WASHINGTON: The Pentagon wants projections about future defense budgets and programs to be classified, a change that would hide critical information that lawmakers and the public rely on to understand what programs the military considers its top priorities, as well as to provide transparency to allies and competitors.
Revealed today in newly published documents, the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) would be marked secret for fear they “might inadvertently reveal sensitive information,” according to documents unearthed by Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists. The FYDP has been unclassified since 1989, the end of the Cold War.
“With the ready availability of data mining tools and techniques, and the large volume of data on the Department’s operations and resources already available in the public domain, additional unclassified FYDP data, if it were released, potentially allows adversaries to derive sensitive information by compilation about the Department’s weapons development, force structure, and strategic plans,” the DoD wrote in a March 6 proposal to Congress.
The “DoD proposal would make it even harder for Congress and the public to refocus and reconstruct the defense budget,” Aftergood wrote.
Earlier this week, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith and Ranking Member Mac Thornberry introduced a “by request” version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2021,