CRRC Status Update July 2014

Institute for National Strategic Studies
National Defense University
Fort Lesley J. McNair
Washington, D.C. 20319

We are writing to provide you with a brief update on the status of the Conflict Records Research Center (CRRC). The CRRC, which has previously received generous funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD(P)), has no funding beyond the end of the current fiscal year. Unless something changes immediately, the center will close its doors sometime prior to September 30, 2014. Throughout the remainder of the fiscal year, CRRC personnel shortages will severely and adversely affect the center’s ability to host researchers, respond to e-mails, update the center’s website, or conduct other CRRC operations.

The CRRC, which focuses on al-Qaeda affiliated terrorism and Iraq, is on the verge of closing its doors just as battlefield victories by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), fighting alongside former elements of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime, remind observers of the continuing need for precisely the sort of research that the CRRC enables and provides. The CRRC has been honored to support innovative research and scholarship on these and other important topics since 2010.

If the CRRC does not receive funding immediately and hire personnel prior to September 30, it will shut down and the National Archives (NARA) will take ownership of all existing CRRC records. As explained below, the records will not be available to researchers for a considerable number of years. In addition, current CRRC holdings, which constitute less than one percent of the records that the center has been working to make available, will be frozen in time. No new records will be added.

NARA officials have informed CRRC staff that NARA would not release CRRC records for at least 25 years, with the exception of a very small number of records in response to Freedom of Information Act Requests. NARA is hard pressed to respond promptly to the vast number of requests it receives. NARA has also informed us that it would release only the CRRC translations, not copies of the Arabic originals, and would redact most of the names in the translations to prevent any possible privacy violations.
We have appreciated working with you and value your support.

The Conflict Records Research Center