from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2016, Issue No. 10
January 28, 2016
Secrecy News Blog: http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/
DOD BUILDING FOREIGN DEFENSE INSTITUTIONS
As part of its international defense cooperation activities, the Department of Defense has long been involved in supporting military institutions in various allied nations.
Yesterday, a new DoD directive was issued to formally structure and to assign responsibility for executing what is called the Defense Institution Building (DIB) program.
"DoD, in coordination with other appropriate U.S. departments and agencies and when authorized by law, will develop the capabilities and capacity of allied and partner nation defense institutions in support of defense strategy," according to the new directive. See Defense Institution Building (DIB), DoD Directive 5205.82, January 27, 2016:
The directive does not mention any specific nation in which such development is to be performed, but it would presumably include countries such as Afghanistan.
The Washington Post reported this week that "There is a broad recognition in the Pentagon that building an effective Afghan army and police force will take a generation's commitment, including billions of dollars a year in outside funding and constant support from thousands of foreign advisers on the ground." ("The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades" by Greg Jaffe and Missy Ryan, January 26).
Defense institution building (DIB) is intended to "increase a partner nation's ability to organize, administer, and oversee its defense institutions to meet its security needs and contribute to regional and international security more effectively," the directive said. It will "enable recipients to conduct or support unilateral, combined, or coalition operations that advance U.S. national security interests."
DIB should be conducted in such a way as to "promote principles vital to the establishment of defense institutions that are effective, accountable, transparent, and responsive to national political systems, especially regarding good governance, oversight of security forces, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. DIB should contribute to the establishment or strengthening of democratic governance of defense and security forces."
The new DoD directive cited over a dozen existing statutes that it said provided legal authority for specific DIB activities.
DRONES IN DOMESTIC AIRSPACE, AND MORE FROM CRS
A survey of policy issues raised by the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in domestic U.S. airspace was presented in a new report yesterday from the Congressional Research Service.
The report described the current and projected market for UAS, applications of UAS in government and industry, safety and security issues, the current regulatory environment, and pending legislation affecting UAS. See Unmanned Aircraft Operations in Domestic Airspace: U.S. Policy Perspectives and the Regulatory Landscape, January 27, 2016:
"As UAS technology develops rapidly, the United States faces significant challenges in balancing safety requirements, privacy concerns, and economic interests," the CRS report said.
"Hundreds of thousands of small UAS are already being operated as recreational model aircraft and hobby drones that are permitted under a special rule for model aircraft.... In addition, several hundred public agencies and more than 3,000 businesses have been granted approval to operate UAS on a case-by-case basis. Once regulations and guidelines are put in place, large growth in UAS operations is anticipated."
"As UAS operations have increased, a number of safety concerns have emerged, particularly with regard to use of model aircraft and hobby drones. UAS flights have interfered with airline crews near busy airports and with aircraft fighting wildfires, and have posed safety and security hazards at outdoor events and in restricted areas."
"To address both safety and security concerns, a number of technology solutions are being examined to detect airborne UAS and pinpoint the location of the operator. Technologies to disable, jam, take control over, or potentially destroy a small UAS are also being developed and tested."
* * *In another new report issued yesterday, CRS presented statistics on how the Senate responded to judicial nominations in the eighth year of the Reagan, Clinton and GW Bush presidencies.
"More than half of the circuit court nominations that were pending before the Senate during each President's final year in office were not confirmed by the Senate," the report found. See Final Senate Action on U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During a President's Eighth Year in Office, January 27, 2016:
Also newly updated this week is Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision, January 25, 2016:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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