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January 31, 2015

Posts in "Intelligence"

January 30, 2015

Weekly Recap: White House Drone, Super Bowl Drones, Budget Red Zone

A Kurdish fighter walks with his child in the center of the Syrian border town of Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab, on Jan. 28. Kurdish forces recaptured the strategic town on the Turkish frontier in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in a brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

A Kurdish fighter walks with his child in the center of the Syrian border town of Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab, on Jan. 28. Kurdish forces recaptured the strategic town on the Turkish frontier in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in a brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

The re-taking of Kobani was one of the things we didn’t cover this week. It wasn’t alone. Let’s catch up on our hits and misses. Full story

January 29, 2015

Security Takeaways From the Loretta Lynch Hearings

(Bill Clark/Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The transcripts of the Senate Judiciary nomination hearings for Loretta Lynch from Wednesday alone run 63,928 words. Although immigration has been the top issue the attorney general nominee has faced, she also has talked about torture, cybersecurity, surveillance and terrorism suspect detention in military vs. civilian courts.

Here are the highlights, with one of her answers in full: Full story

Fiscal 2016 Budget Preview: Intelligence

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., greets Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odiernoa, before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing titled "Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Sequestration on National Security" on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., greets Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odiernoa, before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing titled “Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Sequestration on National Security” on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We haven’t seen as much leg on President Obama‘s fiscal 2016 intelligence budget proposal as we have on his defense budget, but then, we hardly ever see much of that classified spy agency spending. We do know a few things, however. Full story

January 26, 2015

Acquisition Overhaul, Benghazi, Bobby Three Sticks in the Week Ahead

Mueller (aka "Bobby Three Sticks); Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; and CIA Director Brennan testify at a House Intelligence hearing in 2013. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Mueller (aka “Bobby Three Sticks”); Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; and CIA Director Brennan testify at a House Intelligence hearing in 2013. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Busy, busy week. Full story

January 20, 2015

Defense Intellligence, Health Care & Cyber in the Week Ahead

Scowcroft at a 2009 hearing. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Scowcroft at a 2009 hearing. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The big event of the week is the State of the Union, and we’ll surely provide coverage of the security ramifications thereof. Until then, here are some other things happening around Washington, D.C. Full story

January 16, 2015

Weekly Recap: Mac Thornberry, Cybersecurity, Butt Bomb

“American Sniper” is getting Oscar love and some scrutiny. Here at Five By Five this week, we scrutinized all the subjects in the headline and more. Let’s review what we wrote about, and what slipped through the cracks. Full story

Drone-Related Shortages Abound

Two months ago came news that there was a shortage of military drones. Thursday came news that there’s a shortage of drone pilots, too.

Per Deborah Lee James, secretary of the Air Force…

The number of Air Force pilots needed to fly a growing number of missions worldwide has not kept up with demand. There are currently 988 Predator and Reaper pilots, but the Air Force is supposed to have 244 more drone pilots, James said, and not as many new pilots are coming in annually to replace the 240 who leave the drone force each year.

“This is a force that is under significant stress from what is an unrelenting pace of operations,” said James.

Oh, and “the sensor operators, the maintenance teams and the intelligence analysts” who are part of the drone-related workforce are also under stress, according to the Pentagon.

January 15, 2015

U-2 Spy Plane Lives — Again

A U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane flies in this undated file photo. (USAF/Getty Images)

A U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane flies in this undated file photo. (USAF/Getty Images)

The fate of the U-2 spy plane has flipped more often than an Anton Chigurh coin. Now, it looks like it’s back to having Obama administration support. Full story

January 12, 2015

Congress Isn’t Bringing Back CISPA, Exactly

Ruppersberger at a news conference in March, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ruppersberger at a news conference in March 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There were a fair number of panicky headlines from privacy advocating types last week in response to the news that the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, was being reintroduced. It should be pointed out that CISPA almost certainly won’t be back in the form it was last year, which its sponsor acknowledged in a conversation with yours truly. And it might not take a form likely to please privacy advocates more than before. Full story

North Korea, the Navy & Henry Kissinger in the Week Ahead

Deborah Lee James speaks during the 2014 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center Sept. 15. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Deborah Lee James speaks during the 2014 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center Sept. 15. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The first security legislating of 2015 is on deck in the House this week, with a homeland security funding bill the vehicle for a rollback of President Obama‘s immigration executive order. A congressional GOP retreat after that will slow action on the Hill, leaving the rest of Washington to carry the burden of news events. Full story

January 9, 2015

Weekly Recap: F-35, Ashton Carter, Republican Presidential Candidates

It was a week of Batman references, Yoda and ray guns at Five By Five, yet also a week of grown-up things, like the military budget. Full story

January 6, 2015

Feinstein Proposes Videotaping Intel Interrogations, Rejected By DOD Under Obama

Feinstein, last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Feinstein, last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a letter to the White House released Monday building on the Intelligence Committee’s report on post-9/11 interrogation methods, Sen. Dianne Feinstein proposed videotaping all intelligence-related interrogations. It’s an idea that at least the Defense Department rejected in 2009, when President Obama was relatively new to office.

Although the White House and Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the specifics of the latest proposal, some things have changed since ’09, and some haven’t. Full story

December 29, 2014

National Security in the New Year

New Year's Eve numerals arrive in Times Square prior to installation atop One Times Square, at Times Square on Dec. 16. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

New Year’s Eve numerals arrive in Times Square prior to installation atop One Times Square, at Times Square on Dec. 16. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

There are big changes afoot in 2015: a new Congress, a new Pentagon chief, an evolving battlefield. Here’s a look ahead to some of the developments you can expect, as covered here in 2014 by Five By Five. Full story

December 22, 2014

The Best of Five By Five in 2014

A Palestinian man, wearing a Santa Claus costume and waving the national flag, is confronted by Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration on Dec. 19 against Israel's controversial separation barrier, in the village of Maasarah, near the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)

A Palestinian man, wearing a Santa Claus costume and waving the national flag, is confronted by Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration on Dec. 19 against Israel’s controversial separation barrier, in the village of Maasarah, near the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)

This holiday season, consider using Five By Five to warm your family instead of a fireplace. Here are the hot hot hot highlights of the CQ Roll Call defense and national security blog since we began back in June. Full story

December 19, 2014

Weekly Recap: Pakistan, Cuba, Russia

If you look carefully, you can see Gen. Ray Odierno and other national security/foreign policy figures joining in on a farewell “We’ll Meet Again” song for the Colbert Report. We’ll bid you our own farewell for the week with a recap of what we wrote about at Five By Five, and some highlights from elsewhere, too. Full story

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