Cleared conflicts. “Under the Federal Adjudicative Guidelines, workplace disputes typically fall under the personal conduct category known as Guideline ‘E’. It’s a catch-all charge for any situation in which a clearance holder’s judgment, reliability, or similar traits are called into question.”

Acronym assessment. “Forget pub trivia – we have the hot new game everyone is playing – Agency Alphabet. You heard that right, we’ve taken a few lesser known government agency acronyms, and put them into a quiz. Do you think you can score 100 percent?”

TECH, PRIVACY, & SECRECY

“A former CIA officer who was convicted for helping the agency abduct a terrorism suspect off the streets of Milan lost her extradition battle Wednesday and said she fears she’ll end up in an Italian prison while the U.S. government sits on the sidelines. . . . When she was convicted in 2009, de Sousa told ABC News the U.S. government had “abandoned and betrayed” her and her colleagues.” (ABC News)

An entire West Virginia town built to support the National Security Agency’s surveillance operation is up for sale, with bids starting at $1 million. Sugar Grove Station, also known as ‘Spy Town,’ was built to house intelligence analytical staff, and sits in what is known as the ‘National Radio Quiet Zone,’ where cell phone and radio use is strictly limited by law. The last staffers were moved from the site in 2015.” (Daily Mail)

THE FORCE AND THE FIGHT

“Defense Secretary Ash Carter today announced the next steps in his Force of the Future initiative to modernize the rules and regulations that govern how the Defense Department recruits, develops and retains service members and civilian employees. These are the third and fourth steps he’s announced since a snowy week in February 2015, his first week in office, when he spoke urgently during an all-hands meeting here about one of his top priorities: building the force of the future.” (Defense Media Activity)

The United States has wasted billions of dollars in reconstruction aid to Afghanistan over the past decade, and now a renewed Taliban insurgency is threatening the gains that have been made . . . . The nearly $113 billion Congress has appropriated for reconstruction since 2001, when U.S.-led forces invaded the country and toppled the Taliban regime, has long been plagued by corruption, waste and mismanagement, according to a series of reports from Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).” (Reuters)

“After months of debate, the White House has approved plans to expand the military’s authority to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban when necessary, as the violence in Afghanistan escalates . . . . Several officials said the decision was made in recent days to expand the authority of U.S. commanders to strike the Taliban and better support and assist the Afghan forces when needed in critical operations, using the U.S. troops already in the country.” (US News)

“The Russian air force grounded its entire fleet of Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets on Thursday after a fatal crash near Moscow. The Su-27, commonly known as Flanker — the code name given to it by NATO, which assigns one to every piece of Russian military hardware — is the backbone of Russia’s air force. The grounding means that about half of Russia’s fighter jets cannot take to the air.” (VICE News)

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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.
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