Archive for Reports

National Security Reports – February 2019 Update

Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei and ZTE: Countering a Hostile Foreign Threat (National Security Institute, George Mason University); Election Security (National Conference of State Legislatures); Crisis Group Yemen Report ( a weekly briefing on the situation in Yemen); Security Shield: A Label to Support Sustainable Cybersecurity (Public Knowledge); Cool conflicts in Russia’s near neighbourhood(UK Parliament Library);  Cisco’s 2019 Data Privacy Benchmark Study; The Cybersecurity Workforce Gap (CSIS); Midterm Assessment: The Trump Administration’s Foreign and National Security Policies (Foundation for Defense of Democracies); Lead Inspector General Report to the United States Congress. Operation inherent Resolve and Other Overseas Contingency Operations, October 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018[directly contradicts the president’s utterances on Syria]; U.S. Government and Private Industry Must Prepare for Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare Escalations(FDD); New 2019 Threat Assessments; Challenges to Security in Space (DIA); Cybersecurity is Key to Smart Metering Deployment (with links to additional relevant reports –  Water Online); Civilian Drones (UK Parliament Library); The New European cybersecurity computer centre and network (EU Parliament Library); IEEE Open Access Publications; Cybersecurity Policies Around the World (from the UN); The need for an African Union Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security(SIPRI); and Practical Terrorism Prevention: Reexamining U.S. National Approaches to Addressing the Threat of Ideologically Motivated Violence; Online appendices to this report include country and city case studies. (RAND).

The Trump Administration’s National Strategy for Counterterrorism: Overview and Comparison to the Prior Administration; The U.S. Intelligence Community: Homeland Security Issues in the 116th Congress; Transportation Security: Issues for the 116th Congress; Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for CongressChanges in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress; and Water Resource Issues in the 116th Congress (all CRS).


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If You Think It’s Hot Now, Wait Until 2080

According to this study in Nature Communications – Contemporary climatic analogs for 540 North American urban areas in the late 21st century – climate change will so transform local weather that cities will then experience patterns akin to cities 280 miles south of them, so Washington, D.C. in 2080 will feel like Arkansas or Mississippi. As this article states: ” We show that climate of most urban areas will shift considerably and become either more akin to contemporary climates hundreds of kilometers away and mainly to the south or will have no modern equivalent.” (Abstract)

To see the visualizations for the 540 cities, please come here.

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Statistics on European Cities

Prompted by a reference question I had, I have scouted around to find reliable numbers. I have found: Urban Europe: Statistics on Cities, Towns, and Suburbs (EU, 2016) that is replete with data, charts, and specific topical chapters such as “green cities” or “smart cities”; Statistics on European Cities that is Chapter 13 in the EU’s 2018 edition of its Eurostat regional yearbook; the EU’s Methodological manual on city statistics (2017) besides providing definitions pertaining to “city”, also provides a look at the various parameters examined for inclusion; a vast array of data can be found at the OECD Metropolitan area database; and the UN’s World Population Prospects sites offers aggregated information on urban areas with forecasts out to 2050.

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National Security Reports – January 2019 Update

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Two New Threat Assessments Released – One for the Nation, One for New Jersey

The Worldwide Threat Assessment for 2019 was released by the DNI as part of his remarks to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Among the various dangers to this country is environmental deterioration due to climate change: “Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security. Irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats will undermine the economic benefits they provide, worsened by air, soil, water, and marine pollution.” (23)

The 2019 Terrorism Threat Assessment, issued by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, is supported by charts, profiles, timelines, relevant links, and definitions outlining the different threats to the safety of New Jersey. The highest level of threat assessment is allocated to “homegrown violent extremists”.



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2019 National Intelligence Strategy Released

The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States 2019 has been released. This document both outlines the threats facing the country as well as some operational objectives that are important to the IC. This is a short report, but one that will guide the IC in mission-critical sectors.

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Reports on Russian Use of Social Media

Two important reports have recently been published dealing the Russia’s use of social media to spread disinformation. They are: The IRA[Russian Internet Research Agency], Social Media and Political Polarization in the United States, 2012-2018(Computational Propaganda Project); and The Disinformation Report (New Knowledge). These reports were prepared at the behest of Congress and show the depth and breadth of Russian meddling. This Washington Post article provides an overview of both documents.

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