from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2018, Issue No. 49
July 30, 2018

Secrecy News Blog:


The United States has imposed sanctions on Russia in recent years "for aggression against Ukraine, election interference, malicious cyber activity, human rights violations, weapons proliferation," and other causes. The range of sanctions was surveyed in a new Congressional Research Service publication.

The sanctions include "blocking U.S.-based assets; prohibiting U.S. persons from engaging in transactions related to those assets; prohibiting certain, and in some cases all, U.S. transactions; and denying entry into the United States," as well as various export control restrictions. See Overview of U.S. Sanctions Regimes on Russia, CRS In Focus, July 26, 2018:

The impact of the punitive sanctions on Russia policy is uncertain. There is no indication that US sanctions were discussed at the recent Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin, CRS said.

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

NAFTA Renegotiation and Modernization, updated July 26, 2018:

Momentum Toward Peace Talks in Afghanistan?, CRS Insight, July 24, 2018:

The European Union and China, CRS In Focus, July 26, 2018:

Australia and New Zealand React to China's Growing Influence in the South Pacific, CRS Insight, July 26, 2018:

Zimbabwe: Forthcoming Elections, CRS In Focus, July 26, 2018:

Federal Prize Competitions, July 25, 2018:

What Happens If the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Lapses?, CRS Insight, July 24, 2018:

History of Use of U.S. Military Bases to House Immigrants and Refugees, CRS Insight, July 26, 2018:

The Essential Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh Reader: What Cases Should You Read?, CRS Legal Sidebar, July 25, 2018:


The use of percussion instruments in military bands is exhaustively explored in a new publication from the U.S. Army.

"While a civilian percussionist may specialize on one particular percussion instrument, the Army requires a percussionist to be responsible for over 50 percussion instruments" including bongos and cowbells.

A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound when it is struck or shaken.

See Percussion Techniques, Training Circular TC 1-19.30, Department of the Army, July 25, 2018.

"Percussion in military bands derives from the European tradition, with the British having greatest influence," the Army document notes. "The drum was used as a signaling device from the inception of the American colonies through the Civil War, where it gave way to the bugle. Wind bands prospered during the Civil War, and the wind band was the most accessible means of presenting music to the masses for bolstering morale and esprit de corps. Modern military bands provide music for troop ceremonies, formal military occasions and patriotic gatherings. Bands also provide music for recruiting and community-relations events."

"Percussion is an important part of the military music structure and composition."


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

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