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FAS Roundup- December 26, 2011

FAS Roundup: December 26, 2011 New CRS reports, letter to President Obama regarding Iran, U.S. electric power grid vulnerability to severe weather  and much more.   From the Blogs Congress Approves 2012 Intelligence Authorization: Steven Aftergood writes that before the House and Senate passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, there was a conspicuous absence of public debate on any issue of intelligence policy. No dissenting views were expressed.  Nor was there any discussion of or insight into current intelligence controversies. U.S. Arms Sales and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained new CRS reports regarding arms sales and Pakistan.  JASON on Severe Space Weather and the Electric Grid: The U.S. electric power grid is vulnerable to damage from severe electromagnetic solar storms and remedial measures should be taken to reduce that vulnerability, a new study from the JASON scientific advisory panel concluded. Libya and War Powers: Steven Aftergood writes that the U.S. government acknowledges that U.S. military forces were involved in “armed conflict” this year in Libya, but it does not acknowledge that they were engaged in “hostilities.”

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FAS Conference Call: A Conversation With An Expert – Thursday, 5/20

On Thursday, May 20, 2010, FAS will hold a conference call with members on the technical aspects of Iran’s enrichment program, and the recently issued FAS report-- The Twenty Percent Solution: Breaking the Iranian Stalemate. Dr. Ivan Oelrich, Vice President of the Strategic Security Program, and FAS Researcher Ivanka Barzashka will speak about their proposal to break the Iranian stalemate by reaching a deal to refuel the Tehran research reactor. They will also discuss their assessment of Iran's enrichment capability, the fuel enrichment plant in Fordow, and Iran's plan to build ten more enrichment facilities.

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FAS Roundup- November 21, 2011

FAS Roundup: November 21, 2011 Interview with former Iranian nuclear negotiator Amb. Hossein Mousavian, petition to assess nuclear threat, stalled declassification of historical satellite imagery, status of China's nuclear forces, and more. From the Blogs Declassification of Intelligence Satellite Imagery Stalled: The eagerly awaited declassification of vast amounts of historical intelligence satellite imagery that was supposed to occur this year did not take place, and it is unknown when or if it might go forward. Earlier this year, government officials had all but promised that the declassification and release of miles of satellite imagery film was imminent. But it didn’t happen. Why not? Pre-Publication Review as a Secrecy Battleground: Steven Aftergood writes that the Obama Administration’s uncompromising approach to punishing “leaks” of classified information has been widely noted. But its handling of pre-publication review disputes with former intelligence agency employees who seek to publish their work has been no less combative. A New Intelligence Org on Climate Change is Needed, DSB Says: According to a new report from the Defense Science Board (DSB), the U.S. intelligence community needs an organization that can assess the impacts of climate change on U.S. national security interests in an open and collaborative manner. The CIA already has a Center on Climate Change and National Security. So why would the Intelligence Community need an entirely new organization to address the exact same set of issues? CIA Sees “Little Likelihood” of Finding Docs on Secrecy Reform: The Fundamental Classification Guidance Review (FCGR) was ordered by President Obama in his December 2009 executive order 13526 (section 1.9) as a systematic effort to eliminate obsolete or unnecessary classification requirements.  It is the Obama administration’s primary response to the problem of over-classification, and it has already achieved some limited results at the Department of Defense and elsewhere. That being said, it can’t possibly work if agencies don’t implement it. And so far there is no sign of the mandatory implementation at CIA.

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FAS Roundup-November 14, 2011

FAS Roundup: November 14, 2011 Dispute over nuclear weapons program costs, IAEA Iran report analysis, new documentary on anthrax, terrorist threat to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and more. From the Blogs New Air Force policy directive on "Directive Energy Weapons" and letter from Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) to President Obama asking to expedite the declassification of U.S. intelligence documents pertaining to Argentina’s so-called “dirty war” during the military dictatorship that lasted from 1976 to the mid-1980s. Dispute over Cost of Nuclear Weapons Program:  Steven Aftergood investigates the radically different estimates of cost of the U.S. nuclear program presented by members of Congress in the past few weeks. The disparate estimates, which vary by hundreds of billions of dollars, reflect a lack of consensus about how to properly assess the cost of nuclear weapons.

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FAS Roundup – April 2, 2018

Dr. ADAM MOUNT, Senior Fellow & Director of the FAS Defense Posture Project, spoke with MSNBC to discuss U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton’s “dangerous”…

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FAS Roundup – March 26, 2018

FAS is pleased to introduce the Defense Posture Project (directed by Senior Fellow Dr. Adam Mount) and welcome aboard: Ankit Panda (Adjunct Senior Fellow)…

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FAS Roundup: June 4, 2012

Congress will allow Energy Department to reclassify nuke info, new biosecurity podcast and much more. From the Blogs Congress Will Allow Energy Department to Reclassify Nuke Info: Steven Aftergood writes that Congress is poised to amend the Atomic Energy Act to allow certain nuclear weapons-related information that is classified as Formerly Restricted Data (FRD) to be restored to the Restricted Data (RD) category. FRD and RD are both classified under the Atomic Energy Act, but FRD generally pertains to the utilization of nuclear weapons, whereas RD mostly deals with nuclear weapons design information. Declassification of the Historical Backlog: The total number of pages of government records that were reviewed for declassification last year, as well as the number that were actually declassified, declined slightly from the year before, according to the 2011 annual report from the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) that was published on May 29, 2012. Hot Tuna: In 2011, after the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, there was significant concern regarding the spread of radioactive material. A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is the first to suggest that Pacific bluefin tuna transported Fukushima-derived radionuclides across the entire North Pacific Ocean. Move to Declassify FISA Court Rulings Yields No Results: An initiative that was started two years ago to declassify significant rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court regarding domestic intelligence surveillance has produced no declassified records, a Justice Department official confirmed last week. In response to complaints about the rise of “secret law,” the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence established a new process in 2010 to declassify opinions of the FISA Courts (including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as well as the FIS Court of Review) that contained “important rulings of law.”

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