Congressional Oversight of Intelligence, and More from CRS

Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Background and Selected Options for Further Reform, December 4, 2018 The War Powers Resolution: Concepts and Practice, updated December 11, 2018 U.S. International Food Assistance: An Overview, December 6, 2018 U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications, updated […]

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US Sanctions on Russia, and More from CRS

The US has imposed several categories of sanctions on Russia in response to malicious or objectionable Russian activity. A new report from the Congressional Research Service provides an overview of US sanction tools and authorities, and their application to the case of Russia. It also discusses the various sanction regimes, their targets, their effectiveness, and […]

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DoD Says US, Turkey on a Collision Course

Turkey’s pending procurement of a Russian surface to air missile system would jeopardize its status in NATO, and disrupt other aspects of US military relations with that country, the Department of Defense told Congress. “The U.S. Government has made clear to the Turkish Government that purchasing the S-400 [surface to air missile system] would have […]

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Religious Support to Military Funerals

The US Army has issued updated guidance on military funerals that notably emphasizes freedom of religion and individual choice. “The Army requires the capability to provide RS [religious support] across austere and isolated locations which accommodates service members’ right to the free exercise of religion and supports resiliency efforts to sustain service members in combat.” […]

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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 Forces, CRS In Focus, updated November 16, 2018 Defense Primer: Special Operations Forces, CRS In Focus, updated November 16, 2018 Defense […]

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Next HASC Chair Sees Need for Greater DoD Transparency

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the likely chair of the House Armed Services Committee in the next Congress, told congressional colleagues that enhancing national security transparency is among his top oversight priorities. “Together, we have made strides on national security issues but much more must be done to conduct vigorous oversight of the Trump Administration and […]

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Defense Primers, and More from CRS

Incoming members of Congress face a steep learning curve in trying to understand, let alone master, many diverse areas of public policy such as national defense. To help facilitate that learning process, the Congressional Research Service has issued a series of “defense primers” that provide a brief introduction to a variety of defense policy topics. […]

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Classified Anti-Terrorist Ops Raise Oversight Questions

Last February, the Secretary of Defense initiated three new classified anti-terrorist operations intended “to degrade al Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated terrorists in the Middle East and specific regions of Africa.” A glimpse of the new operations was provided in the latest quarterly report on the U.S. anti-ISIS campaign from the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense, Department of […]

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Presidential Disability and the 25th Amendment

Under the 25th amendment to the Constitution, a U.S. President could be declared “disabled” and removed from office against his will by the Vice President acting together with a majority of the Cabinet. A new report from the Congressional Research Service details the background and provisions of the amendment. Proponents of the 25th amendment insisted that it […]

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Invention Secrecy Hits Recent High

Last year the number of patent applications that were subject to a “secrecy order” under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951 was the highest that it has been in more than two decades, according to data obtained from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Whenever disclosure of a new invention is deemed to be “detrimental to national security,” […]

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