Military Health System Isn’t Ready for Battlefield Injuries | US News


Surgical readiness in the Military Health Service is fraying fast. A nine-month U.S. News investigation has uncovered mounting evidence that military medical leaders are squandering a valuable wartime asset: the surgeons and surgical teams that save lives on the battlefield and back home.

The investigation is the latest chapter in a continuing U.S. News probe of military health care. Interviews with more than two dozen active-duty and retired military surgeons and a confidential survey of Army surgeons and Pentagon records obtained by U.S. News have found:

  • Severe shortages of skilled surgeons, especially trauma surgeons, on active duty and in the reserves.
  • Army field hospitals that “are not staffed with appropriate specialty capabilities for a combat theater.”

Source: Military Health System Isn’t Ready for Battlefield Injuries | National News | US News

Supreme Court Weighs Key Issues in Competitive Election Cycle | US News


The Supreme Court and its nascent conservative majority largely stayed out of the political fray during the last term absent a few key cases involving issues like political gerrymandering. But with the new term beginning Monday, the justices are poised to tackle thornier, partisan subjects with the potential to change the direction of the court in the midst of the 2020 election cycle.

Over the next eight months, the high court will weigh issues that animate both liberals and conservatives with high-profile cases on abortion, gun rights, LGBTQ workplace discrimination and the fate of an Obama-era program that has shielded young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children from deportation. The new court session is likely to leave some kind of mark on the 2020 elections like it has in past cycles.

Source: Supreme Court Weighs Key Issues in Competitive Election Cycle | America 2020 | US News

Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump Tests Separation of Powers | US News


Beyond the politics and partisanship of the moment, President Donald Trump and majority Democrats in the House of Representatives are colliding in the most extraordinary test of the Constitution’s separation of powers in many years.

“We are heading rapidly towards a constitutional crisis,” David Rothkopf, a political scientist and specialist in international relations, told MSNBC.

This is because Trump doesn’t accept the legitimacy of Congress’s bid to impeach him as sought by House Democrats, and the House under those Democrats won’t back away from efforts to punish him for what critics call abuses of power.

Source: Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump Tests Separation of Powers | The Civic Report | US News

On North Korea, the Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost | Defense One

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With little fanfare, certainly not the kind on display during his meetings with Kim Jong Un, the bill is coming due for Donald Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea.

More than sanctions, more than summits, what has been most distinctive about that diplomacy is how the president has thoroughly personalized it—whether by measuring his “nuclear button” against the North Korean leader’s when they were at odds or by feeding a narrative that he and Kim alone could resolve the crisis over North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons thanks to their “beautiful” relationship.

The innovation brought hope in some circles that Trump might be able to solve a challenge that has bedeviled U.S. administrations for decades. But now the costs of that approach are becoming clearer.

Source: On North Korea, the Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost – Defense One

Five things to know about arrest of Giuliani associates | TheHill


The Ukraine-born businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested late Wednesday at Dulles International Airport with one-way international tickets.

Parnas and Fruman, who are both U.S. citizens, are accused of orchestrating a straw donor scheme to circumvent campaign finance laws, partly by funneling $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC using a fake energy company they created.

Federal prosecutors also indicted American businessman David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, who was arrested in California. Correia has not been arrested.

Source: Five things to know about arrest of Giuliani associates | TheHill

Trump’s Tax Bill Has Cost Homeowners a Trillion Dollars | Fortune


In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been talking about plans for, as he put it, a “very substantial tax cut for middle income folks who work so hard.”

But before Congress embarks on a new tax measure, people should consider one of the largely unexamined effects of the last tax bill, which Trump promised would help the middle class: Would you believe it has inflicted a trillion dollars of damage on homeowners—many of them middle class—throughout the country?

That massive number is the reduction in home values caused by the 2017 tax law that capped federal deductions for state and local real estate and income taxes at $10,000 a year and also eliminated some mortgage interest deductions.

The impact varies widely across different areas. Counties with high home prices and high real estate taxes and where homeowners have big mortgages are suffering the biggest hit, as you’d expect, given the larger value of the lost tax deductions. But as we’ll see, homeowners all over the country are feeling the effects.

Source: Trump’s Tax Bill Has Cost Homeowners a Trillion Dollars | Fortune

NSA chief explains new cyber directorate | FCW


The National Security Agency’s new cyber directorate wants to bridge gaps between government agencies and the defense industrial base, according to the agency’s chief Gen. Paul Nakasone.

“NSA’s new cybersecurity directorate, which opened for business last week, will give us a laser focus on these challenges,” said Nakasone, who also leads U.S. Cyber Command, during an Oct. 9 keynote at the FireEye Cyber Defense Summit in Washington, D.C.

Nakasone named three reasons behind standing up the cybersecurity directorate, which is headed by Anne Neuberger and stood up Oct. 1: to combat an evolving threat landscape, capitalize on ability to set security standards and make vulnerability assessments, and enhance partnerships with Cyber Command, Homeland Security, FBI and industry.

Source: NSA chief explains new cyber directorate — FCW

CISA requests administrative subpoena power over ISPs | FCW


The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is seeking new authorities to issue administrative subpoenas to compel internet service providers to turn over customer information that allows the agency to identify owners of critical infrastructure systems that have identified cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

FCW has confirmed the department has submitted a proposal for legislative language to Congress, and a spokesperson for the House Homeland Security Committee said the committee is currently “vetting the proposal.” The proposal was submitted earlier this year and a briefing at the staff level has taken place. Other sources close to the committees have indicated that not every member has been briefed on or seen the proposal yet.

TechCrunch was first to report on the proposal.

Source: CISA requests administrative subpoena power over ISPs — FCW

Around the halls: Brookings experts’ reactions to Turkey’s incursion into Syria


Following a sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces from northeastern Syria, Turkey has launched a military operation in the region against Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have helped the United States battle the Islamic State.

Brookings Foreign Policy experts analyze the developments and ramifications …

Source: Around the halls: Brookings experts’ reactions to Turkey’s incursion into Syria

Sudan’s Fragile Transition


The international community must remember that it was an economic crisis that was at the heart of former President Bashir’s ouster.

Elites in the security services, aware of the $50 billion-plus debt burden and the absence of deep-pocketed rescuers willing to bet on Bashir, recognized that their interests could not be served by the status quo, and so, at least for a moment, found common cause with the brave Sudanese citizens who had taken to the streets.

Those same elites should be reminded that economic lifelines will be linked to real transition milestones going forward. They need reasons not to stall progress, as well as reasons to isolate and abandon those who would.

The United States should not rely on Gulf States to send this message, or on Gulf money to incentivize democratic progress.

Source: Sudan’s Fragile Transition