SHARED INTEL: How Russia’s war mongering compromises those holding security clearances

  • Guideline B: Foreign Influence
  • Guideline C: Foreign Preference

Published: April 19, 2022

While global commerce is an important aspect of the world economy, individuals who hold national security clearances need to be aware that some of the activities they engage in could pose a security risk and may negatively impact their security clearances.

Individuals who possess security clearances are not prohibited from traveling to foreign countries; however, there are certain acts and behaviors that may raise foreign influence and/or foreign preference concerns.

Under Guideline B of the security clearance adjudicative guidelines, the United States government is concerned with any potential for foreign influence. This includes contact with foreign nationals or obtaining financial or property interests in a foreign country, that could create a heightened risk for foreign exploitation.

First, there are reporting requirements which indicate that any foreign travel, aid, logistics, obtaining property in a foreign country, or other such activity must be reported to one’s security officer.

It is common for people to want to expand their financial portfolios, sometimes including investments overseas; however, that possesses a security concern as any foreign assets may be used to exert pressure or influence over individuals who possess a security clearance. in order to persuade them to divulge U.S. national security secrets.

The conflict in Ukraine is a prime example of how engaging in global commerce and providing aid to foreign countries or foreign nationals may pose a security risk. Anybody who wants to provide aid to Ukraine could be put in a position of potentially exposing themselves to exploitation, inducement, manipulation, or pressure, which may conflict with the interests of the United States.

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