Welcome to this latest FAS experiment in blogging. We hope it will provide you with some insight into our activities and offer us another channel for presenting our work and our observations on strategic security and everything that entails, which is… a lot.
I’m Steven Aftergood, and I focus on secrecy and intelligence policy. The two fit together rather intimately, since secrecy is a characteristic feature of intelligence. But secrecy, while necessary in many cases, also has corrosive effects. It tends to impede oversight, to shield incompetence, and, worst of all, to degrade the performance of the intelligence bureaucracy itself. That’s why the 9/11 Commission concluded that U.S. is “too complex and secret.”
Confronting official secrecy can be a daunting task, and a frustrating one. But it can be done. I put out Secrecy News, an email newsletter (soon to be a blog, too) that tracks some of the latest twists and turns in secrecy policy, and I will be plagiarizing from it here regularly. So let’s go!