from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2014, Issue No. 8
January 27, 2014

Secrecy News Blog:


Recent reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

Identity Theft: Trends and Issues, January 16, 2014:

Executive Order 13438: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq, January 24, 2014:

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents, January 23, 2014:

Trends in Discretionary Spending, January 24, 2014:

Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response, January 24, 2014:

Overview of the Federal Tax System, January 23, 2014:

International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, Second Session, January 23, 2014:

"Who is a Veteran?" -- Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits, January 23, 2014:

An Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions, January 23, 2014:

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, January 17, 2014:

The European Union: Questions and Answers, January 15, 2014:

North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation, January 15, 2014:

Iran Sanctions, January 15, 2014:


The diverse factors that shape the execution of disaster relief and other foreign humanitarian assistance missions by the US military are described in a newly updated Department of Defense publication on the subject.

See Foreign Humanitarian Assistance, Joint Publication 3-29, January 3, 2014:

"Although US military forces are organized, trained, and equipped to conduct military operations that defend and protect US national interests, their inherent unique capabilities may be used to conduct FHA [Foreign Humanitarian Assistance] activities," the publication said.

FHA "consists of Department of Defense activities conducted outside the US and its territories to directly relieve or reduce human suffering, disease, hunger, or privation."

The publication said that DoD FHA operations necessarily include "intelligence collection concerning political, military, paramilitary, ethnic, religious, economic, medical, environmental, geospatial, and criminal indicators.... Intelligence operations during FHA operations are generally conducted in the same manner as in any other military operation."

At the same time, however, "Information sharing is critical to the efficient pursuit of a common humanitarian purpose... The sharing of information is particularly critical because no single responding entity-- whether it is an NGO [nongovernmental organization], IGO [intergovernmental organization], assisting country government or host government-- can be the source of all of the required data and information."

"Tensions between military needs for classification (secrecy) of data, versus the civilian need for transparency... often complicate effective civil-military coordination," the DoD publication noted.


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

The Secrecy News blog is at:

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:


OR email your request to

Secrecy News is archived at:

SUPPORT the FAS Project on Government Secrecy with a donation here: