Monday Mourning


Intel jobs you didn’t think of. “As it turns out, there are more jobs in intelligence than ‘analyst’ or ‘Java developer,’ and because you’re at ClearanceJobs, you don’t have to look far to find them. Here are 5 of the best (and coolest) jobs that intelligence agencies and contractors have to offer that you might not have considered. . . .”

Polygraph problems. “Two recent cases we litigated evidence exactly what can go wrong. Both matters involved engineer-scientist types working on contract for a U.S. intelligence agency. In one case, the client purportedly admitted during a polygraph to viewing child pornography. In the other case, the client purportedly admitted during a polygraph to taking home classified information repeatedly. . . . There was only one minor problem with both cases: the admissions were false.”


Snowden’s last days at the NSA. “Snowden’s leaks had first come to light the previous June, when the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman published stories based on highly classified documents provided to them by the former NSA contractor. Now Snowden, who had been demonized by the NSA and the Obama administration for the past year, was publicly claiming something that set off alarm bells at the agency: Before he leaked the documents, Snowden said, he had repeatedly attempted to raise his concerns inside the NSA about its surveillance of US citizens — and the agency had done nothing.” (Vice News) See also, “Vice. Snowden. Fantasy.”

Cyber offensive: hunting down hackers. “A 2015 cyber crime study found that hacks cost the average American firm $15.4 million a year, double the global average. Another report found that cyber attacks are costing businesses around the world anywhere from $400 to $500 billion every year. And that’s translating into job losses as well. A 2013 study estimated that malicious cyber activities are resulting in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs in America each year.” (Defense One)

The CIA, FOIA, and Clinton e-mails. “In short, it does seem likely that some of Secretary Clinton’s homebrew emails mentioned Agency officials whose names are protected by law. It’s possible to make too much of this. While this story confirms how insouciant Hillary Clinton was about endangering classified information on the poorly secured server, we already knew that. And insouciance isn’t necessarily a knowing violation of law. Secretary Clinton may say that she didn’t know the people named in the messages were CIA officers. Actually, there’s something more troubling and more urgent buried in this story: It could be the FOIA security reviewers themselves who are disclosing CIA identities.” (Washington Post) See also, “Hillary Clinton Posted Names of Hidden Intelligence Officials On Her Email.”


Drones in a Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment. “The US Defense Department’s Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) selected Lockheed Martin and Raytheon as the prime contractors for the agency’s Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) demonstration. The program seeks to help conduct dynamic Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) operations over long distances, against short lived, moving targets in denied or contested electromagnetic airspace. While improving the flexibility of force projection CODE will decrease the communication bandwidth required to control such airborne forces and reduce cognitive burden on human supervisors.” (Defense Update)

Northrop building Navy’s Laser Weapon System Demonstrator. “The Navy is working with Northrop Grumman on a three-year deal to develop a ship-board laser weapon engineered to quickly incinerate enemy drones, small boats, aircraft, ships and missiles . . . . The 12-month, $53-million deal with the Office of Naval Research will develop a Laser Weapon System Demonstrator through three phases; the phases include an initial design phase, ground-testing phase and then weapons testing at sea aboard a Navy Self Defense test ship . . . .” (Scout Warrior)

What’s happening at Eurosatory 2016. “The US will be the largest foreign exhibitor at the upcoming Eurosatory, with 136 American companies booked into the trade show for land weapons and air-land systems . . . . Security for the show will be tighter that in previous years, reflecting an extended state of emergency adopted after the Nov. 13 attacks which killed 130 people in Paris. The trade show coincides with Euro 2016, one of the biggest soccer tournaments worldwide and for which the government has assured there will be high security.” (Defense News)


New school Islam: understanding Ahrar al-Sham in Syria. “Al-Omar actually argues that Ahrar is an entirely new school of Islamism, distinct not only from jihadism but also from other Islamist trends. Islamism, as he describes it, is comprised of four schools that emerged from the collapse of the Ottoman Caliphate: purely political Islamism, such as the Muslim Brotherhood; two variations on individual-level evangelism; and jihadism, which is committed to change through force of arms.” (War on the Rocks) See also, “Al Nusrah Front and allies launch new offensive in Syria’s Aleppo province.”

SecDef Carter on principled Asia-Pacific cooperation. “Now, this growing Asia-Pacific security network includes but is more than some extension of existing alliances.  It weaves everyone’s relationships together – bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral – to help all of us do more, over greater distances, with greater economy of effort. . . .  You can see this networked approach in our collective responses to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and the Nepal earthquake last year. Most importantly, this is a principled security network.  It is inclusive, since any nation and any military – no matter its capability, budget, or experience – can contribute.” (Remarks on “Asia-Pacific’s Principled Security Network” at 2016 IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, Department of Defense) See also, “US vows ‘action’ if China builds new South China Sea structures.”

State Department terror reports are out. “Last Thursday the Department of State released the 2015 Country Reports on Terrorism. The report is provided to Congress each year and covers developments in countries in which acts of terrorism occurred, countries which are state sponsors of terrorism, and countries determined by the Secretary to be of particular national security interest.” (Homeland Security News Wire) See also, “Country Reports on Terrorism 2015” and “Analysis: State Department identifies Gulf shortcomings on counterterrorism efforts.”

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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.