Aloha, Hawaii. Editor Lindy Kyzer advises, “Hawaii’s defense reputation is shrouded in infamy – from Edward Snowden’s last stop before China and Russia, to the site of Pearl Harbor, the defense industry is often seen through narrow lenses. But real life in Hawaii is more ‘let’s hit the beach’ than ‘ripped from the headlines.’ . . . There are inherent challenges to living on an island, but for professionals who make Hawaii home, the benefits often outweigh the negatives. . . .”

China’s targeting files. Contributor Christopher Burgess reports, “The news of the OPM breach continues to reappear in our daily news feeds, with the most recent revealing that more than five million sets of fingerprints have been compromised. Those schooled in the art of human intelligence know that there is no such thing as knowing too much about your potential target for recruitment and the Chinese are clearly putting this rule of thumb into practice.”


VICE News reports, “Afghan security forces clashed with Islamic State (IS) fighters in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday after several government outposts came under attack, intensifying the conflict in a province that has become a flashpoint in the country’s fight against the militant group. The incident marks the first direct fighting between IS and Afghan security forces in the Achin district of eastern Nangarhar . . . . IS has now recruited followers in 25 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.”

The Guardian’s Julian Borger reports, “Vladimir Putin has strengthened his support for the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, dismissing evidence of widespread atrocities as enemy “propaganda” hours before a high-stakes US-Russian summit in which Assad’s fate is likely to be the most contentious issue. . . . The White House has said it would welcome a Russian role in the fight against Isis but insists that Assad’s departure from power has to be part of the solution.”

The Long War Journal’s Thomas Joscelyn reports, “US-backed rebels in the so-called ‘New Syrian Forces’ (NSF) have turned over at least some of their equipment and ammunition to a ‘suspected’ intermediary for Al Nusrah Front, US Central Command (CENTCOM) conceded in a statement released late yesterday. The coalition-provided supplies were given by the rebels to Al Nusrah, an official branch of al Qaeda, in exchange for ‘safe passage within their operating area.’”

Defense Media Activity’s Lisa Ferdinando reports, “In an armed forces full-honors retirement ceremony, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey closed out 41 years of service, and Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. succeeded him as the highest ranking U.S. military officer. . . . Obama praised Dempsey for his vision for the military, his moral fiber, and deep commitment to American strength and values Dempsey served during a time of many challenges, the president said, and managed each one with ‘integrity and foresight and care.’”


Military & Aerospace Electronics Editor John Keller reports, “Navigation and guidance experts at three U.S. military contractors are developing military positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) technology with the performance of the Global Positioning System (GPS), but which operates independently of the GPS satellite navigation system. Officials of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, have awarded three contracts for the Spatial, Temporal and Orientation Information in Contested Environments (STOIC) program.”

Defense News’ Lara Seligman reports, “Faced with rapid advances by potential enemies like Russia and China, the US Air Force is launching an effort to speed up delivery of weapons to troops. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James outlined the initiative, dubbed “should schedule,” during the Air Force Association’s annual air and space exposition earlier this month. The pilot program will offer incentives to weapon makers to beat milestones and deliver programs ahead of schedule. The service will start small, with low-dollar programs, and ramp up after proving the approach works.”


Salon contributor Jonathan Haslam reports, “As the Cold War drew to a close with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, those at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, finally hoped to resolve many long-standing puzzles. . . . A name soon emerged from the KGB undergrowth: that of Yuri Totrov, a veritable legend who soon became known with grim humor as the shadow director of personnel at CIA.”

Nextgov’s Kaveh Waddell reports, “Government lawyers and privacy advocates lined up Friday morning in front of a federal judge to argue a case brought against a National Security Agency mass surveillance program. . . . The or­gan­iz­a­tions . . . want to sue the NSA for violating their Fourth Amendment privacy rights through its ‘up­stream’ surveillance program, which scoops up vast amounts of data from critical points on the Internet’s physical infrastructure, allowing the agency’s analysts access to an enormous data-base of communications intelligence.”

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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.