Refugee Admissions and Resettlement, and More from CRS

Newly updated publications from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy, February 18, 2015 U.S. Tsunami Program: A Brief Overview, February 20, 2015 Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis, February 23, 2015 Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 114th Congress, February 23, 2015 Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress, February 24, 2015 Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons, […]

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New Interactive Nuclear Notebook

A new interactive infographic detailing information on the world’s nuclear arsenals from 1945 to 2013 is now live on the website of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The Nuclear Notebook is published in the Bulletin and is written by FAS’ Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris. The research and data provided in the Notebook by Kristensen and Norris gives reliable information on worldwide nuclear force levels and trends that is widely cited by scholars, […]

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Adapting to Climate Change, and More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service describes government agency plans to anticipate and adapt to the effects of climate change, as required by a 2013 executive order.   The first step is a vulnerability assessment. For the Department of Defense, climate change may have “potential impacts on geopolitics and national security interests that could result in [new] military operations, risks to existing military infrastructure, and hindrances to readiness and the ability to execute […]

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Battle of the Bands: Army Music Doctrine

The U.S. Army issued new doctrine this month on the role of music in military operations. “The mission of Army music is to provide music supporting unified land operations and instill in our forces the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote America’s interests at home and abroad,” the Army doctrine states. “Army music stands ready to provide flexible, relevant, and targeted music support where civilian entertainers cannot go.” […]

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The INF Crisis: Bad Press and Nuclear Saber Rattling

By Hans M. Kristensen Russian online news paper Vzglaid is carrying a story that wrongly claims that I have said a Russian flight-test of an INF missile would not be a violation of the INF Treaty as long as the missile is not in production or put into service. That is of course wrong. I have not made such a statement, not least because it would be wrong. On the contrary, a test-launch of an […]

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Ballistic Missile Defense and Strategic Stability in East Asia

On February 20, 2015, FAS hosted a workshop examining ballistic missile defense in East Asia and strategic stability between the United States and China. A new project led by Charles Ferguson, FAS president, and Bruce MacDonald, Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Technology, is examining the security implications of possible Chinese deployment of strategic ballistic missile defense. In the Winter 2015 Public Interest Report, Ferguson writes about nuclear strategic stability between the United States and China, and results […]

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Nuclear Power and Nanomaterials: Big Potential for Small Particles

Nuclear power plants are large, complex, and expensive facilities. They provide approximately 19 percent of U.S. electricity power supply,1)DOE U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review, 2011. and in the process consume enormous quantities of water. However, a class of very small particles may be gearing up to lend a helping hand in making power plants more efficient and less costly to operate. This article will briefly introduce nanomaterials and discuss ways in which some of these particles may make nuclear power plants more efficient. The race to synthesize, engineer, test, and apply new nanoscale materials for solving difficult problems in energy and defense is in full swing. The past twenty five years have ushered in an era of nanomaterials and nanoparticles – objects with at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers2)G.L. Hornyak, Fundamentals of Nanotechnology, 2009. – and researchers are now implementing these materials in areas as disparate as […]

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The Making of the Manhattan Project Park

The making of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park took more than five times as long as the making of the atomic bomb itself (1942 to 1945). Fifteen years after the first efforts to preserve some of the Manhattan Project properties at Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1999, Congress enacted the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act, signed by President Obama on December 19, 2014. The following provides the story of how the park was created and a preview of coming attractions.   Mandate for a Clean Sweep After the end of the Cold War in 1989, Congress directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up decades of contamination at its nuclear production facilities. At Los Alamos, the V Site (where the atomic bombs were assembled), was a cluster of garage-like wooden structures left over from the Manhattan Project, far from public view. The main property had high-bay doors […]

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New DNI Guidance on Polygraph Testing Against Leaks

Updated below Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper issued guidance this month on polygraph testing for screening of intelligence community personnel. His instructions give particular emphasis to the use of the polygraph for combating unauthorized disclosures of classified information. Counterintelligence scope polygraph examinations “shall cover the topics of espionage, sabotage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure or removal of classified information (including to the media), unauthorized or unreported foreign contacts, and deliberate damage to or misuse of […]

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Court to Weigh Judicial Approval of “No Fly” Cases

In a pending lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the “no fly” list, in which the government has asserted the state secrets privilege, a federal court signaled that it would consider requiring judicial approval of “no fly” determinations involving U.S. citizens. Judge Anthony J. Trenga, who presides over the case Gulet Mohamed v. Eric Holder in the Eastern District of Virginia, set a hearing on February 24 to allow the government to supplement its argument that […]

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