SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 100
October 16, 2008

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NATO ENLARGEMENT, AND MORE FROM CRS

Noteworthy new reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.

"U.S. Nuclear Cooperation With India: Issues for Congress," updated October 2, 2008:

"Iraq's Debt Relief: Procedure and Potential Implications for International Debt Relief," updated October 2, 2008:

"NATO Enlargement: Albania, Croatia, and Possible Future Candidates," October 6, 2008:

"Navy DDG-1000 Destroyer Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress," updated October 9, 2008:

"Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress," updated October 2, 2008:

"Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler Aircraft: Background and Issues for Congress," updated October 2, 2008:

"Direct Overt U.S. Aid, Export Assistance and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2009," updated October 16, 2008:


AIR FORCE ON DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPON SAFETY

A new U.S. Air Force Instruction establishes a safety program for directed energy weapons (DEW) in view of the fact that "DEW systems create unique hazards that are different from conventional and nuclear weapons."

"Potential DEW systems covered by this instruction include, but are not limited to, high-energy lasers, weaponized microwave and millimeter wave beams, explosive-driven electromagnetic pulse devices, acoustic weapons, laser induced plasma channel systems, non-lethal directed energy devices, and atomic-scale and subatomic particle beam weapons."

See Air Force Instruction 91-401, Directed Energy Weapon Safety, September 29, 2008:


AIR FORCE ROLE IN NUCLEAR WEAPON MANAGEMENT

Another new U.S. Air Force Instruction describes the Air Force role in joint DoD-DOE nuclear weapons development, production, refurbishment, and retirement activities.

"Although the DoD and DOE co-manage nuclear weapons through all system life cycle phases, each has specific responsibilities," the Instruction explains.

"The DOE through the NNSA is responsible for designing, developing, building, sustaining, and dismantling all nuclear warheads. The DoD through the service component is responsible for developing the requirements and specifications for nuclear warhead operational characteristics; the environments in which the warhead must perform or remain safe; the determination of design acceptability; and the military requirements for warhead quantities."

See "Joint Air Force-National Nuclear Security Administration (AF-NNSA) Nuclear Weapons Life Cycle Management," AF Instruction 63-103, September 24, 2008:


FOIA POLICY IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

A newly revised Pentagon instruction updates Freedom of Information Act policy regarding requests submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"A classified document containing unclassified information may not be denied in total under exemption 1 [of the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts properly classified information] unless the unclassified information, when taken in aggregate, would reveal classified information."

Furthermore, the instruction says, "It is OSD policy that OSD and JS Components shall promote the public trust by making the maximum amount of information available to the public on the operation and activities of the Department of Defense, consistent with the Department's responsibility to ensure national security."

See "Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff (JS) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program," Administrative Instruction No. 108, September 29, 2008.

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

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