FAS Roundup: February 16, 2016

By February 16, 2016

From the Blogs

Pentagon Portrays Nuclear Modernization As Response to Russia: The final defense budget of the Obama administration effectively crowns this administration as the nuclear modernization leader of post-Cold War U.S. presidencies. Hans Kristensen, Director of the FAS Nuclear Information Project discusses such nuclear modernization programs and what they could mean for the future.

Streamlining Declassification: Imagery and Image Products: A 2014 memorandum from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, released this week under the Freedom of Information Act, drew a new distinction between intelligence satellite images and the intelligence products that are derived from those images. The subtle new distinction affects the classification and declassification of the two categories of information, and may help to facilitate the release of a growing volume of imagery-related material by US intelligence agencies.

“Notwithstanding Any Other Provision of Law,” and More from CRS: The phrase “notwithstanding any other provision of law” has already appeared in bills introduced in the current Congress more than 600 times, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service. “Does the presence of this phrase in an enactment really mean that no other statutes apply, as is sometimes suggested? The short answer is: not necessarily.”

SSCI Holds Open Hearing on Worldwide Threats: Last year Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI), abandoned the Committee’s longstanding practice of holding a public hearing with intelligence agency heads on the global threat environment. But yesterday, the annual threat hearing was once again held in public.

Intelligence Budgets on a Downward Slope: Intelligence community budgets appear set to continue on the modest downward slope of the last several years. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said yesterday that it was requesting $53.5 billion for the National Intelligence Program (NIP) in FY 2017, a slight reduction from the $53.9 billion that was requested for the NIP in FY 2016.

Oman, Saudi Arabia, and More from CRS: New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public disclosure.

NSC Staffer John Ficklin Retires: John W. Ficklin retired last month from his position as Senior Director for Records and Access Management at the National Security Council. In that capacity he was responsible for declassification of White House records, among other records management duties.

The Gig Economy, and More from CRS: A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines the “gig” economy and its implications for workers. “The gig economy is the collection of markets that match providers to consumers on a gig (or job) basis in support of on-demand commerce. In the basic model, gig workers enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies (e.g., Uber, TaskRabbit) to provide services to the company’s clients.” See What Does the Gig Economy Mean for Workers?, February 5, 2016.

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Categories: FAS Roundup