Secrecy News

Defense Primers, Costs of War, and More from CRS

Several short introductions to basic aspects of U.S. military policy have recently been updated by the Congressional Research Service. Intended for congressional consumers, they may also be useful to others.

Defense Primer: Organization of U.S. Ground ForcesCRS In Focus, updated November 16, 2018

Defense Primer: Special Operations ForcesCRS In Focus, updated November 16, 2018

Defense Primer: Navigating the NDAACRS In Focus, updated November 16, 2018

Defense Primer: Defense Appropriations ProcessCRS In Focus, updated November 16, 2018

Defense Primer: Department of the Army and Army Command StructureCRS In Focus, updated November 16, 2018

*    *    *

It is hard even for attentive members of the public to fully comprehend the U.S. military budget.

“The scale of spending alone makes it hard to grasp. Public understanding of the costs of war is further limited by secrecy, faulty accounting, and the deferral of current costs,” I argued recently in a short paper for the Costs of War Project at Brown University. See The Costs of War: Obstacles to Public Understanding, November 14, 2018.

Neta C. Crawford of Brown University estimated the post-9/11 costs of war at $5.9 trillion through FY 2019.

*    *    *

Other noteworthy new releases from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

The Global Research and Development Landscape and Implications for the Department of Defense, updated November 8, 2018

U.S. Ground Forces Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI): Considerations for Congress, updated November 20, 2018

United States and Saudi Arabia Energy RelationsCRS In Focus, November 19, 2018

Global Human Rights: Multilateral Bodies & U.S. ParticipationCRS In Focus, updated November 23, 2018

The European Union: Current Challenges and Future Prospects, updated November 15, 2018

Immigration: “Recalcitrant” Countries and the Use of Visa Sanctions to Encourage Cooperation with Alien RemovalsCRS In Focus, November 15, 2018

Infrastructure Investment and the Federal GovernmentCRS In Focus, updated November 19, 2018

Insulin Products and the Cost of Diabetes TreatmentCRS In Focus, November 19, 2018

Quantum Information Science: Applications, Global Research and Development, and Policy Considerations, updated November 19, 2018

What Role Might the Federal Government Play in Law Enforcement Reform?CRS In Focus, updated November 16, 2018

Who Can Serve as Acting Attorney GeneralCRS Legal Sidebar, November 15, 2018