SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 128
December 15, 2006

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

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ARMY COUNTERINSURGENCY DOCTRINE CHARTS A NEW COURSE

The U.S. Army has completed a long-awaited new manual presenting military doctrine on counterinsurgency. It is the first revision of counterinsurgency doctrine in twenty years.

In several respects, the new doctrine implicitly repudiates the Bush Administration's approach to the war in Iraq.

"Conducting a successful counterinsurgency campaign requires a flexible, adaptive force led by agile, well-informed, culturally astute leaders," the foreword states.

The new manual emphasizes the importance of planning for post-conflict stabilization, and it stresses the limited utility of conventional military operations.

"The military forces that successfully defeat insurgencies are usually those able to overcome their institutional inclination to wage conventional war against insurgents."

A copy of the new 282 page unclassified manual was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "Counterinsurgency," U.S. Army Field Manual 3-24, December 15, 2006 (12.9 MB PDF):


DSB REPORT WARNS OF UNCERTAINTY IN U.S. NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES

There is an urgent need to reach consensus on how to configure the future U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, says a new report of the Defense Science Board (DSB).

"We are already late in addressing [stockpile] needs and the current pace of progress in defining, approving, and implementing the needed capabilities is not encouraging."

The sources of the present urgency, the DSB report says, are several:

"We are behind on weapons surveillance, which is essential to continuing confidence in the reliability, safety, and security of weapons."

"We are behind on dismantling unneeded weapons which adds to the security and safety concerns and burdens."

"We have an inadequately defined and funded capability for replacement, over time, of aging weapons in the stockpile."

In short, according to the DSB, "The current nuclear organization, management and programs do not provide for a nuclear weapons enterprise capable of meeting the nation's minimum needs."

The DSB proposes a series of recommendations that it says would help sustain the nuclear stockpile, transform the weapons production complex, and instigate needed organizational changes.

See Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on "Nuclear Capabilities," unclassified Report Summary, December 2006:

An analysis of the new report by Hans Kristensen of FAS may be found on the Strategic Security blog here:

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

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