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Category Archives: Defense

Senate Judiciary Democrats Demand Retention of All Documents Related to Trump, Russia

“All nine Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats today called on the White House, the Justice Department and the FBI to preserve all documents related to communication between Russia and all Trump officials and associates, as well as all documents related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Letter to White House
Letter to DOJ, FBI

In a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, the senators, led by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), wrote, “We are writing to ask that you confirm that the White House, its staff, and its employees have been instructed to preserve and are preserving all materials related to contacts between the Trump Organization, Trump campaign, Trump transition team, or Trump administration, or others acting on their behalf, and Russian government officials or associates, including all materials related to Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election, communications or contacts with Russian officials or associates since the election, and any investigations into these matters.” Full text of the letter to the White House follows. A similar letter was sent to the Department of Justice and the FBI.”

CBO – Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2017 to 2026

February 14, 2017 – “Nuclear weapons have been a cornerstone of U.S. national security since they were developed during World War II. In the Cold War, nuclear forces were central to U.S. defense policy, resulting in the buildup of a large arsenal. Since that time, nuclear forces have figured less prominently than conventional forces, and… Continue Reading

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities, GAO-17-440T: Published: Feb 14, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2017. “GAO has consistently identified shortcomings in the federal government’s approach to ensuring the security of federal information systems and cyber critical infrastructure as well as its approach to protecting the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII). While previous… Continue Reading

Withdrawal from International Agreements: Legal Framework the Paris Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Agreement

CRS report via FAS – Withdrawal from International Agreements: Legal Framework, the Paris Agreement, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement – Stephen P. Mulligan, Legislative Attorney. February 9, 2017. “The legal procedure through which the United States withdraws from treaties and other international agreements has been the subject of long-standing debate between the legislative and executive… Continue Reading

President Donald J. Trump Announces His Cabinet

White House prress release, February 8, 2017 reflects a cabinet with designees still awaiting confirmation: President Donald J. Trump today formally announced the 24 people who will be serving with him on his Cabinet. Unfilled positions – Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, EPA, HUD, Interior, Labor, Small Business, Veterans Affairs, OMB, Director of National Intelligence and the… Continue Reading

FedWeb.com – How America Raises and Spends $4 Trillion per Year

FedWed.com: “As General Counsel at the Senate Finance Committee, I had the good fortune to be present when our Chairman, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, famously said “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” One of the great ironies of the Information Age is that the volume of information we receive… Continue Reading

Newsweek reporter records suit is focused Trump National-Security issues

Court House News: “A Newsweek reporter has brought a federal complaint to access records on President Donald Trump’s classified briefings, as well as details on how the government investigated the likes of Stephen Bannon for a security clearance. Jeffrey Stein’s Jan. 31 lawsuit comes just days after Trump announced that he would give the chief… Continue Reading

Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements

CRS report via FAS – Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements. Michael John Garcia, Acting Section Research Manager. January 27, 2017. “Federal law authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to construct barriers along the U.S. borders to deter illegal crossings. DHS is also required to construct reinforced fencing along at least… Continue Reading

GAO report on VA administration of human capital challenges

Veterans Health Administration: Management Attention Is Needed to Address Systemic, Long-standing Human Capital Challenges, GAO-17-30: Published: Dec 23, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 23, 2017: “The Veterans Health Administration is facing key human capital challenges that hamper its ability to effectively serve veterans—including skills gaps within medical centers’ HR offices and inadequate training for HR staff.… Continue Reading

It Is Two and a Half Minutes to Midnight according to the Doomsday Clock

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of… Continue Reading

FCC White Paper – Cybersecurity Risk Reduction

Cybersecurity Risk Reduction – Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau – Federal Communications Commission – David Simpson, Rear Admiral (ret.) USN, Bureau Chief, January 18, 2017. “The White Paper describes the risk reduction portfolio of the current FCC and suggests actions to affirmatively reduce cyber risk in a manner that incents competition, protects consumers, and… Continue Reading

Summary Report on Audits of Security Controls for TSA Information Technology Systems at Airports

DHS OIG – Summary Report on Audits of Security Controls for TSA Information Technology Systems at Airports, December 30, 2016. OIG-17-14. “Our previous reports identified numerous deficiencies in security controls for TSA’s IT systems and equipment at airports. These deficiencies included inadequate physical security for TSA server rooms at airports, unpatched software, missing security documentation,… Continue Reading