U.S. Army in the Arctic region is obsolete and ineffective, Army officials told Congress in response to a question for the record in a newly published hearing volume. “The existing Arctic camouflage system has not been upgraded since its inception in the mid-1970s. The Army’s current camouflage system, the […]

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Judge Garland’s Opinions, and More from CRS

The Congressional Research Service continues to devote substantial attention to the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, even if the U.S. Senate remains unwilling or unable to act on the nomination. This week CRS issued a new report presenting an annotated tabulation of hundreds of decisions written by Judge Garland. “To assist […]

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Punishing Leaks Through Administrative Channels

The Obama Administration has famously prosecuted more individuals for unauthorized disclosures of classified information to the media than all of its predecessors combined. But behind the scenes, it appears to have sought administrative penalties for leaks — rather than criminal ones — with equal or greater vigor. “This Administration has been historically active in pursuing […]

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Judge Garland’s Jurisprudence, and More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines Judge Merrick Garland’s approach to various domains of the law in an attempt to assess what the impact would be if his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court were ever confirmed by the U.S. Senate. “The report focuses on those areas of law where Justice Scalia […]

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