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Category Archives: Defense

GAO report on VA administration of human capital challenges

Veterans Health Administration: Management Attention Is Needed to Address Systemic, Long-standing Human Capital Challenges, GAO-17-30: Published: Dec 23, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 23, 2017: “The Veterans Health Administration is facing key human capital challenges that hamper its ability to effectively serve veterans—including skills gaps within medical centers’ HR offices and inadequate training for HR staff.… Continue Reading

It Is Two and a Half Minutes to Midnight according to the Doomsday Clock

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of… Continue Reading

FCC White Paper – Cybersecurity Risk Reduction

Cybersecurity Risk Reduction – Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau – Federal Communications Commission – David Simpson, Rear Admiral (ret.) USN, Bureau Chief, January 18, 2017. “The White Paper describes the risk reduction portfolio of the current FCC and suggests actions to affirmatively reduce cyber risk in a manner that incents competition, protects consumers, and… Continue Reading

Summary Report on Audits of Security Controls for TSA Information Technology Systems at Airports

DHS OIG – Summary Report on Audits of Security Controls for TSA Information Technology Systems at Airports, December 30, 2016. OIG-17-14. “Our previous reports identified numerous deficiencies in security controls for TSA’s IT systems and equipment at airports. These deficiencies included inadequate physical security for TSA server rooms at airports, unpatched software, missing security documentation,… Continue Reading

ACLU FOIA Request Seeks Information About New President’s Conflicts of Interests

Letter dated January 19, 2017 from the ACLU to the FOIA Officer, Office of Government Ethics: “The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (together, the “ACLU”) submit this Freedom of lnformation Act (“FOIA”) request (the “Request”) for records pertaining to financial and other ethical conflicts of interest in connection with… Continue Reading

GAO Report to Congress – Nation’s Fiscal Health

The Nation’s Fiscal Health: Action is Needed to Address the Federal Government’s Fiscal Future, GAO-17-237SP: Published: Jan 17, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2017: “The federal government is on an unsustainable fiscal path. Federal spending continues to outpace revenue—by $587 billion in 2016—and, absent policy changes, the structural gap between revenues and spending puts the… Continue Reading

CRS – Security Clearance Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Via FAS – Security Clearance Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Michelle D. Christensen, Analyst in Government Organization and Management. October 7, 2016. This report provides a primer on some of the fundamental aspects of the security clearance process, using a “Frequently Asked Questions” format. A security clearance is a determination that an individual—whether a… Continue Reading

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief

CRS report via FAS – Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief, Jim Zanotti, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. January 6, 2017. “U.S.- Israel Relations in a Time of Transition – For decades, strong bilateral relations have fueled and reinforced significant U.S.-Israel cooperation in many areas, including regional security. Nonetheless, at various points throughout the… Continue Reading

Inauguration Security: Operations, Appropriations, and Issues for Congress

CRS report via FAS – Inauguration Security: Operations, Appropriations, and Issues for Congress, Shawn Reese, Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy; Jacob R. Straus, Specialist on the Congress; Christina M. Bailey, Information Research Specialist. January 11, 2017. “Every four years, on January 20, the President-elect is sworn in as President of the United… Continue Reading

Trends in Spending by the Department of Defense for Operation and Maintenance

“The Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) budget consists of appropriations for the following purposes: compensating military personnel; developing and purchasing weapons; building bases, facilities, and housing; and supporting day-to-day operations. The largest single appropriation category in DoD’s base budget is the operation and maintenance (O&M) account, which funds day-to-day operations ranging from health care to equipment maintenance.… Continue Reading

Statutory Restrictions on the Position of Secretary of Defense: Issues for Congress

CRS report via FAS – Statutory Restrictions on the Position of Secretary of Defense: Issues for Congress. Kathleen J. McInnis, Analyst in International Security. January 5, 2017. “The proposed nomination of General (Ret.) James Mattis, United States Marine Corps (hereafter referred to as “General Mattis”), who retired from the military in 2013, to be Secretary… Continue Reading

WaPo reports US intel documents Russian geopol jubilation at Trump win

Follow up to previous posting today – President-elect plans to restructure US intelligence agencies – via Washington Post – U.S. intercepts capture senior Russian officials celebrating Trump win – “Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that… Continue Reading