Security Clearances and Presidential Authority

Revoking security clearances for access to classified information in order to punish critics, as the White House proposed to do yesterday, is probably within the President’s authority. But it shouldn’t be. And there is, in principle, a way to prevent it. “Not only is the President looking to take away [former CIA director John] Brennan’s […]

Read More

Flying Cars and Drones and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Flying Cars and Drones Pose Policy Challenges for Managing and Regulating Low-Altitude Airspace, CRS Insight, July 23, 2018 “Duck Boat” Accident Highlights Gap in Regulation, CRS Insight, July 20, 2018 Emergency Department Boarding of Behavioral Health Patients, CRS In Focus, July 19, 2018 […]

Read More

Can a President Amend Regulations by Executive Order?

Does the President have the authority to unilaterally amend the Code of Federal Regulations by executive order? The question arises because executive order 13843 issued by President Trump on July 10 to modify the way administrative law judges are appointed also purports to directly amend three provisions of the CFR. Ordinarily, such regulations can only be amended by […]

Read More

Cyber War as a Career Path

Military cyber operations have been normalized to the point that there is now a defined career path for would-be cyber warriors in the U.S. Air Force and a formal curriculum for training them. The role of a cyber war specialist, which includes defense as well as offense, is “to develop, sustain, and enhance cyberspace capabilities […]

Read More

SSCI Requires Strategy for Countering Russia

In its new report on the FY 18-19 Intelligence Authorization bill, published today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence would require the Director of National Intelligence “to develop a whole-of-government strategy for countering Russian cyber threats against United States electoral systems and processes.” As if to underscore the gulf in the perception of the Russian […]

Read More

Tit-for-Tat Tariff Measures, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Tit-for-Tat Tariff Measures and U.S. Trade Policy, CRS Insight, July 11, 2018 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs, updated July 11, 2018 Military Transition Assistance Program (TAP): An Overview, CRS In Focus, updated July 12, 2018 Risk and […]

Read More

The Aging Secrecy System Is “At a Crossroads”

Today’s national security classification system is unsustainable, says a new annual report to the President from the government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). It is “hamstrung by old practices and outdated technology” and a new, government-wide technology strategy will be required “to combat inaccurate classification and promote more timely declassification.” The secrecy system has expanded […]

Read More

Ethics in Intelligence, and More from CRS

What is the role of ethics in intelligence and at the CIA in particular? “Some former employees and others with experience at the agency have been critical of CIA’s ethics program as focusing too much on legal compliance in a reactive, ad hoc manner that falls short of a comprehensive approach to ethics education at […]

Read More

Justice Kennedy Retires, and More from CRS

With the announcement of Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the US Supreme Court, the Congressional Research Service issued several new and updated reports on the nomination process and related issues. Justice Kennedy Retires: Initial Considerations for Congress, CRS Legal Sidebar, January 28, 2018 President’s Selection of a Nominee for a Supreme Court Vacancy: Overview, CRS Insight, […]

Read More