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Category Archives: Defense

ACLU FOIA Request Seeks Information About New President’s Conflicts of Interests

Letter dated January 19, 2017 from the ACLU to the FOIA Officer, Office of Government Ethics: “The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (together, the “ACLU”) submit this Freedom of lnformation Act (“FOIA”) request (the “Request”) for records pertaining to financial and other ethical conflicts of interest in connection with… Continue Reading

GAO Report to Congress – Nation’s Fiscal Health

The Nation’s Fiscal Health: Action is Needed to Address the Federal Government’s Fiscal Future, GAO-17-237SP: Published: Jan 17, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2017: “The federal government is on an unsustainable fiscal path. Federal spending continues to outpace revenue—by $587 billion in 2016—and, absent policy changes, the structural gap between revenues and spending puts the… Continue Reading

CRS – Security Clearance Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Via FAS – Security Clearance Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Michelle D. Christensen, Analyst in Government Organization and Management. October 7, 2016. This report provides a primer on some of the fundamental aspects of the security clearance process, using a “Frequently Asked Questions” format. A security clearance is a determination that an individual—whether a… Continue Reading

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief

CRS report via FAS – Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief, Jim Zanotti, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. January 6, 2017. “U.S.- Israel Relations in a Time of Transition – For decades, strong bilateral relations have fueled and reinforced significant U.S.-Israel cooperation in many areas, including regional security. Nonetheless, at various points throughout the… Continue Reading

Inauguration Security: Operations, Appropriations, and Issues for Congress

CRS report via FAS – Inauguration Security: Operations, Appropriations, and Issues for Congress, Shawn Reese, Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy; Jacob R. Straus, Specialist on the Congress; Christina M. Bailey, Information Research Specialist. January 11, 2017. “Every four years, on January 20, the President-elect is sworn in as President of the United… Continue Reading

Trends in Spending by the Department of Defense for Operation and Maintenance

“The Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) budget consists of appropriations for the following purposes: compensating military personnel; developing and purchasing weapons; building bases, facilities, and housing; and supporting day-to-day operations. The largest single appropriation category in DoD’s base budget is the operation and maintenance (O&M) account, which funds day-to-day operations ranging from health care to equipment maintenance.… Continue Reading

Statutory Restrictions on the Position of Secretary of Defense: Issues for Congress

CRS report via FAS – Statutory Restrictions on the Position of Secretary of Defense: Issues for Congress. Kathleen J. McInnis, Analyst in International Security. January 5, 2017. “The proposed nomination of General (Ret.) James Mattis, United States Marine Corps (hereafter referred to as “General Mattis”), who retired from the military in 2013, to be Secretary… Continue Reading

WaPo reports US intel documents Russian geopol jubilation at Trump win

Follow up to previous posting today – President-elect plans to restructure US intelligence agencies – via Washington Post – U.S. intercepts capture senior Russian officials celebrating Trump win – “Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that… Continue Reading

Newsweek – Why President Obama Can’t Pardon Edward Snowden

Newsweek – Edward Jay Epstein, January 7, 2017: “A president can pardon anyone from any crime for any reason, or no reason at all, but, as the hours tick away on his presidency, it is unimaginable that Obama, a former law lecturer, will ignore all he knows about what Snowden did and absolve him of… Continue Reading

President-elect plans to restructure US intelligence agencies

WSJ – President-elect works on restructuring Office of the Director of National Intelligence, tweets again his doubts that Russia hacked Democrats – “President-elect Donald Trump, a harsh critic of U.S. intelligence agencies, is working with top advisers on a plan that would restructure and pare back the nation’s top spy agency, people familiar with the… Continue Reading

COIN: A Study of Strategic Illusion

Etzioni, Amitai, COIN: A Study of Strategic Illusion (March 12, 2015). Small Wars & Insurgencies, 26:3, 345-376, 2015.. Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577457 “Has the United States military become a learning institution, one able to transition from relying on a conventional war model to fighting against irregular adversaries such as insurgents and terrorists? This… Continue Reading

CRS – Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer. Paul K. Kerr, Analyst in Nonproliferation; Mary Beth D. Nikitin, Specialist in Nonproliferation. December 6, 2016. “In order for the United States to engage in significant civilian nuclear cooperation with other states, it must conclude a framework agreement that meets specific requirements under Section 123 of the Atomic… Continue Reading