Intelligence Spending Increased in 2016

The amount of money appropriated for U.S. intelligence increased in 2016 by about 5 percent to a total of $70.7 billion, up from $66.8 billion the year before. The total includes FY 2016 appropriations for both the National Intelligence Program (NIP) and the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), which were officially disclosed on October 28, as […]

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CIA Will Place Its CREST Database Online

The Central Intelligence Agency said this week that it will post its database of declassified CIA documents online, making them broadly accessible to all interested users. The database, known as CREST (for CIA Records Search Tool), contains more than 11 million pages of historical Agency records that have already been declassified and approved for public […]

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Human Factors in Verifying Warhead Dismantlement

Arms control agreements that envision the verified dismantlement of nuclear weapons require the availability of suitable technology to perform the verification. But they also depend on the good faith of the participants and a shared sense of confidence in the integrity of the verification process. An exercise in demonstrated warhead dismantlement showed that such confidence […]

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Defending U.S. Forces Against Enemy Drones

Enemy use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is a growing threat to U.S. forces because of their low cost, versatility, and ease of use, according to a recent U.S. Army doctrinal publication. “The UAS is the most challenging and prevalent threat platform to combined arms forces and therefore, a logical choice for enemy use.” See […]

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Contesting a Presidential Election, and More from CRS

The feasibility of challenging the outcome of a presidential election is examined in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. “If legitimate and verifiable allegations of voting fraud, or indications of misconduct by election officials on election day are presented, what legal recourses are available to complainants to litigate and potentially to remedy such […]

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On the Use of Presidential Policy Directives

On October 14, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 43 on the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba. Aside from the substance of the directive on the future of US-Cuba relations, PPD-43 has several incidental features of interest. First, it is a public document. “The policy directive was notable because it was […]

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JASON on BMD Midcourse Discrimination (2010)

A comprehensive defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles remains difficult — and perhaps impossible — for several reasons, including the difficulty of achieving “midcourse discrimination” to identify weaponized payloads in a cloud of debris or decoys. A newly released summary of a classified 2010 report on the subject prepared by the JASON scientific advisory panel explains […]

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Presidential Conflicts of Interest, and More from CRS

“Does federal law require the President to relinquish control of his or her business interests?” That question is considered in a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service. The short answer appears to be No. “There is no current legal requirement that would compel the President to relinquish financial interests because of a conflict of […]

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Amount of Classification is Highly Uncertain

One of the more encouraging changes in classification policy over the past decade has been the sharp reduction in the number of decisions to classify information reported each year by executive branch agencies. In 2005 there were a total of 258,633 original classification actions, or new secrets, reported; in 2015, there were said to be […]

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