SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2017, Issue No. 28
April 20, 2017

Secrecy News Blog: https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/

WHITE HOUSE: PREPARE FOR THE UNPREDICTABLE

"The Nation must prepare to mitigate an unpredictable global security and national emergency environment," the White House said in a report to Congress this month.

The report, transmitted by President Trump on April 3, provided principles for reform of the selective service process by which young Americans enter the military. The report was required by section 555 of the 2017 defense authorization act.

"The Nation must be ever mindful of the unpredictable global security environment that requires an effective and efficient means to provide manpower to the national security community, including military and non-military support in a national emergency," the President's report said.

How to prepare in practice for the unpredictable is not clear, except that it involves flexibility.

"Any system, process, or program used to identify, recruit, and employ additional skill sets should be effective in times of peace, war, and other levels of conflict or emergency response. Associated initiatives, systems, and processes must be seamless, robust, and able to expand and contract as needed," the report said.

Congress established a new National Commission to consider changes to the selective service system, and to develop "the means by which to foster a greater attitude, ethos, and propensity for military services among United States youth."


LEGALITY OF US AIRSTRIKE IN SYRIA, & MORE FROM CRS

Public debate over the legal authority for the April 6 U.S. missile strike on a Syrian airbase is reviewed in a new brief from the Congressional Research Service, which stops short of proposing a conclusion of its own.

"It remains to be seen whether the Trump Administration will release a statement explaining its legal basis for the missile strike under international law, but even if such a statement is forthcoming, it seems unlikely that it would put an end to this debate," the CRS brief said. See U.S. Strike on Syrian Airbase: Legal under International Law?, CRS Legal Sidebar, April 17, 2017:

Other new reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

The Marshall Plan: 70th Anniversary, CRS Insight, April 18, 2017:

U.S.-UK Free Trade Agreement: Prospects and Issues for Congress, April 14, 2017:

France's 2017 Presidential Election: In Brief, April 13, 2017:

Border-Adjusted Consumption Taxes and Exchange Rate Movements: Theory and Evidence, April 18, 2017:

The Revenue Baseline for Tax Reform, CRS Insight, April 14, 2017:

Congressional News Media and the House and Senate Press Galleries, April 13, 2017:

NASS and U.S. Crop Production Forecasts: Methods and Issues, April 13, 2017:

Dressed to the Nines: What's Next for the Nine-Justice Supreme Court, CRS Legal Sidebar, April 10, 2017:

Westinghouse Bankruptcy Filing Could Put New U.S. Nuclear Projects at Risk, CRS Insight, April 19, 2017:

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

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