The North Korean Nuclear Challenge, & More from CRS

North Korea’s rapidly maturing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile programs have prompted urgent reconsideration of what to do about them. A new report from the Congressional Research Service identifies and examines seven possible directions for US policy, none of them risk-free or altogether satisfactory: *    maintaining the military status quo *    enhanced containment and […]

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A Bumpy Road for Controlled Unclassified Information

The effort to establish a uniform policy for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) is meeting opposition from some executive branch agencies who see it as unnecessary and unwelcome. CUI refers to information that is unclassified but that requires protection for reasons other than national security– such as privacy, proprietary concerns, law enforcement sensitivity, and so on. […]

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DoD: Cost of War Post-9/11 Exceeds $1.4 Trillion

The Department of Defense has spent more than $1.46 trillion for direct war-related costs since September 11, 2001, according to the latest Pentagon tabulation of war costs obtained by Secrecy News. The 74-page DoD report provides extensive and detailed reporting on war-related appropriations and expenditures. See Cost of War Update as of June 30, 2017. […]

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The Opioid Epidemic, & More from CRS

President Trump will declare the escalating number of drug deaths from opioids as a “public health emergency” — but not a “national emergency” — in an announcement scheduled for today. The Congressional Research Service has issued a new report on aspects of the problem, including an overview of opioid abuse, a review of opioid supply, […]

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White House Directive Spawns Confusion

Updated below Four months after President Trump issued his National Security Presidential Memorandum 5 on US policy towards Cuba and ordered it to be published in the Federal Register, that has still not been accomplished. The Memorandum, posted on the White House web site on June 16, states that “The Secretary of State is hereby […]

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Last JFK Assassination Records May Be Released Soon

The nominal deadline for release of the last remaining records concerning the assassination of President Kennedy under the terms of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 is October 26, 2017. Agencies have an opportunity to request postponement of release, beyond the deadline, of a few thousand records that are still being withheld, subject […]

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US Global Health Spending in Dispute, & More from CRS

The Trump Administration budget request proposes a substantial cut to US spending on global health programs, as described in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. But Congress appears poised to provide at least some of the funds that the executive branch had sought to eliminate. “The FY2018 budget request includes almost $7 billion […]

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