There is practically a universal consensus that the national security classification system has become dysfunctional and counterproductive. (Just what to do about it remains up in the air–more on that shortly).
That consensus was articulated again earlier this month in a speech by Joan Dempsey, formerly a senior Pentagon intelligence official, a Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, and executive director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and now a vice president at Booz Allen and Hamilton.
“Ninety-five percent of what we do shouldn’t be classified at all, or it should be a much lower level of classification,” Ms. Dempsey said. “We’re lazy about classification. We call things secret that are not secret. It hampers our ability to be effective as a community. It costs the country billions of unnecessary dollars, and it doesn’t provide us one additional capability. We’re our own worst enemy in that regard,” she said.
Ms. Dempsey spoke on April 14 at the University of Texas at Austin. Her talk, ironically enough, was entitled “Back to Black: An Argument for Removing U.S. Intelligence Activities from Public Scrutiny,” and amounted to a call for increased secrecy of intelligence operations. But her defense of intelligence secrecy, she said, was contingent on robust congressional oversight and was not intended to shield misconduct or to perpetuate overclassification. A webcast of the talk is available here (the discussion of classification begins at about 28:45).
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.