from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2010, Issue No. 66
August 18, 2010

Secrecy News Blog:


Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, which has displaced millions of persons over the last several weeks, submerged huge portions of the country, and crippled much of the nation's infrastructure, is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis that requires an urgent international response. But it also may have national, regional and global security implications.

"Environmental stresses, when combined with the other socio-economic and political stresses on Pakistan, have the potential to further weaken an already weak Pakistani state," the Congressional Research Service observed in a new report this month. "Such a scenario would make it more difficult to achieve the U.S. goal of neutralizing anti-Western terrorists in Pakistan. Some analysts argue that disagreements over water could also exacerbate tensions between India and Pakistan."

The new CRS report "examines the potentially destabilizing effect that, when combined with Pakistan's demographic trends and limited economic development, water scarcity, limited arable land, and food security may have on an already radicalized internal and destabilized international political-security environment."

The CRS report does not come out and say so, but it points clearly to the conclusion that a U.S. foreign policy that gave greater emphasis to relief and reconstruction would have much to recommend it, even (or especially) from a national security point of view. See "Security and the Environment in Pakistan," August 3, 2010:

As is often pointed out, Congress does not permit CRS to make its publications directly available to the general public.


The U.S. Army has issued several new doctrinal or regulatory publications that may be of interest beyond their intended audience.

A new Army regulation "provides a broad overview of [arms control] treaties and agreements with which the U.S. Army must implement and comply." See "Army Arms Control Implementation Policy," Army Regulation 525-92, 2 August 2010:

A newly updated Field Manual provides guidance on "site exploitation." That term means "systematically searching for and collecting information, material, and persons from a designated location and analyzing them to answer information requirements, facilitate subsequent operations, or support criminal prosecution... A site, in general, is a location that potentially contains valuable information. Site exploitation operations doctrine describes a systematic and comprehensive approach to obtaining information of value from a site for exploitation." See "Site Exploitation Operations," Army Field Manual 3-90.15, 8 July 2010:

Army bands, known to some as "music performance teams (MPTs)," are the subject of another newly updated Field Manual. "Bands provide music for ceremonial and morale support within full spectrum operations to sustain warriors and to inspire leaders... Army bands of the 21st century are organized, trained, and equipped to conduct concurrent operations in supporting multiple objectives with targeted musical styles." See "U.S. Army Bands," Field Manual 12-50, 7 July 2010:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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