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August 1, 2015

Posts in "Pop Culture"

February 24, 2015

The Other Kind of ISIS War: in Cyberspace

President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Forget about the actual bombing campaign(s) against the Islamic State group for now. There’s a surprising amount of war being waged against, and by, the group online. Full story

Security Politics (‘American Sniper,’ ‘Citizenfour’) at the Oscars

(L-R) Filmmakers Dirk Wilutzky, Laura Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Lindsay Mills, and filmmaker Mathilde Bonnefoy accept Best Documentary Feature for 'Citizenfour' onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 22 in Hollywood. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(L-R) Filmmakers Dirk Wilutzky, Laura Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Lindsay Mills, and filmmaker Mathilde Bonnefoy accept Best Documentary Feature for ‘Citizenfour’ onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 22 in Hollywood. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

A pair of national security-themed films figured into the Oscars, one winning and one  losing more often than not. Naturally, that got people to talking. Full story

February 20, 2015

Weekly Recap: Presidential Politics, Weaponry, Viagra (Again)

Syrian scholar and Muslim cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Syrian scholar and Muslim cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Weaponry. Armed drone exports are an area for congressional intervention, but maybe not like you think. And the technical capabilities of other countries bombing the Islamic State group might be one of several problems with others getting involved.
  • Politics. We’ve spent some time on the other GOP presidential candidates’ foreign policy views, and turned our attention this week to Jeb Bush‘s.
  • Viagra. People seriously can’t seem to get enough of us writing about the Pentagon Viagra budget so it keeps making the weekly recap.
  • Elsewhere. There’s a permanent Secret Service boss on tap. Here‘s what the Atlantic says ISIS is about, and a counterpoint. And here‘s what a Russian cybersecurity firm says about the United States spying on foreign computers.

February 17, 2015

Pentagon Actually Spent $41.6 Million on Viagra Last Year, Not $500K

Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed jokes around as he prepares to present former footballer Gary Lineker with some Viagra at the World Class Football Auction launch photocall at Harrods in 2010 in London. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed jokes around as he prepares to present former footballer Gary Lineker with some Viagra at the World Class Football Auction launch photocall at Harrods in 2010 in London. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Remember this recent story about the Pentagon’s Viagra budget of more than $500,000 last year? The Military Times threw some shade on it with its own reporting, which put the tally at $41.6 million, and $84.2 million on erectile dysfunction drugs overall. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 11:59 a.m.
Personnel, Pop Culture

February 3, 2015

‘Daily Show’ Takes on Afghanistan Classification Scandal That Wasn’t

Jon Stewart thought he was on the verge of a “classic ‘Daily Show’ gotcha.” An “Orwellian government cover-up” about Afghanistan security forces. “Very suspicious, we thought here at the show.” Even had a graphic made up, “Adventures in Previously Routine Military Bookkeeping.”

And then something bad happened, relative to the show’s needs. Ended up just making fun of Mike Huckabee, mainly. It probably would’ve been a good segment, that Afghanistan bit.

By Tim Starks Posted at 11:02 a.m.
Pop Culture, War

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

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHoLEEQSy7c

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

December 5, 2014

Weekly Recap: SecDef, Defauth, Diamond Dave

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gPIq8C1bMw&feature=youtu.be

There were two obviously major storylines this week: A new Defense secretary is on the way, and the fiscal 2015 defense policy bill hit the streets. There were plenty of other stories elsewhere, too. Full story

November 21, 2014

Weekly Recap: F-35, Iraq Weapons, Congress, Uber

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRU3I_o1vLc

Let’s review the week that was. Would you say we would be venturing into a zone of danger? The zone will be one of danger. Full story

November 14, 2014

Weekly Recap: Syrian Rebel Vetting, Defense Bills, Veterans

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBi0LqgwrH8

The video will make sense shortly. Here are some highlights from the week that was at Five By Five, and in reporting elsewhere. Full story

November 11, 2014

Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Play Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone Film

Gordon-Levitt attends the premiere of "White Bird In A Blizzard" at ArcLight Hollywood on Oct. 21 in Hollywood.  (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Gordon-Levitt attends the premiere of “White Bird In A Blizzard” at ArcLight Hollywood on Oct. 21 in Hollywood. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt will shift from the twisted logic of dreams in the film “Inception” to the mind-bending world of spy agency high jinks when he plays Edward Snowden in an upcoming film. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 9:26 a.m.
Pop Culture

November 7, 2014

Weekly Recap: Red Senate, Camouflage Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of Baskin-Robbins' Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Baskin-Robbins’ Facebook page.

It wasn’t a boring one.

  • Election crazy. We went nuts on election coverage and analysis here at Five By Five this week, from the altered state of the security agenda, to the key committee changes, to the reaction in various security/foreign policy spheres, to the new military experience in both the House and Senate.
  • Other parts of the world. Rachel Oswald (@oswaldrachel) had two dispatches for 5×5 about what U.S. diplomats were saying: the U.S. assistant Secretary of State for African affairs (on Zimbabwe) and the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (on Syria). Oh, and on the subject of Syria…
  • Serious coverage elsewhere. The Washington Examiner offered a contrarian point of view about how much impact the elections would have on national security. Away from the election: The Washington Post wrote about changes afoot with the Defense Clandestine Service. The Navy Times had the peculiar tale of the Navy intel chief being forbidden from viewing classified information.
  • Less serious coverage elsewhere. Navy Seal + dog rappelling into an NFL game = delirious reaction. And how does camouflage ice cream sound to you?

October 23, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday: Battleship Musashi Triggers a Tsunami

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WPE_4bqQXc

That video of a Littoral Combat Ship launch (h/t) from the weekend feels like it should cause more of a splash, literally. Once upon a time, there was a ship that caused much more than a splash — the subject of this week’s Throwback Thursday. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 1:12 p.m.
Pop Culture

October 10, 2014

Weekly Recap: Syria Air Strikes, Operation Blue Spoon, Hawk Vs. Drone

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDG_WBIQgc

This week, we recap the subjects in the headline, plus some Guantanamo, some politics, some cybersecurity, some Iran and more. Full story

October 8, 2014

Quiz: Political Memoir or Steven Seagal Film?

U.S. action movie actor Steven Seagal holds a machine gun at the military exhibition "Oboronexpo-2014" in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, on Aug. 14 (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. action movie actor Steven Seagal holds a machine gun at the military exhibition “Oboronexpo-2014″ in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, on Aug. 14 (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

A friend who must remain anonymous was inspired by the release of Leon Panetta‘s “Worthy Fights” — along with a slew of other memoirs with similar titles — to generate the following quiz: “Political memoir, or Steven Seagal film?” See how you do. (And be forewarned: The list includes some direct-to-video Seagal releases.) Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 3:31 p.m.
Pop Culture

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