The Intersect
July 19, 2011

Gen. John Allen takes command of Afghan war
Los Angeles Times
A new U.S. commander, Gen. John Allen, formally took control of the war in Afghanistan, inheriting a nearly decade-long conflict that has cost the lives of at least 1,667 American troops. Allen succeeds Gen. David H. Petraeus, who is leaving to head the CIA. Petraeus had been in command for only a year, hastily taking the helm after President Obama fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal after Rolling Stone magazine reported intemperate comments by his staff about the administration's civilian leadership.More

Pentagon discloses largest-ever cyber theft
Bloomberg Businessweek
The Pentagon revealed that in the spring it suffered one of its largest losses ever of sensitive data in a cyberattack by a foreign government. It's a dramatic example of why the military is pursuing a new strategy emphasizing deeper defenses of its computer networks, collaboration with private industry and new steps to stop "malicious insiders."More

DOD releases first strategy for operating in cyberspace
U.S. Department of Defense
The Defense Department's first strategy for operating in cyberspace is a milestone in the fight to protect the nation from potentially devastating network attacks, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said. Lynn addressed an audience of military and civilian officials, educators and reporters at the National Defense University.More

'Fast lane' system expedites gear to troops in Afghanistan
USA Today
The Pentagon is speeding up life-saving military gear to troops in Afghanistan under a new "fast lane" system run a by a small group of senior Defense officials and put in place by then-Defense secretary Robert Gates. The system is designed to get the military to move faster on equipment requested by battlefield commanders who say they need it to protect troops better. Among items fast-tracked are gunshot locators to find snipers, increased vehicle armor and underwear that helps protect troops from buried mine explosions.More

Army device will gauge blast hits on soldiers
USA Today
The Army will outfit a brigade of soldiers in Afghanistan in the next few weeks with gauges worn on their bodies that can alert medics to an explosion's severity — proof of possible brain injury. It is the beginning of an effort over the next several months to wire up soldiers and vehicles with sensors, black boxes and digital cameras.More

'Troops to Energy Jobs' opens new doors for veterans
The White House
Having served in the military, Steve Dunwoody is intimately aware of the role that energy plays in our ability to defend and uphold our national security. This became apparent to him in many ways during his time in the field, to the safety of his unit who ran fuel supply convoys in theater and the dangers they faced in carrying out their duties, to hearing about the economic struggles of his relatives and friends back home to afford gas to drive and heat their homes. Dunwoody understands, perhaps better than anyone, that our pursuit of energy independence and national security are closely linked.More

Jobs outlook darkens for veterans in June
Army Times
Employment statistics for June show little has changed for veterans trying to find work in a tough job market. With just 18,000 net jobs created in the U.S. for the month, the overall national employment rate is 9.2 percent and the unemployment rate for veterans of all generations is 8.8 percent, according to the employment situation report released by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.More

Court orders military to keep DADT in place
Military Times
The military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is back in place for the time being, with one major caveat: the government is not allowed to investigate, penalize or discharge anyone who is openly gay. A San Francisco federal appeals court ordered the military to temporarily continue the controversial policy in an order recently, the court's response to a request from the Obama administration.More

Official pushes for online military voting
Military.com
The director of the program that helps troops vote from overseas says a full embrace of Internet voting for service members would help get more votes counted. Using the current system, "you don't have to wait for your ballot to arrive by mail. You go online, download it and you can print it out and you can vote," said Federal Voting Assistance Program director Robert Carey during a July 15 hearing before the House Armed Services Committee's military personnel panel.More

Reservists allege mistreatment by Army
USA Today
Nearly 200 Reservists in Iraq have signed a complaint accusing the Army of mistreatment and discrimination during the months they were preparing for war. The soldiers say their movements and freedoms were severely restricted during a four-month training before deployment, describing it as virtually a "lockdown" confinement to base. The Army says it was pushing to get Reservists trained and denies discriminatory treatment.More

Reservists deploy to help build Afghanistan
U.S. Department of Defense
As much of the nation focuses on drawdown plans in Afghanistan, Army reservists from the 425th Civil Affairs Battalion are preparing to deploy there this week to ensure security progress made has the opportunity to stick. The unit, with headquarters in Encino, Calif., will deploy to Kandahar province to help Afghanistan extend the reach of its national and provincial governments to provide infrastructure and services to the Afghan people.More

Navy women see slow-but-steady rise in ranks
Stars and Stripes
Nora Tyson didn't imagine herself in the Navy when she graduated from college in 1979, let alone that she would be a trailblazer for women in the service. But last year, Rear Adm. Nora Tyson became the first woman to command a carrier strike group. For Navy women who have come before her, Tyson's command of the USS George H.W. Bush carrier strike group is a big deal, another step in a slow-yet-steady plod toward a more gender-neutral Navy.More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of July 12
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Army announced an increase. The net collective result is 372 fewer reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More