from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 17
February 12, 2007

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The Department of Defense has revised and supplemented its polygraph program to include non-polygraph techniques for detecting deception.

A new Pentagon directive introduces the term "Credibility Assessment (CA)," which refers to "The multi-disciplinary field of existing as well as potential techniques and procedures to assess truthfulness that relies on physiological reactions and behavioral measures to test the agreement between an individual's memories and statements."

The new directive also transfers the polygraph program from the Defense Security Service to the secretive DoD Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA). The program will be overseen by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Eleven military and defense intelligence organizations listed in the directive are authorized to conduct polygraph and credibility assessment examinations.

The reliability of polygraph testing for employee screening is widely disputed on scientific grounds. But many government security officials nevertheless insist on its value and utility, and the practice persists.

See "Polygraph and Credibility Assessment Program," Department of Defense Directive 5210.48, January 25, 2007:


Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a major source of U.S. and allied casualties in Iraq. Military doctrine for confronting and defeating the IED threat is set forth in a 2005 U.S. Army field manual.

"The proliferation of IEDs on the battlefield in both Iraq and Afghanistan has posed the most pervasive threat facing coalition forces in those theaters," the manual states. "The persistent effectiveness of this threat has influenced unit operations, U.S. policy, and public perception."

The manual discusses the nature of the threat, describes the defining characteristics of IEDs, and presents a framework for developing opposing strategy and tactics.

The manual has not been approved for public release and portions of the document that may be operationally sensitive are being withheld from publication online by Secrecy News.

See "Improvised Explosive Device Defeat (excerpt)," Field Manual Interim FMI 3-34.119, September 2005 (44 pages of a total 142 pages):

The 2005 document makes no mention of the explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) that have recently been described by the Department of Defense as a particularly dangerous variant of IED. See a February 11, 2007 DoD briefing on "Iranian Support for Lethal Activity in Iraq," via TPM Muckraker:


The transfer of sensitive government communications security (COMSEC) information and equipment to industry is the subject of a newly revised U.S. Navy Instruction.

"Government cryptographic equipment operations will ordinarily be conducted by the Government," the Instruction states.

"However, when there is a valid need and it is clearly in the best interest of the Navy and the Government, cryptographic equipment, keying material, related COMSEC information, and access to classified U.S. Government traffic may be provided to U.S. contractors...."

See "Release of Communications Security (COMSEC) Material To U.S. Industrial Firms Under Contract to the U.S. Navy," OPNAVINST 2221.5C, February 7, 2007:


The decline of arms control as an instrument of policy in the Bush Administration is charted in a new report from the Congressional Research Service, which surveys the evolution of the field over the last several decades.

"The Bush Administration has altered the role of arms control in U.S. national security policy," the CRS report states.

"The President and many in his Administration question the degree to which arms control negotiations and formal treaties can enhance U.S. security objectives."

"Instead, the Administration would prefer, when necessary, that the United States take unilateral military action or join in ad hoc coalitions to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

"The absence of confidence in arms control has extended to the State Department, where the Bush Administration has removed the phrase 'arms control' from all bureaus that were responsible for this policy area."

See "Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements," January 29, 2007:


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

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