Tuesday’s Headliners


Cleared designing. From Editor Lindy Kyzer: “When you think of the government, you probably don’t think of great design. But one company is looking to change that. In fact, it’s looking to disrupt the current definition of design, with a new infusion of ideas and tools – along with the people to make it happen. . . . Aquent has begun working with a design leader within the Intelligence Community who’s made great strides to change design in government and wants to expand this initiative . . . .”

Precision guided resumes. From contributor Ron Kness: “[W]hen applying for a specific job, a resume tailored to that posting is a must. So just what does that mean – tailored to that posting? It is one that shows the same things as a general resume does, except the information is more focused, or “targeted” if you will, to best fit the requirements and duties of a specific open position. You do this by working keywords or keyword phrases from the job posting into your resume.”


The end of QDR. Defense News’ Joe Gould reports, “House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry introduced legislation Monday to scrap the Pentagon’s main public policy document, the beleaguered Quadrennial Defense Review, and replace it with two major strategy documents from Pentagon leadership. The proposal, included in the HASC’s massive 2017 defense policy bill, would establish an advisory commission on national defense strategy and mandate regular, top-down policy guidance. The move answers criticism that the QDR — in spite of its value as a public window into major Defense Department policy decisions — was a watered-down, consensus-driven product that required its own bureaucracy to produce.”

Spec ops in Syria. The Christian Science Monitor’s Anna Mulrine reports, “At a time when a diplomatic cease-fire is faltering, the US seems to be doubling down on a military strategy, even as it has failed to define what a realistic end state might be . . . . With Obama making no secret of his desire to keep US out of another war in the Middle East, this increase in Syria from 50 to 300 Special Operations Forces is seen as a relatively low-risk gambit.”

The character of war. Defense Media Activity’s Jim Garamone reports, “Today’s presence of cyber, space and ballistic-intercontinental missile capabilities have changed the character of war, and the U.S. military must adapt to confront these challenges, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. . . . If a fight breaks out on the Korean Peninsula today, he said, it will likely quickly involve not just U.S. Forces Korea, but U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Cyber Command and U.S. Strategic Command. And it probably wouldn’t be the only conflict going on in the world . . . .”

Ghani challenges Pakistan. The New York Times’ Mujib Mashal reports, “After courting Pakistan for more than a year, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan changed course on Monday and warned that he would lodge a complaint with the United Nations Security Council if Pakistan refuses to take military action against Taliban leaders operating from its soil to wage an increasingly deadly insurgency across Afghanistan.” See also, “Afghan president blasts Taliban ‘slaves’, says little time left for peace.”


Trane wins Big Apple. Federal Times’ Carten Cordell reports, “GSA awarded Trane U.S. Inc. a contract on April 25 to implement energy conservation measures at 10 federal buildings in New York. The $114-million Energy savings performance contract will include mechanical replacements and other energy-saving initiatives for federal installations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains, N.Y.”

France wins subs Down Under. Defense Talk reports, “French naval contractor DCNS on Tuesday won a Aus$50 billion (US$39 billion) contract to design and build Australia’s next generation of submarines, beating competition from Germany and Japan in the country’s biggest ever defence procurement programme. The announcement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull culminates years of planning to replace Australia’s ageing diesel and electric-powered Collins Class submarines, which are due to leave service from around 2026.”


Intel sharing par excellence. IntelNews’ Joseph Fitsanakis reports, “The governments of Israel, Egypt and Jordan have entered an intelligence-sharing agreement aimed at joining forces against the Islamic State, which a senior Israeli military commander has described as ‘unprecedented’. . . . General Golan said that intelligence was “the most important element in the whole system” when fighting an insurgency of the kind that the Islamic State is conducting in the Middle East.”

North Korea conundrum. Defense One’s Patrick Tucker reports, “’We don’t really know’ if North Korea tested a ‘boosted’ nuclear device this year, the U.S. intelligence chief said Monday. A boosted nuclear weapon is sometimes described as an intermediary point between a fission bomb and a much more destructive hydrogen bomb.”

Rearing hackers. The Christian Science Monitor contributor Alexandra Samuel writes, “The security industry today is full of professionals who started testing the bounds of technology when they were kids. But they grew up in the dark days before the user-friendly Internet. Techie children had to learn to code in order to do anything interesting with a computer. Kids who tired of the safe confines of the local electronic bulletin board could use those coding skills to hack their way into other, closed virtual spaces. It didn’t take malicious intention to become a hacker, just curiosity.”


PC flu. “Conservative Republicans are worried that political correctness is creeping into their party. They point to the decision by a House committee to replace 50 state flags — including Mississippi’s, which is emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag — with 50 state coins from the U.S. mint. . . . ‘Political correctness has crept into the Capitol,’ said David Bozell, president of ForAmerica, a conservative advocacy group. Brian Darling, a conservative Republican strategist, accused House GOP leaders of caving in to the PC police.”

Size matters. “A House Republican proposal that started out as an effort to address Pentagon complaints of West Wing micromanaging has quickly turned into a fight between Congress and the White House over the size of each other’s national security team. House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry plans to release a bill in the coming days to cut the White House’s National Security Council staff ‘well below’ its current level. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Monday said he’s likely to include similar language in his version of the National Defense Authorization Act.”


Presence Vs. Warfighting: A Looming Dilemma In Defense Planning.” War on the Rocks contributor Michael J. Mazarr argues, “The advent of a new administration and a new Defense Strategic Review will soon provide an opportunity to rethink defense policy from the ground up. The dominant challenge, as it has been for a decade or more, will be matching declining means to rising challenges.”

Obama’s Endless War.” National Review contributor Bing West argues, “By irresolution, the president lost the war in Iraq, convulsed Syria, imperiled Afghanistan, and antagonized our traditional Sunni allies. Worse still, he convinced the American public that the decisive application of military force was not possible.”

The US Needs More Weapons That Can Be Quickly and Easily Modified.” Defense One contributor Andrew Hunter argues, “The past decade of war taught us how to field weapons and gear faster through dedicated rapid-acquisition lanes. Now we must apply those lessons to create a new lane for adaptable systems.”


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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.