Thirsty Thursday


Powerful employer profiles. Editor Lindy Kyzer advises, “The more relevant links you add to your employer profile, the more information you’re giving to candidates. Keep in mind it’s better to link to an active, relevant resource. If your company hasn’t updated their Twitter handle in two years, there may be no benefit in adding it. Show candidates your best, and link to resources you’d want them to check out before they apply.”

The Yellow Ribbon program. Contributor Ron Kness explains, “One unique feature of the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the Yellow Ribbon Program. While voluntary, colleges and universities that choose to participate are required to set up agreements with the VA in which they can waive up to 50% of the tuition difference between what the New GI Bill pays and what the school charges.”


Russia joins Syria. Reuters’ Gabriela Baczynska, Tom Perry, Laila Bassam, and Phil Stewart report, “Russian forces have begun participating in military operations in Syria in support of government troops, three Lebanese sources familiar with the political and military situation there said on Wednesday. The sources, speaking to Reuters on condition they not be identified, gave the most forthright account yet from the region of what the United States fears is a deepening Russian military role in Syria’s civil war, though one of the Lebanese sources said the number of Russians involved so far was small.” See also, “Syrian Rebel Training Program Costs Millions and Counting.”

China’s Indian Ocean hegemony. The Diplomat’s Abhijit Singh reports, “As India and Australia prepare to embark on their first-ever bilateral naval interaction in the Bay of Bengal this month, reports suggest the exercises will focus on anti-submarine warfare (ASW). This is being seen as evidence of a growing regional consensus on the threat posed by Chinese undersea operations in the Asian littorals.”

ISIS threatens Hajj. AP’s Aya Batrawy reports, “The Islamic State group is extending its reach in Saudi Arabia, expanding the scope of its attacks and drawing in new recruits with its radical ideology. Its determination to bring down the U.S.-allied royal family has raised concerns it could threaten the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage later this month.” See also, “Zawahiri argues Islamic State’s caliphate is illegitimate” and “Daesh running prisons in Nangarhar’s Achin District.”


BAE protests Common Infrared Countermeasure system award. Defense News’ Jen Judson reports, “BAE Systems is protesting the Army’s decision to award Northrop Grumman a contract to build the Common Infrared Countermeasure system to protect aircraft from infrared-guided missiles. . . . Northrop Grumman was awarded a $35 million engineering and manufacturing development contract at the end of August to build 21 sets of the system to replace BAE’s legacy Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasure system. Both companies were developing offerings for the Army in a years-long competition.”

Inmarsat Government wins $450 million. Military & Aerospace Electronics Editor John Keller reports, “Inmarsat Government in Reston, Va., will provide a variety of commercial SATCOM telecommunications to the U.S. military under terms of a potential $450 million contract announced Tuesday. . . . The contract is worth between $150,000 and $450 million, and consists of a one-year base and four one-year option periods for a total contract life of five years . . . .”


Clapper on Iran. Defense One’s Patrick Tucker reports, “America’s top spy says he’s ‘pretty confident’ that the U.S. will be able tell whether Iran is cheating on the proposed nuclear deal, thanks in part to special new tools the intelligence community has developed to buttress inspections and international monitoring efforts.”

Hacked: immediate action drill. Nextgov’s Aliya Sternstein reports, “Agency IT administrators should leave hackers in their systems until outside investigators are called in. All federal data centers should be shuttered. These might seem like drastic recommendations — but they come from the mouths of a top Department of Homeland Security director and a recently departed DHS senior official . . . .”

Parasitic hacks: Turla’s end run. Wired’s Kim Zetter reports, “Turla is a sophisticated cyber-espionage group, believed to be sponsored by the Russian government, that has for more than a decade targeted government agencies, embassies, and militaries in more than 40 countries, including Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam, and the US, but with a particular emphasis on countries in the former Eastern Bloc. The Turla gang uses a number of techniques to infect systems and steal data, but for some of its most high-profile targets, the group appears to use a satellite-based communication technique to help hide the location of their command servers . . . .”

Apex’s Russian spies. Intelnews’ Joseph Fitsanakis reports, “A resident of Texas, who is accused by United States authorities of setting up a front company in order to illegally acquire American technology on behalf of Russia’s intelligence services, has pleaded guilty to espionage charges. Alexander Fishenko, 49, was one of 11 people arrested in October 2012 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. . . . He is the fifth member of the 11 Apex System employees arrested back in 2012 to plead guilty to espionage.”


GOP divided. “Conservative House Republicans have embarked on an eleventh-hour political maneuver to derail the Iranian nuclear deal, saying they can’t vote on it until the president coughs up copies of side deals Tehran negotiated with atomic inspectors. . . . Inside the Capitol, congressional Republicans turned on each other angrily as they moved closer to a vote on the deal, which gives Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for restraints to keep it from becoming a nuclear-armed state.”

Beaded on Boehner. “House conservatives will be closely watching how Boehner handles a number of issues, including Planned Parenthood, the fight to fund the federal government, preserving sequester budget caps, the Iran nuclear deal and a long-term highway bill. . . . Boehner has survived two coup attempts since he was first elected Speaker in 2011. Asked about the threat of another hanging over his head, Boehner shrugged it off Wednesday, arguing that he has ‘widespread support’ in the GOP conference. But Boehner opponents have a solid foundation if they decide to make a run at the veteran congressman.”


Iraq: Another turning point? Washington Post contributor Zalmay Khalilzad argues, “This struggle for political, economic and national security reform in Iraq is likely to be a long one, and success is not inevitable. Prime Minister Abadi faces major domestic and Iranian pressures, and he needs our help to make progress. We need to act quickly.”

Will US-Iran Diplomacy Go Beyond the Nuclear Deal? Defense One’s interview with James Dobbins: “The United States and Iran may partner in Afghanistan, where there has already been ‘implicit collaboration,’ but cooperation in Iraq will be challenging, and moving toward a settlement of Syria’s civil war will be even more so, says Dobbins.”

The true motives behind Islamic State’s use of sexual slavery.” Reuters’ David Frankfurter argues, “The group is declaring its own institutional domination over both the bodies of women it has captured and the sexual gratification of its recruits — as an explicit feature of its new religious utopia.”



Shut it down.

Georgetown beggar.

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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.