Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
World Refugee Day is an opportunity to recognize the courage and the struggles of millions of refugees who have fled their homes due to persecution and conflict. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of those forcibly displaced worldwide rose to nearly 80 million in 2019. The United States reaffirms its commitment to achieving the best humanitarian outcomes for the millions of displaced people around the world. To this end, the U.S. National Security Strategy directs us to continue to lead the world in humanitarian assistance and to support displaced people as close to their homes as possible to help meet their needs until they can safely and voluntarily return home.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Refugee Act, which established the Office of the U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs that evolved into the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The Refugee Act was the first comprehensive piece of U.S. legislation designed to address the realities of modern refugees by providing flexible mechanisms to address rapidly shifting refugee situations.
From Venezuela to Syria and Afghanistan, to South Sudan and Burma, the United States is a catalyst for international humanitarian crisis response. It is essential for the international community to work together to be effective in addressing the crises that drive displacement and lead to dire situations. This starts with the responsibility of the governments involved and their regional partners to take steps to end conflict quickly and to create safe conditions for their people. By focusing on ending conflicts and by providing assistance to prevent further displacement, we can help mitigate the destabilizing effects displacement has on affected countries and their neighbors.
The United States is the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance worldwide, continuing a tradition of generosity. In Fiscal Year 2019, the United States provided more than $9.5 billion, and over the past decade we have provided nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance. This assistance reaches tens of millions of displaced and crisis-affected people worldwide, providing urgent, life-saving support and services, including food, shelter, health care, education, and access to safe drinking water. U.S. support for host countries, provided through contributions to humanitarian organizations, encourages them to continue providing shelter and increasing access to work, education, and public services for those fleeing persecution.
But the United States cannot address these needs alone. We work tirelessly to encourage our partners and allies to share the burden and to ensure limited
- COVID-19: Better USAID Documentation and More-Frequent Reporting Could Enhance Monitoring of Humanitarian EffortsBy Sam NewsJanuary 26, 2022What GAO Found The Department of State (State) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) shifted to remote monitoring of their humanitarian assistance awards in response to COVID-19, but USAID documented field-level oversight inconsistently. State and USAID officials reported using technology, such as video conferencing, to communicate with agency staff and with organizations implementing the awards but generally ceased in-person meetings as well as site visits by headquarters-based staff. State used a standardized template to consistently document oversight of two nongovernmental organization (NGO) awards GAO reviewed. However, USAID did not consistently document field-level oversight of five NGO awards GAO reviewed. USAID staff were either unaware of the relevant guidance on field-level oversight or believed it was no longer in effect. Communicating to staff the expectations for documentation would help USAID preserve institutional knowledge and ensure management has information needed to make programming decisions. USAID required implementers using fiscal year 2020 COVID-19 supplemental funds to submit monthly reports, which contributed to lessons learned and informed headquarters staff. In March 2021, USAID reverted to semiannual reporting for new awards but did not fully assess the trade-offs of doing so. Such an assessment could help USAID weigh competing factors, such as increased risks while monitoring remains curtailed by the pandemic versus the burden placed on implementing organizations by more frequent reporting. Organizations implementing State and USAID humanitarian assistance awards adapted to COVID-19 chiefly through low-tech remote solutions and faced implementation and monitoring challenges. These adaptations included (1) increased use of social distancing and personal protective equipment (see figure), (2) teleconferences or video conferences instead of in-person meetings, and (3) increased use of remote tools, such as telephone surveys. Implementers faced related procurement, technology, and logistics challenges, which delayed program implementation. Masked and Socially Distanced Humanitarian Assistance Training in Honduras Why GAO Did This Study The COVID-19 pandemic has created new humanitarian needs and exacerbated existing vulnerabilities around the world. In response to the pandemic, Congress appropriated and State and USAID obligated $908 million in supplemental funding in fiscal year 2020 for international humanitarian assistance activities. The CARES Act includes a provision for GAO to monitor the federal government's efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report examines how State and USAID adapted their monitoring of humanitarian assistance activities supported by COVID-19 supplemental funding. This report also describes how implementing organizations adapted their projects to the COVID-19 context and the challenges they faced. GAO reviewed State and USAID planning, funding, and guidance documents and interviewed officials; obtained data on all humanitarian assistance awards funded from COVID-19 fiscal year 2020 supplemental appropriations. GAO also reviewed relevant documents for a nongeneralizable sample of 12 awards (seven to NGOs, five to public international organizations), selected on the basis of factors such as geographic representation and type of implementer.[Read More…]
- Veterans Justice Outreach Program: Further Actions to Identify and Address Barriers to Participation Would Promote Access to ServicesBy Sam NewsSeptember 14, 2021What GAO Found In response to the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act of 2018, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data show the agency hired 51 Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) specialists, though VA completed its hiring and reporting after the statute's deadline. The program relies on nearly 400 VJO specialists—primarily social workers—who work with jails and municipal courts to identify and assess the needs of arrested or incarcerated veterans, and connect them to VA health care services. In addition, VA's reporting to Congress lacked required information, such as the number of veterans who lack access to VJO specialists. Although VA does not collect these data, VJO program officials said that future research will help them estimate this number. VA has identified and taken some steps to address barriers that veterans may face in accessing VJO specialists and receiving services. GAO additionally found that veterans with other-than-honorable discharges—often at greater risk of mental health issues and suicide—may not know they are eligible under a 2020 VA policy that extends mental health care services to certain members of this subgroup. (See figure.) In addition, this policy change and newly available services are not reflected in training for VJO specialists. As a result, veterans may not meet with VJO specialists and miss an opportunity to get help accessing VA's health care services. Barriers Justice-Involved Veterans (JIV) May Face Accessing VJO Specialists VA and others have conducted research on the use of VA services by veterans in the VJO program, and VA officials have used this research to improve the program by educating staff and further directing their research. However, VJO research and improvement efforts are not guided by project plans that define goals and identify needed resources, such as stakeholder expertise, as called for by generally recognized project management practices. VJO officials told GAO that research is a key strategy for improving VJO services and that they intend to develop a plan, but do not have a timeframe for doing so. Until the VJO program develops detailed project plans that also identify needed resources, program officials will not have a road map to improve the use of VA services by veterans in the VJO program. Why GAO Did This Study Veterans who have been arrested and jailed are at an increased risk of homelessness, mental health conditions, and suicide. To address these concerns and prevent re-incarceration, VA created the VJO program, which served over 30,000 veterans in fiscal year 2020. The Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act of 2018 included a provision for GAO to assess VA's implementation of the act's requirements. This report examines the extent to which VA has (1) implemented the act's hiring and reporting requirements, (2) identified and addressed barriers that veterans face in accessing VJO specialists, and (3) conducted and used research to improve the use of VA services by veterans in the program. GAO reviewed relevant federal laws and VA documentation, including program guidance, policies, plans, and reports; reviewed selected studies on veterans' use of the VJO program; interviewed VA and VJO officials; and analyzed VA data for fiscal years 2016 through 2020 on veterans served by the program.[Read More…]
- Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Economic Espionage ConspiracyBy Sam NewsJanuary 6, 2022Xiang Haitao, 44, a Chinese national formerly residing in Chesterfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit economic espionage.[Read More…]
- Pipeline Safety: Performance Measures Needed to Assess Recent Changes to Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety RegulationsBy Sam NewsJune 22, 2021What GAO Found In 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule amending its hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations. Selected pipeline operators and officials from PHMSA and selected states' pipeline safety offices said that these changes would enhance pipeline safety and present no significant challenges. They said the most beneficial changes expanded the scope of inspections. For example, in addition to existing requirements for operators to use specialized tools to inspect pipelines in “high consequence areas”—defined by population and environmental factors—the 2019 Rule requires such inspections outside of those areas. While operators noted the rule's potential to improve safety, all 11 operators GAO interviewed identified specific amendments that could increase their costs. For example, several operators said they would need to modify or replace some of their pipeline to allow for certain inspection tools required by the changes. PHMSA and state pipeline safety officials said they did not anticipate oversight challenges or additional costs because the changes did not alter their inspection process. Specialized In-Line Inspection Tool Being Placed in a Launch Point on a Pipeline PHMSA held meetings with and provided guidance to operators and inspectors on the changes but has not developed measures to assess if the changes improve safety. Leading performance management practices call for agencies to track progress toward goals using measures that include targets for expected levels of performance and timeframes. While PHMSA has desired outcomes for the 2019 Rule, including safety improvements, PHMSA officials said they have not established performance measures for those outcomes because some of the changes have long-term compliance deadlines, and so data are not yet available to assess effectiveness. However, other changes have shorter-term deadlines for compliance and PHMSA could use data it already collects from operators for its assessment. Without performance measures, PHMSA cannot determine whether the changes made by the 2019 Rule are achieving their intended outcomes and contributing to PHMSA's safety goals. Why GAO Did This Study The U.S. hazardous liquid pipeline network runs for over 220,000 miles and is a critical component of the nation's economy. Pipelines are considered to be a relatively safe mode of transporting crude oil, refined petroleum products, and other hazardous liquids, but accidents can occur that result in loss of life and environmental damage. PHMSA, within the Department of Transportation (DOT), sets the federal minimum pipeline safety standards and generally ensures operator compliance. In 2016, a pipeline safety statute included a provision for GAO to report on hazardous liquid pipeline safety after PHMSA issued a specific final rule amending its safety regulations, which it did in 2019. This report examines: (1) perspectives of selected pipeline stakeholders on the benefits and challenges of the amendments made by the 2019 Rule and (2) steps PHMSA has taken to inform stakeholders of these amendments and to measure their effects on pipeline safety. GAO reviewed relevant statutes and regulations; analyzed PHMSA accident data from calendar years 2011-2020; interviewed 11 pipeline operators—selected by pipeline type, miles, and product type—as well as pipeline industry and safety stakeholders, and PHMSA and pipeline safety officials from six states.[Read More…]
- Information Technology: Agencies Need to Develop and Implement Modernization Plans for Critical Legacy SystemsBy Sam NewsApril 27, 2021What GAO Found In June 2019, GAO identified 10 critical federal information technology (IT) legacy systems that were most in need of modernization. These legacy systems provided vital support to agencies' missions. According to the agencies, these legacy systems ranged from about 8 to 51 years old and, collectively, cost about $337 million annually to operate and maintain. Several of the systems used older languages, such as Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL). GAO has previously reported that reliance on such languages has risks, such as a rise in procurement and operating costs, and a decrease in the availability of individuals with the proper skill sets. Further, several of the legacy systems were operating with known security vulnerabilities and unsupported hardware and software. Of the 10 agencies responsible for these legacy systems, GAO reported in June 2019 that seven agencies (the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, the Interior, the Treasury; as well as the Office of Personnel Management; Small Business Administration; and Social Security Administration) had documented plans for modernizing the systems (see table). Of the seven agencies with plans, only the Departments of the Interior's and Defense's modernization plans included all of the key elements identified in best practices (milestones, a description of the work necessary to complete the modernization, and a plan for the disposition of the legacy system). The other five agencies lacked complete modernization plans. The Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation did not have documented modernization plans. Table: Extent to Which Agencies' Had Documented Modernization Plans for Legacy Systems That Included Key Elements, as of June 2019 Agency Included milestones to complete the modernization Described work necessary to modernize system Summarized planned disposition of legacy system Department of Defense Yes Yes Yes Department of Education n/a – did not have a documented modernization plan Department of Health and Human Services n/a – did not have a documented modernization plan Department of Homeland Security No Yes No Department of the Interior Yes Yes Yes Department of the Treasury Partial Yes No Department of Transportation n/a – did not have a documented modernization plan Office of Personnel Management Partial Partial No Small Business Administration Yes No Yes Social Security Administration Partial Partial No Source: GAO analysis of agency modernization plans. | GAO-21-524T Agencies received a “partial” if the element was completed for a portion of the modernization. GAO stressed that, until the eight agencies established complete plans, their modernizations would face an increased risk of cost overruns, schedule delays, and project failure. Accordingly, GAO recommended that each of the eight develop such plans. However, to date, seven of the agencies had not done so. It is essential that agencies implement GAO's recommendations and these plans in order to meet mission needs, address security risks, and reduce operating costs. Why GAO Did This Study Each year, the federal government spends more than $100 billion on IT and cyber-related investments. Of this amount, agencies have typically spent about 80 percent on the operations and maintenance of existing IT investments, including legacy systems. However, federal legacy systems are becoming increasingly obsolete. In May 2016, GAO reported instances where agencies were using systems that had components that were at least 50 years old or the vendors were no longer providing support for hardware or software. Similarly, in June 2019 GAO reported that several of the federal government's most critical legacy systems used outdated languages, had unsupported hardware and software, and were operating with known security vulnerabilities. GAO was asked to testify on its June 2019 report on federal agencies' legacy systems. Specifically, GAO summarized (1) the critical federal legacy systems that we identified as most in need of modernization and (2) its evaluation of agencies' plans for modernizing them. GAO also provided updated information regarding agencies' implementation of its related recommendations.[Read More…]
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- Mississippi Pharmacist and Louisiana Marketer Plead Guilty to More Than $180 Million Health Care Fraud SchemeBy Sam NewsAugust 25, 2021A Mississippi pharmacist pleaded guilty today and a Louisiana marketer pleaded guilty on Aug. 12 in the Southern District of Mississippi for their roles in a multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud TRICARE and private insurance companies by paying kickbacks to distributors for the referral of medically unnecessary prescriptions. The conduct allegedly resulted in more than $180 million in fraudulent billings, including more than $50 million paid by federal health care programs.[Read More…]
- Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Endangered and Invasive FishBy Sam NewsJuly 20, 2021A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty today in the Western District of Pennsylvania for trafficking in endangered and invasive fish in violation of the Lacey Act.[Read More…]
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- Military Readiness: DOD Needs to Identify and Address Gaps and Potential Risks in Program Strategies and Funding Priorities for Selected EquipmentBy Sam NewsAugust 31, 2021With continued heavy military involvement in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense (DOD) is spending billions of dollars sustaining or replacing its inventory of key equipment items while also planning to spend billions of dollars to develop and procure new systems to transform the department's warfighting capabilities. GAO developed a red, yellow, green assessment framework to (1) assess the condition of 30 selected equipment items from across the four military services, and (2) determine the extent to which DOD has identified near- and long-term program strategies and funding plans to ensure that these items can meet defense requirements. GAO selected these items based on input from the military services, congressional committees, and our prior work. These 30 equipment items included 18 items that were first assessed in GAO's 2003 report.While the fleet-wide condition of the 30 equipment items GAO selected for review varied, GAO's analysis showed that reported readiness rates declined between fiscal years 1999 and 2004 for most of these items. The decline in readiness, which occurred more markedly in fiscal years 2003 and 2004, generally resulted from (1) the continued high use of equipment to support current operations and (2) maintenance issues caused by the advancing ages and complexity of the systems. Key equipment items--such as Army and Marine Corps trucks, combat vehicles, and rotary wing aircraft--have been used well beyond normal peacetime use during deployments in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. DOD is currently performing its Quadrennial Defense Review, which will examine defense programs and policies for meeting future requirements. Until the department completes this review and ensures that condition issues for key equipment are addressed, DOD risks a continued decline in readiness trends, which could threaten its ability to continue meeting mission requirements. The military services have not fully identified near- and long-term program strategies and funding plans to ensure that all of the 30 selected equipment items can meet defense requirements. GAO found that, in some cases, the services' near-term program strategies have gaps in that they do not address capability shortfalls, funding is not included in DOD's 2006 budget request, or there are supply and maintenance issues that may affect near-term readiness. Additionally, the long-term program strategies and funding plans are incomplete for some of the equipment items GAO reviewed in that future requirements are not identified, studies are not completed, funding for maintenance and upgrades was limited, or replacement systems were delayed or not yet identified. Title 10 U.S.C. 2437 requires the military services to develop sustainment plans for equipment items when their replacement programs begin development, unless they will reach initial operating capability before October 2008. However, most of the systems that GAO assessed as red had issues severe enough to warrant immediate attention because of long-term strategy and funding issues, and were not covered by this law. As a result, DOD is not required to report sustainment plans for these critical items. For the next several years, funding to sustain or modernize aging equipment will have to compete with other DOD priorities, such as current operations, force structure changes, and replacement system acquisitions. Without developing complete sustainment and modernization plans and identifying funding needs for all priority equipment items, DOD may be unable to meet future requirements for defense capabilities. Furthermore, until DOD develops these plans, Congress will be unable to ensure that DOD's budget decisions address deficiencies related to key military equipment.[Read More…]
- Improvement Continues in DOD’s Reporting on Sustainable Ranges, but Opportunities Exist to Improve Its Range Assessments and Comprehensive PlanBy Sam NewsAugust 25, 2021In the midst of the global war on terrorism and recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense (DOD) is working to make U.S. forces more agile and expeditionary. This transformation involves a shift from a Cold War era defense posture to a military that can surge quickly to trouble spots around the globe. In order to accomplish this transformation, it is vital for U.S. forces to train as they intend to fight. New advances in technology, coupled with this shift in force posture, mean that DOD needs to continually update and maintain its training ranges. Military training ranges vary in size from a few acres--for small arms training--to over a million acres for large maneuver exercises and weapons testing, as well as broad open ocean areas that provide for offshore training and testing. These ranges face ever increasing limitations and restrictions on land, water, and airspace as residential, commercial, and industrial development continues to expand around and encroach upon once remote military training and testing installations. Section 366 of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, dated December 2, 2002, required that the Secretary of Defense report on several items. First, the Secretary of Defense was required to develop a comprehensive plan for using existing authorities available to the Secretary of Defense and the military services to address training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, and airspace--both in the United States and overseas. As part of the preparation of the plan, section 366 required the Secretary of Defense to conduct an assessment of current and future training range requirements and an evaluation of the adequacy of current DOD resources, including virtual and constructive assets, to meet current and future training range requirements. Second, section 366 required the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress, not later than June 30, 2003, on the plans to improve DOD's system to reflect the readiness impact that training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, and airspace have on specific units of the military services. Third, section 366 required the Secretary to develop and maintain an inventory that identifies all available operational training ranges, all training range capacities and capabilities, and any training constraints caused by limitations at each training range in fiscal year 2004, and provide an updated inventory to Congress for fiscal years 2005 through 2013. Section 366(d) of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 requires GAO to submit to Congress an evaluation of DOD's report regarding its training range comprehensive plan and its readiness reporting improvements within 90 days of receiving the report from DOD. This report is our fourth review in response to our mandate in section 366 of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003. This report discusses (1) the extent to which DOD's 2007 sustainable ranges report and training range inventory address the elements of section 366 that were required to be in DOD's fiscal year 2004 sustainable ranges report and (2) an opportunity for DOD to improve its comprehensive plan within the sustainable ranges report to better address the elements of section 366.Although DOD's 2007 sustainable ranges report and inventory still do not fully address all of the elements of section 366 required for DOD's original fiscal year 2004 report and inventory, DOD has continued to improve them and the current report and inventory represent an improvement over those from previous years. First, in an effort to improve the annual report and inventory, DOD has taken initial steps to provide the results of an assessment of current and future training range requirements and an evaluation of the adequacy of current DOD resources. These assessments also help improve the training range inventory by helping to identify all training capacities and capabilities available at each training range and to identify training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, and airspace at each training range. Until better criteria and a more standardized methodology are developed, DOD and the services will not be presenting a consistent and accurate picture of range capabilities and needs, and will therefore be unable to identify shortfalls or gaps in their capabilities or make informed decisions about where to invest sustainment dollars DOD-wide. Second, like previous years' reports, DOD's 2007 report does not provide new recommendations for legislative or regulatory changes to address training constraints, although DOD's original 2004 report was required by section 366 to include any recommendations that the Secretary may have for legislative or regulatory change to address training constraints identified pursuant to section 366. Third, although DOD's readiness reporting system does not yet include training ranges, DOD's 2007 sustainable ranges report describes DOD's plans to improve its reporting system to reflect the readiness impact that training constraints have on the services. DOD officials told us that workshops had been scheduled to develop the system and that it should be initially operational by the end of calendar year 2008. Even with these improvements in the sustainable range report and inventory, DOD has the opportunity to improve its comprehensive plan presented within its sustainable ranges report by including projected funding requirements for implementing planned actions. We asked the services for information about their range sustainment funding, and each service was able to provide us with an estimate of its budget for range sustainment for fiscal year 2008. According to DOD officials, this information was not included in the report because it presents only a partial picture of the money being spent on range sustainment. We believe, however, that even this partial information is important to include in the report because without it, Congress will have difficulty making informed decisions about funding range sustainment activities.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Announces National Response Center and Offer to Bring Assistance to Minneapolis Police Department to Support Law Enforcement and Safe Communities Through Fair PolicingBy Sam NewsOctober 20, 2020The Justice Department, in an announcement by Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric S. Dreiband, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Katharine T. Sullivan, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica H. MacDonald, unveiled a new National Response Center Initiative and offered the assistance to the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) to support law enforcement, and review, enhance and reform policies and practices to prevent the use of excessive force. The BJA Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Response Center will be a national resource for all state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.[Read More…]
- Hypersonic Weapons: DOD Should Clarify Roles and Responsibilities to Ensure Coordination across Development EffortsBy Sam NewsMarch 22, 2021What GAO Found GAO identified 70 efforts to develop hypersonic weapons and related technologies that are estimated to cost almost $15 billion from fiscal years 2015 through 2024 (see figure). These efforts are widespread across the Department of Defense (DOD) in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE) and, in the case of hypersonic technology development, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). DOD accounts for nearly all of this amount. Hypersonic Weapon-related and Technology Development Total Reported Funding by Type of Effort from Fiscal Years 2015 through 2024, in Billions of Then-Year Dollars The majority of this funding is for product development and potential fielding of prototype offensive hypersonic weapons. Additionally, it includes substantial investments in developing technologies for next generation hypersonic weapons and a smaller proportion aimed at countering hypersonic threats. Hypersonic weapon systems are technically complex, and DOD has taken several steps to mitigate some of the challenges to developing them. For example, DOD has attempted to address challenges posed by immature technologies and aggressive schedules by pursuing multiple potential technological solutions so that it has options. Other challenges DOD is addressing relate to industrial base and human capital workforce investments needed to support large-scale production and the availability of wind tunnels and open-air flight test ranges needed to test hypersonic weapons. DOE and NASA have agreements with DOD on supporting roles, but DOD itself has not documented the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of the multitude of its organizations, including the military services, that are working on hypersonic weapon development. Such governing documentation would provide for a level of continuity when leadership and organizational priorities inevitably change, especially as hypersonic weapon development efforts are expected to continue over at least the next decade. Without clear leadership roles, responsibilities, and authorities, DOD is at risk of impeding its progress toward delivering hypersonic weapon capabilities and opening up the potential for conflict and wasted resources as decisions over larger investments are made in the future. Why GAO Did This Study Hypersonic missiles, which are an important part of building hypersonic weapon systems, move at least five times the speed of sound, have unpredictable flight paths, and are expected to be capable of evading today's defensive systems. DOD has begun multiple efforts to develop offensive hypersonic weapons as well as technologies to improve its ability to track and defend against them. NASA and DOE are also conducting research into hypersonic technologies. The investments for these efforts are significant. This report identifies: (1) U.S. government efforts to develop hypersonic systems that are underway and their costs, (2) challenges these efforts face and what is being done to address them, and (3) the extent to which the U.S. government is effectively coordinating these efforts. This is a public version of a sensitive report that GAO issued in January 2021. Information that DOD deemed to be sensitive has been omitted. GAO collected and reviewed information from DOD, DOE, and NASA to identify hypersonic weapons development efforts from fiscal years 2015 through 2024. GAO also analyzed agency documentation and interviewed agency officials.[Read More…]
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- Jury Convicts Chinese Intelligence Officer of Espionage Crimes, Attempting to Steal Trade SecretsBy Sam NewsNovember 5, 2021A federal jury today convicted Yanjun Xu, a Chinese national and Deputy Division Director of the Sixth Bureau of the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security, of conspiring to and attempting to commit economic espionage and theft of trade secrets. The defendant is the first Chinese intelligence officer to be extradited to the United States to stand trial.[Read More…]
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