Small office survival tips. Contributor Jennifer Cary writes, “If you’re used to working for a large company, the idea of working in a small office may terrify you.  There are less employees to share the workload, the physical workspace might be tiny, and you may not get along with your handful of coworkers.  Fortunately, there are ways to survive – and thrive – in a small office.  Consider using some of the tips below to make working in a small office more enjoyable.”

Compelling cover letters. Contributor Ron Kness advises, “Just like a resume gets you an interview offer, the sole purpose of a cover letter is to generate enough interest the reader will want to go on and read your resume.  Just as with your resume, you’ll also want your cover letter targeted to a specific position. Limit your cover letter to one page.  Any more and you are rambling and in danger of losing the reader.”


Vice News’ Sam Heller reports, “At this point, the Afrin Kurds seems to have a closer working relationship with Russia than America, and it is Russia helping them liquidate America’s Arab and Turkmen allies on the ground in Aleppo. Meanwhile, the Kurds’ offensive could push Turkey into a dangerous escalation against America’s Kurdish partners against the Islamic State — and that could upturn US and coalition strategy not just in Aleppo, but in all of Syria.”

Washington Post’s Simon Denyer reports, “China has deployed surface-to-air missile batteries on a disputed island in the South China Sea, Taiwan and U.S. officials said, even as President Obama met rival claimants to maritime territory in the region. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said in a statement that it had ‘grasped that Communist China had deployed’ missiles on Woody Island in the Paracel group, and urged ‘relevant parties to refrain from any unilateral measure that would increase tensions.’ . . . Woody Island is part of the Paracels chain, which has been under Chinese control for more than 40 years but is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.”

The Christian Science Monitor’s Henry Gass reports, “Last year the number of Americans who thought they were protected by the world’s strongest military was 59 percent, but this year that number has dropped to 49 percent – the lowest figure in the 23 years Gallup has recorded the trend. While America’s military has been stressed by 13 years of war, experts say the poll results are more an indication of how the public – influenced by election year rhetoric – is struggling to come to terms with the enduring threat to the US and what an effective military looks like.”


Washington Post’s Christian Davenport reports, “The Government Accountability Office on Tuesday denied a protest of the $80 billion contract awarded to Northrop Grumman to build the Air Force’s next-generation bomber, allowing the program to proceed. Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which had teamed up to bid on the project, had argued that the Air Force’s selection process was ‘fundamentally flawed.’ But the GAO rejected that, saying ‘the technical evaluation, and the evaluation of costs, was reasonable’ and adhered to procurement regulations.”

Defence Talk reports, “The United States Defense Department said on Tuesday that the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan should not be a cause of concern to India as the deal ‘always’ took into account the regional security situation. India has expressed its disappointment at the decision by the Obama Administration to sell to sell eight Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, along with training, radar and other equipment to help the country in its counterterrorism operations.”


New York Times’ David E. Sanger and Mark Mazzetti report, “In the early years of the Obama administration, the United States developed an elaborate plan for a cyberattack on Iran in case the diplomatic effort to limit its nuclear program failed and led to a military conflict . . . . The plan, code-named Nitro Zeus, was devised to disable Iran’s air defenses, communications systems and crucial parts of its power grid, and was shelved, at least for the foreseeable future, after the nuclear deal struck between Iran and six other nations last summer was fulfilled.”

National Interest contributor Joseph Trevithick reports, “As the last of the Seawolf-class attack submarines, Jimmy Carter is unique. During her construction, the Pentagon added a special one-hundred-foot-long, 2,500-ton module called the Multi-Mission Platform. By the sailing branch’s own admission, this space can accommodate undersea drones, SEALs and much more. More importantly, the hourglass-shaped section might allow specially trained teams to find and tap undersea communications lines and plant listening devices on the ocean floor. It’s more than likely that the submarine is one of the Pentagon’s most stealthy spies.”


Defense One contributors Sarah Chayes and Alex De Waal argue, “Saudi Arabia is no state at all. There are two ways to describe it: as a political enterprise with a clever but ultimately unsustainable business model, or so corrupt as to resemble in its functioning a vertically and horizontally integrated criminal organization.”

The Christian Science Monitor’s Editorial Board argues, “With many experts forecasting low commodity prices for years, perhaps the world will see more resource-rich nations drill down on needed changes in governance.”

Fast Company’s Stephanie Vozza writes, “If you’re looking for a new job, don’t worry about writing a stellar cover letter. Nearly two-thirds of recruiters say it’s not an important factor when they review applications . . . . there are four things you can do on your resume to make up for the loss of the letter . . . .”

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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.