Daily Intelligence New Year’s Resolutions

Intelligence

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Everyone makes them, hardly anyone keeps them. Here at Daily Intel, I hope it can different this year. It’s time for some New Year’s resolutions, those things you promise to do better in the next trip around the sun. Looking back on what did and did not get a positive reaction from you, here are my promises to you.

More stories about leaks

Everyone with a security clearance should hate leaks. They’re bad for business. But still, judging by your reactions, you love to read about them. Like deep-state bureaucrats whining about the latest political appointee, we all love a nice leak story. I certainly wouldn’t encourage anyone to start leaking sensitive information to the press, but for those so inclined, please make it juicy enough that we can all get our fill of schadenfreude.

More stories about espionage

Again, this is somewhat contradictory. Like unauthorized leaks, espionage is, well, bad. But when people get caught, that’s a positive, so writing about the knuckleheads who thought they could get away with it is satisfying. Whether it’s Reality Winner smuggling documents in her pantyhose so she can give them to The Intercept, Cuban spies attacking diplomats with a “sonic weapon” straight-out of a James Bond movie, or the hapless NSA contractor who brought classified information home with him and unwittingly became a target through Kaspersky software, you’ve proven you love to read about the spies who get caught.

While I certainly don’t wish for more people to commit espionage, you know they will. They always do. So here’s hoping that when they try, the counterintelligence guys catch them quickly… so we can laugh at their stupidity.

Fewer stories about Congress

You’ve shown me that you don’t care much about the National Defense Authorization Act. Let me be clear: you should, though. Since I presume most of you are cleared professionals looking for work (which is, after all, why the site exists in the first place), the NDAA is important to your job search. Defense contractors’ fortunes rise and fall on the annual defense policy legislation, but you care more about the contracts than you do about the details of legislation that makes them possible.

I’m still going to write about Congress, because I simply can’t help myself. But you won’t see as much of it. I do, after all, what to hold your interest.

About the same: Missile Defense and North Korea

These are the two topics that kept recurring in 2017, and show no signs of going away in 2018. North Korea, as I’ve said repeatedly to anyone who will listen, is a threat, but one that is essentially contained. But the threat still exists and it would be foolish for the United States to drop its guard, even if the people actually running the national security apparatus are as convinced as I am that Kim Jong-un has no desire to actually fight a war, nuclear or otherwise, against the United States.

But he will continue to make noise, and conduct missile tests, especially leading up to the Olympics in February, and ahead of the midterm congressional elections in November. The DPRK is a fascinating topic to study, as is the technology behind shooting down ballistic missiles. Many believe that ability is a hoax. You know I’m not among them. We’ll continue to watch the latest developments out of both Pyongyang and the Missile Defense Agency.

Happy New Year to all of Daily Intel’s readers. I raise my glass to you and look forward to continuing the dialogue. Cheers!

Tom McCuin is a strategic communication consultant and retired Army Reserve Civil Affairs and Public Affairs officer whose career includes serving with the Malaysian Battle Group in Bosnia, two tours in Afghanistan, and three years in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs in the Pentagon. When he’s not devouring political news, he enjoys sailboat racing and umpiring Little League games (except the ones his son plays in) in Alexandria, Va. Follow him on Twitter at @tommccuin

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