Bowman “sets the record straight” with his review of Bob Gates’ new book, Duty. He states that Duty is not a “tell all,” but rather a highly personal and almost daily reflection of what Gates thought and experienced during his time as US Secretary of Defense. Ultimately, Bowman concludes that while the book is very readable, it is primarily a catharsis with little to no commentary on national security or international law.
Lin explores the phenomenon of overclassification in American society and proposes a classification cost metric in order to create serious economic incentives to reduce classification. The metric would provide decision makers with a way to judge the relative importance of different classified documents and allow officials to classify documents on a more objective scale. The author relates a number of questions and answers relating to the underlying approach, the mechanics, budget and finance, and law and policy, thereby parsing out the strengths and weaknesses of his proposal.
Landau explains the National Security Agency’s little-known function of providing communications security (COMSEC) to private companies, which has involved an improvement of security and privacy of the domestic communications infrastructure. She examines the history of the program and how the NSA’s behavior towards the private sector has shifted since the 1950’s, as well as the rationale behind these radical changes. Ultimately, Landau argues that providing national security tools to the private sector is outside the mission of the NSA and should be done by an entity more in sync with the private sector and international community.