Tagged: power

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Face of Defense: Guardsman Takes Army Values to Heart


ARLINGTON, Va. —

An infantryman with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, takes the Army values to heart. [1]

“We’re supporting the mission on the ground and making that difference,” said Army Sgt. Stephen Caldwell, adding that he loves being a part of a larger team.

“Being a fire team leader, providing fire superiority and taking over the objectives — it’s an adrenaline rush to say the least,” he said.

Monitoring Threats

In his civilian job, Caldwell is a watch analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. In that capacity, he monitors potential national threats that could pose harm to physical structures, cyber networks and the environment.[2]

“We have situational awareness on pretty much anything,” he said.

And, regarding his infantry duties, Caldwell said good radio communications provide a tactical edge for his unit.

“It’s communication that makes everything run and I love the challenge,” he said, adding the radio makes him feel like a double threat on the battlefield.

“A single radio has the power to change the outcome of an engagement,” Caldwell said.

Before working at DHS, he spent four years working at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s joint operations center. The experience there laid the groundwork for his current DHS job, Caldwell said.

“It gave me an understanding of what affects critical infrastructures,” he said. “Just seeing it from a technical standpoint helped me understand what is needed at the national level with DHS, as far as the cause and effect of things.”

Caldwell said he has also found crossovers from the military side, as well.

Communication

“Great communication is key when a situation is developing and when you need to put something out to leadership so they can make a judgment call,” he said. “Camaraderie is a big thing on our teams, and it keeps me motivated when taking on a new task.”

Whether he is in his civilian or military role, Caldwell said he likes to learn and grow, making it a point to move laterally within DHS and absorb all the new information he can along the way.

“Complacency kills, so I take the time in learning new things outside of my normal skill set,” he said. “It makes for more excitement on a daily basis.”

That eagerness to learn — along with being highly competent and having a strong commitment to the homeland security mission — makes Caldwell an asset, said Matt Vaughn, a program manager in the section where Caldwell works at DHS.

“He’s a real go-getter, and you never have to tell him [to execute a task] twice,” Vaughn said. “He gets it. He does it, and it’s always done well.”

Training, Teamwork

While Caldwell said training and teamwork have been the backbone of his success with the South Carolina Army National Guard and the DHS, he is furthering his personal and professional growth by attending school for intelligence studies at the American Military University.

“Education helps me relay my thoughts in a productive way, helping me better connect with soldiers,” he said.

But education has not been the only source of learning for Caldwell.

He was a self-described “gung-ho kid” when he deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 218th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He said the experience of working with his fellow soldiers in a deployed environment taught him the importance of thinking in a more critical and tempered way.

“I learned that even though you can’t control everything, you still have to remain mission focused,” Caldwell said. Following that mindset, he added, requires not making “emotional decisions.”

He said he tells new soldiers that taking on new tasks will help them stand out – such as becoming a “double threat” by learning the ins and outs of radio communication.

“Always be willing to learn something new,” Caldwell said. “Once you start to do that you fall into a pattern as that soldier with a can-do attitude.”

References

  1. ^ South Carolina Army National Guard (www.scguard.com)
  2. ^ Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov)
0

Face of Defense: Guardsman Takes Army Values to Heart


ARLINGTON, Va. —

An infantryman with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, takes the Army values to heart. [1]

“We’re supporting the mission on the ground and making that difference,” said Army Sgt. Stephen Caldwell, adding that he loves being a part of a larger team.

“Being a fire team leader, providing fire superiority and taking over the objectives — it’s an adrenaline rush to say the least,” he said.

Monitoring Threats

In his civilian job, Caldwell is a watch analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. In that capacity, he monitors potential national threats that could pose harm to physical structures, cyber networks and the environment.[2]

“We have situational awareness on pretty much anything,” he said.

And, regarding his infantry duties, Caldwell said good radio communications provide a tactical edge for his unit.

“It’s communication that makes everything run and I love the challenge,” he said, adding the radio makes him feel like a double threat on the battlefield.

“A single radio has the power to change the outcome of an engagement,” Caldwell said.

Before working at DHS, he spent four years working at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s joint operations center. The experience there laid the groundwork for his current DHS job, Caldwell said.

“It gave me an understanding of what affects critical infrastructures,” he said. “Just seeing it from a technical standpoint helped me understand what is needed at the national level with DHS, as far as the cause and effect of things.”

Caldwell said he has also found crossovers from the military side, as well.

Communication

“Great communication is key when a situation is developing and when you need to put something out to leadership so they can make a judgment call,” he said. “Camaraderie is a big thing on our teams, and it keeps me motivated when taking on a new task.”

Whether he is in his civilian or military role, Caldwell said he likes to learn and grow, making it a point to move laterally within DHS and absorb all the new information he can along the way.

“Complacency kills, so I take the time in learning new things outside of my normal skill set,” he said. “It makes for more excitement on a daily basis.”

That eagerness to learn — along with being highly competent and having a strong commitment to the homeland security mission — makes Caldwell an asset, said Matt Vaughn, a program manager in the section where Caldwell works at DHS.

“He’s a real go-getter, and you never have to tell him [to execute a task] twice,” Vaughn said. “He gets it. He does it, and it’s always done well.”

Training, Teamwork

While Caldwell said training and teamwork have been the backbone of his success with the South Carolina Army National Guard and the DHS, he is furthering his personal and professional growth by attending school for intelligence studies at the American Military University.

“Education helps me relay my thoughts in a productive way, helping me better connect with soldiers,” he said.

But education has not been the only source of learning for Caldwell.

He was a self-described “gung-ho kid” when he deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 218th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He said the experience of working with his fellow soldiers in a deployed environment taught him the importance of thinking in a more critical and tempered way.

“I learned that even though you can’t control everything, you still have to remain mission focused,” Caldwell said. Following that mindset, he added, requires not making “emotional decisions.”

He said he tells new soldiers that taking on new tasks will help them stand out – such as becoming a “double threat” by learning the ins and outs of radio communication.

“Always be willing to learn something new,” Caldwell said. “Once you start to do that you fall into a pattern as that soldier with a can-do attitude.”

References

  1. ^ South Carolina Army National Guard (www.scguard.com)
  2. ^ Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov)
0

Face of Defense: Guardsman Takes Army Values to Heart


ARLINGTON, Va. —

An infantryman with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, takes the Army values to heart. [1]

“We’re supporting the mission on the ground and making that difference,” said Army Sgt. Stephen Caldwell, adding that he loves being a part of a larger team.

“Being a fire team leader, providing fire superiority and taking over the objectives — it’s an adrenaline rush to say the least,” he said.

Monitoring Threats

In his civilian job, Caldwell is a watch analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. In that capacity, he monitors potential national threats that could pose harm to physical structures, cyber networks and the environment.[2]

“We have situational awareness on pretty much anything,” he said.

And, regarding his infantry duties, Caldwell said good radio communications provide a tactical edge for his unit.

“It’s communication that makes everything run and I love the challenge,” he said, adding the radio makes him feel like a double threat on the battlefield.

“A single radio has the power to change the outcome of an engagement,” Caldwell said.

Before working at DHS, he spent four years working at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s joint operations center. The experience there laid the groundwork for his current DHS job, Caldwell said.

“It gave me an understanding of what affects critical infrastructures,” he said. “Just seeing it from a technical standpoint helped me understand what is needed at the national level with DHS, as far as the cause and effect of things.”

Caldwell said he has also found crossovers from the military side, as well.

Communication

“Great communication is key when a situation is developing and when you need to put something out to leadership so they can make a judgment call,” he said. “Camaraderie is a big thing on our teams, and it keeps me motivated when taking on a new task.”

Whether he is in his civilian or military role, Caldwell said he likes to learn and grow, making it a point to move laterally within DHS and absorb all the new information he can along the way.

“Complacency kills, so I take the time in learning new things outside of my normal skill set,” he said. “It makes for more excitement on a daily basis.”

That eagerness to learn — along with being highly competent and having a strong commitment to the homeland security mission — makes Caldwell an asset, said Matt Vaughn, a program manager in the section where Caldwell works at DHS.

“He’s a real go-getter, and you never have to tell him [to execute a task] twice,” Vaughn said. “He gets it. He does it, and it’s always done well.”

Training, Teamwork

While Caldwell said training and teamwork have been the backbone of his success with the South Carolina Army National Guard and the DHS, he is furthering his personal and professional growth by attending school for intelligence studies at the American Military University.

“Education helps me relay my thoughts in a productive way, helping me better connect with soldiers,” he said.

But education has not been the only source of learning for Caldwell.

He was a self-described “gung-ho kid” when he deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 218th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He said the experience of working with his fellow soldiers in a deployed environment taught him the importance of thinking in a more critical and tempered way.

“I learned that even though you can’t control everything, you still have to remain mission focused,” Caldwell said. Following that mindset, he added, requires not making “emotional decisions.”

He said he tells new soldiers that taking on new tasks will help them stand out – such as becoming a “double threat” by learning the ins and outs of radio communication.

“Always be willing to learn something new,” Caldwell said. “Once you start to do that you fall into a pattern as that soldier with a can-do attitude.”

References

  1. ^ South Carolina Army National Guard (www.scguard.com)
  2. ^ Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov)
0

Face of Defense: Guardsman Takes Army Values to Heart


ARLINGTON, Va. —

An infantryman with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, takes the Army values to heart. [1]

“We’re supporting the mission on the ground and making that difference,” said Army Sgt. Stephen Caldwell, adding that he loves being a part of a larger team.

“Being a fire team leader, providing fire superiority and taking over the objectives — it’s an adrenaline rush to say the least,” he said.

Monitoring Threats

In his civilian job, Caldwell is a watch analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. In that capacity, he monitors potential national threats that could pose harm to physical structures, cyber networks and the environment.[2]

“We have situational awareness on pretty much anything,” he said.

And, regarding his infantry duties, Caldwell said good radio communications provide a tactical edge for his unit.

“It’s communication that makes everything run and I love the challenge,” he said, adding the radio makes him feel like a double threat on the battlefield.

“A single radio has the power to change the outcome of an engagement,” Caldwell said.

Before working at DHS, he spent four years working at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s joint operations center. The experience there laid the groundwork for his current DHS job, Caldwell said.

“It gave me an understanding of what affects critical infrastructures,” he said. “Just seeing it from a technical standpoint helped me understand what is needed at the national level with DHS, as far as the cause and effect of things.”

Caldwell said he has also found crossovers from the military side, as well.

Communication

“Great communication is key when a situation is developing and when you need to put something out to leadership so they can make a judgment call,” he said. “Camaraderie is a big thing on our teams, and it keeps me motivated when taking on a new task.”

Whether he is in his civilian or military role, Caldwell said he likes to learn and grow, making it a point to move laterally within DHS and absorb all the new information he can along the way.

“Complacency kills, so I take the time in learning new things outside of my normal skill set,” he said. “It makes for more excitement on a daily basis.”

That eagerness to learn — along with being highly competent and having a strong commitment to the homeland security mission — makes Caldwell an asset, said Matt Vaughn, a program manager in the section where Caldwell works at DHS.

“He’s a real go-getter, and you never have to tell him [to execute a task] twice,” Vaughn said. “He gets it. He does it, and it’s always done well.”

Training, Teamwork

While Caldwell said training and teamwork have been the backbone of his success with the South Carolina Army National Guard and the DHS, he is furthering his personal and professional growth by attending school for intelligence studies at the American Military University.

“Education helps me relay my thoughts in a productive way, helping me better connect with soldiers,” he said.

But education has not been the only source of learning for Caldwell.

He was a self-described “gung-ho kid” when he deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 218th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He said the experience of working with his fellow soldiers in a deployed environment taught him the importance of thinking in a more critical and tempered way.

“I learned that even though you can’t control everything, you still have to remain mission focused,” Caldwell said. Following that mindset, he added, requires not making “emotional decisions.”

He said he tells new soldiers that taking on new tasks will help them stand out – such as becoming a “double threat” by learning the ins and outs of radio communication.

“Always be willing to learn something new,” Caldwell said. “Once you start to do that you fall into a pattern as that soldier with a can-do attitude.”

References

  1. ^ South Carolina Army National Guard (www.scguard.com)
  2. ^ Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov)
0

Face of Defense: Guardsman Takes Army Values to Heart


ARLINGTON, Va. —

An infantryman with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, takes the Army values to heart. [1]

“We’re supporting the mission on the ground and making that difference,” said Army Sgt. Stephen Caldwell, adding that he loves being a part of a larger team.

“Being a fire team leader, providing fire superiority and taking over the objectives — it’s an adrenaline rush to say the least,” he said.

Monitoring Threats

In his civilian job, Caldwell is a watch analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. In that capacity, he monitors potential national threats that could pose harm to physical structures, cyber networks and the environment.[2]

“We have situational awareness on pretty much anything,” he said.

And, regarding his infantry duties, Caldwell said good radio communications provide a tactical edge for his unit.

“It’s communication that makes everything run and I love the challenge,” he said, adding the radio makes him feel like a double threat on the battlefield.

“A single radio has the power to change the outcome of an engagement,” Caldwell said.

Before working at DHS, he spent four years working at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s joint operations center. The experience there laid the groundwork for his current DHS job, Caldwell said.

“It gave me an understanding of what affects critical infrastructures,” he said. “Just seeing it from a technical standpoint helped me understand what is needed at the national level with DHS, as far as the cause and effect of things.”

Caldwell said he has also found crossovers from the military side, as well.

Communication

“Great communication is key when a situation is developing and when you need to put something out to leadership so they can make a judgment call,” he said. “Camaraderie is a big thing on our teams, and it keeps me motivated when taking on a new task.”

Whether he is in his civilian or military role, Caldwell said he likes to learn and grow, making it a point to move laterally within DHS and absorb all the new information he can along the way.

“Complacency kills, so I take the time in learning new things outside of my normal skill set,” he said. “It makes for more excitement on a daily basis.”

That eagerness to learn — along with being highly competent and having a strong commitment to the homeland security mission — makes Caldwell an asset, said Matt Vaughn, a program manager in the section where Caldwell works at DHS.

“He’s a real go-getter, and you never have to tell him [to execute a task] twice,” Vaughn said. “He gets it. He does it, and it’s always done well.”

Training, Teamwork

While Caldwell said training and teamwork have been the backbone of his success with the South Carolina Army National Guard and the DHS, he is furthering his personal and professional growth by attending school for intelligence studies at the American Military University.

“Education helps me relay my thoughts in a productive way, helping me better connect with soldiers,” he said.

But education has not been the only source of learning for Caldwell.

He was a self-described “gung-ho kid” when he deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 218th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He said the experience of working with his fellow soldiers in a deployed environment taught him the importance of thinking in a more critical and tempered way.

“I learned that even though you can’t control everything, you still have to remain mission focused,” Caldwell said. Following that mindset, he added, requires not making “emotional decisions.”

He said he tells new soldiers that taking on new tasks will help them stand out – such as becoming a “double threat” by learning the ins and outs of radio communication.

“Always be willing to learn something new,” Caldwell said. “Once you start to do that you fall into a pattern as that soldier with a can-do attitude.”

References

  1. ^ South Carolina Army National Guard (www.scguard.com)
  2. ^ Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov)
0

For US and China, Lasers and Missiles Heighten Military Tensions

“Anyone with no invasive intention will find no reason to worry about this,” she added.

While China has long claimed the islands, reefs and other outcroppings within the South China Sea, other nations also have claims there, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s vast reclamation project[1], which began in earnest in 2013, shortly after Mr. Xi became the country’s paramount leader, has steadily turned once-uninhabited places into fortified islands with airfields and increasingly military outposts. In doing so it has brushed aside warnings from the United States and other nations and even a ruling against its territorial claims[2] by an international arbitration panel in 2016.

China’s base in Djibouti, its first overseas, has long been a source of concern[3] for the United States and other militaries operating around the Horn of Africa. It opened last year and has been portrayed by the Chinese as a logistics base to support antipiracy, counterterrorism and humanitarian operations in Africa and the Middle East.

It also happens to be just a few miles from the only permanent American base in Africa, which was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The base, operated by the Navy adjacent to Djibouti’s international airport, is home to some 4,000 personnel, including those involved in highly secretive missions in the region, including at least two Navy SEAL raids[4] into Yemen.

The use of lasers was first made public in April in a warning to pilots[5] issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. It noted that there had been multiple instances of “a high-power laser” being used near where the Chinese base is. Using lasers to disorient or disable pilots is an old military tactic, but an international protocol[6] adopted in 1995 and joined by China prohibits the practice.

Ms. White said that there was no doubt about the origin of the lasers, and that the Pentagon had asked the Chinese to investigate. “It’s a serious matter,” she said, “and so we’re taking it very seriously.”

In a statement on Friday afternoon, China’s Ministry of National Defense strongly disputed the Pentagon’s accusations, saying they were “completely inconsistent with fact.”

References

  1. ^ vast reclamation project (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ a ruling against its territorial claims (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ a source of concern (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Navy SEAL raids (www.nytimes.com)
  5. ^ a warning to pilots (pilotweb.nas.faa.gov)
  6. ^ international protocol (www.icrc.org)
0

Lasers and Missiles Heighten US-China Military Tensions

“Anyone with no invasive intention will find no reason to worry about this,” she added.

While China has long claimed the islands, reefs and other outcroppings within the South China Sea, other nations also have claims there, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s vast reclamation project[1], which began in earnest in 2013, shortly after Mr. Xi became the country’s paramount leader, has steadily turned once-uninhabited places into fortified islands with airfields and increasingly military outposts. In doing so it has brushed aside warnings from the United States and other nations and even a ruling against its territorial claims[2] by an international arbitration panel in 2016.

China’s base in Djibouti, its first overseas, has long been a source of concern[3] for the United States and other militaries operating around the Horn of Africa. It opened last year and has been portrayed by the Chinese as a logistics base to support antipiracy, counterterrorism and humanitarian operations in Africa and the Middle East.

It also happens to be just a few miles from the only permanent American base in Africa, which was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The base, operated by the Navy adjacent to Djibouti’s international airport, is home to some 4,000 personnel, including those involved in highly secretive missions in the region, including at least two Navy SEAL raids[4] into Yemen.

The use of lasers was first made public in April in a warning to pilots[5] issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. It noted that there had been multiple instances of “a high-power laser” being used near where the Chinese base is. Using lasers to disorient or disable pilots is an old military tactic, but an international protocol[6] adopted in 1995 and joined by China prohibits the practice.

Ms. White said that there was no doubt about the origin of the lasers, and that the Pentagon had asked the Chinese to investigate. “It’s a serious matter,” she said, “and so we’re taking it very seriously.”

In a statement on Friday afternoon, China’s Ministry of National Defense strongly disputed the Pentagon’s accusations, saying they were “completely inconsistent with fact.”

References

  1. ^ vast reclamation project (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ a ruling against its territorial claims (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ a source of concern (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Navy SEAL raids (www.nytimes.com)
  5. ^ a warning to pilots (pilotweb.nas.faa.gov)
  6. ^ international protocol (www.icrc.org)
0

For US and China, Lasers and Missiles Heighten Military Tensions

“Anyone with no invasive intention will find no reason to worry about this,” she added.

While China has long claimed the islands, reefs and other outcroppings within the South China Sea, other nations also have claims there, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s vast reclamation project[1], which began in earnest in 2013, shortly after Mr. Xi became the country’s paramount leader, has steadily turned once-uninhabited places into fortified islands with airfields and increasingly military outposts. In doing so it has brushed aside warnings from the United States and other nations and even a ruling against its territorial claims[2] by an international arbitration panel in 2016.

China’s base in Djibouti, its first overseas, has long been a source of concern[3] for the United States and other militaries operating around the Horn of Africa. It opened last year and has been portrayed by the Chinese as a logistics base to support antipiracy, counterterrorism and humanitarian operations in Africa and the Middle East.

It also happens to be just a few miles from the only permanent American base in Africa, which was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The base, operated by the Navy adjacent to Djibouti’s international airport, is home to some 4,000 personnel, including those involved in highly secretive missions in the region, including at least two Navy SEAL raids[4] into Yemen.

The use of lasers was first made public in April in a warning to pilots[5] issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. It noted that there had been multiple instances of “a high-power laser” being used near where the Chinese base is. Using lasers to disorient or disable pilots is an old military tactic, but an international protocol[6] adopted in 1995 and joined by China prohibits the practice.

Ms. White said that there was no doubt about the origin of the lasers, and that the Pentagon had asked the Chinese to investigate. “It’s a serious matter,” she said, “and so we’re taking it very seriously.”

In a statement on Friday afternoon, China’s Ministry of National Defense strongly disputed the Pentagon’s accusations, saying they were “completely inconsistent with fact.”

References

  1. ^ vast reclamation project (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ a ruling against its territorial claims (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ a source of concern (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Navy SEAL raids (www.nytimes.com)
  5. ^ a warning to pilots (pilotweb.nas.faa.gov)
  6. ^ international protocol (www.icrc.org)
0

Trump Cites US Military Support to Put Trade Pressure on Seoul

President Donald Trump hinted the administration might roll back military support for South Korea, putting new pressure on the Asian country as it resumes talks with the U.S. to overhaul their trade deal and seeks tariff exemptions.

“We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them,” Trump said Wednesday, according to an audio recording of a speech he delivered to donors in Missouri, which was obtained by the Washington Post. “We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers on the border between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”

Negotiators from the U.S. and South Korea are meeting Thursday in Washington for the third round of discussions to revise their trade accord, known as Korus. Trump has threatened to kill the deal if they can’t agree on ways to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea. The U.S. goods trade gap
narrowed
[1] to $23 billion last year to the smallest since 2013.

Relations between the two allies have been difficult since Trump came to power. South Korea has said it’ll use all “possible means” to respond to the new U.S. steel tariffs of 25 percent. The third-largest steel exporter to the U.S. is asking for an exemption, which the U.S. says it may offer to nations that trade fairly and are military allies.

Trump’s linkage of trade talks to military support on the Korean peninsula comes as he prepares to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, a historic encounter brokered by the South Koreans.

Security Threats

“This threat raises concern for South Korea on both the security and the economic side of the relationship,” said Troy Stangarone, senior director of congressional affairs and trade at the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington. “I’m not sure that this actually helps achieve U.S. objectives, because no government can ultimately be seen as negotiating with a gun to its head.”

The threat “in the end creates policy confusion and uncertainty,” as it tells North Korea there are divisions to exploit between the U.S. and South Korea, Stangarone said.

At the first round of Korus trade talks in January, the U.S. presented proposals to improve auto exports and lift trade barriers, while Korea raised issues with the investor-state dispute settlement clause and trade remedies, according to the negotiators.

The U.S. has complained about a rule that limits the sale of American cars that don’t meet Korean safety standards.

The U.S. negotiating team is led by Michael Beeman, assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan, Korea and APEC. The Korean team is led by deputy trade minister Yoo Myung-hee.

References

  1. ^ Link to Trade News (www.census.gov)
0

Homeland Security Sees No 'Nefarious Activity' Threatening Cybersecurity Ahead of Midterms

ELECTION INTEGRITY

Homeland Security Sees No ‘Nefarious Activity’ Threatening Cybersecurity Ahead of Midterms

In the months since the 2016 election, DHS officials have had ‘a little bit of a crash course on what it means to run an election.’

03.12.18 5:25 AM ET

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast

It’s apparently all quiet on the election front. Bob Kolasky, a Department of Homeland Security official working on election cybersecurity issues, told The Daily Beast that DHS hasn’t seen evidence of foreign actors attempting to hack American election infrastructure ahead of the 2018 midterms.

“We have not seen anything in the 2018 election, no,” Kolasky told The Daily Beast last week in an exclusive interview. “We have not seen any significant nefarious activity.”

Preparing to counter nefarious activity has been a major project for DHS since the 2016 general election, when the Kremlin launched an information attack[3] on the United States. The American Intelligence Community concluded in January 2017[4] that Russian-backed actors stole emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and also launching a wide-ranging social media campaign using stolen American identities. And last September[5], DHS told 21 states that Kremlin-backed operatives also tried to compromise their voter databases.

Kolasky told The Daily Beast that the biggest change at DHS since the 2016 election has been efforts to build closer relationships with state and local election officials. In the last election cycle, those relationships had been lacking.

“Part of that problem was that the [2016] attacks were not on states, they were on local systems, and DHS claimed to have contacted the local systems,” said Jim Condos, Vermont secretary of state and president-elect of the National Association of Secretaries of State. “We struggled with them in one of our meetings—talking with them for an hour, trying to get them to understand. This is the criticism from the beginning of 2016. DHS did not understand how the election system worked.”

Condos continued, “We tried to them that if one state is attacked, all are attacked. If a local system is attacked, the whole state is attacked—and other states need to be in communications with one another.”

Kolasky said that Homeland Security has come a long way since 2016.

“We’ve gotten to really learn and understand the way that elections are conducted,” Kolasky said. “We have a richer understanding of the election management systems: the way they run processes and the best way to share information with them.”

In the months since the 2016 mess, he said DHS[6] officials have had “a little bit of a crash course on what it means to run an election.” And, Kolasky added, senior department officials have met with most states’ top election officials.

Another major change has been getting state and local election officials security clearances so they can view classified information about election threats. Kolasky said that the department made clearances available to more than 160 election officials in September, and that 19 have received clearances clearances so far.

“DHS is in the process of doing that for all 50 states,” said former Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Matthew Masterson. “States need to request the clearance, but DHS is expediting the process.”

“Secretary Lawson, along with other secretaries of state, is in the process of obtaining a security clearance that will allow her greater access to sensitive information,” said Ian Hauer, deputy communications director for Indiana’s secretary of state. “In return, we’re educating DHS on our state and local-level cyber-protections and offering feedback on the systems they have set up.”

And in February, Kolasky added, a host of officials got temporary one-day clearances for a briefing on election threats.

And while President Donald Trump has expressed skepticism[7] that the Russian government threatened the 2016 election, Kolasky said the White House’s National Security Council has been a major partner in DHS’ efforts to block future election attacks. They have been especially helpful with bringing different federal agencies together, he said. He added that White House chief of staff John Kelly, who formerly headed DHS, has played a role in the work.

The National Protection and Programs Directorate, a low-profile component of DHS, has taken on the task of securing elections. The arm of DHS, through the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, has provided services to state and local election officials—including cyber hygiene scans and cyber resilience reviews to check their election systems’ security (PDF[8]).

NPPD also funds MS-ISAC[9], a cybersecurity database designed to help states stay up-to-date about threats. The system was just formalized as a means of communication between state and federal agencies for cyberthreats at the Government Coordinating Council meeting.

While many states use NPPD’s services, they aren’t mandatory (the feds wouldn’t have the power to require them even if they wanted to).

When state, local, and federal operations are all attempting to work together to protect themselves from an unpredictable and evolving force, communication has been key to get a grip on the learning curve before the 2018 midterms arrive. All parties say they know the risks involved if they don’t.

“Every event or conference I have attended, the number one conversation I have with state officials is about securing the system, and what additional resources are available,” Masterson said. “There’s been a heightened awareness since 2016.”

References

  1. ^ Betsy Woodruff (www.thedailybeast.com)
  2. ^ Julia Arciga (www.thedailybeast.com)
  3. ^ information attack (www.thedailybeast.com)
  4. ^ concluded in January 2017 (www.fbi.gov)
  5. ^ last September (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ DHS (www.thedailybeast.com)
  7. ^ expressed skepticism (www.thedailybeast.com)
  8. ^ PDF (www.eac.gov)
  9. ^ MS-ISAC (www.cisecurity.org)