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Friday, October 28, 2016

Early Bird Brief: ISIS Intelligence Trove

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Oct 24, 2016    
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Today's Top 5
1. US Special Operators Accelerate Killings of ISIS Leaders
(DefenseOne) Defense Secretary Ash Carter says this will weaken Mosul's defenders and stop attacks in the United States.
2. Pentagon Expects Mosul Push to Unlock Trove of ISIS Intelligence
(New York Times) The Pentagon is sending dozens of additional intelligence analysts to Iraq to pore over a trove of information that is expected to be recovered in the offensive to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State, data that could offer new clues about possible terrorist attacks in Europe.
3. Cyberattack that disrupted access to major websites is under investigation
(Washington Post) The attack, which Dyn said had been resolved, was notable because the firm says the attackers used an emerging form of malware called "Mirai" to hijack everyday items such as security cameras and DVRs that were connected to the Internet.
4. Toxic Legacy: Air Force studies dating back decades show danger of foam that contaminated local water
(Colorado Springs Gazette) The Air Force ignored decades of warnings from its own researchers in continuing to use a chemical-laden firefighting foam that is a leading cause of contaminated drinking water for at least 6 million Americans, including thousands of people south of Colorado Springs.
5. Could this be the year all the military votes get counted?
(Washington Examiner) Military voters often struggle to navigate the absentee voting process because of their frequent moves and deployment overseas.


Overseas Operations
The ISIS chemical weapons arsenal is weak but instills fear
(Military Times) The Islamic State group's efforts to weaponize chemicals have been ineffective, U.S. officials say.
Turkey's Push to Join Battle for Mosul Inflames Tension With Iraq
(New York Times) A dispute between Iraq and Turkey has emerged as a dramatic geopolitical sideshow to the complicated military campaign to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, from the Islamic State.
The Next U.S. President Can Expect Weakened, But Still Lethal ISIS
(National Public Radio) President Obama's two-year-old campaign against the Islamic State is clearly weakening the extremist group. But he's unlikely to finish the job during his final months, leaving it to his successor to figure out how to keep ISIS on the run.
NATO Trains Afghan Tactical Air Controllers as Civilian Casualties Rise
(The Diplomat) Civilian casualties caused by pro-government forces rose 42 percent, which includes 72 percent in casualties from air strikes by the Afghan Air Force.
U.S. General Blames Death Toll For Afghan Forces On Poor Afghan Leadership
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan says basic leadership failures in many Afghan police and military units have resulted in higher casualty tolls among Afghan troops.
Afghanistan's Opium Cultivation Jumps 10 Percent In 2016
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) "It is very disturbing to see a considerable increase in poppy cultivation in the north, which may be linked with a deteriorating security situation in the region," said a U.N. official.
Libyan Forces, Fighting ISIS in Surt, Free 13 Foreign Captives
(New York Times) After a six-month campaign of street-by-street fighting backed by American airstrikes, Libyan forces have retaken most of Surt, where the Islamic State is holding out with snipers, booby traps and car bombs, a spokesman said.
US airstrikes kill 8 al Qaeda operatives in central Yemen
(Long War Journal) The U.S. military said the strikes were conducted to deny al Qaeda "a haven" in Yemen.
Plans to send heavier weapons to CIA-backed rebels in Syria stall amid White House skepticism
(Washington Post) The proposal, which involved weapons that might help those forces defend themselves against Russian aircraft and artillery, made its way onto the agenda of a recent meeting President Obama held with his national security team.
The Pentagon
Inspector General report finds widespread hazards at military housing
(Stars & Stripes) Servicemembers and their families are exposed to health and safety hazards at base housing worldwide that could be alleviated by inspections and better maintenance, the Defense Department's Inspector General said.


We Won!': Trans Girl Can Now Use Girls' Bathroom at Military School
(NBC News) "We fought! And we WON!" That's how a military wife and mom stationed in Germany summed-up her family's victory over an official who had barred her transgender daughter from using the girls' bathroom at the school on base.
Report outlines A2/AD challenges for U.S. force projection
(C4ISRNET) In the first of a two part series, Washington think tank Rand, with the Army serving as a sponsor, issued a report detailing the motivations, technology and economics behind adoption of anti-access area denial (A2/AD) capabilities.
How do your MWR programs rate? Watch your inbox for the DoD survey
(Military Times) Defense officials begin sending out the MWR customer satisfaction survey this week to a random sample of active-duty, National Guard and reserve members, as well as spouses.
Photo of fallen service members is one for the history books
(Seattle Times) Tami Silicio's photo of the flag-draped coffins of U.S. service members killed in Iraq has been selected by Time as one of the most influential pictures in history, but the release of the image came at a steep personal price.
U.S. troops: 'Guantánamo Diary' prisoner thanked his captors on his way out
(Miami Herald) The captive who wrote "Guantanamo Diary" didn't autograph any copies of his book before he went home, but he thanked some of the troops as he ended 14 years of detention without being charged, prison staff said.
Air Force
Meet the Air Force's first enlisted drone pilots
(Air Force Times) When the Air Force's latest class of two dozen aspiring remotely-piloted aircraft pilots convened at Initial Flight Training School in Pueblo, Colorado, Oct. 12, four of them had something unique: Enlisted stripes.
Goldfein helps unveil special tactics memorial at Hurlburt
(Air Force Times) A memorial to Air Force special tactics airmen was dedicated at Hurlburt Field, Florida, the culmination of a four-year effort.
Laser zaps mosquitoes out of the sky
(Army Times) Sometimes it seems like there's not enough bug spray in the world to keep those pesky bloodsuckers away, and it can be more than just an annoyance.
The Army's 1st Space Battalion activates new company
(Army Times) The Army's 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade added another company to its stable of active duty and reserve units, according to an Army release.
722nd Ordnance Company trio named Army's top EOD team
(Army Times) A trio of technicians from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, took top honors in the annual EOD Team of the Year competition, besting five other teams in a series of mental and physical obstacles at Virginia's Fort A.P. Hill.
Pentagon identifies Navy sailor killed in northern Iraq bomb blast
(Navy Times) Chief Petty Officer (EOD/EXW/SW/PJ/DV) Jason Finan, a 34-year-old from Anaheim, California, died "of wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device blast" in northern Iraq, DoD said.
'He gave his life for his teammates': Jason Finan, 34, was killed serving alongside SEALs in Iraq
(Washington Post) Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan, 34, was attached to an elite SEAL team that was advising the Iraqi Counterterrorism Service, one defense official in Iraq said.
U.S. destroyer challenges China's claims in the South China Sea
(Navy Times) The destroyer Decatur conducted a close patrol Friday of the disputed Paracel Islands, a move that challenges China's claimed dominion over the South China Sea islands, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the action.
Stealth destroyer Zumwalt sets off on voyage to new homeport
(Navy Times) The voyage to san Diego is expected to take two months, because the crew has a lot of work to do on the way.
Inside the Navy's push to broaden NGEN re-compete
(C4ISRNET) As the Navy gears up to re-compete a massive networking contract, service leaders say they are looking to bring a broader group of players to the table this time around.
Marine Corps
Amphibious assault ship Wasp, Marine Harriers exiting Libya operations
(Marine Corps Times) The amphibious assault ship Wasp is leaving the eastern Mediterranean Sea along with the AV-8B Harries that have been attacking the Islamic State group in Libya since August, according to U.S. Africa Command.
Marines want new technologies to take enemy beaches
(Marine Corps Times) Modern weapons can destroy ships and landing craft many miles from shore, forcing the Marine Corps to turn to new technologies to ensure Marines can land in force on enemy coasts.
Coast Guard
Greek Shipping Companies Fined $1.5M for Pollution, Cover-Up
(Associated Press) A federal judge in Seattle ordered two companies owned by a Greek shipping magnate to pay $1.5 million after a jury found that a cargo ship deliberately pumped oil-polluted water into the ocean, then repeatedly lied and falsified records in an effort to deceive inspectors with the U.S. Coast Guard.
National Guard
Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war
(Los Angeles Times) Sort of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war. Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back.
Defense Industry
L-3 awarded laser contract for Special Operations Command
(C4ISRNET) L-3 has been awarded a $10.6 million U.S. Special Operations Command contract for laser targeting systems.
Raytheon and Logos team up for sensor development
(C4ISRNET) Raytheon and Logos Technologies are partnering to develop a multi-intelligence (multi-INT) sensor.
Raytheon, Leonardo Hash Out Differences Over T-X Trainer Partnership
(Defense News) The partnership between Raytheon and Italy's Leonardo-Finmeccanica to sell jet trainers to the US is back on track after nearly falling apart thanks to a dispute over who calls the shots, multiple sources knowledgeable of the talks say.
Rockwell Collins to Buy B/E Aerospace for $6.4 Billion
(Wall Street Journal) The agreement continues a slew of deals in the aerospace industry as suppliers adjust to pressures from Airbus Group SE and Boeing Co. to cut costs as they work through a backlog of more than 10,000 jets valued at over $1.5 trillion.
6 tricks for veterans transitioning from college to the workplace
(Military Times) You've already made one major transition, learning to undo your military mindset and getting into the collegiate brain space. It can be a tough transition, finding a way to engage in the informal culture that drives academia.
WWII pilot, 101, gets a chance to say goodbye to his 'godsend' P-38
(Colorado Springs Gazette) The love affair between veteran Frank Royal and a fully restored P-38 Lightning named White-33 centers on his service in World War II and a reunion that took place against the longest of odds.
Congress & Politics
Gold Star father re-enters election fight with new ad
(Military Times) A Gold Star father whose emotional speech at the Democratic convention sparked a public fight with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump re-entered the campaign on Friday, questioning whether his war-hero son would be discriminated against in a Trump administration.
Long-Term CR Looms as Pelosi Pans Ryan's 'Minibus' Plan
(Defense News) US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will reject House Speaker Paul Ryan's plans for "minibus" packages of appropriations bills in favor of a single omnibus — dismissing the GOP plan as "a little bit too cute."
Poll: Troops doubt next president can fix the military's top issues
(Military Times) Many servicemembers have serious doubts that the next commander in chief will be able to handle the biggest military and veterans issues facing the country, even if their pick for president wins.
1,000 Clinton-Petraeus emails missing from records sent to State, FBI files show
(Fox News) Additional documents obtained through a federal lawsuit by Judicial Watch show Clinton had directed Petraeus to send her emails at her personal address, which was used for all government work during her tenure as secretary of state.
Congressman raises concern over potential use of Russian satellites for troops' Internet service
(Washington Post) Rep. Duncan Hunter said he was concerned a contract to provide Internet service to deployed soldiers could allow the use of Russian satellites, jeopardizing troops' privacy and security.
Petraeus calls for sequestration 'threat' to be eliminated
(The Hill) Retired Gen. David Petraeus says defense cuts have gone too far and the "threat" of sequestration must be eliminated.
National Security and Intelligence
Ex-NSA contractor accused of massive theft is a 'collector,' not a 'traitor,' lawyers say
(Washington Post) A federal judge found that a former National Security Agency contractor accused of carrying out what is thought to be the largest theft of classified secrets in U.S. history posed a flight risk and ordered that he continue to be held in jail.
Cybersecurity, Space and Surveillance
DoD entrenches bug bounty program
(C4ISRNET) The Defense Department announced Thursday that it will be entrenching the federal government's first ever bug bounty program.
Electronic threats from above
(C4ISRNET) Adversarial capabilities writ large have significantly improved vis-à-vis the United States (hence the necessity of the Defense Department's so-called third offset strategy). One of these areas causing concern is that of the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS).
Someone Weaponized the Internet of Things
(DefenseOne) Friday's internet disruption could be a taste of what's to come when nations and non-state actors stop using the web and start attacking it.
International Affairs
Tough Stand by India's Modi on Militants Raises Risks With Pakistan
(New York Times) As prime minister, Narendra Modi has not shied away from openly retaliating in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir against the militants — and stirring up nationalist passions.
Egyptian Army Officer Killed Outside Home; Militant Group Is Suspected
(New York Times) Gunmen suspected of being Islamist militants killed a senior Egyptian Army officer on Saturday in a brazen daylight shooting outside the man's home in a Cairo suburb.
Commentary and Analysis
Why does our military support deplorable Crusader unit names, imagery
(Air Force Times) What happens when all of the discourse regarding Muslims both at home and abroad is couched in terms that divide, denigrate, demean, demoralize and degrade?
Navy's personnel policy fiasco is an important lesson for leaders
(Military Times) The Navy's recent decision to strip job titles from every sailor is a misstep of epic proportions – one that should serve as a stark lesson for leaders across all the services.
Why an Iran-Style Deal Isn't Possible with North Korea
(The National Interest) Whereas persistent U.S. diplomacy with Iran has accrued significant dividends, it has largely produced disappointments in the North Korean case.
Why Russia and China Fear America's Seawolf-Class Submarines
(The National Interest) The Seawolf-class submarines were envisioned as the best submarines ever built.
It's wrong to suppress the military vote
(Charles Dunlap) No one — regardless of party affiliation — ought to be pleased when an active-duty military officer publicly tries to shape voting by others, particularly in this bitterly partisan election season.
In Aleppo, Echoes of Guernica and Global Disorder
(Brig. Gen. (ret.) Peter Zwack in Defense One) Nearly 80 years ago, a shattered town rang a death knell for international order. We must not let it happen again.
Brazil's Merchants of Death
(New York Times) The fingerprints of Brazil's largest arms companies are turning up in a growing number of the world's hot spots, including Yemen, where thousands of civilians are perishing in a punishing war with no end in sight.
Improving Governance In China
(The Diplomat) The current plenary session could be an important milestone for China.

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