Lawmakers complain about shoddy intelligence contractor database

By James Arkin

Frustrations are rising on Capitol Hill about the intelligence community’s failure to justify its widespread use of contractors.

Federal contract employee reviewed 15,152 security clearances in a month, audit says

By R. Jeffrey Smith

One worker's high productivity fails to win plaudits.

Federal auditors say Obama administration underestimates nuclear weapons costs

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Analysts again say the Defense and Energy Departments have wrongly omitted billions of dollars from their forecasts.

U.S. military describes its mistakes in Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff says that both military and civilian officials failed to tackle corrosive corruption.

Energy Dept. confirms it's been on the wrong path since 2007

By Douglas Birch

A newly-released DOE study concludes the department can save billions by shelving a costly South Carolina nuclear fuel factory.

Dozens of intelligence contractors have submitted false claims for federal funds

By Douglas Birch

Pentagon report reveals that those implicated typically kept their security clearances.

Air Force seeks less perfection in its nuclear missile corps

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The Air Force is having difficulties fielding missile officers who are not engaged in drug use, test cheating and deliberate disobedience.

Japan reaffirms its plan to produce plutonium

By Douglas Birch and Jake Adelstein

The Abe government’s new energy plan calls for completing the Rokkasho plutonium fuel factory despite U.S. concern it poses terrorism risks

Japan confirms it will return some nuclear explosive materials to U.S.

By Douglas Birch

The amount of plutonium is a small fraction of what the country could soon begin making annually.

Improving security for nuclear explosives remains a diplomatic struggle

By Douglas Birch

A two-day international summit attended by President Obama next week is unlikely to move beyond stopgap measures and vague promises.

Plutonium fever blossoms in Japan

Cronyism, influence-buying and a stifling of dissenting voices have kept the Japanese nuclear industry going strong after Fukushima.

Japan could be building an irresistible terrorist target, experts say

Japan has balked at U.S. security advice for its nuclear plants.

Japan agrees to return some plutonium

By Douglas Birch

After years of resistance, Japan agrees to return a portion of plutonium to the U.S.

A world awash in a nuclear explosive?

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

Japan is leading a global move towards dangerous reactors fueled by a nuclear explosive, Thomas Cochran and other experts say.

Nuclear Waste: Energy Department proposes to kill multi-billion dollar nuclear fuel plant

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

The costliest U.S. nonproliferation program has been undone by huge cost overruns.

Nuclear Waste: Auditors find continuing mismanagement at nuclear fuel plant

By Douglas Birch

The GAO complains anew about DOE's unwillingness to investigate cost increases at the MOX plant, and learn from its mistakes there

Nuclear Waste: Cost of South Carolina fuel plant goes up by billions of dollars — again

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Douglas Birch

The MOX plant may cost another $30 billion to complete and operate, and federal officials are newly wary.

EPA abandons major radiation cleanup in Florida, despite cancer concerns

By Douglas P. Guarino

Federal agency abandons phosphate-mining clean-up, leaving more than 100,000 residents at risk of exposure to cancer-causing radiation.

U.S. literacy program for Afghan military comes up short

By Mattie Quinn and R. Jeffrey Smith

Auditor says a program in Afghanistan costing hundreds of millions of dollars has been undermined by poor contracts and weak monitoring.

Justice Department says federal contractor routinely faked security clearance reviews

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Mattie Quinn

A court filing alleges that a Virginia firm failed to vet files properly for hundreds of thousands of federal clearance-holders

Cold, damp, underground cheating

By R. Jeffrey Smith, Mattie Quinn and Douglas Birch

The ICBM force is not getting the Air Force’s high flyers.

Afghanistan's narcotics problems grow worse

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Mattie Quinn

A costly and ambitious U.S. effort to curtail Afghanistan's poppy production falters as U.S. forces draw down.

Global progress seen in securing nuclear materials

By Douglas Birch

Ranking given to the United States for its security of nuclear materials slips over the past two years.

Top national security investigations from 2013

By The Center for Public Integrity

In case you missed it, here are some of our favorite national security investigations from 2013.

Obama administration understated nuclear weapons costs

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An independent report projects a much higher bill for the administration’s weapons programs.

Intelligence contractors donate millions to intelligence watchdogs in Congress

By Alexander Cohen and R. Jeffrey Smith

Those on Capitol Hill who approve and oversee military intelligence spending benefit from a stream of industry campaign funding.

The mess gets worse at Hanford’s nuclear site

By Rebecca LaFlure

A scientific dispute over cleanup of one of the most polluted sites in the country threatens to ensnare the Energy Department’s leaders.

Arms export rules relaxed

By Rebecca LaFlure

A stream of military equipment exports will soon bypass State Department scrutiny

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Writers and editors

Alexander Cohen

Data reporter The Center for Public Integrity

Alexander Cohen rejoined the Center in 2013 after serving as Reuters’s campaign data reporter for the 2012 election.... More about Alexander Cohen

R. Jeffrey Smith

Managing Editor, National Security The Center for Public Integrity

Smith worked for 25 years in a series of key reporting and editorial roles at The Washington Post, including ... More about R. Jeffrey Smith

Douglas Birch

The Center for Public Integrity

Veteran foreign correspondent Douglas Birch has reported from more than 20 countries, covered four wars, a dozen elections, the deat... More about Douglas Birch