NBIB on NSIP. Contributor Christopher Burgess reports, “The transfer of the information technology requirement to within the DOD should facilitate the DSS technology inspection function. Whether positions with appropriate cybersecurity backgrounds will be created or have them seconded from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) needs to be determined.”

Smart money. Contributor and in-house counsel Sean Bigley advises, “[M]any security clearance holders wisely choose to investigate their options when it appears they are in danger of losing their home.  One of those options is called a ‘short sale.’  If done correctly, a short sale can offer a borrower – particularly one with a security clearance – major benefits.”


ISIS weakens Taliban. Army Times’ Michelle Tan reports, “On the cusp of another fighting season in Afghanistan, a fractured Taliban is fighting itself while also battling the emergence of the Islamic State group in the east. But don’t count out the Taliban for the 2016 fighting season, says Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.”

Syria’s cease-fire flaws. Reuters’ Arshad Mohammed and Tom Perry report, “The United States and Russia announced plans for a ‘cessation of hostilities’ in Syria that would take effect on Saturday but exclude groups such as Islamic State and al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, a loophole Syrian rebels immediately highlighted as a problem. Monday’s agreement, described by a U.N. spokesman as ‘a first step towards a more durable ceasefire,’ is the fruit of intensive diplomacy between Washington and Moscow, which back opposing sides in the 5-year-old civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people.”

FARC forensics. Defense One contributors Danielle Renwick and Stephanie Hanson report, “Civil conflict in Colombia, one of the United States’ closest allies in Latin America, has left as many as 220,000 dead, 25,000 disappeared, and 5.7 million displaced over the last half century. By the early 2000s, fighting among the military, left-wing guerrillas, and right-wing paramilitaries had left the country on the brink of becoming a failed state. However, peace may be on the horizon.”


Arming the world. Vice News’ Samuel Oakford reports, “The global trade in arms continued to grow over the last half decade, buoyed by an appetite for weapons in the Middle East and a near doubling of exports from China. Figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a monitoring group, showed that even as the total trade in weapons grew by 14 percent between 2011 and 2015, the two largest exporters, Russia and the US, managed to capture even greater portions of the pie.”

Team Raytheon after USAF T-X. Defense Update’s Tamir Eshel reports, “Raytheon is developing an integrated training system to prepare pilots for the increasingly sophisticated combat missions of tomorrow. The company is partnering with European aircraft manufacturer Finmeccanica to build the T-100 Integrated Air Training System to be its contender for the T-X, the U.S. Air Force’s highly competitive challenge to create an advanced new jet trainer.”


OPM CIO Seymour resigns. Federal Times’ Aaron Boyd reports, “Just two days before she was scheduled to appear once more before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Donna Seymour, CIO for the Office of Personnel Management, announced she will retire. The resignation comes almost eight months after OPM officials announced a massive breach of the agency’s networks had resulted in the compromise of millions of personnel records — a number that eventually grew to include 21.5 million current, former and prospective federal employees and their relations.”

CIA’s Inmate No. 38338-044. Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky reports, “Locked away in federal prison, Jeffrey Sterling is struggling to keep his demons at bay. The former CIA officer whose case came to signify the Obama administration’s crackdown on leakers spends his days reading, tutoring fellow inmates and finishing a memoir, which he says he has to write by hand and mail home so his wife can type it.”

NSA headlines Wikileaks. The Intercept’s Nicky Hagar reports, “Newly published classified documents show the National Security Agency spied on a 2010 conversation between Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the two discussed ways to improve Israel’s relationship with the United States. The Italian-Israeli conversation is included in one of five NSA documents released Tuesday by WikiLeaks, which has not disclosed the source of the leaks.”


President Ryan. “House Speaker Paul Ryan shot down a rumor Monday that he might end up with the Republican nomination in the event of a brokered convention. . . . With five GOP candidates remaining, it’s possible the front-runner may not have enough support at the party’s July convention to win the nomination. Experts have mulled over the chances of members dumping the current slate of candidates and picking Ryan, because one of his roles as a party leader would be presiding over a brokered convention.”

Oops. “Vice President Joe Biden argued Monday that his objection to a Supreme Court nominee from President George H.W. Bush so close to the election should not be used by Republicans to justify blocking President Obama’s attempt to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.”


“A deadly threat in the South China Sea.” Reuters contributor James Holmes argues, “To reply to China’s HQ-9 challenge, the United States and its Asian allies must demonstrate that they can exercise maritime freedoms despite the worst the PLA can throw at them. They should also ponder how to prove that they could take down Chinese missile sites should the worst come. If they do that, they may make believers of the Chinese and other observers—and bolster their likelihood of deterring future Chinese misconduct.”

“China is Cruising for a Bruising.” Defense One contributor Jerry Hendrix argues, “Anticipating China’s next move and providing an option that doesn’t include force will help maintain U.S. leadership and is the surest guarantee of peace in the region.”

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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.