The latest volume of the official “Foreign Relations of the United States” (FRUS) series was published by the State Department yesterday on the topic of Korea, 1969-1972. It covers U.S. relations with the Republic of Korea as well as disputes with North Korea during the Nixon Administration.
Remarkably, declassification of the 489-page FRUS volume (pdf) took no less than six years.
“The declassification review of this volume, which began in 2003 and was completed in 2009, resulted in the decision to withhold 1 document in full, excise a paragraph or more in 5 documents, and make minor excisions of less than a paragraph in 17 documents,” according to the Preface of the new volume. Another FRUS volume on Japan during the same period also entered declassification review in 2003, but has still not emerged into the light of day.
This is no way to run a history program, historians and archivists agree. But without profound changes in declassification procedures the current backlog of records awaiting declassification is going to grow, not shrink, said Michael J. Kurtz of the National Archives. The Archives typically processes 11 million pages per year for declassification, Mr. Kurtz told the Public Interest Declassification Board on April 22, but it takes possession of an additional 15 million pages of classified records each year, for a net increase in classified historical files.
In December 2009, President Obama ordered that the backlog of more than 400 million pages of 25 year old classified records must be declassified and made publicly available by the end of December 2013. Meeting that deadline will require the new National Declassification Center to increase the current declassification capacity tenfold to 100 million pages per year, Mr. Kurtz said. To achieve this ambitious goal, the Archives is subjecting its declassification practices to a “business process reengineering” review that is supposed to eliminate repetitious, wasteful or counterproductive declassification activities and improve productivity.
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.