from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 110
November 12, 2008
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
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- 21ST CENTURY RIGHT TO KNOW: TRANSITION RECOMMENDATIONS
- ARMY RETHINKS UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE
- THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECH POLICY, AND MORE FROM CRS
21ST CENTURY RIGHT TO KNOW: TRANSITION RECOMMENDATIONS
Ideally, the change of presidential administrations would be the occasion for a transformation in the relationship between government and the public, in which government information becomes easily and rapidly accessible to all interested parties.
With that possibility in mind, dozens of public interest organizations concerned with access to government information (including FAS) have collaborated to develop actionable recommendations for the new administration to promote open, accountable government.
The process, convened and led by OMB Watch, produced a 112-page volume that addresses transparency, access, national security secrecy, freedom of information policy, and related topics.
See "Moving Towards a 21st Century Right to Know Agenda: Recommendations to President-Elect Obama and Congress."
Other transition-related initiatives on open government were compiled on the Sunshine Week web site. See "Groups Call for Transparency in New President's Administration":
And others yet are still to come.
ARMY RETHINKS UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE
The conduct of unconventional warfare is explored in depth in a major new U.S. Army Field Manual on the subject.
Unconventional warfare (UW) is defined as "Operations conducted by, with, or through irregular forces in support of a resistance movement, an insurgency, or conventional military operations... This definition reflects two essential criteria: UW must be conducted by, with, or through surrogates; and such surrogates must be irregular forces."
Thus, U.S. support of the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s constituted unconventional warfare, as did U.S. support of anti-Soviet mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
"The United States has considerable experience in conducting UW," the new manual observes. "The best known U.S. UW campaigns include OSS activities in Europe and the Pacific (1942-45), Philippines (1941-44), Guatemala (1950), Cuba (1960-61), North Vietnam (1964-72), South Vietnam (1967-72), Iraq (1991-96), Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-02), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2002-03)."
The 248-page manual presents updated policy and doctrine governing unconventional warfare, and examines its "three main component disciplines": special forces operations, psychological operations, and civil affairs operations. Appendices include an historical survey of unconventional warfare as well as an extensive bibliography.
The unclassified manual has not been approved for public release. But a copy was obtained by Secrecy News.
See "Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare," U.S. Army Field Manual FM 3-05.130, September 30, 2008:
THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECH POLICY, AND MORE FROM CRS
The Congressional Research Service, which does not make its publications directly available to the public, has recently issued or updated several noteworthy reports. The following CRS reports obtained by Secrecy News have not previously been made available online.
"The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy: Issues for Congress," November 10, 2008 (40 pages):
"Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications," October 31, 2008 (38 pages):
"Privacy: An Overview of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping," updated September 2, 2008 (164 pages):
"Privacy: An Abbreviated Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping," updated September 2, 2008 (6 pages):
"North Korea: Terrorism List Removal?," updated November 6, 2008 (36 pages):
"Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends," updated August 31, 2008 (55 pages):
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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