FAS Roundup: October 21, 2013

DoD releases directive on leaks to press, the Conference on Disarmament and much more.

From the Blogs

Cryptographer Adi Shamir Prevented From Attending NSA History Conference: In an e-mail to colleagues, Israeli cryptographer Adi Shamir recounts the difficulties he faced in getting a visa to attend the 2013 Cryptologic History Symposium sponsored by the National Security Agency. Secrecy News has reprinted the e-mail, in which Shamir discusses his struggles with the U.S. government to travel to the conference and why he will not be at the NSA symposium.

Department of Defense to Report on “Authorized Leaks: A new Department of Defense directive requires the Pentagon to notify Congress whenever a DoD official discloses classified intelligence to a reporter on an authorized basis, or declassifies the information specifically for release to the press. The directive was issued in response to a provision in the FY2013 Intelligence Authorization Act (section 504) that was passed by Congress last year as part of an effort to stem leaks of classified information.

Why Russia Resists a UN Resolution: Dr. Martin Hellman, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Nuclear Analysis, writes that the Russians are afraid that any mention of the use of force in a new UN Security Council Resolution on Syria will be similarly misused for regime change. In March 2011, Russia allowed UNSC Resolution 1973 which authorized “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians. The West then used that resolution as the basis for air attacks leading to regime change and Gaddafi’s murder — an interpretation of the resolution with which Russia strongly disagrees.

Nuclear Weapons Scientists Are Sad: According to a recent internal report from Lawrence Livermore National Lab, scientists in the nuclear weapons program are feeling blue. Increased stress and low morale among weapons scientists can have negative programmatic and national security consequences.

Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament Reach Major Milestone:The inaugural class from the Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament have published the first in a series of essays examining if the Conference on Disarmament is still relevant. The essays look at both side of the argument. Charity Porotesano examines how to make the Conference on Disarmament work, and Keiko Ono examines new structures to move disarmament forward. 

In Case You Missed It: Steven Aftergood provides an overview of recent reports and news related to government secrecy policy, including the annual report by Openthegovernment.org on the U.S. government’s effort to curb national security secrecy and a report on the Obama Administration’s relationship with the press.

Event: U.S. Leadership in Nuclear Energy

FAS, the Global American Business Institute (GABI), and the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS are hosting a briefing on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 12 p.m. in Washington, DC on reclaiming U.S. influence in the civil nuclear arena.

Topics that will be discussed include national nuclear strategy and market states and global efforts in nuclear waste management. Speakers include Mr. Michael Wallace, Director and Senior Adviser, Nuclear Energy Program at CSIS, Mr. Andrew Paterson, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council andProfessor Mike Simpson from the University of Utah.

To RSVP please contact Mr. Alan Ahn at alanahn@thegabi.com. 

Event: The Chemicals, Conflict and Challenges in Syria

FAS and the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are hosting an event on Wednesday, October 23 at 5 p.m. at AAAS in Washington, DC on the science and security involved in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118 in Syria.

Speakers include Dr. Paul Walker, Green Cross International, Mr. Michael Moodie, International CWB Commentator and Dr. Chen Kane, Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Topics that will be discussed include: technical solutions and expertise required to ensure accelerated destruction of chemical weapons; the broader regional impact of Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention; and the challenges involved in carrying out destruction in a civil war environment.
For more information and to RSVP click here. 

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