The Bells of Balangiga, and More from CRS

New and updated publications from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress, updated October 5, 2018 Defense Primer: The NDAA Process, CRS In Focus, updated October 3, 2018 Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, CRS In Focus, updated October 2, 2018 Lebanon, […]

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Remembering Steve Garfinkel

We were very sad to learn that Steve Garfinkel, the former director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), passed away on September 24. Appointed by President Carter in 1980, Mr. Garfinkel served as the second ISOO director for two decades until his retirement in January 2002. In that position, he played an influential role […]

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Government Contractor Accountability, & More from CRS

Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Selected Legal Tools for Maintaining Government Contractor Accountability, September 26, 2018 Federalism-Based Limitations on Congressional Power: An Overview, September 27, 2018 EPA Proposes the Affordable Clean Energy Rule to Replace the Clean Power Plan, CRS Legal Sidebar, September 26, 2018 EPA Proposes New […]

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Backlog of Security Clearance Investigations Declines

After years of cumulative and seemingly irreversible growth, the backlog of pending security clearance investigations declined in the last three months in response to new policy guidance. Since June, the National Background Investigation Bureau has reduced its background investigation inventory from 725,000 cases to 657,000 cases, according to a new quarterly report on security clearance policy. […]

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Overruling Constitutional Precedents

A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines how and why the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn one of its own rulings interpreting the Constitution. There are at least 141 cases where such rulings have in fact been overturned, including three in the Court’s latest term, and these are tabulated in an appendix to the report. See The […]

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Intelligence Support to Diplomatic Facilities Abroad

The role of U.S. intelligence agencies in helping to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel abroad is highlighted in a recently revised Intelligence Community Directive. The directive does not specifically cite the reported sonic attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Havana, but those mysterious events seem to fall within its scope, which include implementing Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) […]

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Locomotive Idling: CRS Comes Online

The Congressional Research Service launched its new public portal this morning, with an initial installment of 628 reports dating back to January of this year. The back catalog of older reports is supposed to be added over time. The public versions of the reports are lightly redacted to remove the author’s contact information, and to […]

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The Nuclear Weapons Complex, and More from CRS

The Department of Energy has nuclear weapons facilities in seven states including three laboratories, five component fabrication or materials production plants, one assembly and disassembly site, a geologic waste repository, and one testing facility. A new report from the Congressional Research Service summarizes operations at each of the sites. See The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Overview […]

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USAF: Implementing Arms Control Treaties

The implementation of arms control agreements by the Air Force is detailed in a newly updated directive. The directive addresses Air Force obligations under New START, US-IAEA Safeguard Agreements, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Convention. See Implementation of, and Compliance with, Treaties Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, Air Force Instruction 16-608, September 7, 2018. […]

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Reviving the Role of CRS in Congressional Oversight

The Congressional Research Service once played a prominent role in supporting oversight by congressional committees. Although that support has diminished sharply in recent years, it could conceivably be restored in a new Congress, writes former CRS analyst Kevin R. Kosar in a new paper. In the past, CRS “closely assisted Congress in a myriad of major […]

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