Author: Katie Colten

FAS Roundup: November 5, 2012

Intelligence spending drops, extreme weather and much more. From the Blogs Court Orders FBI to Release Withheld Information: A few years ago, the FBI invoked national security to justify…

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FAS Roundup: October 29, 2012

Syria’s chemical weapons, plea in Kiriakou case, Cuban Missile Crisis order of battle and much more.   Up for Debate: Syria’s Chemical Weapons A 2011 unclassified report to Congress said…

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FAS Roundup: October 22, 2012

50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, radioactive waste cleanup and much more. 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis October marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis,…

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Event: Nuclear Regimes Forum

FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson will speak at a forum on nuclear regimes hosted by Virginia Tech  University in Arlington, VA on November 5, 2012. Dr. Ferguson will speak about…

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Event: Science and Technology of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization is hosting an Advanced Science Course, “Around the Globe and Around the Clock: The Science and Technology of the CTBT” from November 12-23 at the Vienna International Centre. The course is also available online and free of charge. The course will take an in-depth look at the science behind the verification technologies of the CTBT, as well as the conduct of on-site inspections to verify compliance with the nuclear test ban.

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FAS Roundup: October 15, 2012

NATO and nuclear transparency, Obama directive on intelligence whistleblowers and much more. From the Blogs Obama Issues Directive on Intelligence Community Whistleblowers: On October 10, President Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 19 on “Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information.” The directive generally prohibits official reprisals against an intelligence community employee who makes a “protected disclosure” concerning unlawful activity or “waste, fraud, and abuse.” It does not authorize disclosure of classified information outside of official channels to the press or the public. The directive was occasioned by the ongoing failure of Congress to extend the protections of the Whistleblower Protection Act to intelligence community employees. DoD- Strategic Security Not Even Threatened by Greater Russian Forces: A recent DoD report on Russian nuclear forces, conducted in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence and sent to Congress in May 2012, concludes that even the most worst-case scenario of a Russian surprise disarming first strike against the United States would have “little to no effect” on the U.S. ability to retaliate with a devastating strike against Russia. Kiriakou Defense Seeks to Depose Reporters: Steven Aftergood writes that in a new challenge to press independence, attorneys for John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer who is charged with leaking classified information, have asked a court for permission to depose three journalists in support of his defense. The Kiriakou defense said the reporters’ testimony was needed because it could be exculpatory for their client, and that the reporters could affirm that Kiriakou lacked any intent to harm the United States or to benefit a foreign power.

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FAS Roundup: October 9, 2012

New START data, Supreme Court ruling on FISA, India’s SSBN and much more. From the Blogs Fusion Centers Flayed in Senate Report: Steven Aftergood writes that the state and…

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FAS Roundup: October 1, 2012

U.S.-NZ relations, new DNI directives, declassification at Department of Energy and much more. From the Blogs In 1962, Kennedy was Urged to Take "Drastic Action" Against Leakers: Fifty years ago, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) urged President John F. Kennedy to take “drastic action” against whoever had leaked classified intelligence information to a New York Times reporter.  The Board also suggested that the CIA be empowered domestically to track down such leaks. The PFIAB recommendations to President Kennedy were memorialized in an August 1, 1962 report that established a template for future efforts to combat leaks, up to the present day. Declassification Proceeds Methodically at Energy Department: The capacity of gas centrifuges to enrich uranium increased by two orders of magnitude between 1961 and 1967, from 0.39 kg-SWU/year to 30 kg-SWU/year. That striking fact was declassified by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 and made public this month. Under the terms of the Atomic Energy Act (section 142), which governs the classification of nuclear weapons-related information, the Department of Energy is required to conduct a “continuous review” of its classified information “in order to determine which information may be declassified.”  And so it does. Slowly and methodically, the Department has declassified numerous categories of nuclear information over the last several years. In Warming U.S.- NZ Relations, Outdated Nuclear Policy Remains Unnecessary Irritant: Last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited New Zealand to ease restrictions on New Zealand naval visits to U.S. military bases. In a new blog post, Hans Kristensen writes that this move shows that Washington, after nearly 30 years of punishing the small South Pacific nation for its ban against nuclear weapons, may finally have come to its senses and decided to end the vendetta in the interest of more important issues.

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FAS Roundup: September 24, 2012

Nonstrategic nuclear weapons, surveillance of journalists, building a new foundation with Yemen and much more. From the Blogs Declassification Declassified- PRC and the W88 Warhead: In 2006, the Department…

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FAS Roundup: September 17, 2012

Summer issue of the PIR, nuclear energy debate, legality of targeted killing of terrorists and much more. Up for Debate: Nuclear Energy in the United States The U.S. nuclear power industry currently generates about 20 percent of the nation's electricity. While nuclear plants generate more than half the electricity in six states, the nuclear power industry's challenges include high nuclear power plant construction costs, public concern about nuclear safety and waste disposal, and regulatory compliance costs. Will the use of nuclear energy lead to energy independence? In a new edition of the FAS online debate series "Up for Debate," Dr. Mark Perry from the American Enterprise Institute and Ms. Ellen Vancko from the Union of Concerned Scientists debate the future use of nuclear energy in the United States. Read the debate here. Summer 2012 Public Interest Report The new issue of the Public Interest Report is now available online, featuring articles on America's cyber policy, strategic responses to cyber espionage and nuclear power safety. Read the Summer 2012 PIR here.

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