Recent Activity from

SSCI Holds Open Hearing on Worldwide Threats

Last year Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI), abandoned the Committee’s longstanding practice of holding a public hearing with intelligence agency heads on the global threat environment. But yesterday, the annual threat hearing was once again held in public. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) noted last year’s lapse. “It’s […]

Read More

Intelligence Budgets on a Downward Slope

Intelligence community budgets appear set to continue on the modest downward slope of the last several years. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said yesterday that it was requesting $53.5 billion for the National Intelligence Program (NIP) in FY 2017, a slight reduction from the $53.9 billion that was requested for the NIP […]

Read More

Oman, Saudi Arabia, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public disclosure include the following. Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy, updated February 5, 2016 Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations, updated February 5, 2016 Senate Committee Rules in the 114th Congress: Key Provisions, February 8, 2016 Medicare Trigger, updated […]

Read More

FAS Roundup: February 9, 2016

From the Blogs RAND Report Questions Nuclear Role In Defending Baltic States: The RAND Corporation has published an interesting new report on how NATO would defend the Baltic States against a Russian attack. Hans Kristensen, director of the FAS Nuclear Information Project, analyzes the report’s observations and offers recommendations for “a better strategy.” Declassified: US Nuclear Weapons At […]

Read More

NSC Staffer John Ficklin Retires

John W. Ficklin retired last month from his position as Senior Director for Records and Access Management at the National Security Council. In that capacity he was responsible for declassification of White House records, among other records management duties. He also chaired an interagency classification reform committee that met (and still meets) to consider improvements […]

Read More

The Gig Economy, and More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines the “gig” economy and its implications for workers. “The gig economy is the collection of markets that match providers to consumers on a gig (or job) basis in support of on-demand commerce. In the basic model, gig workers enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies (e.g., […]

Read More

Coming to Terms with Secret Law

The topic of “secret law” is probed at great length in a new law review paper, which substantiates the concept and suggests a set of principles for addressing it. See “Coming to Terms with Secret Law” by Dakota S. Rudesill, to be published in the Harvard National Security Journal. Secret law is defined here as […]

Read More

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Strategic Implications, and More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines claims that the 12-nation free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will (or will not) advance the strategic interests of the United States by enabling it to exert influence in economic as well as security domains. See The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Strategic Implications, February 3, […]

Read More

RAND Report Questions Nuclear Role In Defending Baltic States

By Hans M. Kristensen The RAND Corporation has published an interesting new report on how NATO would defend the Baltic States against a Russian attack. Without spending much time explaining why Russia would launch a military attack against the Baltic States in the first place – the report simply declares “the next [after Ukraine] most […]

Read More

Declassified: US Nuclear Weapons At Sea

By Hans M. Kristensen Remember during the Cold War when US Navy warships and attack submarines sailed the World’s oceans bristling with nuclear weapons and routinely violated non-nuclear countries’ bans against nuclear weapons on their territories in peacetime? The weapons were onboard ballistic missile submarines, attack submarines, aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, frigates and supply […]

Read More