IG Reports on Wars Abroad Unaffected by Trump Rebuke

In apparent disregard of criticism from President Trump, two new Inspector General reports on aspects of the wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq were openly published this week. “What kind of stuff is this?” the President had complained at a January 2 cabinet meeting. “We’re fighting wars, and they’re doing reports and releasing it to the […]

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National Emergencies, and More from CRS

There were no less than 30 “national emergencies” in effect as of February 1, according to a tabulation prepared by the Congressional Research Service. An additional 21 national emergencies that are no longer in effect were also identified by CRS. Under the National Emergencies Act, a declaration of national emergency can be used to activate […]

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Intelligence Transparency– But For What?

The new National Intelligence Strategy released last week by DNI Dan Coats affirms transparency as a value and as a strategic priority for U.S. intelligence. The declared purpose of intelligence transparency is to raise public esteem for intelligence and to engender public trust. But because the policy is framed primarily as a public relations effort, […]

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Combating Fraud Through Law, & More from CRS

Noteworthy new publications from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Bribery, Kickbacks, and Self-Dealing: An Overview of Honest Services Fraud and Issues for Congress, January 30, 2019 China’s Retaliatory Tariffs on U.S. Agricultural Products, CRS In Focus, January 29, 2019 New Law Requires Agencies to Report on Outstanding IG Recommendations, CRS Insight, January 30, 2019 Potential […]

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CIA Historical Review Panel Put on Hiatus

The Historical Review Panel that advises the Central Intelligence Agency on declassification of historical intelligence records said this week that its planned December 2018 meeting was canceled by CIA, and that no future meetings were scheduled. But CIA said yesterday that the Panel would be reconvened following some administrative changes. “We have recently been informed […]

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More Light on Black Program to Track UFOs

The Defense Intelligence Agency disclosed this week that it had funded research on warp drive, invisibility cloaking, and other areas of fringe or speculative science and engineering as part of a now-defunct program to track and identify threats from space. From 2007 to 2012, the DIA spent $22 million on the activity, formally known as […]

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JASON Endorses Further Fusion Power Research

The JASON scientific advisory panel cautiously endorsed further research into what is known as Magneto-Inertial Fusion (MIF) as a step towards achieving fusion-generated electricity. “Magneto-Inertial Fusion (MIF) is a physically plausible approach to studying controlled thermonuclear fusion in a region of parameter space that is less explored than Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) or Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF).” […]

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Can the Defense Department Build a Border Wall?

If the President were to declare a national emergency in order to justify building a “wall” on the border with Mexico, there would be certain legal authorities that he could invoke to initiate construction operations. But the scope of those legal authorities is uncertain and would almost certainly trigger litigation to challenge their application, the Congressional […]

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Defense Primers, and More from CRS

“The President does not need the concurrence of either his military advisors or the U.S. Congress to order the launch of nuclear weapons,” the Congressional Research Service reminded readers last month in an updated “defense primer” on “Command and Control of Nuclear Forces.” The CRS defense primer series consists of two-page introductions to a variety […]

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