from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2016, Issue No. 35
April 15, 2016

Secrecy News Blog:


The number of people killed in Syria since March 2011 is variously estimated to be between 250,000 and 470,000. The number of estimated casualties in Iraq ranges from 19,000 to 41,650 deaths since January 2014.

A new report from the Congressional Research Service somewhat clinically discusses "the difficulties of collecting war-related casualty data in both countries and provides an overview of some of the current estimated figures available through selected organizations."

"CRS is unable to independently track casualties in Syria and Iraq, and cannot verify the data presented." Nor does CRS suggest that U.S. policy would be affected in one direction or another by casualty data that were verified to be accurate. See Counting Casualties in Syria and Iraq: Process and Challenges, CRS Insight, April 12, 2016:

Other noteworthy reports from the Congressional Research Service that have been withheld by Congress from online public distribution include the following.

Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State, updated April 13, 2016:

The Islamic State Woos Jihadists in Africa but Faces Competition, CRS Insight, April 14, 2016:

Defense: FY2017 Budget Request, Authorization, and Appropriations, April 12, 2016:

Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements, updated April 13, 2016:

Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress, updated April 13, 2016:

The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions, updated April 13, 2016:

Air Force B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber, April 14, 2016:

Mens Rea Reform: A Brief Overview, April 14, 2016:

Zika Response Funding: In Brief, April 14, 2016:

Zika Virus: Global Health Considerations, CRS Insight, updated April 14, 2016:

U.S. Postal Service Rolls Back Its Prices, CRS Insight, April 13, 2016:

Highway Bridge Conditions: Issues for Congress, April 13, 2016:

The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections, updated April 13, 2016:

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Supreme Court Nominations: Historical Overview and Data, CRS Insight, April 13, 2016:

Surveillance of Foreigners Outside the United States Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), April 13, 2016:


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

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