FAS Roundup: June 21, 2016

From the Blogs

Red Teams Needed to Critique Military Operations: U.S. military commanders would do well to make use of “red teams,” composed of independent experts to evaluate and critique U.S. military operations as they are being planned, according to a new publication from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Red teams can “help commanders and staffs think critically and creatively; challenge assumptions; mitigate groupthink; reduce risks by serving as a check against complacency and surprise; and increase opportunities by helping the staff see situations, problems, and potential solutions from alternative perspectives.” See Command Red Team, Joint Doctrine Note 1-16, 16 May 2016.

Islamic State Acolytes, and More from CRS: Domestic supporters of the Islamic State “have accounted for 67 homegrown violent jihadist plots between 2014 and early June 2016” involving more than 100 individuals, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service. “In November 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly had more than 900 investigations of IS suspects in the United States.” See The Islamic State’s Acolytes and the Challenges They Pose to U.S. Law Enforcement, June 13, 2016.

Congress Passes FOIA Improvement Act: The House of Representatives approved theFreedom of Information Act Improvement Act on June 13, which had previously been adopted by the Senate. If signed by President Obama, as expected, it will strengthen several provisions of the FOIA and should enhance disclosure of government records. The bill “reaffirms the public’s right to know and puts in place several reforms to stop agencies from slowly eroding the effectiveness of using FOIA to exercise that right,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

Funding Overseas Contingency Ops, and More from CRS: The use of the “overseas contingency operations” budget construct to circumvent limits on discretionary spending was examined in a recently published report from the Congressional Research Service. “Some DOD officials argue that this funding approach is essential to enable a timely military response to a dynamic enemy operating in a complex battlespace,” the CRS report said. “Critics however, have described the DOD’s continued use of the OCO/GWOT account as creating a ‘slush fund’ for military spending.” See Overseas Contingency Operations Funding: Background and Status, June 13, 2016.

FAS in the News

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