from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 78
August 10, 2005


American military casualties from the Revolutionary War to the present day are tabulated in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

Notable findings include these:

A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics," updated July 13, 2005:

The Department of Defense issues news releases, often several per day, reporting the names of the latest American war casualties, almost all of whom are young men in their twenties, and the circumstances of their deaths.

Current DoD news releases may be found here (email subscriptions are also available):


Another Congressional Research Service report provides an overview of current military recruiting and retention rates.

"Since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States has launched several major military operations which have dramatically increased the operations tempo of the military services, required the large scale mobilization of reservists, and resulted in significant battle casualties.... Many observers have expressed concern that these factors might lead to lower recruiting and retention rates, thereby jeopardizing the vitality of today's all-volunteer military."

See "Recruiting and Retention: An Overview of FY2004 and FY2005 Results for Active and Reserve Component Enlisted Personnel," updated June 30, 2005:

The latest recruiting and retention rates for July 2005 were announced by the Defense Department on August 10:


The consequences of a deliberate attack on a chemical facility could be severe, but the risks of such an attack occurring are "speculative" and "difficult to assess," the Congressional Research Service candidly states.

An updated CRS report on the subject characterizes what is known about the problem, and summarizes options for dealing with it.

See "Chemical Facility Security," updated July 29, 2005:

An article in the latest issue of American Journalism Review considers the uneven quality of media coverage of homeland security issues, including such matters as chemical plant security. It does not, however, address the tendency in some quarters to overstate particular threats or the use of fear as a policy driver.

See "Short Attention Span" by Sherry Ricchiardi, American Journalism Review, August/September 2005:


The Congressional Research Service, acting at the direction of the current congressional leadership, does not permit direct public access to its publications. The following CRS reports were obtained by Secrecy News anyway.

"Islamist Extremism in Europe," July 29, 2005:

"Terrorist Screening and Brady Background Checks for Firearms," July 25, 2005:

"Missile Defense: The Current Debate," updated July 19, 2005:

"The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment," July 15, 2005:

"Structure and Functions of The Federal Reserve System," updated June 15, 2005:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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