2013 FAS Accomplishments

By November 14, 2013

With generous support from members and donors, FAS was able to continue its work to provide science-based analysis of and practical solutions to reduce dangers from weapons of mass destruction, as well as to promote greater accountability of government in secrecy and classification policies. A list of achievements by topic can be found below.

Nuclear Weapons

  • Examined U.S. budget plans for nuclear forces including the modernization of the B61-12 bomb to increase accuracy (at the price tag of $1 billion) and provided recommendations on how the United States can meet its security needs while cutting costs for unnecessary weapons and upgrades.


Iranian Nuclear Program

  • Evaluated the economic effects of Iran’s nuclear program, and policy implications of sanctions and other actions by the United States and other allies. FAS and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a report titled Iran’s Nuclear Odyssey: Costs and Risks, which concluded that economic sanctions nor military force cannot end this prideful program; it is imperative that a diplomatic solution is reached to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful.


Government Secrecy

  • Educated the public on U.S. government surveillance policy in the wake of leaks disclosed by Edward Snowden regarding top secret surveillance programs by the National Security Agency. Director of the Government Secrecy project Steven Aftergood provided commentary to the media and the public on issues related to whistleblowers and leaks including: the changing secrecy culture and how the Snowden leaks have shifted public opinion in regards to what should be classified, priorities for the Public Interest Declassification Board (which advises the President on classification policy), and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
  • Provided the public with access to previously undisclosed government records that have public policy significance, along with access to Congressional Research Service Reports (CRS), which are produced for members of Congress and not available to the public.


Nuclear Energy

  • Co-chaired the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group (with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation) to bring together American and Japanese experts and officials who represent the two countries’ nuclear energy initiatives to work together for joint energy security. In April 2013, the working group released a report on its findings and specific issues to address including a strategy for reducing Japan’s plutonium stockpile, new standards for radiation safety and environmental cleanup and treatment of spent nuclear fuel.


Chemical, Biological and Conventional Weapons

  • Distinguished myth from reality about Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal via media outreach and extensive publication of articles related to the removal of chemical weapons, sarin and its effects, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.



  • Transformed to a more user-friendly format for the Public Interest Report, FAS’s quarterly journal, now devoted to being a venue for innovative ideas to reduce catastrophic risks.


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