from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 12
February 1, 2007

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U.S. Government-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work to advance civil society in developing countries are encountering new obstacles that impede their progress, according to a recent staff study for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"Increasingly, governments around the world have tightened their controls on foreign NGOs by passing laws to restrict their ability to work independently from government approval," wrote Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) in a transmittal letter.

There is a "backlash against democracy assistance," as the National Endowment for Democracy put it in another study, which is appended to the Senate report.

"In extreme cases, democracy promoters are being harassed by authorities. In some nations governments have been able to persuade their citizens that the work of NGOs and the financial assistance provided to them by the USG is a form of American interventionism," Sen. Lugar observed.

"Thus, in some countries opposition to pro-democracy NGOs is cast as a reaffirmation of sovereignty," he wrote.

The new Senate study assessed the current status of programs in Africa, Asia, Central Europe and Latin America, and proposed principles and recommendations to guide further work of this kind.

See "Nongovernmental Organizations and Democracy Promotion," Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff report, December 22, 2006:


The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has issued new doctrine on the conduct of electronic warfare.

"The recognized need for military forces to have unimpeded access to and use of the [electromagnetic environment] creates vulnerabilities and opportunities for electronic warfare (EW) in support of military operations."

"The purpose of EW is to deny the opponent an advantage in the EM spectrum and ensure friendly unimpeded access to the EM spectrum portion of the information environment."

"EW can be applied from air, sea, land, and space by manned and unmanned systems."

See "Electronic Warfare," Joint Publication JP 3-13.1, 25 January 2007:


The constitutional allocation of war powers between Congress and the President and the authority of Congress to restrict ongoing military operations are considered in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

See "Congressional Authority To Limit U.S. Military Operations in Iraq," January 29, 2007:

A related study on "Congressional Use of Funding Cutoffs Since 1970 Involving U.S. Military Forces and Overseas Deployments" was updated on January 16, 2007:

Also new (or newly updated) from CRS are these:

"Germany's Relations with Israel: Background and Implications for German Middle East Policy," January 19, 2007:

"North Korean Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States," updated January 3, 2007:


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

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