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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Pentagon Must Produce Plan for Declassification

The Department of Defense must explain by early next year how it is going to meet its obligations to declassify a growing backlog of classified records, Congress said this week. A provision (sect. 1759) in the new House-Senate conference version of the …

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JASON Science Advisory Panel Preserved

Congress has directed the Department of Defense to reach an “arrangement with the JASON scientific advisory group to conduct national security studies and analyses.” Last spring DoD officials sought to let the existing contract with the JASONs lapse, l …

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DoD To Report on Nuclear Programs of US, Russia, China

In a challenge to Pentagon secrecy, Congress has told the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence to prepare an unclassified report on the nuclear weapons programs of the United States, Russia and China. The requirement was inclu …

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Improved Access to Open Source Intelligence Urged

Congress should require the Director of National Intelligence to make open source intelligence more widely available, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission recommended in its latest annual report. Open source intelligence refers to inf …

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Artificial Intelligence and National Security, and More from CRS

The 2019 defense authorization act directed the Secretary of Defense to produce a definition of artificial intelligence (AI) by August 13, 2019 to help guide law and policy. But that was not done. Therefore “no official U.S. government definition of AI …

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Bill Would Require Congressional Approval of “National Emergencies”

Under current law, the President can declare a national emergency — and exercise extraordinary emergency authorities — but the ensuing state of emergency cannot be terminated by Congress without veto-proof majorities in both houses. A pending bill kn …

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Life Underground: US Army Subterranean Operations

Subterranean operations involving the use of tunnels and underground facilities pose growing challenges to the U.S. military, a new Army manual indicates. “Today, over 10,000 known subterranean facilities exist around the world,” the manual says. “Whet …

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A Rare Look Inside a Russian ICBM Base

It’s relatively easy to observe Russian missile bases from above. It’s much harder to do it from inside. But in September, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a rare video of a command exercise which features mobile SS-27 Mod 2 “Yars-S” ICBMs driv …

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Transparency vs. Good Government

It is usually taken for granted that transparency is a prerequisite to good government. The idea seems obvious. “Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing,” said President Obama in 2 …

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Managing the Department of Defense: An Overview

More than 2.8 million U.S. military and civilian defense personnel were deployed in more than 150 countries around the world last year. No one person can fully comprehend the workings of the Department of Defense. It is a massively complicated bureaucr …

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