Episode 4…Cyber Security Convo w/ Joe Gradisher

Timed with the conclusion of Cyber Security Awareness Month, this week’s guest is Mr Joe Gradisher, a retired Navy Captain and current member of the Navy’s N2N6 Strategic Engagements Office. In a phone conversation with BULL-It Points, Joe discusses cyber security…the threat…what can be done to protect yourself and your organization…as well as what the Navy is doing to protect itself against potential competitors.

Recent attacks that drive home the need to be vigilant:

  • The confidential information of 143 million Americans was potentially compromised in the recent Equifax breech. In May 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack infected 150,000-plus computers in over 150 countries within the first 24 hours.

  • In 2016, hackers who were thought to be from Russia compromised a Ukrainian power company, knocking out power to part of Kiev for over an hour. A 2015 breech of a Ukrainian energy company, which resulted in a power outage to 80,000 customers, may have been related to the 2016 attack.

  • Closer to home, in 2016 “…the Justice Department claimed Iran had attacked U.S. infrastructure online, by infiltrating the computerized controls of a small dam 25 miles north of New York City.”

  • During June 2017, a commercial ship off the Russian coast discovered its GPS navigation system erroneously located the ship at an airport 32 kilometers inland. At least 20 other ships in the area had similar problems with their Automatic Identification System, which U.S. Navy ships also use. “Experts think this is the first documented use of GPS misdirection – a spoofing attack that has long been warned of but never seen in the wild.”

Links to Navy, DoD and DHS resources:

171003-N-N0101-110 WASHINGTON (Oct. 3, 2017) An information graphic depicting the dangers of cyber attacks. (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)

www.navy.mil/local/cyberawareness/

https://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0415_Cyber-Strategy/

https://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month

Weekly Wrap-up 27 OCT

Happy Friday! Thanks for checking out Bull-It Points…be sure to send your tips, criticism or compliments to chris@bullitpoints.com let us know what you like or how we can get better.

Posting Saturday morning, BULL-It Points Podcast Ep4. Timed with the conclusion of Cyber Security Awareness Month, this week’s guest is Mr Joe Gradisher, a retired Navy Captain and current member of the Navy’s N2N6 Strategic Engagements Office. In a phone conversation with BULL-It Points, Joe discusses cyber security…the threat…what can be done to protect yourself and your organization…as well as what the Navy is doing to protect itself against potential competitors.

Now onto this week’s wrap-up…

Key Points:

Russia is pushing to control cyberspace. We should all be worried.

  • The Kremlin’s proposed convention would enhance the ability of Russia and other authoritarian nations to control communication within their countries, and to gain access to communications in other countries, according to several leading U.S. cyber experts.
  • They described the latest draft as part of Moscow’s push over the past decade to shape the legal architecture of what Russian strategists like to call the “information space.”

China Congress: No heir apparent as Xi reveals top leadership

  • The omission cements Mr Xi’s grip on leadership for the next five years, a day after his name and his teachings were written into the constitution. But it raises questions over whether Mr Xi, 64, intends to rule beyond 2022.
  • Mr Xi’s two predecessors have followed the orderly pattern of succession. But since he came to power in 2012, he has shown his readiness to write his own rules.

Time for the US to Stop Losing Ground to China in the South China Sea

  • But the real problem is that there are fundamental differences between China and the United States in interpretation of the relevant international law.
  • Indeed, the U.S.-China struggle for control of the SCS is symptomatic of a much deeper clash of values, national interests, and perceived destinies.
  • So each considers it their right and destiny to dominate and shape the international order to fit their needs.

Find the Root Causes First

  • Ship operations are a complex business, especially at times of heightened alert, elevated operating tempo, and crowded shipping lanes. Understanding the essence of the problem the Navy is trying to solve may not be as easy as it seems. Acting too quickly can create the façade of a solution that can dampen the will, and the necessary curiosity, to dig deeper.

Neither Congress nor the Pentagon have a path to a 355-ship Navy

  • Aside from the congressional hurdles that must be overcome, Trump’s naval buildup aspirations must overcome a seeming lack of coherent vision of what a bigger Navy means or how it’s going to be paid for.
  • Navy leaders have even seemed to put the brakes on their own stated goal of a 355-ship fleet. The new secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, agrees the Navy needs to aim for 355 ships, but wants to understand what kind of ships and technologies the Navy will need in the future before putting lots of money toward the move.

How Democrats and Republicans in Congress communicate differently

  • There’s a general perception on the Hill that when it comes to communications styles, Republicans typically start with the message, while Democrats start with the policy — which carries through to their communications styles.
  • Overall, Pew Research Center found that last year, Republican members were much more likely to post more Facebook messages over press releases than Democrats.

The fake news about fake news

  • Fake news perpetrators have a lot of financial incentives to create fake news that has nothing to do with politics: Any content that caters to emotions is more likely to be engaged with, and thus is easier to monetize from an advertising perspective. BuzzFeed’s recent piece about overseas content farms making money off fake content is a good example.

Clips:

National Security

Boiling point: McCain frustrations with Mattis, McMaster go public

(Defense News, 22 Oct 17…By: Joe Gould and Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — Simmering tension between Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain and the Trump administration’s national security team over information sharing, the defense budget and Pentagon appointments boiled into public view last week. Link

Russia is pushing to control cyberspace. We should all be worried.

(Washington Post, 24 Oct 17…By David Ignatius) Russia’s cyber-meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been accompanied by what U.S. and European experts describe as a worrisome Kremlin campaign to rewrite the rules for global cyberspace. Link

Trump’s Nov visit can be his defining moment in Asia

(The Straits Times, 23 Oct 17…By Patrick M. Cronin) US leader’s historic Asian trip will have an enduring impact, but he must confront three harsh realities. Link

China congress: No heir apparent as Xi reveals top leadership

(BBC, 25 Oct 17) China has revealed its new senior leadership committee, breaking with tradition by not including a clear successor to President Xi Jinping. Link

Time for the US to Stop Losing Ground to China in the South China Sea

(The Diplomat, 24 Oct 17…By Tuan Pham) Beijing has reportedly unveiled a new legal tactic to promote, assert, and advance its maritime claims in the SCS. The latest lawfare approach involves shifting away from the so-called (and universally not recognized) “nine-dash line (NDL)” claim to a narrower “Four shas (4S)” (Chinese for four sands) claim that more tightly connects the four contested island groups of Pratas Islands, Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands, and Macclesfield Bank.  Link

Naval

Fleet and Marine Tracker: Oct. 23, 2017

(USNI, 23 Oct 17)

fleet tracker oct 23 1 1

Link

A Russian Ghost Submarine, Its U.S. Pursuers and a Deadly New Cold War

(Wall Street Journal, 20 Oct 17…By Julian E. Barnes) The Krasnodar, a Russian attack submarine, left the coast of Libya in late May, headed east across the Mediterranean, then slipped undersea, quiet as a mouse. Then, it fired a volley of cruise missiles into Syria. Link

Is the U.S. Navy Weak? The Chinese Seem to Think So.

(The National Interest, 23 Oct 17…By Lyle J. Goldstein)  Chinese military commentators have shared their thoughts on recent U.S. Naval accidents and what they think it means for the larger geopolitical struggle in the Asia-Pacific. Link

The PLA’s Navy Plan for Dominance

(CIMSEC, 24 Oct 17…By Richard D. Fisher, Jr.) Potential modernization plans or ambitions of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) were revealed in unprecedented detail by a former PLAN Rear Admiral in a university lecture, perhaps within the last 2-3 years. Link

Find the Root Causes First

(Proceedings Magazine Oct 17…By Rear Admiral Terry McKnight, U.S. Navy (Retired) and David Silverstein) Four alarming incidents among four ships of the 7th Fleet this year—the collisions of the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56), Fitzgerald (DDG-62), and Lake Champlain (CG-57), and the grounding of the Antietam (CG-54)—have triggered understandable and appropriate investigations and calls for prompt action. All of this “prompt action” is designed to solve the problem and restore safe operations within (and presumably beyond) the 7th Fleet. The question it begs is, “What problem are we solving?” Link

Neither Congress nor the Pentagon have a path to a 355-ship Navy

(Defense News, 23 Oct 17…By: David B. Larter) WASHINGTON — The great Navy buildup promised by U.S. President Donald Trump during his campaign is so far all talk and no action, and with progress on Capitol Hill stalled on almost all fronts, the Defense Department seems more likely to eat another round of sequester cuts than cut steel for a bunch of extra ships. Link

Communication

How Democrats and Republicans in Congress communicate differently

(Axios, 26 Oct 17…By Sara Fischer) Republicans go straight for the emotional responses of social media like Facebook, while Democrats prefer the more polished press releases. But they do have things in common — like mentioning bipartisanship on social media, even though it rarely actually happens. Link

19 Tips to Immediately Improve Your Writing (Infographic)

(Entrepreneur, 21 Oct 17…By  Emily Conklin) Communication is key when it comes to success in any field, but especially as an aspiring entrepreneur. Getting an idea up and running requires clear and concise writing skills, whether you’re composing emails or creating presentations. Check out the Instructional Solutions infographic linked below to learn how to polish your writing skills today. Link

Media

The fake news about fake news

(Axios, 24 Oct 17) The hype around Russia’s involvement in the elections and fake news is complicated, so here are some truths around the topic: Link

 

1 crazy thing: 42% of American kids under 8 have tablets

(Axios, 24 Oct 17) A whopping 42% of children ages 0-8 have their own tablet device, up from less than 1% in 2011, according to Common Sense Media’s newest national “Media Use by Kids” census: Link

Bonus:

The Necessity of Questioning the Military

(The Atlantic, 22 Oct 17…By Loren DeJonge Schulman) Honoring the sacrifice of servicemembers requires understanding why they were put at risk, and demanding that those who did so hold themselves to account. Link

The Right Way to Honor the Troops

(Foreign Policy, 25 Oct 17…By Micah Zenko) By instructing the American people in how to properly honor the U.S. military — specifically, by avoiding critique of military policy — the Donald Trump White House has intensified the long-standing bipartisan practice of politicizing the service of U.S. troops. This would be unhealthy in any deliberative democracy. It’s especially so in one like ours, where the military plays such an outsized role in politics and social life. Link

Episode 3…Convo w/ Mike Fabey

In this week’s Podcast, we talk with defense reporter and author Mike Fabey. In a phone conversation with BULL-It Points, Mike discusses naval operations in the Indo-Asia Pacific, previews his new book Crashback  and talks about the need for transparent communication between reporter and subject matter experts.

Michael Fabey has reported on military and naval affairs for most of his career, winning the prestigious Timothy White Award and earning a Pulitzer Prize nomination. In his work for National Geographic Traveler, the Economist Group, Defense News Aviation Week, and Jane’s, he has collected more than two dozen reporting awards. No other journalist has had as much firsthand experience of America’s naval ships and aircraft and the officers who command them. A Philadelphia native, he currently resides in Spotsylvania, Virginia. Crashback: The Power Clash Between the US and China in the Pacific is his first book.​

(Book Launch: Crashback, The Power Clash Between the U.S. and China in the Pacific Wednesday, October 25, 2017 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm CSIS Headquarters)

Key points:

On ballistic missile defense ships off North Korea and in the Western Pacific:

  • Continue to strategically place these ships, in areas not only around NK, but in the western pacific as well…were intelligence tells you they should go…and essentially when the missiles reach space shoot them down…gives a military option, a show of force…to show there are consequences for North Korea’s action short of all out military conflict.

Indo-Asia Pacific maritime environment:

  • Some much of the global commercial traffic goes through those waterways… arguably the most strategic waterway on the planet…for the last 70 years the US has been the traffic cop, the sheriff to make sure everyone follows the international protocol and norms….this is one of the reasons you can go into a Walmart and buy a laptop for only a couple hundred dollars…because we have kept those waterways open and free.”
  • Recently you see folks expanding into the maritime realm with a military bent…There is a big difference between using military warships to keep waterways open and free compared to putting military outposts on islands and shoals to have a military imprint.
  • What we have had lately is a confrontational atmosphere between the US, who is trying to keep the peace, and the Chinese who are showing more military muscle than China has ever shown…no weapons firedyet, but certainly an escalation of tension over the last several years.

Crashback…released on 24 Oct:

  • An unflinching and timely account of the simmering “warm war” between the Chinese and U.S. navies in the South China Sea…offers a unique, from-the-high-seas perspective on the spectacular and dangerous confrontations occurring between the world’s most heavily armed naval forces as they’re caught in an escalating struggle for territory and influence.

On past media engagement w/ the U.S. Navy:

  • The story, instead of becoming gotcha…gotcha..gotcha…, once the Navy did a 180 and become engaging and transparent…the stories focused on the proactive fixes instead of simply the problems…building a sense of trust and respect between subject matter experts and reporters.

20 OCT 17 Weekly Wrap-up

Happy Friday! Thanks for checking out Bull-It Points…be sure to send your tips, criticism or compliments to chris@bullitpoints.com let us know what you like or how we can get better.

Posting Saturday morning, BULL-It Points Podcast Ep3. This week’s guest is Defense reporter and author Mike Fabey. In a phone conversation with BULL-It Points, Mike discusses naval operations in the Indo-Asia Pacific, previews his new book Crashback  and talks about the need for transparent communication between reporter and subject matter expert.

Now onto this week’s wrap-up…

Key Points:

Repair and Rebuild: Balancing New Military Spending for a Three-Theater Strategy

  • The Pentagon must resolve near-term readiness issues, expand its force structure, and invest in technological breakthroughs to sustain simultaneous operations across three theaters.
  • The Army must be large enough to support stability operations in the Middle East and lethal enough to win decisively in any conventional conflicts in Europe and Asia.
  • Over the next five years, AEI’s plan would spend $672 billion above the Budget Control Act caps.

China Is Quietly Reshaping the World

  • China is quickly growing into the world’s most extensive commercial empire. By way of comparison, after World War II, the Marshall Plan provided the equivalent of $800 billion in reconstruction funds to Europe (if calculated as a percentage of today’s GDP).
  • Now it’s China’s turn. The scale and scope of the Belt and Road initiative is staggering. Estimates vary, but over $300 billion have already been spent, and China plans to spend $1 trillion more in the next decade or so.
  • According to the CIA92 countries counted China as their largest exports or imports partner in 2015, far more than the United States at 57.

Contrary to Rhetoric, Military Mishaps Have Been Declining

  • Deaths from major noncombat accidents for forces on duty did not increase but have in fact plummeted since 9/11, a Roll Call analysis shows.
  • Eleven of the past 15 years were deadlier than 2017. And the deaths have declined at a rate that does not appear to be explained solely by the reduction in the overall size of the military or its pace of training.
  • What’s more, there is no evidence that any of the accidents would have been averted by a higher defense budget. Many of the planes and ships were not especially old.

Everyone should read John McCain’s speech

  • You can read McCain’s speech as a slap at Trump. And maybe it is. You could also read it as the musings of an old man near the end of a long, storied, heroic life — a man unburdened by the vagaries of electoral politics. And maybe it is that as well.

  • Although, to be fair, McCain has never been one to shy away from taking an independent stand.

  • I choose to believe he is appealing to who we know, deep down, we really are as Americans — even if we don’t want to admit it: Pioneers. Explorers. Innovators. Entrepreneurs.

Clips:

National Security

Repair and Rebuild: Balancing New Military Spending for a Three-Theater Strategy

(AEI, 16 OCT 17…By MacKenzie Eaglen) Repair and Rebuild answers a simple question: What plans and priorities should new defense spending increases be geared toward if Congress endorses a three-theater force?1 What can actually be bought in the next five years with higher military spending? The binary construct of investing in either today’s readiness or future capability must be discarded. The military must stop looking for perfect weapons solutions to roll out in the 2030s and instead build in capacity for the inevitable international crises that will occur in the meantime. Link

Why I Went to North Korea

(New York Times, 14 Oct 17…By Nicholas Kristof ) Being on the ground in a country lets you see things and absorb their power: the speaker on the walls of homes to feed propaganda; the pins that every adult wears with portraits of members of the Kim family; the daily power outages, but also signs that the economy is growing despite international sanctions; the Confucian emphasis on dignity that makes officials particularly resent Trump’s personal attacks on Kim; the hardening of attitudes since my last visit, in 2005; and the bizarre confidence that North Korea can not only survive a nuclear war with the U.S. but also emerge as victor. Link

The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More.

(New York Times, 15 OCT 17…By David Sanger, David Kirkpatrick and Nicole Perlroth)

When North Korean hackers tried to steal $1 billion from the New York Federal Reserve last year, only a spelling error stopped them. They were digitally looting an account of the Bangladesh Central Bank, when bankers grew suspicious about a withdrawal request that had misspelled “foundation” as “fandation.” Link

Behold the New Emperor of China

(Wall Street Journal, 16 OCT 17…By  Graham T. Allison) The Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress will convene Wednesday to select leaders for the next generation. Few events will have greater impact on the shape of world politics. Link

China Is Quietly Reshaping the World

(Defense One, 18 Oct 17…By Anja Manuel) China is quickly growing into the world’s most extensive commercial empire. By way of comparison, after World War II, the Marshall Plan provided the equivalent of $800 billion in reconstruction funds to Europe (if calculated as a percentage of today’s GDP). In the decades after the war the United States was also the world’s largest trading nation, and its largest bilateral lender to others. Link

Contrary to Rhetoric, Military Mishaps Have Been Declining

(Rollcall, 18 OCT 17…By John Donnelly) The summer of 2017 saw a rash of fatal military accidents — ships colliding at sea, planes crashing and vehicles catching fire — that were deadlier than attacks from America’s enemies. Still, major military accidents have been dropping, despite the spike in 2017. They are also not necessarily related to the size of the defense budget, which is at near-record levels, experts say. Link

The nature of warfare is changing. It’s time governments caught up

(Wired Magazine, 14 OCT 17…By Richard Barrons) Unless the private and public sectors start sharing ideas, the UK will be left behind in the new arms race says former Joint Forces Command chief Richard Barrons Link

Naval

Fleet and Marine Tracker

(by USNI News, Oct. 16, 2017)

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Link

Is the U.S. Navy Dying a Slow Death?

(The National Interest, 16 OCT 17…By Thomas Callender) Can today’s Navy meet the ever-increasing operational demands and deter aggressive regional threats? Assessing the fleet across three key areas—capacity, capability, and readiness—The Heritage Foundation’s 2018 Index of U.S. Military Strength evaluates our naval forces as only “marginally” up to the task. Link

The U.S. Navy May Not Be Ready for Future Fights (Think Russia and China)

(The National Interest, 17 Oct 17…By Dan Goure) For more than seventy-five years, amphibious assaults against hostile shores have had a successful record. Even when subjected to intense and protracted naval and air defenses and the nominal forerunner of today’s Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) threat, these landings were never turned back. During the Okinawa Campaign, Japan launched nearly two thousand sorties by kamikaze suicide planes, sinking 20 Allied ships, damaging almost 200 more and inflicting the highest number of U.S. naval casualties in any battle of World War Two. Once ashore, land forces often faced protracted struggles to complete the seizure of the Pacific island or break out of their beachheads in Italy and Northern France. However, no combination of air, sea and land defenses were able to prevent amphibious forces from coming ashore. Link

Why the United States Needs a 355-Ship Navy Now

(The National Review, 18 OCT 18…by Robert O’Brien and Jerry Hendrix) The failure to rebuild America’s fleet could not have come at a worse time. The world has grown increasingly dangerous, with a nuclear madman in North Korea testing an ICBM a month, mullahs in Tehran plotting the takeover of the Middle East, Russia engaging in “frozen conflicts” in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, a very hot civil war in Syria, and China appropriating a vast swath of the Pacific to itself. The forgoing list does not even take into account the United States’ continuing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and dozens of other remote locales where we are in daily combat with al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Taliban, and their assorted jihadi fellow travelers. Link

SWOs Need A “Flight School”

(Proceedings Magazine, OCT 17…by LCDR Tyler McKnight) What SWOs need is a surface version of flight school, a place where rising SWOs receive hands-on training from fleet-experienced instructors on the policies and procedures developed and agreed upon by SWO leadership. (Naval aviation has done this for decades, as has the submarine community.)  Link

Where will we be in 2030…The Future Belongs to Those Who Show Up

(USNI Blog, 18 OCT17…By CDR Salamander) Let’s talk a bit about a rising power who is primarily focused on establishing hegemony on their part of the planet – parts of which we have not been challenged on for most of living memory. Link

Communication

There are two-steps to two-way communications

(Tribe Inc, 17 Oct 17…By Elizabeth Baskin) The first step is asking for employee input. Whether it’s a formal engagement survey, a questions-and-comments feature on the intranet or employee focus groups on particular issues, people like being asked for their opinion. Link

Media

Axios Weekly Media Trends

(Axios, 17 OCT 17…By Sara Fischer) Link

Bonus:

Everyone should read John McCain’s speech

(CNN, 17 OCT 17…By John Kirby) Accepting the prestigious Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center, he recalled a moving speech by President George H.W. Bush that extolled the bravery of those killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He remembered America as “the land of the immigrant’s dream, the land with the storied past forgotten in the rush to the imagined future.” Link

Upswingers and Downswingers

(New York Times, 16 OCT 17, By David Brooks) The popular gloom notwithstanding, we’re actually living in an era of astounding progress. We’ve seen the greatest reduction in global poverty in history. As Steven Pinker has documented, we’ve seen a steady decline in wars and armed conflict. The U.S. economy is the best performing major economy in the developed world. Link

Podcast Episode 2…convo with Bryan McGrath

In our Navy Birthday edition of the Bullit Points Podcast, we talk with Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC, retired naval officer and well known navalist Bryan McGrath (@conswahoo). Bryan makes the case for strong American seapower as a central component of the United States national security strategy.

Additionally, he discusses his concern that the American public doesn’t understand the value of seapower and the necessity for a strong Navy. Bryan suggests several ways to increase  and improve the Department of the Navy’s communication effort…seeing that success as central to growing a 350-ship Navy.

Key Quotes:

I came away from my six month speaking tour somewhat disheartened at the level of understanding in those rooms about anything other than a sort of a superficial patriotic appreciation for the Navy. The wasn’t much of an understanding how the Navy protects and sustains our economy.

“I come away from it thinking Navy leadership has a relentlessly and continuously educating the american public about seapower.”

“My pitch was that the security and prosperity of the United States of America was disproportionately reliant on strong American Seapower.”

“At the SECNAV and CNO level a relentless advocacy has to be the minimum standard that we demand of these decision makers.”

“The communication function in the department of the Navy could deal with a lot more rigor.”

It is the Department of the Navy’s job to create that case for why those additional ships are required…and why the Navy’s role is different than the Air Force and the Army because of the degree to which naval forces regulate a peacetime environment.”

 

13 OCT 17 Weekly Wrap

Thanks for checking out Bull-It Points. Happy Friday and Happy Birthday to the United States Navy. Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs who outlasted the Nationals to move on to the NLCS…thought it might actually be the Nats year…no such luck.

Be sure to send your tips, criticism or compliments to chris@bullitpoints.org .  Let us know what you like or how we can get better. If you would like to receive BULL-It Points via email drop us a quick note.

Tomorrow…Podcast Ep 2. This week our guest is navalist Bryan McGrath (@conswahoo). In a phone conversation with BULL-It Points, Bryan gives his views on the importance of talking to national leaders and the American public about the necessity of seapower and the value of a strong Navy to national security. Additionally, he lays several thoughtful suggestions on how the Department of the Navy can improve it communication efforts. 

Key Points:

The world’s most powerful man–Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump. The world should be wary

  • The fate of the Soviet Union haunts him, and that insecurity has consequences. He mistrusts not only the enemies his purges have created but also China’s fast-growing, smartphone-wielding middle class, and the shoots of civil society that were sprouting when he took over. He seems determined to tighten control over Chinese society, not least by enhancing the state’s powers of surveillance, and to keep the commanding heights of the economy firmly under the party’s thumb.

China congress: Military facelift a sign of bigger changes

  • Just as military reform aimed to assert civilian control over the military and spur its modernisation through initiatives like structural transformation and a strategic overhaul, the upcoming congress will likely pursue some structural changes, which can move toward improving governance.

Pentagon to shift ‘bulk’ of major defense programs to services, and people may go, too

  • “Congress been very, very clear in the last few NDAAs that they want to shift oversight of most programs back to the services, and I entirely agree with that. In fact, there were some programs that were transitioned back earlier this year,” Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (AT&L).

U.S. Navy Secretary Foresees ‘Cultural’ Shift Among Sailors, Officers

  • Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said the “stress and strain” on Navy crews in the Pacific from the high pace of operations clearly played a role in the accidents in Asia.
  • Mr. Spencer said in an interview that he will include recommendations about cultural changes in his review of what happened. That review comes on top of one ordered by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. Mr. Spencer’s review will follow 30 days later

Rebalancing US Navy 7th Fleet towards training, preparation is key, says new commander

  • Speaking to the media on the third day of a five-day visit to Singapore, Vice-Adm Sawyer said: “I think, over time, the balance shifted too much to the operational side, and not enough to making sure that our teams were rested, were trained, were able to go do the things we were asking them to do.”
  • “If I had the entire US Navy out in Yokosuka, Japan, I still would not be able to do all the things that everybody would want me to do.”

The Future of the U.S. Navy—Greater Partnership with Private Industry

  • The Secretary of the Navy’s (SECNAV) September 1, 2017 direction to conduct a Strategic Readiness Review of the force is an important first step in fostering new and greater relationships between the U.S. Navy and the private sector.
  • The U.S. Navy must seize on the momentum of the partnerships created in this initiative, as well as senior leadership’s recognition of the value and potential that private industry expertise, experience, and resources can have on Fleet issues and challenges.

Mattis to Generals: Start Talking to the Press

  • “Communications is the job of the commander, not just the PAO,” Mattis told a roomful of 4-stars, according to a description of the meeting by Pentagon press secretary Dana White.

eMarketer Updates US Time Spent with Media Figures

  • Individuals in the US still manage to spend the equivalent of half a day consuming media. eMarketer estimates that adults will spend an average of 12 hours, 1 minute per day with major media in 2017. People have become more efficient at multitasking, thanks largely to mobile devices (excluding voice), which will take up more than one-quarter of total media time.

Clips of Interest:

Navy Birthday

My Navy Birthday Wish…POSTER01 Twiter Instream 820

This Friday the Navy will celebrate its 242nd birthday. Like many of our own “off-year” birthdays, few people outside of the immediate family take time to mark the occasion. Please reconsider.Link

National Security

Inside North Korea, and Feeling the Drums of WarRIxd30fOt1l

(New York Times, 05 OCT 17…By Nicholas Kristof) PYONGYANG, North Korea — To fly into North Korea on an old Russian aircraft is to step into an alternate universe, one in which “the Supreme Leader” defeats craven American imperialists, in which triplets are taken from parents to be raised by the state, in which nuclear war is imminent but survivable — and in which there is zero sympathy for American detainees like Otto Warmbier.  Link

The world’s most powerful man–Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump. The world should be wary

(The Economist, 14 OCT 17) His grip on China is tighter than any leader’s since Mao. And whereas Mao’s China was chaotic and miserably poor, Mr Xi’s is a dominant engine of global growth. His clout will soon be on full display. On October 18th China’s ruling Communist Party will convene a five-yearly congress in Beijing (see Briefing). It will be the first one presided over by Mr Xi. Its 2,300 delegates will sing his praises to the skies. More sceptical observers might ask whether Mr Xi will use his extraordinary power for good or ill. Link

China congress: Military facelift a sign of bigger changes

(BBC News, 09 OCT 17) Of the many noteworthy developments that have characterized Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first five-year term, none stands out as much as military reform, and this reveals a great deal about the coming political trajectory in China, writes political analyst Cheng Li. Link

China grabbed American as spy wars flare

(Politico, 11 OCT 17…By Ali Watkin) U.S. officials consider the abduction an unusually bold act in a long-simmering spy game between Washington and Beijing, one recently overshadowed by a newly aggressive Russia. But U.S. officials and China experts say the two countries are engaged in an espionage battle that may be just as fierce, if far less publicized. Link

Pentagon to shift ‘bulk’ of major defense programs to services, and people may go, too

(Defense News, 11 OCT 17…By Aaron Mehta) Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (AT&L), believes that her office has been given marching orders from Congress to push the day-to-day management of Major Defense Acquisition Programs, or MDAPs, to the three services. Link

Naval

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USNI News-CNA Fleet and Marine Tracker: Oct. 10, 2017

(USNI, 10 OCT 17) These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Oct. 10, 2017 based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the map reflects the location of the capital ship. Link

U.S. Navy Secretary Foresees ‘Cultural’ Shift Among Sailors, Officers

(WALL STREET JOURNAL 11 OCT 17) … Julian E. Barnes and Robert Wall LONDON—The secretary of the U.S. Navy plans to unveil potentially far-reaching changes in the wake of a deadly collisions at sea that led to the dismissal Wednesday of two top commanders. Link

Rebalancing US Navy 7th Fleet towards training, preparation is key, says new commander

(The Straits Times, 13 OCT 17…By Lim Min Zhang) SINGAPORE – The operational demands on the US Navy 7th Fleet were so high that not enough emphasis was placed on sailors’ preparation and training, said the new commander of the fleet on Friday (Oct 13). This was Vice-Admiral Phil Sawyer’s take on the preliminary findings of two collisions involving 7th Fleet ships this year. Link

South China Sea: Fourth US FONOP in Five Months Suggests a New Operational Rhythm

(The Diplomat, 12 OCT 17…By Ankit Panda) The Trump administration has accepted a higher pace of freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. Link

The Future of the U.S. Navy—Greater Partnership with Private Industry

(National Interest, 10 OCT 17…By Matthew Krull To improve readiness, capability and proficiency, the U.S. Navy must focus on deepening partnerships with private industry so that commercial expertise, experiences and efficiencies can be applied to the Fleet. Fostering meaningful relationships with private industry would provide a venue for innovative ideas and nondefense industry thinking to be applied to U.S. Navy challenges in areas such as safety, operations and readiness. Link

Navy Releases Final MQ-25 Stingray RFP; General Atomics Bid Revealed

(USNI, 10 OCT 17…By: Sam LaGrone) Last week, the Navy issued the RFP to four industry competitors for the air segment of what will be the service’s Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle ahead of an anticipated contract award by September of next year, a NAVAIR spokeswoman told USNI News on Tuesday. Link

Modernization Funds Slashed For Russia’s Notoriously Rickety Aircraft CarrierURQs30fOvaW

(THE DRIVE.COM, 10 OCT 17… By Tyler Rogoway) The carrier’s long delayed deep refit and modernization program has had its budget slashed in half putting in question the carrier’s future relevance. Link

Communication

Mattis to Generals: Start Talking to the Press

(Defense One, 09 OCT 17…By Kevin Baron)On Friday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis instructed top commanders to speak to the media more freely, Defense One has learned.The secretary is hoping to end a misperception among some senior leaders that they should keep quiet, in part because he wants them to speak up on the looming budget battle in Congress, according to a senior defense official. Link

Media

eMarketer Updates US Time Spent with Media Figures

(eMarketer, 09 OCT 17) Individuals in the US still manage to spend the equivalent of half a day consuming media. eMarketer estimates that adults will spend an average of 12 hours, 1 minute per day with major media in 2017. People have become more efficient at multitasking, thanks largely to mobile devices (excluding voice), which will take up more than one-quarter of total media time. Link

Cyber Security Awareness Month

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WASHINGTON (Oct. 3, 2017) An information graphic depicting the dangers of cyber attacks. (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)

Bonus

Axios Future Trendsb1G030fOtob

(Axios, 09 OCT 17…By Mike Allen) The Axios subject-matter experts — drawing on fresh interviews, and daily immersion in the topics driving change in business, society and the world — bring you this exclusive look ahead. Link

My Navy Birthday Wish…

This Friday the Navy will celebrate its 242nd birthday. Like many of our own “off-year” birthdays, few people outside of the immediate family take time to mark the occasion. Please reconsider.

While many of us will spend this week enjoying the baseball playoffs, watching football or taking in the changing colors of Fall, an important group of young Americans will be far from the comforts of home. They will spend the weekend doing what Sailors have done for the last 242 years–helping to keep the United States safe and protecting American interests around the world.

 


Sometimes lost in headlines and commentary about mishaps at sea or on-going policy reviews is the awe inspiring work these men and women do day in and day out. From the Sailors conducting relief missions in the Caribbean, ships and aircraft beating back extremists in Syria and Iraq, to the units conducting missile defense off South Korea and Japan, the young Americans in your Navy are getting it done in a big way.

And so amidst the curveballs, kickoffs and color changes, please take a few minutes this week to think about these Sailors. Help celebrate the legacy of service and sacrifice to their fellow Americans that has gone for the last two and a half centuries. Don’t let their hard work go unrecognized, even if it’s only by a momentary smile or internal positive thought.

I am incredibly proud of the tens of thousands of Sailors standing the watch around the world this week…and hopefully you are too.