February 29, 2024

I think the most important thing the public should know about classification is that there are rules. The Department of Defense does not just make up what they think is classified.

No, NOTHING in this episode is classified. If you’re a novice to the world of classification, have you ever wondered who classifies something and why they do it, and can it ever be declassified? A BETTER PEACE welcomes Alison Goldsmith to the studio to discuss the DoD’s classification system with our podcast editor Ronald Granieri. The two address some of the rules and guidelines along with strengths and weaknesses of the process that produces Secret, Top Secret and even Special Access resources and programs.

Alison Goldsmith is a member of the AY20 Resident class of the U.S. Army War College and a Program Security Manager for the Navy Engineering Logistics Office (NELO). Ronald Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

Photo Credit: DoD Documents and Labels, compiled by Buck Haberichter


  1. A podcast on decisions paralysis would be good. We see it a lot when soldiers are new to a leadership role

  2. Thanks for demystifying aspects of the classification in the U.S. Interested to know more about how this works across the 16 intel communities, and their relationship to each other, more generally, including post-9/11 information sharing.

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