Ryan Crocker Poised for Syria, Yemen Drone Strikes and POTUS vs. Putin – Daily Intelligence


U.S. Army photo

Tuesday’s Top Ten


1.  Assume you’re getting conned, and go from there.  Sounds paranoid, I know, but some people still believe gullible is a word.  Editor Lindy Kyzer shares an all-too-common con-game that duped even those who should be most wary: “Using his fake LinkedIn profile, Jordan Harbinger was able to garner sensitive information from government contractors, government employees, and military personnel who identified as having a top secret security clearance. . . . In one case, he was able to access an individual’s personal and bank records. Another individual ponied up information about his debt (putting him at risk of blackmail).”

2.  Close the gaps.  Contributor Diana Rodriguez explains the significant problems of “Job-hopping” – whether you meant to hop, or not – and how to shore up the lines on your resume:  “Whether due to budget cuts, poor job market, personal health issues or problems, employers may have negative biases towards applicants who have frequent gaps in employment. . . . While some factors are obviously red flags, there are legitimate circumstances and situations that lead to prolonged unemployment.”


1.  Ryan Crocker poised for Syria, but rebels are going to loseDefenseOne.Com contributor Stephanie Gaskell reports that super-diplomat Crocker would jump at the opportunity to work in Syria, but he also surmised that “the now disjointed and out-gunned Syrian rebel forces ultimately would fail.”

2.  Afghan-Taliban peace talks underway, maybe. Khaama.Com reports, “Taliban group representatives have held talks with the Afghan government officials in a bid to jump-start stalled peace talks, which was suspended following the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar.  Afghan officials and senior Taliban group representatives have confirmed the reports and said that informal and preliminary talks were held between the Taliban group and Afghan high peace council.”  Related, Mullah Omar on Afghanistan’s upcoming elections: “Don’t bother.”  [Sounds like democracy is breaking out.]

3.  Drone strike in Yemen is 4th in a weekSmallWarsJournal.Com’s Bill Roggio reports, “The US launched its fourth drone strike in Yemen in the past 10 days, killing four al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives in an area in central Yemen that is known to host jihadists. . . . The US has launched 16 drone strikes in Yemen so far this year, but the pace of the strikes has decreased since last year. In 2012, the US launched 42 drone strikes in Yemen against AQAP and its political front, Ansar al Sharia. The previous year, the US launched 10 drone and air strikes against the al Qaeda affiliate. The strikes are being reduced as the US government is facing increasing international criticism for conducting the attacks in both Yemen and Pakistan.”  See related, U.S. warn citizens to leave Yemen.

4.  McCain and Graham arrive in Egypt todayAljazeera.Com rounds up the latest diplomatic outreach to Egypt’s interim government: “Recently, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Arab diplomats, an African delegation and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have all travelled to Cairo in a bid to defuse the crisis. . . . Morsi supporters continue to stage sit-in protests that have paralysed parts of the capital and further polarised an already deeply divided country.”  See related, bodies turning up near Morsi camps.

5.  D-Rod heads south in Africa.  AFRICOM Commanding General David Rodriguez observes Shared Accord in South Africa:  “’I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have visited South Africa,’ said Rodriquez.  ‘During the trip, I was able to observe the Shared Accord exercise hosted by the South African National Defense Force and to meet with their leadership to get a better sense for security and defense related issues.  The partnership we have with South Africa is an important one, as our nations share a number of security interests focused on bringing peace and stability to the whole of Africa.’”


1.  $2.5 billion on Iraq’s table for Lockheed, Raytheon, others.  On Monday, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a “possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq of an Integrated Air Defense System and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $2.403 billion.”  Poised contractors are Lockheed Martin, Thales Raytheon Systems, Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman, and Kratos Defense and Aerospace.

2.  Light Attack Aircraft competition has world watching.  According to DefenseMediaNetwork.Com, two prop productions are hoping for a nod from the Pentagon:  “In the worldwide market that’s closely scrutinizing the A-29B and AT-6, some are wondering where to place their bets and what to believe. . . . As the aviation industry gears up for a new round of competition with the A-29B and AT-6 ready to duke it out for new production orders – abroad, but probably not at home – both aircraft types enjoy support from true believers who buy into every word in the brochure.”


1.  Tech jobs up; trained techies downUPI.Com reports, “The number of technology degrees issued by U.S. schools in the past decade fell 11 percent while technology jobs grew 13 percent, CareerBuilder said. . . . the decline in tech-related degrees between 2003 and 2012 was especially drastic in larger metropolitan areas. The greatest decreases were in New York City (52 percent), San Francisco (55 percent), Atlanta (33 percent), Miami (32 percent) and Los Angeles (31 percent).”

2.  UAS one step closer to your skies.  FAA awards type certification.  AviationWeek.Com’s Graham Warwick is tracking the progress as the unmanned aircraft industry’s wartime demand begins to dry up, some: “FAA has taken the first step by issuing type certificates for two unmanned aircraft. . . . ‘Type certification allows us to go beyond the norm, which is a UAS operating under a certificate of authorization as a public aircraft, and is the basis for commercial operations,’ says Paul McDuffee, vice president of government relations and strategy for Insitu. ‘To the FAA’s credit, they have been willing to work with industry to come up with solutions for adopting and adapting regulations intended for manned aircraft and applying them to unmanned,’ he says.”


1.  This is going to be torture . . . Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) leverages Obama nominee confirmation to pry Senate interrogation report from the vaults: “It is the most comprehensive account of an interrogation and detention program that has fiercely divided the country and Congress over what counterterrorism tactics were necessary in the wake of the September 11 attacks.”  See also, “Udall Puts Hold on Pentagon Nom” [Someone hand the document to Wikileaks so we can get on with the confirmation, please.]

2.  No same-sex polygamy.  We’re hip on same-sex marriage, but polygamy – and same-sex polygamy??? – is a no-go: “Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday . . . that the State Department will now recognize in its visa-processing practices same-sex marriages performed in foreign countries . . . . this principle does not extend to polygamous marriages, which are legal in many Muslim countries.”  Well, not yet, anyway.  See related, “Monogamy may sound sweet, but why it evolved isn’t.”


1.  Handling leakers judiciouslyWaPo’s Walter Pincus argues, “Perhaps it’s time to pause and separate fact from fiction, and see how we can remedy a problem we have: Every leak of national security shouldn’t require invoking the Espionage Act of 1917, which, at its extreme, calls for life imprisonment or the death penalty.  We need a separate law. It would be used when the leaker’s intent is not to harm the United States or aid a foreign nation or entity.”

2.  Time for POTUS to take on PutinReuters’ Nicholas Wapshott argues, “Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to grant asylum to the NSA leaker Edward Snowden leaves President Obama looking weak. Putin meant it that way. His political base likes him thumbing his nose at the American president and he took a gamble that Obama would not retaliate over a freelance spy.”

3.  In Egypt, Denial is not just a riverAljazeera contributor Deepak Tripathi argues, “A society in which important actors live in denial of each other’s interests and legitimacy is a society threatened by the abyss. . . . A military coup which deposes an elected leader and repression mean the very antithesis of democracy and the rule of law founded on popular consent. Both holders and contenders of power are responsible for the crisis in Egypt.”


1.  Moscow to POTUS.

2.  The indomitable TSA.

Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.

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