Archive for Security

National Security Reports – November 2020 Update

Biden may have trouble unearthing Trump’s national security secrets (Politico); Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (NAP); President Trump’s Executive Orders on Critical Infrastructure(National Security Archive);  A Researcher’s Guide to Some Legal Risks of Security Research (CyberLaw Clinic); Chief of Space Operations Planning Guidance; Reducing Nuclear Risks:
An Urgent Agenda for 2021 and Beyond
(Nuclear Threat Initiative); Repairing the World (Foreign Affairs); What is forensic science? (BBC); Agency Review Teams (Biden-Harris Transition); 5G Cybersecurity Project (NIST); In Break From Trump, Biden Opts for Experience, Expertise for Top National Security Jobs (Foreign Policy); US national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration (The Hill); and Why America Must Lead Again (President-elect Joe Biden, Foreign Affairs).

Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding; Status of U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Talks; China’s 14th Five-Year Plan: A First Look; Emerging Military Technologies: Background and Issues for Congress; Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress; Department of Defense Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems; China’s Engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean; and Defense Primer: Geography, Strategy, and U.S. Force Design (all CRS).

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National Security Reports – October 2020 Update

China Deep Dive: A Report on the Intelligence
Community’s Capabilities and Competencies with Respect to
the People’s Republic of China
(redacted executive summary, House Intelligence Committee); Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign, 2020 (Harvard); Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (proposed rule, ICE); White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement (first unredacted release of this influential and still valuable 2006 FBI report); Presidential Control of Elections (Vanderbilt Law Review); Foreign Actors Likely to Use Online Journals to Spread Disinformation Regarding 2020 Elections (FBI and CISA); Homeland Threat Assessment (DHS, a must read); and From Consensus to Conflict: Understanding Foreign Measures Targeting U.S. Elections (RAND).

TikTok: Technology Overview and Issues; The Fundamentals of Military Readiness; FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation: The Building Resilient Communities and Infrastructure (BRIC) Program; and U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress (important read especially for the up-to-date “additional writings” section that runs to thirty pages or more but does not contain links to the pieces, updated October 1, 2020);

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The Democratic and Republican Platforms on Cybersecurity

As concerns about election security abound, here is an article listing both platforms along with relevant documents that inform the conversation.

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National Security Reports – September 2020 Update

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National Security Reports – August 2020 Update

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National Security Reports – July 2020 Update

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National Security Reports – June 2020 Update

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National Security Reports – May 2020 Update

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National Security Reports – April 2020 Update

The Cost of Doing Nothing: Maritime Infrastructure Vulnerabilities in an Emerging Arctic (House Hearing); Review of the Intelligence Community Assessment [This is the fourth volume of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference in the 2016 election; the other three volumes dealt with U.S. election securityRussia’s use of social media, and the Obama Administration’s response to Russian interference. The final volume will be released at a later date]; The COVID-19 Crisis and Its Implication for Global Stability (Harvard); Defense Support of Civil Authorities (US Army Manual); Ready or not: protecting the public’s health from diseases, disasters and bioterrorism : 2019 (Trust for America’s Health); Selecting and Safely Using Collaboration Service for Telework (NSA); Impact of COVID-19 on Remote Work and Distance Education (Absolute); Telework Best Practices (NSA); The northern northern border : Homeland Security priorities in the Arctic (House Hearing); and The legacy of American naval power : reinvigorating maritime strategic thought : an anthology (History Division, US Marine Corps).

Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations; Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19): Q&A on Global Implications and Responses; Low Oil Prices: Prospects for Global Oil Market Balance ; Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members; U.S. Military Electronic Warfare Program Funding: Background and Issues for Congress;COVID-19: Selected Public Water Service Issues; Fintech: Overview of Innovative Financial Technology and Selected Policy Issues; Transatlantic Relations: U.S. Interests and Key Issues; and U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues (all CRS).

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National Security Reports – March 2020 Update

DoD networks face severe strains from telework (C4ISRNET); A Separate Space: Creating a Military Service for Space (RAND); Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report; and NIST Draft Special Publication (SP) 800-53 Revision 5, Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations.

Some Relevant Reports on COVID-19:

Infectious Disease Threats in the Twenty-First Century: Strengthening the Global Response (Frontiers in Immunology, March 2019); EMS Infectious Disease Playbook (HHS, 2017); Frontline Hospital Playbook: Special Pathogens (HHS, 2018);  Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents (NSC, 2016. Embedded in this article from Politico.); Here’s how the military could help treat and contain the coronavirus pandemic (Military Times); COVID-19: Cybercrime Opportunities and Law Enforcement Response; Global Economic Effects of COVID-19: In Brief (both CRS). Coronavirus (COVID-19)(DHS); Identifying Critical Infrastructure during COVID-19 (DHS, includes sector-specific plans); and Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (FDA).

U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas: Background and Issues for Congress; Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations;Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2020 Budget and Appropriations; Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy; U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress; Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy and Issues in the 116th Congress; North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions; NATO: Key Issues Following the 2019 Leaders’ Meeting; Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer; Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress;and Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1961-FY2020 (all CRS).

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National Security Reports – February 2020 Update

Third Annual State of Cyber Resilience Report (Accenture); Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification (NAP); Key Practices in Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management (NIST); Advancing Cyber Resilience in Aviation: An Industry Analysis (WEF); The Global Race for Technological Security – Discover the Security Implications (Brookings); National Counterintelligence Strategy of the United States of America, 2020-2022(ODNI); North Korean Malicious Cyber Activities (DHS); 2019 Internet Crime Report (FBI); Forensic Handwriting Examination and Human Factors: Improving the Practice Through a Systems Approach (NIST); China’s Military Power Projections and U.S. National Interests (U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission); and New Jersey 2020 Terrorism Threat Assessment (NJOHSP).

National Security Space Launch; Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress; Precision-Guided Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress; FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues ;U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress (new version with updated changes; Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy ;FY2021 Defense Budget Request: An Overview ; Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations ; Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues ; Recent Developments in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict; Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members (links to all current primers) ; and Illicit Drug Smuggling Between Ports of Entry and Border Barriers (all CRS).


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2020 New Jersey Terrorism Threat Assessment

This just-released document presents an environmental scan on the various extremist groups, both right wing and left wing, that are identified as operating in New Jersey. Sections range from HVE (homegrown violent extremists – a high threat in New Jersey) to matters pertaining to cybersecurity (a moderate threat to New Jersey that saw more than 50 ransomware attacks). A timeline of incidents in New Jersey, definitions of terrorsist-related terms, and a linked list of pertinent reports generated by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness only add to the utility of this report.

A podcast overview can also be consulted; it is part of a series of podcasts labeled Intelligence. Unclassified  that have now spanned five years. Very informative.

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National Security Reports – January 2020 Update

A Bigger Foreign Policy Mess Than Anyone Predicted (The Atlantic); AI Governance (an ongoing series from Brookings); Top Risks for 2020 (Eurasia Group);  Guide to Posted Documents Regarding Use of National Security Authorities(ODNI); Securing the Industrial Internet of Things (National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence); Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) Part 3: Demographic Effects (National Institute of Standards and Technology); Recommendations for IoT Device Manufacturers (NIST); NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NICE); Foresight Africa:Top Priorites for the Continent 2020-2030(Brookings); Strengthening Post-Hurricane Supply Chain Resilience (NAP); What now for the Iran nuclear deal? (UK Parliament Library); Implications of the Use of Drones following the Assassination of Qasem Soleimani (UK Parliament Library); DOD’s Role in Competing with China (Hearing, House Armed Services Committee); Deterring Attacks Against the Power Grid: Two Approaches for the U.S. Department of Defense (RAND); 2019 National Preparedness Report (FEMA); NIST Privacy Framework: A Tool for Improving Privacy through Enterprise Risk Management; Examining the Social Organization Practices of Cybercriminals in the Netherlands Online and Offline (International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology); Office of Management and Budget—Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance (GAO); Political Risk Outlook 2020 (Verisk Maplecroft); Crippling the capacity of the National Security Council (FixGov); Global Risks Report 2020 (World Economic Forum); Far Right and Islamist Radicalisation in an Age of Austerity: A Review of Sociological Trends and Implications for Policy; United States Nuclear Forces, 2020 (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists); Identifying Law Enforcement Needs for Conducting Criminal Investigations Involving Evidence on the Dark Web (via Rand); Suicide Bombings Worldwide in 2019: Signs of Decline following the Military Defeat of the Islamic State (INSS); EPA Can Improve Incident Readiness with Better Management of Homeland Security and Emergency Response Equipment (OIG/EPA); World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 2019 (State Dept.).

Campaign and Election Security Policy: Overview and Recent Developments for Congress; Iranian Offensive Cyberattack Capabilities;U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues; Iran Sanctions; Oman: Politics, Security, and U.S. Policy; China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress; The Washington Post’s “Afghanistan Papers” and U.S. Policy: Main Points and Possible Questions for Congress; Kosovo: In Brief; U.S. Killing of Qasem Soleimani: Frequently Asked Questions; and Department of Homeland Security Appropriations: FY2020.

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Fire Statistics in the United States

Fire in the United States 2008-2017 is a compilation of various statistics, graphs, and data points highlighting the trends of fires over the above decade. While the number of fire related injuries have decreased, the number of fire deaths and dollar loss have increased. On average over this decade, there have been 3,190 deaths, 16,225 civilian injuries, and $14.7B resulting from 1.34 million fires annually. Needless to say, the California wildfires, as well as others, have had an impact of the overall trends examined in this report.

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National Security Reports – December 2019 Update

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Continuously Updated Bibliographies On Terrorism and Related Subjects

Perspectives on Terrorism, a bimonthly publications from the Terrorism Research Initiative, contains a wealth of  material of especial interest to those in the security field. Some examples of what each issue includes are:

Recent Online Resources for the Analysis of Terrorism and Related Subjects – a bimonthly listing of copious, linked sources culled from a wide variety of sites and dealing not just with terrorism but also delving into the areas of cybersecurity and resilience studies;

a guide to open access theses/dissertations on specific topics, such as 475 Academic Theses (Ph.D. and MA) on Countering Violence Extremism (CVE), Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and Terrorism Prevention;

a recurrent feature highlighting recent books on terrorism, here is the most recent example- Counterterrorism Bookshelf: 12 Books on Terrorism & Counter-Terrorism-Related Subjects;

an ongoing examination of terrorism by region, here is the latest entry – Bibliography: Terrorism by Region—Indian Subcontinent;

multi-part examinations of a specific topic such as Bibliography: Terrorism and the Media (including the Internet) (Part 4);

and topical bibliographies on selected terrorist groups such as Bibliography: Boko Haram .

The bibliographies can be quite long, 40+ pages, and if there are operational links, they are included; in most cases, these bibliographies contain hundreds of active links.

Access to the entire archives is here.




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Read the House Judiciary Impeachment Report

This document, running over 600 pages, presents the reasons for the impending impeachment of President Trump. An overview of this report can be found here.

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“The Afghanistan Papers”

America’s longest war has been fought under the umbrella of misstatements and false reports. Such are the conclusions of The Afghanistan Papers, a trove of previously undisclosed interviews (more than 400) comprising thousands of pages. The frankness of these documents reveals the bitterness and resentment of many officials who have damned successive administrations for their involvement in this conflict, misleading the American public over the progress of this war.

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National Security Reports – November 2019 Update

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Watch the Impeachment Hearings Live

C-SPAN is providing complete coverage of the impeachment inquiry; it also will permanently archive the entire proceedings so they can be consulted at a later date.

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