FAS Roundup: November 21, 2011
Interview with former Iranian nuclear negotiator Amb. Hossein Mousavian, petition to assess nuclear threat, stalled declassification of historical satellite imagery, status of China’s nuclear forces, and more.
From the Blogs
- Declassification of Intelligence Satellite Imagery Stalled: The eagerly awaited declassification of vast amounts of historical intelligence satellite imagery that was supposed to occur this year did not take place, and it is unknown when or if it might go forward. Earlier this year, government officials had all but promised that the declassification and release of miles of satellite imagery film was imminent. But it didn’t happen. Why not?
- Pre-Publication Review as a Secrecy Battleground: Steven Aftergood writes that the Obama Administration’s uncompromising approach to punishing “leaks” of classified information has been widely noted. But its handling of pre-publication review disputes with former intelligence agency employees who seek to publish their work has been no less combative.
- A New Intelligence Org on Climate Change is Needed, DSB Says: According to a new report from the Defense Science Board (DSB), the U.S. intelligence community needs an organization that can assess the impacts of climate change on U.S. national security interests in an open and collaborative manner. The CIA already has a Center on Climate Change and National Security. So why would the Intelligence Community need an entirely new organization to address the exact same set of issues?
- CIA Sees “Little Likelihood” of Finding Docs on Secrecy Reform: The Fundamental Classification Guidance Review (FCGR) was ordered by President Obama in his December 2009 executive order 13526 (section 1.9) as a systematic effort to eliminate obsolete or unnecessary classification requirements. It is the Obama administration’s primary response to the problem of over-classification, and it has already achieved some limited results at the Department of Defense and elsewhere. That being said, it can’t possibly work if agencies don’t implement it. And so far there is no sign of the mandatory implementation at CIA.
Is Iran Building a Nuke?
- Dr. Ali Vaez, director of the Iran Project, is interviewed in the latest episode of the National Iranian American Council’s podcast series Let’s Talk Iran. Vaez discusses the next steps the United States should take with Iran and the implications of the new IAEA report.
Ask Congress to Assess the Nuclear Threat
- Concerned about our nuclear strategy? There is a gaping hole in our national security policy that needs to be plugged. Join FAS in signing a petition asking members of Congress to request an objective study on the potential risks posed by nuclear weapons, both from nuclear terrorism and nuclear war. Take action by signing the petition and circulate to members of your network.
- China’s Nuclear Forces: Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project, and Dr. Robert S. Norris, senior fellow for Nuclear Policy, write about China’s nuclear arsenal in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. China is the only one of the five original nuclear weapon states that is increasing its nuclear arsenal; by how much and how quickly is uncertain, though it is clear that China is improving its arsenal.
- The West is pushing Iran in the wrong direction: Dr. Ali Vaez, director of the Iran Project, interviews Amb. Hossein Mousavian, the highest-ranking member of Iran’s political elite living in the United States, in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Mousavian, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator, says the IAEA has “broken the rules” by publicly releasing a report on Iran’s nuclear program that should have been kept confidential, and that the report represents a step backward in efforts to deal with the problem of Iran’s nuclear program.
FAS in the News
- Nov 17: Huffington Post, “Defense Science Board Report Stresses Need for Climate Change Study in Intelligence Community”
- Nov 16: Global Security Newswire, “Danger of Trafficked Nuclear, Radiological Materials Lingers”
- Nov 16: Gawker, “CIA Won’t Give Ex-Agent a Copy of the Book He Wrote Because It’s Classified”
- Nov 15: Washington Post – In The Loop, “How Do Obama’s Cabinet Members Rate?”
- Nov 15: Mother Jones, “Climate Change Spy vs. Spy?”
- Nov 14: Wall Street Journal, “Australia PM Calls for End of India Uranium Ban”
- Nov 14: Nature, “Iran’s Nuclear Plan Revealed”
- Nov 14: Washington Post – In The Loop, “Nixon Comes Through Yet Again”
- Nov 14: New York Post, “Map to U.S. Nuke Stash”
- Nov 13: O Estado de São Paulo, “Relatório Sobre Irã Amplia Cisão Entre Potências” (Brazil)
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