SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 43
May 4, 2005

THE RISE OF CHINA (CRS)

In its ascendance as an economic and military power, China is increasingly a subject of both fear and fascination among political leaders and the popular press.

"An intimate friend and a hated enemy have always been indispensable to my emotional life," Freud wrote in The Interpretation of Dreams, "and not infrequently ... friend and enemy have coincided in the same person." (Modern Library edition, p. 345).

Something similar seems to be true with respect to China, which has simultaneously been the object of ingratiating praise and pre-emptive demonization, as it has compelled the attention of would-be global strategists and others.

"China is on a rising path and America welcomes the emergence of a strong and peaceful and prosperous China," President Bush said in 2002 (quoted in the Washington Times today).

Yet China is also becoming a major driver for U.S. offensive and defensive military planning. The cover story of the latest Atlantic Monthly, entitled "How We Would Fight China," anticipates a new cold war with the People's Republic.

Much of the background that underlies American policy interest in China can be gleaned from several recent reports prepared by the Congressional Research Service.

"The Rise of China and Its Effect on Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea: U.S. Policy Choices," April 12, 2005:

"China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy," March 10, 2005:

"China's Economic Conditions," updated April 25, 2005:

"China-U.S. Trade Issues," updated March 3, 2005:

"China's Growing Interest in Latin America," April 20, 2005:


US MILITARY AND IRAQI CASUALTY STATISTICS (CRS)

U.S. and British government officials often declare insistently that the war against Iraq was "worth it," despite the failure to discover weapons of mass destruction, because the tyranny of Saddam Hussein has been brought to an end.

But it is difficult to support this conclusion with a cost-benefit analysis because the costs, which continue to be paid, are often not reported and may be unknown.

In particular, "the Department of Defense does not publicly release numbers on Iraqi civilian deaths, Iraqi security forces deaths, or medical evacuations of U.S. military personnel outside of Iraq," as noted in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

The CRS report therefore presents a range of estimates, of varying degrees of reliability, to help fill that information void.

See "U.S. Military and Iraqi Casualty Statistics: Additional Numbers and Explanations," April 26, 2005:

Congress earmarked $20 million for Iraqi civilians who suffered losses as a result of the Iraq war in the final House-Senate conference agreement on emergency supplemental appropriations for FY 2005 (H.R. 1268, section 2108).

That financial assistance is to be designated the "Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund," in memory of aid worker Marla Ruzicka who died in a car bomb attack on April 16 and who "inspired the creation of this program and a similar program in Afghanistan," the conference report stated.


NUCLEAR RESEARCH IN SAUDI ARABIA AND SYRIA

Scientists in Saudi Arabia, like those in many other non-nuclear weapons states, have demonstrated an interest in various aspects of nuclear science and technology.

Independent researcher Mark Gorwitz recently compiled a bibliography of Saudi nuclear research publications, culled from journal articles and conference proceedings. Cumulatively they tell a story to those who know how to read them.

Most of the studies are unexceptionable forays into nuclear physics, nuclear reactor safety, and so forth. Slightly more surprising are a few papers on nuclear weapons effects.

See "Saudi Arabian Nuclear Science Bibliography: Open Literature Citations" by Mark Gorwitz, May 2005:

Mr. Gorwitz performed a similar bibliographical exercise on Syrian nuclear research. See "Syrian Nuclear Science Bibliography: Open Literature Citations," May 2005:


SPACE SUPPORT TO ARMY OPERATIONS

The role of space technology in supporting U.S. military operations is discussed on an unclassified basis in a new Army field manual.

In short: "The Army is critically dependent on space capabilities to enable and enhance land warfare. Virtually every Army operation uses space capabilities to some degree. Today, we use space largely for its ability to enhance the effectiveness of our combat forces. We can communicate; navigate; target, find, and fix the enemy; anticipate weather; and protect our forces based on combat and support assets available from space. We also strive to control space so adversaries cannot overcome our asymmetrical advantages in space."

See "Space Support to Army Operations," Field Manual (FM) 3-14, May 2005 (130 page, 5 MB PDF file):


ST KITTS RATIFIES COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY

The Carribean island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis last week ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that bars nuclear explosive testing, becoming the 121st country to do so. The United States is not among them.

The two islands that together make up St. Kitts and Nevis are about one and a half times the size of Washington, DC, according to the CIA World Factbook. The CIA also notes that Nevis is seeking independence from St. Kitts -- which would create the possibility of an additional ratification of the CTBT.

See "Saint Kitts and Nevis ratifies Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty," CTBT Organization news release, May 3:

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Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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