FROM THE DESK OF CLEARANCEJOBS.COM
1. How to . . . get your security clearance investigation. Editor Lindy Kyzer always makes it sound easy, if you follow some simple instructions: “Obtaining a copy of your security clearance investigation may require submitting a Privacy or Freedom of Information Act request. The first step is to determine which agency conducted your investigation. . . .”
2. How to . . . initiate a FOIC request to get your security clearance investigation. D.B Cooper answers Lindy’s begged question: “The act of filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seems so official and vaguely provocative that it can be intimidating at first. . . . The National Security Archive is a great place to start if you’re interested in submitting a FOIA request. They even have sample letters to get you going. At some point you’ve probably stood around the water cooler with coworkers, and someone complained that the government isn’t telling them everything. Using FOIA, you can respond by asking, ‘Well, have you tried asking them?’”
THE FORCE AND THE FIGHT
1. A grand moment of clarity on Syria. CJCS Dempsey concludes that Syrian rebels would never be our friends, no matter what we do. AP’s Bradley Klapper reports, “The Obama administration is opposed to even limited U.S. military intervention in Syria because it believes rebels fighting the Assad regime wouldn’t support American interests if they were to seize power right now, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote to a congressman . . . . [our] military is clearly capable of taking out Syrian President Bashar Assad’s air force and shifting the balance of the Arab country’s 2 1/2-year war back toward the armed opposition. But [Dempsey] said such an approach would plunge the United States deep into another war in the Arab world and offer no strategy for peace in a nation plagued by ethnic rivalries.” Also in Syria, more gas attacks on civilians.
2. Al Qaida’s strategic effects will drive policy. DefenseNews.Com’s John T. Bennett reviews analysts’ conclusions regarding Al Qaida: “Reports of al-Qaida’s demise have been greatly exaggerated — and the organization’s strategic aims greatly misunderstood, security analysts said Tuesday. . . . The state and future strength of al-Qaida will influence a myriad US defense and national security policies and budget decisions, from force size to what combat hardware to buy to which platforms and troops must stay in the Middle East-North Africa region — making them unavailable for the Obama administration’s strategic ‘pivot’ to Asia.”
3. In Afghanistan, things slowly unwinding. As troops leave, lawlessness will continue to arrive. Khaama.Com reports, “unknown gunmen have kidnapped two foreign aid workers in central Bamyan province of Afghanistan on Tuesday. The foreigners were reportedly working for Aga Khan Development Network, and were abducted while they were on their way from capital Kabul to Bamiyan province.” Also in Afghanistan, 35 Taliban militants reportedly killed by government forces.
4. Influence in Egypt dwindling, perhaps, if there’s anything left to dwindle. CSMonitor.Com’s Howard LaFranchi reports, “influence has dwindled to mattering very little as the military pursues its domestic political goals full steam ahead, regional analysts say. If anything, some of them add, the administration’s careful efforts to preserve a decades-old regional security strategy based on Egypt may only be encouraging Egypt’s generals to proceed knowing that the US needs Egypt more than Egypt needs the US.” McClatchy calls it a quandary. And as Egypt arrests two more Islamist leaders, the Muslim Brotherhood appoints a new leader. Meanwhile, according to FreeBeacon.Com, Aljazeera apparently tries to stir things up.
5. AFRICOM’s second Regional African Air Chief Symposium takes flight. Captain Reba Good, USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs, reports, “The U.S. 3rd Air Force commander and the Ghanaian chief of air staff hosted opening ceremonies for the second Regional Air Chiefs Symposium at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center . . . . Panel topics include ways to enhance collaborative air power contributions to irregular warfare and peacekeeping operations.”
1. Small businesses can win in government contracting. In Bedford, Illinois, the Feds push $245 million to Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing Inc. ChicagoBusiness.Com’s Paul Merrion reports, “Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing Inc. beat out 25 competitors to win the award to supply the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps with its full line of material-handling equipment.”
2. But, you can’t win if you don’t register. End of FY2013 is quickly approaching, and it’s time to get the DUNS number, now. PRWeb.Com explains, “in order for businesses to participate in federal contracting, they must first be registered. This involves obtaining a DUNS number and registering their information in the System for Award Management (SAM). Unfortunately, many business owners find the registration process complicated and time consuming. Even contractors already familiar with federal acquisition regulations may experience difficulty navigating the required websites and accurately reporting their company’s data. For firms who are completely new to government contracting, keeping up with the jargon and laws associated with government contracting can pose a challenge.” That’s ok . . . they tell you how.
TECH, PRIVACY, & SECRECY
1. Manning sentencing today at 10:30. Prosecutors asked for sixty years; defense thinks he could be out in twenty. NYTimes.Com’s Emmarie Huettman reports, “The sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m., and the hearing is expected to be brief. Colonel Lind will announce Private Manning’s full sentence, and she is expected to then adjourn the court-martial. Under the military justice system, she does not have to break down the sentence by charge or explain her reasoning, and Private Manning is not expected to make a statement.”
2. NSA and the Cloud. VentureBeat.Com’s Dylan Tweney outlines the threat the NSA could represent to the corporate cloud: “According to a recent estimate by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the U.S. cloud industry could lose out on $22 billion to $35 billion of revenues in the next three years, simply due to concerns over NSA surveillance of U.S.-based cloud data centers.”
3. Unmanned surface vehicles (could be a boon for drug traffickers?). DefenseMediaNetwork.Com’s Edward H. Lundquist outlines the next un-manned rage, the IUSV: “Unlike many USVs, Vigilant is not designed for harbor or force protection, nor does it require a mothership. ‘The IUSV is designed for open ocean missions to support a naval force or provide merchant ship escort through pirate-prone waters’ . . . . The IUSV is intended for military, security and commercial surveillance purposes, but it can be used for anti-submarine surveillance, logistics and resupply, hydrographic mapping or ocean research.”
1. Pentagon cozying up with China – better the devil you know, I suppose. SecDef Hagel and China’s Defense Minister Chang Wanquan partner up: “The United States and China agreed to improve their military relations, but some experts say Washington is cautious not to complicate ties with its allies. . . . Chang and Hagel discussed a broad range of issues, including the rebalancing of U.S. forces to the Asia-Pacific region and bilateral military-to-military relations, the U.S. Defense Department said on its website. Later, Hagel and Chang told reporters that close U.S.-China relations will provide stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.”
2. Christie dances around social issues. TheDailyBeast.Com’s Michelle Cottle covers what she describes as Christie’s Hokey Pokey: “Over the past week or so, as much of the political class luxuriated in the relative serenity of Congress’s summer recess, Christie executed a trio of policy moves on ticklish social issues that raised eyebrows across the political spectrum.” See also, VPOTUS dropping the hints.
OPINIONS EVERYONE HAS
1. “Obama and Egypt: The Limits of Pragmatism.” NewYorker.Com contributor John Cassidy argues, “It isn’t that Obama is running away from the reality in Egypt, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries, or that he doesn’t have a coherent stance towards the region. He’s got a policy, and it’s the pragmatic, self-interested approach that the United States had adopted throughout the Middle East for decades until George W. Bush blundered into Iraq. I am talking, of course, about the policy of supporting, or at least tolerating, autocratic and repressive régimes that agree to promote Western interests—a tactic that dates back to the aftermath of the First World War, when the British and the French installed a series of absolutist monarchs across the region.”
2. C’mon . . . hire a Vet. Forbes.Com contributor and entrepreneur Shane Robinson argues, “As an American, I’m disheartened by the stats, but it’s naïve to believe that we could fix the problem simply by plugging all the hiring holes with veterans . . . . As an entrepreneur . . . I feel a sense of responsibility to be part of the solution, and I think that now, perhaps more than ever, startups are in a position to grow their ranks and simultaneously reduce veteran unemployment.”
3. The end of Afghanistan? DefenseOne.Com contributor Stephanie Gaskell argues, “With most coalition forces beginning to draw down by early next year, the enemy landscape is beginning to play out in a way that could become the “new normal” in Afghanistan: a few remaining al Qaeda and Haqqani members looking to hit Western targets, a pliable Taliban searching for a piece of the political pie with the hope of returning to strict Islamic rule and many more criminals trying to take advantage of it all.”