Thursday’s Top Ten & Flanders Fields


1.  Writing well—job descriptions. Contributor Jillian Hamilton explains and offers, “The job description speaks volumes about your company. A confusing and vague job description could cause a candidate to think twice about applying to a company that does not have thorough and clear communication. After you have a better grasp of the terms in the description versus the real needs, here are some additional tips to help clean up your job descriptions . . . .”

2.  Writing well—e-mail communications. Also from Jillian Hamilton, “Maybe you think you’re not spamming people, but if you’re sending emails or messages as part of your networking/recruiting strategy that are vague, lame, or impersonal, then you are sending spam. . . . Sometimes, it is hard to focus with so much email in the inbox, so here are five ways to make your introductory email stand out from all the noise in your recipient’s inbox.


1.  Drones to the rescue in Nigeria. DefenseNews.Com’s Stephen Losey reports, “The US has deployed a Predator drone team of 80 military personnel—mostly airmen—to Chad to help find nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in neighboring Nigeria. . . . The US has slowly been ramping up its involvement in the hunt for the girls. Earlier this month, US Army Africa began preparing to deploy a dozen soldiers and special operations forces to Nigeria to help train a newly-formed Nigerian battalion on how to fight Boko Haram.”

2.  Putin—changing the world. American Forces Press Service’s Jim Garamone reports from Brussels, “Russia’s annexation of Crimea and threats to southern and eastern Ukraine has made the world a different place . . . . The Russian moves endanger NATO’s aspiration of a Europe ‘whole, free and at peace,’ said Air Force Lt. Gen. Mark O. Schissler, the deputy chairman of NATO’s Military Committee. ‘Maybe the freedom of every country is not assured now either.’ . . . Russia’s moves in Crimea and Ukraine are really new threats to the alliance. NATO officials have trouble describing what has taken place there and what the appropriate reactions are.”  See also, “As Russia pivots to Asia, some ask how far east it’s willing to look.”

3. al Qaeda 101—an enduring threat. LongWarJournal.Org’s Thomas Joscelyn’s must-read testimony to Congress: “Al Qaeda is still operating in Afghanistan today. Al Qaeda’s leader in the Kunar and Nuristan provinces is Farouq al Qahtani. It is well-known that al Qahtani leads al Qaeda’s forces and works with the group’s allies in these remote areas. But al Qaeda operates outside of Kunar and Nuristan as well. Indeed, one of the documents captured in Osama bin Laden’s compound and released to the public shows that the al Qaeda master ordered some of his subordinates to relocate from northern Pakistan to Ghazni and Zabul, as well as Kunar and Nuristan. . . .”


1.  Next-Gen Goggles. MilitaryAerospace.Com’s John Keller reports, “U.S. Navy researchers are moving forward with a program to shrink the size and increase the capabilities of the next-generation military night-vision goggles, while drastically reducing the cost of manufacturing these night-vision devices. Officials of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington announced a plan Monday to award a sole-source research contract to Creative Microsystems Corp. (CMC) in Waitsfield, Vt., for the Micro Optic Low Light Imager (MOLLI) project to design next-generation lightweight high-performance military night-vision goggles.”

2.  Industry loves TALOS. DefenseMediaNetwork.Com’s Steven Hoarn reports, “The U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM’s) Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) has garnered comparisons to Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit. While it’s a comparison that USSOCOM has lightheartedly embraced, their vision for TALOS is bolder. . . . On the recently launched TALOS website, USSOCOM lists 55 industry, 20 government, and 12 academic collaborators. While some are the usual suspects, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, others are far from your traditional defense contractors. Companies such as Adidas, NPR, Nike, and Red Bull Air Force can be found alongside the larger defense contractors. This broad list is something that USSOCOM sought from the beginning.”


1.  CIA and immunizations—ok, we’ll stop. WashingtonPost.Com’s Lena H. Sun reports, “Three years after the CIA used an immunization survey as a cover in its hunt for Osama bin Laden, the White House has promised that the agency will never again use a vaccination campaign in its operations . . . . International aid organizations were forced to move some of their staff members out of Pakistan, and some health workers were killed in a backlash against a polio vaccination effort. Attacks have continued sporadically. Last year, 83 new polio cases were reported in Pakistan, more than in Afghanistan or Nigeria, the other countries where it is endemic.”

2.  Fast Eddie Snowden—crypto-party animal. Wired.Com’s Kevin Poulsen reports that “. . . regardless of what you think of his actions, Snowden’s intentions are harder to doubt when you know that even before he leaked hundreds of thousands of documents to expose the surveillance world, he spent two hours calmly teaching 20 of his neighbors how to protect themselves from it. Even as he was thinking globally, he was acting locally. It’s like coming home to find the director of Greenpeace starting a mulch pit in your backyard.”

3.  Google Glass hits the beat. VentureBeat.Com’s Barry Levine reports, “This might be the point where Google Glass went from being a fun nerd toy and a useful medical device to being seen as the best police surveillance tool ever invented. Case in point: Police in the tiny Middle Eastern state of Dubai are using the face computer to help identify stolen cars . . . .”


1.  Look for the Union label: “The Treasury Department has revealed to the House Ways and Means Committee that Internal Revenue Service employees spent over 500,000 hours on union activities last year. They estimated the cost to taxpayers at $23.5 million in salary and benefits. . . . ‘The IRS has wasted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and over a half a million employee hours for union activities. It is absurd the IRS has the audacity to habitually come to this committee asking for more money. The IRS should spend less time picking political favorites and provide service to hardworking American taxpayers . . . .’”

2.  Ok, Congress, legislation where the mouth is: “Hundreds of veterans with traumatic brain injuries will get kicked out of assisted living facilities this fall unless policymakers in Washington soon extend an expiring pilot program. . . . The VA has notified Congress that a pilot program for injured veterans will expire at the end of September without congressional action. A Senate bill that included language to extend the program stalled on the floor earlier this year because of a fight over amendments. The House Veterans’ Affairs panel plans to hold a hearing on two measures to reauthorize the popular program, but time on the legislative calendar is running out.”


1.  “What Saudi-Iranian rapprochement means for Assad.” Aljazeera.Com contributor Lina Khatib argues, “Saudi Arabia and Iran seem to be on their way towards rapprochement. This can only be bad news for Bashar al-Assad. While Saudi Arabia’s stance towards Assad remains unchanged, aimed as it is at removing him from power, Iran’s stance is likely to migrate closer to Saudi Arabia’s, albeit for different reasons. . . . Though this will not mean an end to the Syrian regime, or an end to the conflict, it does mean that Assad’s forthcoming presidential election is likely to be his last.”

2.  “It’s Time Congress Helps the U.S. Pivot to Asia.” DefenseOne.Com contributor U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard argues, “While it is true we are operating under a fiscally constrained environment with many competing priorities, we must not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of allowing budgets to drive our national security strategy.”

3.  “Ukraine’s three answers to Russia’s fear campaign.” Christian Science Monitor’s Editorial Board argues, “Despite the attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to manage Ukraine’s future by intimidation, the people reject that. Their revolution is no longer in the street. It is in the heart.”


1.  Don’t forget.

2.  Food for thought.

3.  So simple.

Related News

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.