Striving For A Safer World Since 1945

In the latest episode of Above The Fray, FAS President Ali Nouri‘s video podcast, he and former FAS Chair Prof. Frank von Hippel discussed Cold War-era science diplomacy efforts, and more.

Past episodes are available on YouTube.

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A Leaker’s Motives Are Irrelevant, Gov’t Says

Disclosing classified information without authorization is a crime even if the leaker had good intentions and was motivated by a larger public interest, the government said this week. Therefore, any mention of the purpose of the disclosure should be ru …

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Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention (CRS)

Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention, updated September 17, 2019 Attacks Against Saudi Oil Rattle Markets, CRS Insight, September 16, 2019 U.S.-Chin …

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Garwin on Serendipity and Solar Sailing

In July, the Planetary Society’s Lightsail 2 spacecraft demonstrated the viability of “solar sailing,” becoming “the first spacecraft in Earth orbit propelled solely by sunlight.” But the practicality of solar sailing was first described six decades ea …

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Election “Emergency” Order Again Yields No Culprits

A “national emergency” declared by President Trump last year to deal with the threat of foreign interference in U.S. elections has still not resulted in the identification or punishment of any perpetrators of such interference, according to the second …

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Avoiding “Behavioral Drift” in DoD Detainee Operations

The treatment of detainees in U.S. military custody will be observed by military psychologists in order to help discourage and detect unethical or abusive behavior, the Department of Defense said in a directive that was issued last week. “It is DoD pol …

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Defense Primers for Members of Congress

The Congressional Research Service developed “a series of short primers to provide Members of Congress an overview of key aspects of the Department of Defense and how Congress exercises authority over it.” The defense primers, several of which have bee …

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New Missile Silo And DF-41 Launchers Seen In Chinese Nuclear Missile Training Area

By Hans M. Kristensen Newly acquired satellite photos acquired from Digital Globe (Maxar) show that the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) is building what appears to be a new type of missile silo in the missile training area near Jilantai, …

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White House Issues a “National” Science & Tech Agenda

A new White House budget memo presents science and technology as a distinctly American-led enterprise in which U.S. dominance is to be maintained and reinforced. The document is silent on the possibility or the necessity of international scientific coo …

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The History of U.S. Decision-making on Nuclear Weapons in Japan

Many proposals for intermediate-range missiles in Asia refer to conventional weapons, because of their strategic importance, but many Japanese are likely to read these proposals as part of a long and politically fractious history of US weapons deployments to Japanese territory that included nuclear weapons.

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Modernization of Secrecy System is Stalled

Today’s national security classification system “relies on antiquated policies from another era that undercut its effectiveness today,” the Information Security Oversight Office told the President in a report released yesterday. Modernizing the system …

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