DOE Requests Increase in Nuclear Weapons Budget

The Department of Energy budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) would again increase spending on nuclear weapons in Fiscal Year 2017. “The budget request for FY2017 seeks $9,243.1 million for Weapons Activities within a total budget of $12,884 million for NNSA,” according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service. “This […]

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FAS Roundup: March 1, 2016

From the Blogs PBS Newshour Takes On The Holy Nuclear Triad: As the Pentagon prepares for an extensive (and expensive) overhaul of the country’s outdated land, air, and sea-based nuclear weapons, supporters and critics alike weigh in on whether a “fully-equipped” nuclear triad is truly essential for national defense and deterrence or if it’s high time […]

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An Eight-Member Supreme Court, and More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines the implications of having only eight members on the Supreme Court following Justice Scalia’s death. “This report provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s procedural rules and requirements when the Court is staffed with less than nine members. Included in this discussion is an overview of […]

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PBS Newshour Takes On The Holy Nuclear Triad

By Hans M. Kristensen It has almost become dogma: the United States needs to keep a Triad of strategic nuclear forces. Therefore, expensive modernization of every leg is necessary plus a fourth leg of non-strategic fighter-jets. Oh, and don’t forget nuclear command and control systems such as terminals and satellites. Without that, deterrence of potential adversaries […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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Federal Conspiracy Law, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that were issued last week include the following. Federal Conspiracy Law: A Brief Overview, updated January 20, 2016 Methods of Estimating the Total Cost of Federal Regulations, January 21, 2016 Judicial Redress Act 101 — What to Know as Senate Contemplates Passing New Privacy Law, CRS […]

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An AUMF Against the Islamic State, and More from CRS

Ongoing U.S. military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria lacks any specific authorization from Congress.  A comparative analysis of various proposals for Congress to enact an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State is provided in an updated report from the Congressional Research Service. “Although the Obama Administration […]

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Intelligence-Related Legislation, and More from CRS

Recent legislative provisions on intelligence policy are surveyed and cataloged in a newly updated Congressional Research Service report. In the past two annual intelligence authorization bills, Congress enacted various directions and requirements concerning intelligence agency financial auditability, insider threats, contractor oversight, and many other topics. These are tabulated and reviewed in Intelligence Authorization Legislation for […]

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Video Shows Earth-Penetrating Capability of B61-12 Nuclear Bomb

By Hans M. Kristensen and Matthew McKinzie* The capability of the new B61-12 nuclear bomb seems to continue to expand, from a simple life-extension of an existing bomb, to the first U.S. guided nuclear gravity bomb, to a nuclear earth-penetrator with increased accuracy. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) previously published pictures of the drop […]

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