Posts by Steven Aftergood

CRS on Reconfiguration of the Nuclear Weapons Complex

Cross-posted from Secrecy News: A new report from the Congressional Research Service takes a detailed look at proposals to significantly restructure the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

The proposals, offered by a Department of Energy Task Force, include closure and consolidation of various nuclear facilities and production of a newly designed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW).

“Some express concern that Task Force recommendations may be at odds with U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy,” insofar as they envision the indefinite preservation of the existing nuclear weapons stockpile, the CRS report observes.

See “Nuclear Weapons Complex Reconfiguration: Analysis of an Energy Department Task Force Report,” February 1, 2006.

Government Secrecy

Welcome to this latest FAS experiment in blogging. We hope it will provide you with some insight into our activities and offer us another channel for presenting our work and our observations on strategic security and everything that entails, which is… a lot.

I’m Steven Aftergood, and I focus on secrecy and intelligence policy. The two fit together rather intimately, since secrecy is a characteristic feature of intelligence. But secrecy, while necessary in many cases, also has corrosive effects. It tends to impede oversight, to shield incompetence, and, worst of all, to degrade the performance of the intelligence bureaucracy itself. That’s why the 9/11 Commission concluded that U.S. is “too complex and secret.”

Confronting official secrecy can be a daunting task, and a frustrating one. But it can be done. I put out Secrecy News, an email newsletter (soon to be a blog, too) that tracks some of the latest twists and turns in secrecy policy, and I will be plagiarizing from it here regularly. So let’s go!