Today's Top 5
1. President, Pentagon put off Washington parade
(Military Times) In a stunning move Thursday evening, the Pentagon announced that President Donald J. Trump’s military parade through the nation’s capital will be postponed until 2019.
2. Retired admiral, Navy SEAL compares President Trump’s actions to McCarthy-era witch hunts
(Military Times) An outspoken retired Navy admiral, who oversaw the Navy SEAL raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, has issued a fiery open letter to President Donald Trump over his revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, comparing his tactics to those who led communist witch hunts in the 1950s.
3. The Air Force is working on a new dress blues uniform — and it’s going old school
(Air Force Times) The Air Force is designing an updated version of its service dress blues uniform and could roll it out sometime next year, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright said Wednesday.
4. Senators urge consumer protection agency not to ‘abandon’ duty to protect troops, families
(Military Times) In the wake of reports that a key federal consumer protection agency is considering pulling back from efforts to protect service members from predatory lenders, 49 senators have signed a letter asking for a commitment that the bureau will continue to ensure troops are protected.
5. Trump, seeking to relax rules on U.S. cyberattacks, reverses Obama directive
(Wall Street Journal) The Obama administration, “seeking to control risk, constrained our cyber ops. The threat and tempo is evolving and demands greater agility,” Klon Kitchen, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation said. The U.S. doesn’t “have a choice on playing this game. And, if we have to play we have to win.”
Russian strategic bombers conduct exercise near Alaska
(The Associated Press) The Russian military says that two nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown to the easternmost Chukotka Peninsula, near Alaska, as part of an air force exercise.
New U.S. training unit in Afghanistan faces old problems
(Reuters) The 1st SFAB was formed last year as a new force of experienced advisers, to focus U.S. army training and support for Afghan troops and, in future, for other foreign armies.
Iraq bombs Islamic State 'operations room' in Syria
(Reuters) Iraq launched an air strike on a gathering of Islamic State fighters in neighboring Syria, killing members of the hardline militant group who planned cross-border attacks, its military said on Thursday.
Chinese bombers are extremely active, and the Pentagon thinks they're training for strikes against US targets
(Business Insider) Chinese bombers are much more active and operating farther from Chinese shores at an increased frequency, and the Pentagon thinks they are likely training for strikes on US targets, according to the 2018 China Military Power Report.
2018 Defense News Conference
US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson among the featured speakers at 2018 Defense News Conference
(Defense News) This year’s conference will bring together senior-level military and industry leaders to discuss changes in U.S. defense strategy and a return to great power competition, and what that means for procurement, technology development and international cooperation.
Why immigrant children were housed on military bases
(Military Times) The Pentagon got pulled into the debate over President Donald Trump’s controversial immigrant family separation policy earlier this year after the administration voiced plans to house detained children on American military bases.
Trump’s military parade estimated to cost $80 million more than previously estimated
(Military Times) President Donald Trump’s military parade is now estimated to cost $92 million, according to a U.S. defense official with firsthand knowledge of the assessment who spoke with CNBC.
Pentagon Spending $34M to Make Presidential Jets More Posh
(DefenseOne) The Air Force is upgrading the interiors of two smaller VIP aircraft to resemble the presidential cabin of Trump’s main Air Force One jets.
The Navy, Air Force and Army collect different data on aircraft crashes. That's a safety problem, watchdog says.
(Virginian-Pilot) The Navy, Air Force and Army collect different data on aircraft crashes. That's a safety problem, watchdog says.
Report finds kids in Army housing at risk of lead poisoning
(Army Times) Medical data shows that 31 children living in on-post housing at the Army’s Fort Benning suffered harmful levels of lead poisoning, according to a new investigative report published Thursday by Reuters.
The US Navy’s fight to fix its worn-out Super Hornet fleet is making way
(Defense News) The U.S. Navy is slowly making progress to restore to fighting condition its hard-worn fleet of F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters, which last year had just one in three of its fighters ready to deploy.
Navy admiral, Mattis aide to be nominated to head US Southern Command
(The Associated Press) Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday that his senior military assistant, Navy Vice Adm. Craig Faller, will be nominated to serve as the next head of U.S. Southern Command.
Oceana at 75: Better than ever and getting better, but for how long?
(Navy Times) It’s the largest Navy air station on the East Coast and will celebrate its 75th birthday on Friday but it often escapes the limelight.
If Sailors Aren't Ready to Deploy, It'll Soon Affect Their Promotions
(Military.com) Sailors who don't want to see their careers derailed by a missed dental appointment better keep those teeth cleanings on their radars.
The Navy Could Send More Sailors to Alaska
(Military.com) Just 20 U.S. sailors are currently stationed in Alaska. But thanks to a shift in how the U.S. is thinking about Arctic defense, that could be about to change.
Airman on leave helps save lives of three families caught in fire
(Air Force Times) While visiting his hometown of Manteca, California, on July 14, a Phoenix-based airman rushed into multiple burning buildings to awaken residents and usher them out of danger.
Why Didn't F-15s Shoot Down the Stolen Sea-Tac Airliner?
(Military.com) When a rogue civilian airliner took off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport last Friday, the military responded with a multifaceted, coordinated effort between two F-15 Eagle pilots, said officials at North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Defense Department.
Marine shot in the head in Sangin returns to full duty
(Marine Corps Times) A Marine serving with a small adviser task force in Helmand, Afghanistan has returned to full duty after being shot in the head while operating at a remote outpost in Sangin.
A new phone fitness app and wearable technology are coming to the Marine Corps
(Marine Corps Times) The Corps is working on a new phone fitness app that will aid Marines in programing fitness routines to tracking injuries across a unit, and the Marines want the app to complement wearable tech like the popular Fitbit fitness trackers.
Norway Confirms Plan to Double Number of Marines Near Russian Border
(Military.com) Twice as many Marines will deploy to Norway next year and train just hundreds of miles from the Russian border -- a move leaders in Moscow say will lead to retaliation.
Coast Guard saves boaters clinging to hull
(The Associated Press) The Coast Guard rescued three boaters found clinging to the hull of their capsized 24-foot vessel off Texas.
UK fighter concept emphasizes stealth, next generation sensors
(Aerospace America) Britain wants to build a twin-engine stealth fighter jet that the Defense Ministry says would enable the United Kingdom to stay competitive in air-to-air combat technology and maintain its domestic fighter industry.
Lockheed takes another shot at multi domain war
(Breaking Defense) A year after running a war game across multiple domains, the defense giant's planners are at it again -- with a new plan, and new tech.
Veterans group sues to block VA shadow rulers
(ProPublica) A new lawsuit challenges the legality of a secret Mar-a-Lago troika after ProPublica revealed its influence over the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Former secretary Principi finds Mar-a-Lago trio's alleged influence on VA 'astounding'
(Stars & Stripes) Former VA Secretary Anthony Principi says he “found it astounding” that three wealthy friends of President Donald Trump, members of his Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Fla., were able to affect executive hiring at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and might have influenced VA policy.
Veterans group sues VA over ‘Mar-a-Lago Crowd’
(Stars & Stripes) A veterans group filed a lawsuit Thursday aimed at preventing three wealthy members of President Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla., from influencing decisions at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Congress & Politics
GOP divide emerges over Trump’s Space Force
(The Associated Press) Two House Republican leaders are backing President Donald Trump’s proposed Space Force, but key Republicans in the Senate aren’t sold on the idea, setting up a debate over establishing and paying for a new branch of the military.
Can the US track how its weapons are used in Yemen? Elizabeth Warren wants to know.
(Defense News) After scores of children were killed in a Saudi-backed air strike in Yemen last week, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is challenging the top U.S. commander for the Mideast to say whether the U.S. military can track the purpose, mission and results of airstrikes in Yemen it supports.
Trump, Democrats face off over Yemen war
(Al-Monitor) President Donald Trump signed several restrictions on US military involvement in Yemen into law earlier this week. There’s just one caveat — Trump is threatening to ignore most of those provisions, prompting swift backlash from Democrats.
New fiscal cliff? Defense spending could drop by $71 billion next year if there’s no new budget deal
(Washington Examiner) President Trump was in a triumphant mood on Monday when he signed the $717 billion National Defense Authorization Act in front of a crowd of cheering soldiers in Fort Drum, N.Y. "We are the most powerful. We are the best funded. We are the biggest, we are the strongest, [and] we are the smartest," the president said.
Confucius Institute closed at US university amid concerns about Chinese influence on campuses
(South China Morning Post) The University of North Florida will close a campus branch of a Chinese-run cultural institute, the latest U.S. college to do so amid criticism from US legislators that China uses the institute to influence American higher education.
Brennan: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate
(The Associated Press) Former CIA Director John Brennan said Thursday that President Donald Trump yanked his security clearance because his campaign colluded with the Russians to sway the 2016 election and is now desperate to end the special counsel’s investigation.
Cyber, Space & Surveillance
The start of new rules for autonomous weapons
(C4ISRNET) In the near future, engineers are going to have to figure out ways to prevent robots from killing. This is part of the broader work on the edges of lethal autonomous weapons systems, a proposed legal category that does not quite match the function of any weapons at present, but may soon encompass a range of machines.
US concerned by Russian satellite's 'very abnormal behavior'
(ABC News) When Vice President Mike Pence laid out the Trump administration's plan to establish a Space Force as a new branch of the military last Thursday, critics said it was a wasteful and unnecessary step that added bureaucracy for something that didn't present a threat.
String of Chinese satellites to keep real-time watch on South China Sea to protect ‘national sovereignty’
(South China Morning Post) China will next year start launching a series of satellites to track water conditions and traffic, and reinforce “national sovereignty” throughout the South China Sea, according to state media.
For help with election hacking, states call the National Guard
(C4ISRNET) The head of the National Guard Bureau’s intelligence directorate said there have been several events recently where governors have asked for a review of election security processes.
Trump has scrapped a 2012 policy on when to attack in cyberspace
(Fifth Domain) The Trump administration kicked off a new era of government cyber operations by “rescinding” a presidential directive that had restricted offensive capabilities, an administration official told Fifth Domain, but experts warned the move would not be sufficient in detering state-based hacking.
What automation means for battlefield computing
(C4ISRNET) When Army leaders and members of industry met in North Carolina earlier this month, the focus was on how to improve cloud computing in the tactical environment.
Endgame begins for German anti-missile program
(Defense News) German Defence Ministry officials have released a long-awaited second and final request for proposals to MBDA and Lockheed Martin for a new missile defense weapon, the company announced on Thursday.
US and Chile agree to cooperate on cyber security
(The Associated Press) U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Chilean counterpart have signed an agreement pledging closer cooperation in combating cyber threats.
Australian gov’t wants to force tech firms to weaken crypto
(ArsTechnica) A new proposal by the Australian government that would mandate its ability to access encrypted data held by companies both foreign and domestic has been met with fierce opposition from many in the privacy and technology communities.
Ajit Pai knew DDoS claim was false in January, says he couldn’t tell Congress
(ArsTechnica) The Federal Communications Commission chairman has known that his agency's claims about being hit by DDoS attacks were false for more than six months, but he says he could not correct the record publicly because of an internal investigation that didn't wrap up until this month.
Police bodycams can be hacked to doctor footage
(Wired) As they proliferate, police body cameras have courted controversy because of the contentious nature of the footage they capture and questions about how accessible those recordings should be.
Impostor Fortnite Android apps are already spreading malware
(Wired) Two weeks ago, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney confirmed that the Android version of Fortnite, largely seen as the most popular game in the world, would not be available through the Google Play Store. Instead, fans would have to install it from the web. The announcement drew heaps of attention—not least of which came from peddlers of malware.
Senior Chinese delegation to visit US for trade war talks as ‘sides remain far apart’
(South China Morning Post) China’s commerce ministry will send a vice-ministerial level delegation to the United States for talks later this month, a move observers say is unlikely to yield any breakthrough but could lead to further negotiations aimed at de-escalating the trade war.
Pompeo forms Iran Action Group for post-nuclear deal policy
(Al Jazeera) Group will coordinate and run policy towards Tehran, but analysts say the initiative puts US 'on path to war with Iran'.
Russian, Turkish officials meet, keep low profile on Idlib ideas
(Al-Monitor) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met Aug. 14 in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, with Syria dominating the agenda, largely against the backdrop of a planned Sept. 7 meeting of the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Germany and France in Istanbul.
Yemeni government and Houthi movement invited to Sept 6 peace talks: U.N
(Reuters) U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths is trying to negotiate an end to the three-year conflict, which has killed more than 10,000 people and pushed Yemen to the verge of starvation.
Commentary & Analysis
When FISMA isn’t enough
(Federal Times) Federal departments and agencies are obligated by the Federal Information Security Modernization Act to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of defined categories of federal information (“controlled unclassified information,” or CUI) and information systems that host, process or transmit that information. But it’s often not enough to secure the federal supply chain against software threats and cyber-physical dangers.
Why open-sourced code can boost cybersecurity
(Fifth Domain) Locked. Closed. Hidden. Private. It is the prevailing language of cybersecurity; the fewer people who know how security is handled, the safer and better the system will be.
The sailor who fought the Marine Corps and won
(War On The Rocks) Few military organizations have completely changed their roles and missions on a dime and survived the transition. The U.S. Marine Corps is one. The development of modern amphibious doctrine by the Marine Corps during the interwar years, doctrine subsequently adopted by the Navy and Army, is a well–told story. According to J.F.C. Fuller, this shift was “in all probability … the most far reaching tactical innovation” of World War II.
The Russian threat you’re not hearing about
(The Cipher Brief) Russian out-of-area military activity, including near the U.S. and Canadian border, is a challenge as formidable and active as it has been since the end of the Cold War.