Backlog of Security Clearance Investigations Declines

Posted on September 25, 2018

After years of cumulative and seemingly irreversible growth, the backlog of pending security clearance investigations declined in the last three months in response to new policy guidance. Since June, the National Background Investigation Bureau has red …


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Overruling Constitutional Precedents

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A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines how and why the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn one of its own rulings interpreting the Constitution. There are at least 141 cases where such rulings have in fact been overturned, includin …


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Intelligence Support to Diplomatic Facilities Abroad

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The role of U.S. intelligence agencies in helping to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel abroad is highlighted in a recently revised Intelligence Community Directive. The directive does not specifically cite the reported sonic attacks on t …


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Locomotive Idling: CRS Comes Online

Posted on September 18, 2018

The Congressional Research Service launched its new public portal this morning, with an initial installment of 628 reports dating back to January of this year. The back catalog of older reports is supposed to be added over time. The public versions of …


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The Nuclear Weapons Complex, and More from CRS

Posted on September 14, 2018

The Department of Energy has nuclear weapons facilities in seven states including three laboratories, five component fabrication or materials production plants, one assembly and disassembly site, a geologic waste repository, and one testing facility. A …


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USAF: Implementing Arms Control Treaties

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The implementation of arms control agreements by the Air Force is detailed in a newly updated directive. The directive addresses Air Force obligations under New START, US-IAEA Safeguard Agreements, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological We …


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Reviving the Role of CRS in Congressional Oversight

Posted on September 6, 2018

The Congressional Research Service once played a prominent role in supporting oversight by congressional committees. Although that support has diminished sharply in recent years, it could conceivably be restored in a new Congress, writes former CRS ana …


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Army Needs Intelligence to Face “Peer Threats”

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U.S. Army operations increasingly depend on intelligence to help confront adversaries who are themselves highly competent, the Army said this week in a newly updated publication on military intelligence. Future operations “will occur in complex operati …


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Post-9/11 Costs of War Exceed $1.5 Trillion

Posted on August 29, 2018

“Since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) has obligated $1,500.8 billion for war-related costs.” That’s the headline from the latest report to Congress on the post-9/11 costs of war, according to the Pentagon’s own reckoning. See Cost …


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A New “Light Attack” Aircraft, & More from CRS

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A US Air Force program to acquire “light attack” aircraft is introduced in a new publication from the Congressional Research Service. “The OA-X light attack aircraft is a small, two-seat turboprop airplane designed for operation in relatively permissiv …


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Pentagon Moves to Support War in the “Grey Zone”

Posted on August 21, 2018

The Department of Defense issued a directive this month based on new authority granted by Congress last year to engage in “low-visibility, irregular warfare” operations. In the FY2018 defense authorization act (PL 115-91, sect. 1202) Congress specifica …


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Considering a “Space Force,” & More from CRS

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The Congressional Research Service says that, as a constitutional matter, it will be up to Congress to determine whether and how to reorganize the management of US national security assets in space, and whether to establish a new “space force,” as the …


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