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FAS Roundup: October 7, 2013

New START numbers, India's missile modernization and much more. From the Blogs India's Missile Modernization Beyond Minimal Deterrence: Until now, all Indian ballistic missiles have carried only one warhead each to constrain India’s minimum deterrence posture. This has changed with India’s newest missile, the Agni V, which officials from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) declared will be equipped to carry multiple warheads with shorter response times. It remains to be seen if this is the dream of Indian weapons designers or if the government has actually authorized the design and development of longer-range missiles with multiple warheads. If so, this is bad news for South Asia as Pakistan and China would most likely counter with  increased nuclear arms development. To Fix U.S. Intelligence, Shrink It?: Many of the criticisms of the U.S. intelligence community can be reduced to a single argument: it has become too large to be properly managed. This is a view that is held by some within U.S. intelligence itself, according to a new dissertation by a CIA sociologist who studied and worked at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Sociologist Dr. Bridget Nolan suggests a reduction in the size of the intelligence community might be a sovereign remedy for many of the problems currently afflicting U.S. intelligence analysis.

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20th Anniversary of START

July 31st is the 20-year anniversary of signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the United States and the Soviet Union. The treaty, also known as START I,…

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FAS Roundup: September 30, 2013

Plutonium shortage, court rules against CIA and much more. From the Blogs Court Curbs CIA Use of a FOIA Exception: A federal court ruled last month that the CIA tried to make “inappropriate” use of an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act to withhold information that was not subject to the exemption. The judge ruled that the Agency was also wrongly attempting to withhold “information that relates to” CIA organization and personnel– which is almost everything the Agency does. Houston, We Need Some Plutonium: According to recent reports, the United States may be running out of plutonium – specifically the isotope Pu-238, which is used to fuel spacecraft. In a new post on the ScienceWonk Blog, Dr. Y investigates how Pu-238 is used as a power source, and other alternative energy sources that are being researched to ensure that the U.S. space exploration program continues. Reaching the Debt Ceiling and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as the debt ceiling, private health plans under ACA, Pentagon operations during a government shutdown and an overview of federal funding gaps.  

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