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Category Archives: Defense

CRS – Transatlantic Relations in 2018

Transatlantic Relations in 2018. January 10, 2018. IN10847. “As the second year of the Trump Administration begins, a degree of uncertainty lingers over transatlantic relations. The U.S.-European partnership could face challenges in 2018. Following the election of President Trump, numerous European officials and analysts expressed concern about the future trajectory of U.S.-European relations, particularly the U.S. commitment to NATO, the European Union (EU), and the multilateral trading system. Although the Trump Administration has not altered or withdrawn from the fundamental aspects of the transatlantic relationship, many European leaders appear uneasy with key parts of the Trump Administration’s “America First” foreign policy and some question whether the United States will remain a reliable partner in 2018. Many European policymakers harbor concerns about Trump Administration policies on a range of international challenges, from relations with Russia, China, and the Middle East to issues such as global migration, the role of multilateral organizations, and free trade. Some European officials also are wary about the Administration’s commitment to the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and have urged the United States to continue to support the deal. U.S. decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have become irritants in the relationship. Some Europeans consider President Trump to be ambivalent about the EU and the U.S. security umbrella for Europe. The Trump Administration’s views on a proposed U.S.-EU free-trade agreement (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or T-TIP) remain unclear, and the Administration has yet to nominate a U.S. ambassador to the EU. The Trump Administration continues to urge NATO allies to shoulder more of the burden for European security and increase their defense spending. Others note, however, that President Trump has reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO’s “Article 5” mutual defense clause and the Administration’s FY2018 budget proposal requested a 40% increase in funding for the U.S. European Reassurance Initiative (since renamed the European Deterrence Initiative, or EDI), which seeks to strengthen the U.S. military presence in Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time, the EU faces several internal challenges, including negotiating the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU (“Brexit”), addressing rule-of-law concerns in Poland and Hungary, and managing the migration and Catalan crises. Such issues are consuming a good deal of the EU’s attention and could limit its ability to work with the United States on shared foreign-policy concerns. Despite the potential challenges to transatlantic relations in 2018, most European governments view close political and economic ties with the United States as a cornerstone of their foreign and security policies. Many European policymakers hope to preserve the existing strong partnership with the United States on issues such as cooperative approaches to decisionmaking, support for multilateral institutions, security, countering terrorism, promoting cybersecurity, and resolving the Ukraine crisis.”

Report to President on Enhancing Resilience of Internet and Communications Ecosystem Against Botnets and Distributed Threats

“This draft report responds to the May 11, 2017, Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure. That order called for “resilience against botnets and other automated, distributed threats,” directing the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security to “lead an open and transparent process to identify and promote action by appropriate… Continue Reading

U.S. Army Concept for Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Operations 2025-2040

The U.S. Army Concept for Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Operations 2025-2040, CRS report via FAS. “TRADOC Pamphlet 525-8- 6, The U.S. Army Concept for Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Operations expands on the ideas presented in TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3- 1, The U.S. Army Operating Concept: Win in a Complex World (AOC). This document describes how the… Continue Reading

Nuclear War Would Be ‘Devastating’ So C.D.C. Wants to Get People Prepared

NYT – “President Trump’s recent tweets about his big nuclear button may have been intended to deter a nuclear weapons exchange with North Korea, but the nation’s top public health agency is taking the prospect of a nuclear attack seriously. On Jan. 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will present a workshop titled… Continue Reading

Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Source

CRS report via FAS – Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources. Nese F. DeBruyne, Senior Research Librarian; Barbara Salazar Torreon, Senior Research Librarian. January 2, 2018. “This guide provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It also provides… Continue Reading

Acquisition Reform in the FY2016 – FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs)

CRS report via FAS – Acquisition Reform in the FY2016-FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) Moshe Schwartz, Specialist in Defense Acquisition. January 4, 2018″Congress has long been interested in defense acquisition and generally exercises its legislative powers to affect defense acquisitions through Title VIII of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), entitled Acquisition Policy, Acquisition… Continue Reading

New resource – The Iran-U.S. Trigger List

International Crisis Group: “The risks of a direct, indirect, deliberate or inadvertent clash between Iran and the U.S. are rising to new highs. Our Iran-U.S. Trigger List is a unique interactive map and early warning tool that monitors and analyses the many flashpoints between the two countries, and shows how they are linked to the… Continue Reading

Face Scans at Airport Departure Gates: An Investigation

A new investigative report by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology – Not Ready for Takeoff Face Scans at Airport Departure Gates Executive Summary [snipped]: “At Boston’s Logan International Airport, travelers at one international boarding gate will be surprised that they are being told to stop before what looks like a sophisticated camera.… Continue Reading

The Database on Nuclear Power Reactors

International Atomic Energy Commission: “The Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), developed and maintained by the IAEA for over four decades, is a comprehensive database focusing on nuclear power plants worldwide. PRIS contains information on power reactors in operation, under construction, or those being decommissioned. All information and data items are collected by the IAEA via… Continue Reading

Court case documents more than decade long litigation over Texas property seized for border wall

United States of America v. 15.919 Acres of Land (More or Less) by Susie Cagle, Special to ProPublica. December 20, 2017.  This story was co-published with the Texas Tribune.  [A fine example of a graphic narrative – well done – succinct – direct – and understandable.] “In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security began building… Continue Reading

CRS – Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress

Documents are via FAS: Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, December 13, 2017 Summary – Cluster munitions are air-dropped or ground-launched weapons that release a number of smaller submunitions intended to kill enemy personnel or destroy vehicles. Cluster munitions were developed in World War II and are part of many nations’… Continue Reading

National Security Strategy of the United States of America December 2017

National Security Strategy of the United States of America December 2017 – full text – This is a congressionally mandated report. President Donald J. Trump Announces a National Security Strategy to Advance America’s Interests Summary of the Strategy Announcement of the Strategy The New York Times – Trump National Security Strategy Sees U.S. Confronting China… Continue Reading