FAS Roundup:February 4, 2013

U.S. drone policy, new CRS reports and much more.

From the Blogs

  • Drone Programs Spark Budgetary, Privacy, Legal Concerns: The development of unmanned aerial systems (or drones) for military and civilian applications appears to be accelerating faster than the normal policy process can adapt to it. The use of drones in U.S. air space has sparked privacy, legal and budget concerns. Secrecy News has obtained a new Congressional Research Service report which addresses these concerns and the different drone programs in existence.
  • Safety: We go to great lengths to try to keep ourselves safe, and everything we do to increase our safety and security imposes limits and restricts our options. But with all that we do, perfect safety is an oxymoron. In a new post on the ScienceWonk Blog, Dr. Y analyzes the quest for perfect safety, and how this is doomed to fail.

  • Army Manual Highlights Role of “Inform and Influence Activities”: The use of information-related tools to support military operations and to help shape their outcome is discussed in a newly updated Army manual on what are now called “Inform and Influence Activities.” The updated Army manual replaces a 2003 document titled “Information Operations.”
  • ODNI Budget Justifications, 2011-2013 (Redacted): Unclassified portions of the FY 2013 ODNI budget book, which was submitted to Congress in February 2012, were released by ODNI last week under the Freedom of Information Act. While most programmatic information and almost all quantitative data were withheld, the redacted document still contains a few points of interest, including information on ODNI support to Nuclear Command and Control System.
  • Rise in Federal Prison Population is “Unprecedented,” Says CRS: “Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population,” observes the Congressional Research Service a new report obtained by Secrecy News. A number of secondary problems are attributable to the rapid growth in incarceration, CRS said, including rising financial costs, overcrowding, and deteriorating prison infrastructure.

Dr. Drell Named Medal of Science Winner

Congratulations to Dr. Sidney Drell, winner of the 2012 FAS Public Service Award and member of the FAS Board of Sponsors, on being named a recipient of National Medal of Science by President Obama for his work on applying basic physics concepts to national security and policy. The National Medal of Science is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists.

Read the press release from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory here.

FAS in the News

 

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