DNI Updates Policy on Classified Leaks

Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats last month issued a newly revised directive that details intelligence community procedures for dealing with leaks of classified information. See Unauthorized Disclosures of Classified National Security Information, Intelligence Community Directive 701, December 22, 2017. The directive formalizes several notable developments in intelligence policy regarding leaks: *    It presents an […]

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Expulsion from Congress, and More from CRS

Over the course of U.S. history, twenty Members of Congress have been expelled by their colleagues. Most of those cases were based on charges of disloyalty to the United States in the early Civil War period. Two of them followed convictions on charges of public corruption, most recently in 2002. A new report from the […]

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Army Sketches Future Cyberspace Operations

The U.S. Army this week published an overview of future military cyberspace operations. See The U.S. Army Concept for Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Operations 2025-2040, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-8-6, 9 January 2018. The new Army publication is intended to promote development of cyber capabilities, to foster integration with other military functions, to shape recruitment, and to guide technology development […]

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Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, and More from CRS

Mandatory minimum sentencing in drug-related criminal prosecutions has “contributed to an explosion in the federal prison population and attendant costs,” a new report from the Congressional Research Service on the laws of mandatory sentencing observes. “Thus, the federal inmate population at the end of 1976 was 23,566, and at the end of 1986 it was 36,042. On […]

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Iran: Politics, and More from CRS

Has the U.S. adopted a policy of regime change towards Iran? Government officials have sent different signals at different times. In 2006, President George W. Bush called for a “free and democratic” Iran, which appeared to be an endorsement of regime change. In 2013, President Obama explicitly disavowed a policy of regime change and referred to the country as […]

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Changing of the Guard: Recent Retirements

Several government officials who collectively represent much of the public face of the national security secrecy system have retired recently. They include: *    Sheryl Shenberger, Director of the National Declassification Center *    Stephen Randolph, Historian of the State Department *    David J. Sherman, NSA Associate Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy *    Joseph Lambert, CIA […]

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Defense Acquisition Reform, and More from CRS

Over the last three years, Congress has sharply increased its legislative activity on defense acquisition reform, with an average of 82 new provisions in this area per year, compared to an average of 47 provisions in the previous decade. “Reform” here often means expanded authority to acquire military goods and services with increased flexibility. A […]

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IC “Portfolios” Overcome Compartmentalization of Intelligence

Excessive compartmentalization of intelligence can be counteracted by the use of “portfolios” of compartmented programs, according to new intelligence community guidance. Undue secrecy in intelligence is not only a barrier to external oversight and public accountability. It can also be an obstacle to effective mission performance. That is fortunate in a way since it provides […]

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US Aid to Pakistan, and More from CRS

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years,” President Trump provocatively tweeted yesterday, adding falsely that “they have given us nothing but lies & deceit.” A breakdown of US aid to Pakistan (excluding covert assistance) was recently provided by the Congressional Research Service. See […]

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Recovering Radioactive Nuclear Sources

Over the past decade the Department of Energy/NNSA has recovered thousands of sealed radioactive isotope sources from around the world that were abandoned, unwanted or no longer needed. Sealed nuclear sources are utilized for a variety of industrial, medical or military purposes. But at the end of their useful life they can still pose a […]

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