from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2016, Issue No. 89
November 3, 2016

Secrecy News Blog:


The newly updated edition of the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms includes a new entry for "Improvised Nuclear Device."

It is defined as "A device incorporating fissile materials designed or constructed outside of an official government agency that has, appears to have, or is claimed to be a nuclear weapon that is no longer in the control of a competent authority or custodian or has been modified from its designated firing sequence."

The 400-page DoD Dictionary, now updated through 15 October 2016, is a useful reference for interpreting specialized military terminology and for decoding current acronyms, which are listed in a 120-page Appendix. But it is also a reflection of current DoD concerns and priorities.

Another new entry in the latest edition is for "resilience," which here means "The ability of an architecture to support the functions necessary for mission success with higher probability, shorter periods of reduced capability, and across a wider range of scenarios, conditions, and threats, in spite of hostile action or adverse conditions."

The update replaces prior editions which were designated Joint Publication 1-02. For unknown reasons, the JP 1-02 document format has been abandoned in the new edition, which is simply entitled DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.


"Numerous" legal challenges to state election laws have been filed during the last few weeks and months, a new report from the Congressional Research Service found, generating new judicial interpretations of those laws.

"For example, there have been recent court rulings affecting the laws regulating early voting, voter photo identification (ID) requirements, registration procedures, straight-party voting, and voter rolls. Accordingly, many such laws have been recently invalidated, enjoined, or altered. Others continue to be subject to litigation."

The current state of affairs was reviewed in Recent State Election Law Challenges: In Brief by legislative attorney L. Paige Whitaker, November 2, 2016.

Another new CRS report discussed pending efforts in Congress to reconfigure Department of Defense partnerships with foreign military services. See Security Cooperation: Comparison of Proposed Provisions for the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), November 1, 2016.

A federal court for the first time upheld the use of the "social cost of carbon" (SCC) in a cost-benefit analysis by a federal agency, another CRS publication observed. The SCC is a monetary estimate of economic damages that are associated with an incremental increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. See Courts Evaluate How Federal Agencies Put a Price on Carbon, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 1, 2016.

Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Foreign Aid and the Education Sector: Programs and Priorities, November 2, 2016:

Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation, November 1, 2016:

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law, updated October 31, 2016:


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

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