from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2018, Issue No. 38
June 4, 2018

Secrecy News Blog:


The U.S. Department of Defense spent $11.3 billion on purchases abroad in 2015, including $1.6 billion worth of goods or services from the United Arab Emirates, according to a newly released DoD report to Congress.

The majority of foreign purchases by DoD were for fuel, services, construction and subsistence. The DoD report breaks down the total that was spent abroad by DoD in each of several dozen foreign countries.

See Purchases from Foreign Entities in FY2015, DoD report to Congress, June 2016 (released under FOIA May 2018).

DoD reports to Congress are often a significant source of official information and perspective on various aspects of U.S. military policy.

Most recently, DoD produced its required report on Civilian Casualties in Connection With United States Military Operations in 2017, June 1, 2018.

A few months ago, the Pentagon submitted an Interim Report on Organizational and Management Structure for the National Security Space Components of the Department of Defense, March 2018.

A report last year addressed Department of Defense Infrastructure Capacity, October 2017.

Public access to such reports is sporadic and often delayed. A bill pending in the House of Representatives would require the Government Publishing Office to post all such (unclassified) reports online. See Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (HR 4631).


Iran's central bank has filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that would have transferred Iranian funds to the U.S. and made them potentially available for awards to victims of terrorism.

At issue is the legal interpretation of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. A new brief from the Congressional Research Service provides background on the matter. See Iran's Central Bank Asks Supreme Court to Consider Whether the Bank's Assets Abroad are Immune from Attachment to Satisfy Terror Judgments by Jennifer K. Elsea, CRS Legal Sidebar, May 30, 2018.

Other new publications from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Sidewalks, Streets, and Tweets: Is Twitter a Public Forum?, CRS Legal Sidebar, May 30, 2018:

(Robo)Call Me Maybe: Robocalls to Wireless Phones Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, CRS Legal Sidebar, May 29, 2018:

The Role of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), CRS Insight, June 1, 2018:

The House Journal: Origin, Purpose, and Approval, May 31, 2018:

Federal Grants and Loans for State and Local Emergency Communications Projects: Frequently Asked Questions, June 1, 2018:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Issues and Debate in the 115th Congress, May 29, 2018:

U.S. Department of State Personnel: Background and Selected Issues for Congress, May 18, 2018:


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

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