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GailForce: Aspen Security Forum Part II

GailForce:  Aspen Security Forum Part II

It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
Winston Churchill
I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of days ago and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to get up and see …

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GailForce: Aspen Security Forum Part I

GailForce:  Aspen Security Forum Part I

THE NECESSITY OF PROCURING good Intelligence is apparent & need not be further urged — all that remains for me to add, is, that you keep the whole matter as secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, Success depends in most Enterprizes of the kind, and for want of it, they …

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GailForce: Are we or are we not still at war with Al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents (AQAA)?

GailForce: Are we or are we not still at war with Al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents (AQAA)?

The further backward you can look, the further forward you can see. – Winston Churchill
One of my pet peeves is a friend or acquaintance coming up to me and saying: “Gail, where have you been? I haven’t seen you around for a long time.” I know I’m being cranky, but …

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GailForce: Miscellaneous Thoughts: Iraq, Intelligence Analysis, National Security Policy

GailForce:  Miscellaneous Thoughts: Iraq, Intelligence Analysis, National Security Policy

“An old rule that I’ve used with my intelligence officers over the years, whether in the military, or now, in the State Department, goes like this: Tell me what you know. Tell me what you don’t know. And then, based on what you really know and what you …

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GailForce: Thoughts on Our Pacific Maritime Strategy from AFCEA WEST 2014 Conference Part Two

GailForce:  Thoughts on Our Pacific Maritime Strategy from AFCEA WEST 2014 Conference Part Two

When discussing the Pacific region, a frequently mentioned concern on the part of Department of Defense and other government officials is China’s lack of transparency about its military modernization. During a presentation given at the AFCEA West Conference last month  Captain Jim Fanell, head of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet …

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GailForce: Thoughts on Our Pacific Maritime Strategy from AFCEA WEST 2014 Conference Part One

GailForce:  Thoughts on Our Pacific Maritime Strategy from AFCEA WEST 2014 Conference Part One

One of my all-time favorite movies is “Task Force” starring Gary Cooper.  It came out in 1949 and details the birth of naval aviation.  There’s a scene, where Cooper attends a fancy Washington, D.C. soiree.  He’s uncomfortable and clearly out of his element.  Matters are only made worse when a …

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GailForce: AFCEA West 2014 Conference – Shaping the Maritime Strategy: How Do We Make It Work?

GailForce:  AFCEA West 2014 Conference – Shaping the Maritime Strategy:  How Do We Make It Work?

This is the first in a series of blogs I’ll write on the annual maritime related conference I recently attended co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute.  Both organizations are dedicated to providing forums for exchange of information on national security topics.  The conferences …

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GailForce: Latest Information from the Military on Its Cyberspace Operations Part Two

GailForce:  Latest Information from the Military on Its Cyberspace Operations Part Two

Around this time every year the intelligence community gives a worldwide threat overview to Congress.  As part of this process, they publish an unclassified Worldwide Threat Assessment that is available to the public.  For the second year in a row, they identified cyber as the number one national security threat.
“Several …

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GailForce: Latest Information from the Military on Its Cyberspace Operations Part One

GailForce:  Latest Information from the Military on Its Cyberspace Operations Part One

Last week I attended the Cyberspace Symposium 2014 in Colorado Springs.  The topic was:  Managing Cyber Chaos:  Integrating education, industry and government into the anarchy of the virtual world.  I thought it was an excellent venue and provided great insight into what approaches the military is taking toward cyberspace and …

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GailForce: Aspen Security Forum Part III – Syria

GailForce:  Aspen Security Forum Part III – Syria

I spent four of the most intense professional years of my life serving on the Naval Forces Central Command Staff, so I really looked forward to hearing what General James Mattis USMC (Retired), who up until a few weeks ago was the Commander, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), had to …

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GailForce: Aspen Security Forum Part II

GailForce:  Aspen Security Forum Part II

As I watched the Snowden saga unfold, I found myself concerned on several levels but what frustrated me most, was the lack of balanced reporting early on.  It seemed to me that much of the initial coverage was in the: “Are you still beating your wife?” tabloid type reporting.  Don’t …

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GailForce: Aspen Security Forum Part I

GailForce:  Aspen Security Forum Part I

I’ve spent much of the summer helping out my 86-years-young mom in Alabama so haven’t been able to blog much. I decided to reward myself by getting my geek on at the Aspen Security Forum, one of my favorite venues for seeing what’s new and interesting in the world of …

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GailForce: President Obama’s Terrorism and National Security Strategy Part II

GailForce:  President Obama’s Terrorism and National Security Strategy Part II

This week marks the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Midway.  The battle took place 4 – 7 June  in 1942 and proved to be the turning point in the war against Japan, just 6 months following the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Winston Churchill summed it up best:
“This …

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GailForce: President Obama’s Terrorism and National Security Strategy

GailForce:  President Obama’s Terrorism and National Security Strategy

Photo: Getty Images
On 23 May, President Obama gave a long awaited and much overdue talk on his strategy for conducting the war on terrorism.  I thought it was one of the best speeches he’s given.  He did a great job laying out his view points, justification for his …

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GailForce: United States/China: A Slight Thaw in Cyber Relations?

GailForce:  United States/China:  A Slight Thaw in Cyber Relations?

I’ve been reading an awesome book about Winston Churchill called The Last Lion by William Manchester and Paul Reid.  One of the many things in the book that jumped out at me was a quote from a speech Churchill gave in Nov. 1942 after British forces defeated Rommel and his …

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About the Author

Gail Harris
Gail Harris

Gail Harris’ 28 year career in intelligence included hands-on leadership during every major conflict from the Cold War to El Salvador to Desert Storm to Kosovo and at the forefront of one of the Department of Defense’s newest challenges, Cyber Warfare. A Senior Fellow for The Truman National Security Project, her memoir, A Woman’s War, published by Scarecrow Press is available on Amazon.com.

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