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Secrecy News -- 04/17/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 12:29:04 -0400
Fwd Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 17:17:04 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 04/17/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 41
April 17, 2007

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


**	SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND: A TWENTY YEAR HISTORY
**	FY 2007 INTEL AUTHORIZATION AND BUDGET DISCLOSURE
**	VARIOUS RESOURCES
**	OTHER SECRECY NEWS


SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND: A TWENTY YEAR HISTORY

As the missions and budgets for U.S. Special Operations Command
steadily expand, a new official history looks back at the
origins and development of SOCOM.

"Since its creation in 1987, USSOCOM has supported conventional
forces and conducted independent special operations throughout
the world, participating in all major combat operations," writes
SOCOM Commander General Bryan D. Brown.

The new account, prepared by the SOCOM history office and
obtained by Secrecy News, describes in new detail the major
SOCOM operations of the past two decades up through the present.

"After 9/11, the first SOF [special operations forces]
counterterrorism operations were not conducted in Afghanistan or
even in the Middle East, but in Europe," the SOCOM history
notes.

"In late September 2001, U.S. SOF learned that Islamic
extremists with connections to Usama bin Laden were in Bosnia.
SOCEUR forces quickly put together Operation RESOLUTE EAGLE to
capture them. U.S. SOF surveilled the terrorists, detained one
of the groups, and facilitated the capture of another group by
coalition forces. These raids resulted in the capture of all the
suspected terrorists and incriminating evidence for prosecution
and intelligence exploitation."

Other operations, like the battle of Tora Bora, were admittedly
less successful.

"The fact that SOF came as close to capturing or killing UBL
[Usama bin Laden] as U.S. forces have to date makes Tora Bora a
controversial fight. Given the commitment of fewer than 100
American personnel, U.S. forces proved unable to block egress
routes from Tora Bora south into Pakistan, the route that UBL
most likely took."

See "United States Special Operations Command, 1987-2007," SOCOM
History and Research Office, MacDill Air Force Base, April 2007
(143 pages in a very large 32 MB PDF file):

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/socom/2007history.pdf

The Government Accountability Office prepared a detailed
critical profile of SOCOM in 2006.

"The Special Operations Command is comprised of special
operations forces from each of the military services. In fiscal
year 2005, personnel authorizations for Army special operations
forces military personnel totaled more than 30,000, the Air
Force 11,501, the Navy 6,255, and the Marine Corps 79," the GAO
reported.

"From fiscal year 2001 through fiscal year 2005, funding for the
Command increased from more than $3.8 billion to more than $6.4
billion," GAO said, and it is only projected to rise through
2011.

But recruiting and training special operations forces to meet
expanding mission requirements will be a challenge, the GAO
concluded.

See "Special Operations Forces: Several Human Capital Challenges
Must Be Addressed to Meet Expanded Role" [GAO-06-812], July
2006:

http://www.fas.org/irp/gao/gao-06-812.pdf

See also "Army Special Operations Forces," U.S. Army Field
Manual 3-05, September 2006, obtained by Secrecy News:

http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-05.pdf


FY 2007 INTEL AUTHORIZATION AND BUDGET DISCLOSURE

In a heated debate April 16, the Senate failed to achieve
cloture on the FY2007 Intelligence Authorization Act, leaving it
open for further amendment today.

One of the points that now seems beyond debate, however, is the
need to disclose the total intelligence budget figure.

"The chairman [Sen. Rockefeller] and I have agreed it makes
sense ... to declassify the top line number of the intelligence
budget," said Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), Ranking Member of the Senate
Intelligence Committee.

"I have talked with leaders in the intelligence community and I
said: Does that cause you any problems? They said: No. It is
only when you get below that. Were you to go down the slippery
slope of disclosing amounts going into particular units or
particular programs of the intelligence community, you give away
vital secrets," Sen. Bond said on the Senate floor.

"This body has twice gone on record and was stated by the
chairman and the 9/11 Commission has recommended disclosing the
overall number so that the people of America will know whether
we are continuing to support the intelligence community
adequately, whether we are supporting it with the kinds of
resources needed," he said.

"In our [proposed] managers' amendment, we took out a
[requirement for a] study that would purport to look at the
possibility of declassifying further details, other than the top
line. We both agreed that should be out," Sen. Bond said.

See the full debate and the list of pending or proposed
amendments to the FY 2007 Intelligence Authorization Act here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_cr/s041607.html

Despite the intelligence community acquiescence noted by Senator
Bond, the White House remains opposed to any disclosure of
intelligence budget information, according to an April 12 policy
statement.


VARIOUS RESOURCES

The role of air and space power in U.S. military operations was
addressed in a newly updated U.S. Air Force publication. See Air
Force Doctrine Document 2, "Operations and Organization," 3
April 2007:

http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/usaf/afdd2.pdf

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the
Federation of American Scientists, the Office of the Director of
National Intelligence has just released a somewhat perfunctory
"2006 Annual Report of the U.S. Intelligence Community," dated
February 2007:

http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/2006annual.pdf

The Center for American Progress has published the transcript of
a March 30 program on "Ensuring Congressional Access to National
Security Information," linked (under Resources) from this page:

http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2007/03/classified.html


OTHER SECRECY NEWS

The politicization of the Department of Justice, the erosion of
professional values and the state of Freedom of Information Act
policy were discussed with unusual candor by Daniel J. Metcalfe,
former director of the DoJ Office of Information and Policy, in
an interview with Tony Mauro of Legal Times.

 http://www.law.com/jsp/dc/PubArticleDC.jsp?id=1176122643390

NASA secretly paid $26.6 million several years ago to the
families of the astronauts who died in the 2003 Columbia space
shuttle accident, reported Jim Leusner of the Orlando Sentinel
on April 15.

http://www.kansascity.com/136/story/71816.html



_______________________________________________
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
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Secrecy News is archived at:
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Secrecy News is available in blog format at:
http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp

_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: saftergood.nul
voice: (202) 454-4691



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