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Category Archives: Defense

Final Report of the Task Force on Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel

Via FAS – House Committee on Homeland Security, Final Report of the Task Force on Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel, October 2015.
“Today we are witnessing the largest global convergence of jihadists in history, as individuals from more than 100 countries have migrated to the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq since 2011. Some initially flew to the region to join opposition groups seeking to oust Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, but most are now joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), inspired to become a part of the group’s ‘‘caliphate’’ and to expand its repressive society. Over 25,000 foreign fighters have traveled to the battlefield to enlist with Islamist terrorist groups, including at least 4,500 Westerners. More than 250 individuals from the United States have also joined or attempted to fight with extremists in the conflict zone. These fighters pose a serious threat to the United States and its allies. Armed with combat experience and extremist connections, many of them are only a plane-flight away from our shores. Even if they do not return home to plot attacks, foreign fighters have taken the lead in recruiting a new generation of terrorists and are seeking to radicalize Westerners online to spread terror back home.”

Global Terrorism Index 2015

Global Terrorism Index 2015 – “Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the GTI is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) which is collected and collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. The GTD is considered to be the most comprehensive dataset on terroristContinue Reading

ODNI Announces Transition to New Telephone Metadata Program

News release: “Beginning Sunday, November 29, the government is prohibited from collecting telephone metadata records in bulk under Section 215, including of both U.S. and non-U.S. persons. And, while under the prior program NSA collected metadata in bulk and sought court approval for individual queries, the USA FREEDOM Act requires that the government must nowContinue Reading

Application of the Critical-Path Method to Evaluate Insider Risks

Via CIA – Application of the Critical-Path Method to Evaluate Insider Risks, Eric Shaw and Laura Sellers. Studies in Intelligence Vol 59, No. 2 (Extracts, June 2015). “Our purpose in this article is to draw on the most recent and comprehensive empirical studies of insider hostile acts—ranging from formal academic efforts to collections of in-depthContinue Reading

Brookings Project Paper – The ISIS Twitter Census

The Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World – An Analysis Paper | No. 20, March 2015. The ISIS Twitter Census – Defining and describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter. J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan. “The Islamic State, known as ISIS or ISIL, has exploited social media, most notoriously Twitter, toContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Electronic Monitoring, DHS Biosurveillance

Electronic Monitoring: Draft National Standard for Offender Tracking Systems Addresses Common Stakeholder Needs, GAO-16-10: Published: Oct 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2015: “OTS is an electronic monitoring technology consisting of hardware, such as an ankle bracelet, used for collecting Global Positioning System (GPS) signals to determine an individual’s location, and software for analyzing dataContinue Reading

The Islamic State – Frequently Asked Questions: Threats, Global Implications, and U.S. Policy Responses

CRS – The Islamic State — Frequently Asked Questions: Threats, Global Implications, and U.S. Policy Responses,  John W. Rollins, Specialist in Terrorism and National Security. Heidi M. Peters, Information Research Specialist. November 19, 2015. “When addressing threats emanating from the Islamic State (IS), numerous strategy and operational considerations arise that might be of interest toContinue Reading

FAA issues report on creating process to register drones

FAA – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration Task Force (RTF), Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) Task Force Recommendations, Final Report, November 21, 2015. “The stated objective of the Task Force was to develop recommendations for the creation of a registration process, which ultimately would contribute to an enforceable rule imposed by the FAA. The FAA statedContinue Reading

GAO Reports – DOD Manufacturing Arsenals, InfoSec, Military Recruiting, SEC Conflict Minerals Program, Wildland Fire Management

DOD Manufacturing Arsenals: Actions Needed to Identify and Sustain Critical Capabilities, GAO-16-86: Published: Nov 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2015. Information Security: Department of Education and Other Federal Agencies Need to Better Implement Controls, GAO-16-228T: Published: Nov 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2015. Information Security: Federal Agencies Need to Better Protect Sensitive Data,Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Bureau of Fiscal Service Audit, Increasing Female Officer Applicants in Military

Financial Audit: Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s Fiscal Years 2015 and 2014 Schedules of Federal Debt, GAO-16-160: Published: Nov 13, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 2015. Military Personnel: Oversight Framework and Evaluations Needed for DOD and the Coast Guard to Help Increase the Number of Female Officer Applicants, GAO-16-55: Published: Nov 13, 2015. Publicly Released:Continue Reading

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

CRS – U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues, updated November 3, 2015. “Even though the United States plans to reduce the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the New START Treaty, it also plans todevelop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 20-30Continue Reading

Able Archer Sourcebook Declassified Pages on 1983 War Scare

“Thirty-two years ago, a NATO nuclear release exercise named Able Archer 83 “may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger,” according to an above-Top Secret President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board report released last month to the National Security Archive after a twelve-year fight.  The release sparked extensive media coverageContinue Reading