The average amount of time required by the government to conduct a background investigation and process a security clearance application has been around one year for a Top Secret clearance and 5 to 6 months for a Secret or Confidential clearance, which is “a totally unacceptable length of time,” according to a new report to Congress from the Office of Management and Budget. The February 15 Report of the Security Clearance Oversight Group (pdf) describes efforts underway to reduce security clearance processing time.
“The Putin Era in Historical Perspective” (pdf) was the topic of a conference of non-governmental experts sponsored by the DNI’s National Intelligence Council. The conference report hews closely to received wisdom and is surprisingly devoid of significant insight. (“Bereft of its former empire, Russia still aspires to be a great power and to be respected as such.”)
“The Infantry Battalion” (large pdf) is a new U.S. Army Field Manual (FM 3-21.20, December 2006) that describes the roles and missions of Army battalions at great length (599 pages, 20 MB PDF).