FAS Roundup: August 17, 2015

By August 17, 2015

From the Blogs

Nuclear Weapons Experts File Amicus Brief to Support Marshall Islands Lawsuit Against Nuclear Weapons States: Four nuclear weapons experts, including Hans Kristensen, Director of the FAS Nuclear Information Project, have filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in support of a lawsuit filed by the Republic of the Marshall Islands to compel the United States to meet its requirements under the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT). The basic bargain of the NPT is that non-nuclear weapons states agreed to never acquire nuclear weapons, in exchange for which nuclear weapons states promised to enter into good faith disarmament negotiations.

Nuclear Weapon Declassification Decisions, 2011-2015: The Department of Energy issued twenty “declassification determinations” between April 2011 and March 2015 to remove certain specified categories of nuclear weapons-related information from classification controls.

Regulating US Air Force Contacts with China: The U.S. Air Force last week issued updated guidance both to foster and to limit contacts with Chinese military personnel, based in part on classified Defense Department directives. “With the rise of PRC influence in the international community and the increasing capabilities of the Chinese military, Air Force military-to-military relationship with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is becoming more crucial than before,” the Air Force document stated.

A New Direction for the Library of Congress?: With the impending retirement of the longtime Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, there is an opportunity for a fundamental reconsideration of the function and operation of the Library of Congress. In particular, the time may be ripe for a massive expansion of the Library’s digitized holdings, enabling universal public access to its historic and cultural riches.

Environmental Considerations in Military Operations: The environmental impacts of military operations are increasingly becoming factors in the planning and execution of military activities. “The military has a new appreciation for the interdependence between military missions, the global community, and the environment,” according to a newly revised and reissued Army doctrinal manual.

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