On to Appendix E.
CLASSIFICATION OF MILITARY WEAPONS INFORMATION
Most of the following information on classification of military weapons was taken directly from Chapter 4, "Classifying Hardware Items," of Department of Defense (DoD) 5200.1-H, Department of Defense Handbook for Writing Security Classification Guidance.1 As used in this appendix, "hardware" is synonymous with "military weapon." Although the following information was developed for military weapons classification guidance, some of that information should also be useful to Department of Energy and other federal agency classifiers when they are considering whether to classify technical information.
Military weapons or hardware items that comprise military weapons are classified because of the information revealed by or obtained from those weapons or items. A piece of hardware conveys information about itself or the system of which it is a part just as readily as a narrative describing the hardware. The following are some basic considerations for classifying hardware items:1. An item of hardware does not necessarily need to be classified simply because it is part of a classified product or effort.DETAILS OF HARDWARE THAT MIGHT BE CLASSIFIED*
2. Unclassified off-the-shelf hardware items, unless modified in some way to make them perform differently, can never be classified even though they constitute a critical element, become an integral part of a classified end product, or produce a classified effect. However, the association of otherwise unclassified hardware with a particular effort or product may reveal something classified about that effort or product. Common integrated circuits that control frequencies are notable examples. In such cases it is the association with the effort or product that reveals the classified information, not the circuits themselves. Decisions regarding what aspect of the system to classify may be difficult, but it is necessary to consider the effect of association and how that association could reveal classified information.
3. Frequently, classified information pertaining to a hardware item can be restricted to the paperwork associated with the item. When this is possible, the hardware itself should be unclassified.
4. Unusual, unique, or peculiar uses or modifications of ordinarily available unclassified materials or hardware items may create a classifiable item of information. In another instance, the mere fact of use of a particular material in a particular effort might reveal a classifiable research or development interest. In such cases, it is especially important to accurately identify the classified information to determine whether the hardware or material itself reveals this information or whether it is merely the association or use of the hardware item with a particular effort that reveals it. In the latter case, classification of the hardware itself would not be proper.
5. At some stage in a production effort, production and engineering plans are drawn. Usually a family-tree–type diagram is prepared to assist in determining what components, parts, and materials will be required. This diagram supplies a good basis for determining where and when classified information will be involved in the production effort.
6. Another step in production engineering is the development of drawings for all the individual elements that go into the final product. These drawings show design data, functions, and specifications, all of which are closely tied to items of information that may be classified. From these drawings it is possible to determine exactly which elements of the final product will reveal classified information. It is also possible to determine associations between hardware items that reveal classified information. It is necessary, of course, to determine the classifications, if any, to be assigned each drawing. Accordingly, a classification team should take part in the production engineering phase to assist in identifying and isolating classification situations.
* The material in this section was taken from Appendix B of DoD 5200.1-H, Department of Defense Handbook for Writing Security Classification Guidance, March 1986.Operational capability, and the efforts to develop operational capability, should be classified.2 In the latter case, the goal is to buy lead time. In the former case, classification prevents the adversary from knowing exactly what can be done and how that capability is achieved. Details of these capabilities that could be classified are given in the following subsections.
Performance or Capability
1. What will the hardware do (actual or planned) that is more, better, faster, or cheaper (in terms of all kinds of resources) than anything like it?Uniqueness
2. How does this degree or kind of performance contribute to or create a national security advantage? How much of an advantage does it create?
3. How long can this information be protected? What is the advantage?
4. How would knowledge of these performance details help an enemy or damage the success of this effort?
5. Would statement of a particular degree of attained performance or capability be of value to hostile intelligence in assessing U.S. capabilities, in spurring a foreign nation to similar effort...or in developing or planning countermeasures or counteraction?
1. What information pertaining to this effort is known or believed to be the exclusive knowledge of the United States?Technological Lead Time
2. Is it known or reasonable to believe that other nations have achieved a comparable degree of success or attainment?
3. What information, if disclosed, would result in or assist other nations in developing a similar item or arriving at a similar level of achievement?
4. In what way or ways does the uniqueness of this item contribute to a national security advantage?
5. In what way or ways has the end product of this effort or any of its parts been modified, developed, or applied so as to be unique to this kind of effort? How unique is this?
6. Is the method or adaptation or application of the end product or any of its parts the source of the uniqueness and a national security advantage? In what way or ways? Is it in itself a unique adaptation or application in this kind of effort?
1. How long did it take to reach this level of performance or achievement?Surprise
2. How much time and effort have been expended? Was this a special concerted effort or only a gradual developmental type of activity?
3. If all or some of the details involved in reaching this stage of development or achievement were known, how much sooner could this goal have been reached? Which details would contribute materially to a shortening of the time for reaching this goal? Can these details be protected? How long can these details be protected?
4. Have other nations reached this level of development or achievement?
5. Do other nations know how far we have advanced in this kind of effort?
6. Would knowledge of this degree of development or achievement spur a foreign nation to accelerate its efforts to diminish our lead in this field? What details of knowledge would be likely to cause such acceleration?
7. How important, in terms of anticipated results, is the lead time we think we have gained?
8. What national security advantage actually results from this lead time?
9. How long is it practical to believe that this lead time will represent an actual advantage?
10. How long is it practical to expect to be able to protect this lead time?
1. Do other nations know that we have reached this level of development or achievement?Vulnerabilities and Weaknesses
2. Will operational use of the end item of this effort give us an immediate advantage that would be less or lost if it were known that we have achieved this particular goal?
3. What is the nature of the advantage resulting from surprise use of this end item?
4. When will this element of surprise be lost?
1. What are the weak spots in this effort that make it vulnerable to failure? What is the rate or effect of this failure?Specifications
2. How will failure of the effort in whole or in part affect the national security advantage expected upon completion of this effort or use of the resulting end item?
3. What elements of this effort are subject to countermeasures or counteraction?
4. How would knowledge of these vulnerable elements assist in planning or carrying out countermeasures or counteraction?
5. Can information concerning these weak or vulnerable elements be protected from unauthorized disclosure, or are they inherent in the system?
6. Can these weaknesses or vulnerabilities be exploited to reduce or defeat the success of this effort? How could this be done?
7. What measures are planned or have been taken to offset these weaknesses or vulnerabilities?
8. Are the counter-countermeasures obvious, special, unique, or unknown to outsiders or other nations?
9. How would knowledge of these counter-countermeasures assist in carrying out or planning new countering efforts?
10. Would knowledge of specific performance capabilities assist in developing or applying specific countermeasures or counteractions? How? What would be the effect on the expected national security advantage?
1. What details of specifications would reveal:Critical Elements
a. a special or unusual interest that contributes to the resulting or expected national security advantage?2. Are any specification details in themselves contributory to the resulting or expected national security advantage? How do they contribute?
b. special or unique composition that contributes to the resulting or expected national security advantage?
c. special or unique levels of performance that are indicative of a classifiable level of achievement or goal?
d. special or unique use of certain materials that reveals or suggests the source of a national security advantage?
e. special or unique size, weight, or shape that contributes to the resulting or expected national security advantage?
3. Can details of specifications be protected? How long can these details be protected?
1. What are the things that really make this effort work?Manufacturing Technology
2. Which of these critical elements contribute to the resulting or expected national security advantage? How do they contribute? To what extent do they contribute?
3. Are these critical elements the source of weakness or vulnerability to countermeasures or counteraction?
4. What details of information pertaining to these critical elements disclose or reveal the national security advantage or weakness or vulnerability to countermeasures or counteraction?
5. Can details of information pertaining to these critical elements be protected by classification? How long can these details be protected?
1. What manufacturing methods, techniques, or modes of operation were developed to meet the requirements of this effort or to make the desired end product?Associations
2. Which of these manufacturing innovations are unique to this effort or this product? Are they generally known or suspected?
3. Are these manufacturing innovations essential to successful production of the product?
4. Could the desired result be obtained without these innovations?
5. What kind of lead time results from these innovations?
1. Are there any associations between this effort and others which raise classification questions?Protectability
2. Are there any associations between information in this effort and already publicly available information (unclassified) which raise classification problems?
3. Is it necessary or possible to classify items of information in this effort because their association with other unclassified or classified information would diminish or lose a national security advantage?
1. Can the information effectively be protected from unauthorized disclosure by classification? How long can the information effectively be protected?CHECKLIST OF CLASSIFYING DETAILS FOR HARDWARE
2. If not, what alternative means can be used to ensure protection?
Appendix C of DoD 5200.1-H lists many items of information for use in determining whether strategic or tactical capabilities and vulnerabilities are disclosed (a comprehensive check list). The listing is not all-inclusive nor completely applicable in every instance. Those items of information are as follows:Performance and Capabilities Accuracy Alert time Altitude (maximum, optimum) Ballistics (initial, terminal) Control Countermeasures (proven, unproven, counter- countermeasures, decoys, electronic, penetration aids, shield materials) Depth/height (also of burst, maximum, optimum) Duration (flight) Effectiveness Frequencies (bands, specific, command, operating, infrared, microwave, radio, COMSEC) Heating Impulse Intercept Lethality/criticality effects Lift Limitations Maneuverability Military strength (actual, planned, predicted, anticipated) Miss distance Noise figure Operational readiness time cycle Payload Penetration Range (range scales) Rate of fire Reaction time Reliability/failure rate data Resolution Response time Sensitivity Sequence of events Signature characteristics (acceptance, analysis, distinguishment, identification) Speed/velocity (acceleration/ deceleration, cruise, intercept, landing, maximum, minimum, optimum) Stability Target data (details, identification, illumination, impact predicted, preliminary, priority, range determination) Thresholds Thrust Toxicity Specifications (Detailed, Basic, Subsidiary) Balance Burn rate Capacity (system) Center of gravity Codes Composition Configuration/contour Consumption Energy requirements (specific, total) Filler Fineness Grain configuration Hardness, degree Input data Loading/loads Mass factor (propellant) Moment of inertia On-station time Output data Payload Power requirements Purity Size, weight, shape Stability (static, dynamic) Strength of members, frames Stresses Thickness Tolerance Type Vulnerability Countermeasures/ counter- countermeasures Dynamic pressure (supersonic) Electromagnetic pulse (radiation) Ground or air shock Jamming Signature characteristics (acoustic, electrical, infrared, magnetic, pressure, radar) Static overpressure Procurement and Production Completion date or dates Numbers [dispersion (numbers per unit of force); on hand (stockpile); planned or programmed (totals scheduled); rate of delivery or production; requirements; spares] Progress/schedules (milestones) Stock density Supply plans and status Tactical deployment Operations Countdown time Deployment data Environment Location Numbers available Objectives [mission or program, specific or general, tests (broad or detailed)] Plans (command and control) Results (analysis, conclusions, reports) Sequence of events Staging techniques Statement/concept Tactical (build-up, units per force, activation dates, personnel)
1. U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Defense Handbook for Writing Security Classification Guidance, DoD 5200.1-H, March 1986.
2. W. P. Raney, "The Sea Lanes & Their Challenges," J. Natl. Class. Mgmt. Soc., 13, 17–22 (1977) p. 21.