FROM THE DESK OF CLEARANCEJOBS.COM
1. Cleared Vets – on top of the hiring market. Tranette Ledford with some good news: Vet unemployment rates are down, and hiring outpaces non-Vets. Ledford does the intel prep of the opportunity battlefield and tells you where you’re hot: “For now, it’s clear that veteran employment initiatives are working. Corporations that promised to hire more veterans did so, and tax incentives helped. If you’re looking to use your clearance to get a civilian job, you couldn’t have picked a better time.”
2. Your classification is not classified, but . . . . Editor Lindy Kyzer answers the sensitive question: “It’s perfectly okay to specify that you have a clearance, as well as clearance type. . . “and even more.
THE FORCE AND THE FIGHT
1. 30 dead in Cairo, and counting. Reuters’’ Yasmine Saleh and Tom Finn report from Cairo: “’Tear gas was falling from the sky like rain. There are no ambulances inside. They closed every entrance,’ said protester Khaled Ahmed . . . ‘There are women and children in there. God help them. This is a siege, a military attack on a civilian protest camp.’ A Reuters correspondent saw dozens of people lying in the street with bullet and birdshot wounds. Pools of blood were everywhere.” Aljazeera.Com reports 40 dead: “Sources on the ground told Al Jazeera of at least 40 fatalities, while the Muslim Brotherhood said at least 300 people had been killed, with more than 5,000 others injured. Al Jazeera could not independently verify the Brotherhood’s figure.” AP reports Muslim Brotherhood’s count: “The political arm of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood claimed that more than 500 protesters were killed and some 9,000 wounded”
2. Syria: a new HQ for Al Qaeda in Iraq. LongWarJournal.Com’s Thomas Joscelyn reports that Abu Bakr al Baghdadi now backing rebel ops in Syria, probably since earlier this year: “Al Baghdadi’s relocation was first reported earlier this year, and underscores the degree to which al Qaeda has expanded its operations. Despite leadership disagreements, al Qaeda has redoubled its efforts in Iraq since American forces left in late 2011, while also expanding its operations into neighboring Syria. . . . While increasing al Qaeda’s operational capacity in Iraq, al Baghdadi’s group also helped spawn the Al Nusrah Front in Syria. The Al Nusrah Front quickly became one of the most lethal insurgency groups fighting Bashar al Assad’s crumbling regime and its allies.”
3. Taliban roadblocks and checkpoints target government employees: 8 dead. Also from Khaama.Com, “Taliban militants in Afghan army uniform stopped the bus and took eight individuals with them to an unknown location, and their dead bodies were found on Tuesday in Moqoro district, on Kabul-Kandahar highway. . . . Kabul-Kandahar highway is one of the volatile regions, where militants are openly operating and carry out insurgency activities. Recently, Taliban militants ambushed the vehicle of female lawmaker, Roh Gul Khairzad on the same route.”
4. Japan and Afghan education. Khaama.Com reports on Japan’s long and continuing investment in the education of the Afghan people: “Japan has been one of the major donors for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and according to higher education ministry officials, around 200 teachers from medical and Kabul Universities have been sent to Japan to obtain their Masters and Doctorate degrees. In the meantime, Japan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Hiroshi Takahashi said that the government of Japan remains committed for a long term cooperation to Afghanistan. . . Japan has donated over $40 million in education sector to Afghan government during the past 11 years.”
5. In AFRICOM AOR, Mali has a president, and we like him. CSMonitor.Com’s Peter Tinti reports that the French and U.S. are breathing a sigh of relief as President-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won the runoff election: “Keita is regarded as a wily negotiator, a friend of the military, and the choice of the French, the former colonial power, whose troops entered Mali in January to stop the advance of radical Islamist forces at the invitation of the acting Mali government. . . . Sunday’s vote comes just six months after France intervened to halt an ambitious rebel push southward and to liberate northern Mali from Islamist rebels – some with links to Al Qaeda – who had spent the better part of a year consolidating control over the country’s north.” See related, Malians grateful after coup and war.
1. $6 billion split 17 ways for network threat monitoring. NextGov.Com contributor Aliya Sternstein reports, “The Homeland Security Department chose 17 vendors for a potential $6 billion network threat-monitoring project that will offer all civilian agencies the services at no cost to them . . . . winners include big name federal contractors, such as IBM, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin. Also on the list is Booz Allen Hamilton, which employed ex-National Security Agency consultant Edward Snowden at the time he stole files on domestic surveillance programs from NSA systems.”
2. Special Ops call for NextGen Lasers. DefenseMediaNetwork.Com’s Scott Gourley reports that SOCOM is looking for something lighter, more adaptable, more sustainable, more accurate: “Released on behalf of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Visual Augmentation System Weapons Accessories (VASWA)/Special Operations Peculiar Modification Kit (SOPMOD) Program, the notice adds that the early investigation effort ‘is underway to gauge potential interest and assist in requirement development of the Next Generation of Family of Small Arms Laser Aiming Modules.’”
TECH, PRIVACY, & SECRECY
1. Head off the carpal tunnel syndrome – the “Manta Ray.” Microsoft’s new Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse just might do the trick, reports VentureBeat.Com’s Devindra Hardawar: “The new keyboard cuts out pretty much all bulk we’re used to from ergonomic keyboards. Microsoft chopped out the extraneous space between the split keys, and the keyboard’s number pad is also completely separate, allowing you to keep it out of the way until you actually need to use it. What’s left is a keyboard that looks like more of a futuristic stealth bomber (it was code-named “Manta Ray” during development) than an old tank.
2. Droning on solar power. Wired.Com’s Allen McDuffee reports, “A new small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) boasts something no other has been able to do thus far: continuous flight for 9 hours and all on the clean energy of solar power. AeroVironment’s 13-pound Puma AE can be assembled and hand-launched in minutes and requires no infrastructure for launch or landing, making them attractive for frontline use where time and space can be too scarce for the requirements of full-scale drones.” See Puma AE in action.
3. NSA may have targeted journalists post-9/11. TheHill.Com covers NYT’s Snowden interview, focusing on Snowden’s allegation that “the National Security Agency of targeting reporters who wrote critically about the government after the 9/11 attacks and warned it was “unforgivably reckless” for journalists to use unencrypted email messages when discussing sensitive matters. . . . ‘After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in American abdicated their role as a check to power – the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government – for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism . . .’” Snowden said.
1. Fox guarding the henhouse. American Forces Press Service’s Jim Garamone reports, “The director of national intelligence today announced plans to establish a review group to look at the government’s signals-intelligence collection and surveillance capabilities. . . . ‘We’re forming a high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies . . .’” Clapper said. USNews.Com expands on the farce: “’ a secret evaluation of a secret interpretation of the law.’”
2. Furlough Frug. Sequestration budget cuts having revealing effects. GovExec.Com contributor Eric Katz points out that “most major departments have reduced furlough days, or eliminated them altogether. . . . Several agencies have relied on “internal reviews” of their financial conditions, during which they discovered cost-cutting measures had made their situations less dire than originally anticipated. This, in turn, allowed them to cut required furlough days.”
OPINIONS EVERYONE HAS
1. Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin on closing Gitmo. They argue, “Guantanamo has devastated our reputation as a champion of human rights, weakened our international partnerships and remains a powerful recruiting tool for terrorists.”
2. Fewer carriers, better strategy for the Gulf. DefenseOne.Com’s Bilal Y. Saab argues, “It’s time to restructure America’s Navy presence in the Gulf to be stronger yet cheaper. It’s not the number of carriers that will affect U.S. plans and collective interests in the region but the strategy that America will employ in the troubled waters of the Gulf.”
3. “Abandoned courtesy of your local Al Qaeda”. DefenseOne.Com’s Joshua Foust argues that abandoning our Embassies simply promoted the efficacy of Al Qaeda’s strategy: “It was a remarkable decision – closing so many embassies at once in response to a threat from al Qaeda is unprecedented – and one that offers many lessons for future policymakers. Namely, that such a dramatic overreaction actually helps Al Qaeda.”
2. Over qualified.