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Congressional Dish
CD238: Losing Afghanistan

Congressional Dish

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 97:18


The war in Afghanistan is over. In this episode, we document how and why the Biden administration finally admitted defeat in our 20 year attempt to create a new government in Afghanistan and we take a hard look at the lessons we need to learn. Afghanistan is a country in a far away land, but there are disturbing similarities between the Afghanistan government that just collapsed and our own. We'd be wise not to ignore them. Executive Producer: Rachel Passer Executive Producer: Anonymous  Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal Support Congressional Dish via Patreon (donations per episode) Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com Use your bank's online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536. Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish Thank you for supporting truly independent media! Background Sources Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes CD236: January 6: The Capitol Riot CD218: Minerals are the New Oil CD210: The Afghanistan War CD124: The Costs of For-Profit War How We Got Here Craig Whitlock. The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War. Simon and Schuster, 2021. Patrick Tucker. August 18, 2021. “Trump's Pledge to Exit Afghanistan Was a Ruse, His Final SecDef Says.” Defense One. Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley. August 17, 2021. “Timeline of U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan.” FactCheck.org. Eric Schmitt and Jennifer Steinhauer. July 30, 2021. “Afghan Visa Applicants Arrive in U.S. After Years of Waiting.” The New York Times. Craig Whitlock, Leslie Shapiro and Armand Emamdjomeh. December 9, 2019. “The Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war.” The Washington Post. Mark Landler and James Risen. July 25, 2017. “Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals.” The New York Times. John F. Harris. October 15, 2001. “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer On Bin Laden ” Washington Post. The Evacuation: Those Left Behind William Mauldin. September 2, 2021. “Afghanistan Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Staff Left Behind.” Wall Street Journal. Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Annie Karni. August 29, 2021. “Series of U.S. Actions Left Afghan Allies Frantic, Stranded and Eager to Get Out.” The York Times. Sami Sadat. August 25, 2021. “I Commanded Afghan Troops This Year. We Were Betrayed.” The New York Times. Marjorie Censer. August 18, 2021. “US contractors rush to get former employees out of Afghanistan.” Defense News. Siobhan Hughes. August 18, 2021. “Afghanistan Veterans in Congress Trying to Prevent ‘a Death Warrant' for Helping America.” Wall Street Journal. Alex Sanz and Tammy Webber. August 18, 2021. “US friends try to rescue brother in arms in Afghanistan.” AP News. Seth Moulton. June 04, 2021. "Moulton, Bipartisan Honoring Our Promises Working Group to White House: Evacuate our Afghan Partners.” Contractors in Afghanistan Matt Taibbi. August 18, 2021. “We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around.” TK News by Matt Taibbi on Substack. Jack Detsch. August 16, 2021. “Departure of Private Contractors Was a Turning Point in Afghan Military's Collapse.” Foreign Policy. Matt Stoller. July 15, 2021. “‘A Real S*** Show': Soldiers Angrily Speak Out about Being Blocked from Repairing Equipment by Contractors.” BIG by Matt Stoller. Lynzy Billing. May 12, 2021. “The U.S. Is Leaving Afghanistan? Tell That to the Contractors.” New York Magazine. Oren Liebermann. March 29, 2021. “Pentagon could open itself to costly litigation from contractors if US pulls out of Afghanistan this year.” CNN. Lucas Kunce and Elle Ekman. September 15, 2019. “Comment Submitted by Major Lucas Kunce and Captain Elle Ekman.” [Regulations.gov(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulations.gov). Aaron Mehta. Oct 25, 2016. “30 Years: William Perry — Reshaping the Industry.” Defense News. Jared Serbu. August 22, 2016. “DoD now awarding more than half its contract spending without competitive bids.” Federal News Network. 41 U.S. Code § 3307 - Preference for commercial products and commercial services. Money: Lost and Gained David Moore. August 23, 2021. “Lawmakers Benefit From Booming Defense Stocks.” Sludge. Lee Fang. August 20, 2021. “Congressman Seeking to Relaunch Afghan War Made Millions in Defense Contracting.” The Intercept. Anna Massoglia and Julia Forrest. August 20, 2021. “Defense contractors spent big in Afghanistan before the U.S. left and the Taliban took control.” OpenSecrets.org. Stephen Losey. April 16, 2021. “The Bill for the Afghanistan War Is $2.26 Trillion, and Still Rising.” Military.com. Eli Clifton. February 16, 2021. “Weapons Biz Bankrolls Experts Pushing to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan.” Daily Beast. Open Secrets. 2021. Defense: Lobbying, 2021. Open Secrets. 2021. Defense: Money to Congress. Laws S.1790 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 Sponsor: Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) Status: Became Public Law No: 116-92 on December 20, 2019 H.R. 3237: Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) Status: Signed into law, 2021 May 20 House Vote Breakdown Congressional Budget Office Score Law Outline TITLE IV: BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE GENERAL PROVISIONS EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF THE AFGHAN SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM Sec. 401: Amends the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 to expand eligibility to include Afghans who worked not only for the US Government for more than 1 year but also our allies as an off-base interpreter or if they performed "activities for United States military stationed at International Security Assistance Force (or any successor name for such Force). Increases the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to Afghan partners by 8,000, for a total of 34,500 allocated since December 19, 2014. Sec. 402: Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security and Secretary of state to jointly waive for 1 year (maximum 2 years with an extension) the requirement that Afghan partners eligible for SIVs get a medical exam before they can receive their visa. The Secretary of Homeland Security has to create a process to make sure Afghan SIV holders get a medical exam within 30 days of entry into the United States. Sec. 403: Allows the surviving spouse or child or employee of the United States Government abroad to be eligible for immigration into the United States if the employee worked for our government for at least 15 years or was killed in the line of duty. It also expands entry permissions for Afghan SIV applicants in addition to those who have already been approved. This is retroactive to June 30, 2021. Policies for Visa Processing: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Policy Manual, Chapter 9: Certain Afghan Nationals U.S Department of State -- Bureau of Consular Affairs. “Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans - Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government.” Audio Sources Gen. Mark Milley: "There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days." August 18, 2021 General Mark Milley: The time frame of rapid collapse that was widely estimated and ranged from weeks to months, and even years following our departure, there was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days. Central Command submitted a variety of plans that were briefed and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and the President. These plans were coordinated, synchronized and rehearsed to deal with these various scenarios. One of those contingencies is what we are executing right now. As I said before, there's plenty of time to do AARs(After Action Reviews) and key lessons learned and to delve into these questions with great detail. But right now is not that time. Right now, we have to focus on this mission, because we have soldiers at risk. And we also have American citizens and Afghans who supported us for 20 years also at risk. This is personal and we're going to get them out. President Biden on Afghanistan Withdrawal Transcript July 8, 2021 Sound Clips 01:30 President Biden: When I announced our drawdown in April, I said we would be out by September, and we're on track to meet that target. Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31. The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritizing the safety of our troops as they depart 3:40 President Biden: Together with our NATO allies and partners, we have trained and equipped nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military, the Afghan national security force, and many beyond that are no longer serving. Add to that hundreds of thousands more Afghan national defense and security forces trained over the last two decades. 04:04 President Biden: We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools, let me emphasize, all the tools -- training, equipment -- of any modern military. We provided advanced weaponry, and we're going to continue to provide funding and equipment and we'll ensure they have the capacity to maintain their Air Force. 5:54 President Biden: We're also going to continue to make sure that we take on Afghan nationals who worked side by side with US forces, including interpreters and translators. Since we're no longer going to have military there after this, we're not going to need them and they'll have no jobs. We're [sic] also going to be vital to our efforts. they've been very vital, and so their families are not exposed to danger as well. We've already dramatically accelerated the procedure time for Special Immigrant Visas to bring them to the United States. Since I was inaugurated on January 20, we've already approved 2,500 Special Immigrant Visas to come to the United States. Up to now, fewer than half have exercised the right to do that. Half have gotten on aircraft and come commercial flights and come and other half believe they want to stay, at least thus far. We're working closely with Congress to change the authorization legislation so that we can streamline the process of approving those visas. And those who have stood up for the operation to physically relocate 1000s of Afghans and their families before the US military mission concludes so that, if they choose, they can wait safely outside of Afghanistan, while their US visas are being processed. 8:13 President Biden: For those who have argued that we should stay just six more months, or just one more year, I asked them to consider the lessons of recent history. In 2011, the NATO allies and partners agreed that we would end our combat mission in 2014. In 2014, some argued one more year. So we kept fighting. We kept taking casualties. In 2015, the same, and on and on. Nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that just one more year of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution, but a recipe for being there indefinitely. It's up to the Afghans to make the decision about the future of their country. Others are more direct. Their argument is that we should stay with the Afghans and Afghanistan indefinitely. In doing so they point to the fact that we we have not taken losses in this last year. So they claim that the cost of just maintaining the status quo is minimal. 9:19 President Biden: But that ignores the reality, and the facts that already presented on the ground in Afghanistan when I took office. The Taliban is at its strongest militarily since 2001. The number of US forces in Afghanistan had been reduced to a bare minimum. And the United States and the last administration made an agreement that they have to with the Taliban remove all our forces by May 1 of this year. That's what I inherited. That agreement was the reason the Taliban had ceased major attacks against US forces. 9:55 President Biden: If in April, I had instead announced that the United States was going to go back on that agreement, made by the last administration, the United States and allied forces will remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, the Taliban would have again begun to target our forces. The status quo was not an option. Staying would have meant US troops taking casualties, American men and women back in the middle of a civil war, and we would run the risk of having to send more troops back in Afghanistan to defend our remaining troops. Once that agreement with the Taliban had been made, staying with a bare minimum force was no longer possible. 10:34 President Biden: So let me ask those who want us to stay: how many more? How many 1000s more Americans' daughters and sons are you willing to risk? How long would you have them stay? Already we have members of our military whose parents fought in Afghanistan 20 years ago. Would you send their children and their grandchildren as well? Would you send your own son or daughter? After 20 years, a trillion dollars spent training and equipping hundreds of 1000s of Afghan National Security and Defence Forces. 2,448 Americans killed, 20,722 more wounded, and untold 1000s coming home with unseen trauma to their mental health. I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome. 11:51 President Biden: Today the terrorist threat has metastasized beyond Afghanistan. So, we are repositioning our resources and adapting our counterterrorism posture to meet the threats where they are now: significantly higher in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. 12:07 President Biden: But make no mistake, our military and intelligence leaders are confident they have the capabilities to protect the homeland and our interests from any resurgent terrorist challenge emerging or emanating from Afghanistan. We're developing a counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed at any direct threat to the United States in the region and act quickly and decisively if needed. 12:38 President Biden: We also need to focus on shoring up America's core strengths to meet the strategic competition competition with China and other nations that is really going to determine our future. 14:58 Reporter: Is the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable? President Biden: No. It is not. Because you have the Afghan troops, 300,000. Well equipped, as well equipped as any army in the world, and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable. 15:45 President Biden: Do I trust the Taliban? No, but I trust the capacity of the Afghan military who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war. 18:07 Reporter: Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse President Biden: That is not true 18:53 President Biden: And I want to make clear what I made clear to Ghani, that we are not going to walk away and not sustain their ability to maintain that force. We are. We're going to also work to make sure we help them in terms of everything from food necessities and other things in the region. But there is not a conclusion that in fact, they cannot defeat the Taliban. I believe the only way there's going to be -- this is now Joe Biden, not the intelligence community -- the only way there's only going to be peace and secure in Afghanistan, is that they work out a modus vivendi with the Taliban, and they make a judgement as to how they can make peace. And the likelihood there's going to be one unified government in Afghanistan, controlling the whole country is highly unlikely. 21:30 Reporter: Mr. President, how serious was the corruption among the Afghanistan government to this mission failing there? President Biden: First of all, the mission hasn't failed yet. 22:00 President Biden: There were going to be negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan national security forces, and the Afghan government that didn't come to fruition. So the question now is where do they go from here? The jury is still out, but the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely. 23:20 Reporter: Mr. President, "speed is safety," as you just said in your remarks. Are you satisfied with the timeline of relocating Afghan nationals? Is it happening quickly enough to your satisfaction if it may not happen until next month at the end? President Biden: It has already happened, there have already been people, about 1000 people have gotten on aircraft and come to the United States already on commercial aircraft. So as I said, there's over 2500 people, that as from January to now, have have gotten those visas and only half decided that they wanted to leave. The point is that I think the whole process has to be speeded up -- period -- in terms of being able to get these visas. Reporter: Why can't the US evacuate these Afghan translators to the United States to await their visa processing as some immigrants of the southern border have been allowed to? President Biden: Because the law doesn't allow that to happen. And that's why we're asking the Congress to consider changing the law. President Biden Remarks on Afghanistan Strategy Transcript April 14, 2021 Sound Clips 00:38 President Biden: I'm speaking to you today from the Roosevelt -- the Treaty room in the White House -- the same spot where in October of 2001, President George W. Bush informed our nation that the United States military had begun strikes on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. It was just weeks, just weeks after the terrorist attack on our nation that killed 2,977 innocent souls, that turned Lower Manhattan into a disaster area, destroyed parts of the Pentagon and made hallowed ground in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and sparked an American promise that we would never forget. We went to Afghanistan in 2001, to root out al Qaeda to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States planned from Afghanistan. Our objective was clear, the cause was just, our NATO allies and partners rallied beside us. And I supported that military action along with the overwhelming majority of the members of Congress. More than seven years later, in 2008 weeks before we swore the oath of office -- President Obama and I were about to swear -- President Obama asked me to travel to Afghanistan and report back on the state of the war in Afghanistan. I flew to Afghanistan to the Kunar Valley, a rugged, mountainous region on the border of Pakistan. What I saw on that trip reinforced my conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country. And that more and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan Government. I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again. We did that, we accomplished that objective. I said, along with others, we would follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell if need be. That's exactly what we did. And we got him. It took us close to 10 years to put President Obama's commitment into form. And that's exactly what happened Osama bin Laden was gone. That was 10 years ago. Think about that. We delivered justice to Bin Laden a decade ago. And we've stayed in Afghanistan for a decade since. Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan have become increasingly unclear, even as the terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved. Over the past 20 years, the threat has become more dispersed, metastasizing around the globe. Al Shabaab in Somalia, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, on Al Nusra in Syria, ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia. With the terror threat now in many places, keeping 1000s of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country at a cost of billions each year makes little sense to me and our leaders. We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdraw and expecting a different result. I'm now the fourth United States President to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan: two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth. After consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, as well as with Mr. Ghani and many others around the world. I concluded that it's time to end America's longest war. It's time for American troops to come home. 5:01 President Biden: When I came to office, I inherited a diplomatic agreement, duly negotiated between the government of the United States and the Taliban, that all US forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1 2021, just three months after my inauguration. That's what we inherited. That commitment is perhaps not what I would have negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States government. And that means something. So in keeping with that agreement, and with our national interest, the United States will begin our final withdrawal beginning on May 1 of this year. 8:11 President Biden: You all know that less than 1% of Americans serve in our Armed Forces. The remaining 99%, we owe them. We owe them. They've never backed down from a single mission that we've asked of them. I've witnessed their bravery firsthand during my visits to Afghanistan. They've never wavered in their resolve. They paid a tremendous price on our behalf and they have the thanks of a grateful nation. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) High-Risk List Center for Strategic and International Studies Transcript March 10, 2021 Speaker: John Sopko - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Sound Clips 7:40 John Sopko: But right now, that state is under threat. In the wake of the February 2020 withdrawal agreement, all is not well. Compromise appears in short supply on either side. Taliban attacks have actually increased since the agreement was signed. Assassination of prominent officials, activists, journalists, aid workers and others have also increased, including an unsuccessful attack on one of the female members of the peace negotiating team. And the Taliban offensive on Kandahar city last October, as peace negotiations were ongoing, may well have succeeded, were it not for U.S. air support. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have achieved little for Afghanistan so far, and only time will tell as to whether the new Biden administration initiative will bear fruit. And the Afghan people's fears for its own government survival are exacerbated by the knowledge of how dependent their country is on foreign military and financial support. 12:56 John Sopko: Another equally serious threat to Afghanistan's stability has also largely been ignored as we focus on the boots on the ground in Afghanistan. And that is the provision of last year's U.S.-Taliban agreement that stipulates that in addition to the departure of U.S. and coalition troops, or non-diplomatic civilian personnel: private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting service personnel also must leave the country by May 1. Should this come to passSIGAR and many others believe this may be more devastating to the effectiveness of the Afghan security forces than the withdrawal of our remaining troops. Why is that? Because the Afghan government relies heavily on these foreign contractors and trainers to function. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 there are over 18,000 Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan, including 6000 Americans, and 7,000 3rd country nationals, 40% of whom are responsible for logistics, maintenance, or training tasks. Now, it is well known that the Afghan security forces need these contractors to maintain their equipment, manage supply chains, and train their military and police to operate the advanced equipment that we have purchased for them. For example, as of December, the Afghan National Army was completing just under 20% of its own maintenance work orders, well below the goal of 80% that was set and the 51% that they did in 2018. So that's actually going down. The Afghan National Police were just as bad if not worse, undertaking only 12% of their own maintenance work against a target of 35% and less than the 16% that we reported in our 2019 high risk list. Additionally, and more troubling. The Department of Defense does train, advise and assist command air, or commonly called TAC air recently reported that since late 2019, they have reduced their personnel in Afghanistan by 94%, and that the military drawdown now requires near total use of contract support to maintain the Afghan Air fleet. They assess that quote “further drawdown in the associated closure basis will effectively end all in country aviation training contracts in Afghanistan.” Again, why is this significant? Why do we view this as a high risk? Namely because contractors currently provide 100% of the maintenance for the Afghan Air Force, UAE 60 helicopters and CE 130 cargo aircraft and a significant portion of Afghans Light Combat Support aircraft. TAC air this January gave a bleak assessment, namely, that no Afghan airframe can be sustained as combat effective for more than a few months in the absence of contractor support. 17:51 John Sopko: Continued funding for U.S. reconstruction programs aimed at promoting economic development, rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance and security for the Afghan people may be more significant, because it may be the primary lever left for the US and other donors to influence that country. It appears that even the Taliban understand Afghanistan's dire need for foreign assistance. Because, as one of the few commitments that the US had to make last year was, “to seek economic cooperation for reconstruction, with the new post settlement, Afghan Islamic government.” Now how much the donor community wishes to stay involved will of course depend on what that government looks like and how it behaves. Numerous officials, including then Secretary of State Pompeo and Ambassador Halley, have stated that the US will be able to advance its human rights goals, including the rights of women and girls with the Taliban by leveraging or conditioning this much needed financial assistance. But unfortunately, as SIGAR has long reported, even when conditionality involved only dealing with the Afghan government, donors do not have a stellar record of successfully utilizing that conditionality to influence Afghan behavior. 27:19 John Sopko: Today our report suggests the donor community should realize the Afghan government is focused on a single goal, its survival. Afghanistan is more dependent on international support than ever before. It may not be an overstatement that if foreign assistance is withdrawn and peace negotiations fail, Taliban forces could be at the gates of Kabul in short order. Hearing: A PATHWAY FOR PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN: EXAMINING THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE AFGHANISTAN STUDY GROUP House Committee on Oversight and Reform: Subcommittee on National Security February 19, 2021 Testimony was heard from the following Afghanistan Study Group officials: Kelly A. Ayotte, Co-Chair; News Corp Board of Directors since April 2017 BAE Systems Board of Directors since June 2017 Blackstone Board of Directors Boston Properties Board of Directors Caterpillar Board of Directors Board of Advisors at Cirtronics General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (Retired), Co-Chair Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Obama and Trump presidencies. Lockheed Martin Board of Directors since February 2020 Nancy Lindborg, Co-Chair President and CEO of the David Lucile Packard Foundation Former President and CEO of the US Institute for Peace Former Assistant Administrator for the bureau for democracy conflict and humanitarian assistance at USAID During the mid-Obama years. Sound Clips 3:13 Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA): I'd also like to take a moment to thank the nonpartisan US Institute of Peace for the support and expertise they provided to the study group during the course of its work. 3:23 Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA): In the fiscal year 2020 omnibus bill Congress led by Senator Graham Senator Patrick Leahy and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of state foreign ops and related programs. They tasked the independent and bipartisan Afghanistan study group to quote, consider the implications of a peace settlement or the failure to reach a settlement on US policy, resources and commitments in Afghanistan. After nearly nine months of review and consultation with current and former US and Afghan government officials, allies and partners and other key stakeholders, the Afghanistan study group issued its final report earlier this month. 15:12 Kelly Ayotte: We recommend that US troops remain beyond may 1. We believe a precipitous withdrawal of US and international troops in May, would be catastrophic for Afghanistan, leading to civil war, and allow the reconstitution of terror groups which threaten the United States within an 18 to 36 month period. 15:41 Kelly Ayotte: Let me be clear, although we recommend that our troops remain beyond may 1, we propose a new approach toward Afghanistan, which aligns our policies, practices and messaging across the United States government to support the Afghan peace process, rather than prosecute a war. Our troops would remain not to fight a forever war, but to guarantee the conditions for a successful peace process and to protect our national security interests to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a haven again, for terrorists who threaten the United States of America. 37:15 General Joseph F. Dunford: Do we need to increase forces if the Taliban don't accept an extension past the first of May, and if they then would re initiate attacks against US forces? and Chairman, we heard exactly what you heard. In the fall. What we were told by commanders on the ground in the department of fence was that 4500 US forces, in addition to the NATO forces that are there was the minimum level to address both the mission as well as protection of our forces in the context of the conditions that existed in the fall in as you've highlighted, those conditions have only gotten worse since the fall so in in our judgment 2500 would not be adequate. Should the Taliban re initiate attacks against the United States Hearing: Examining the Trump Administration's Afghanistan Strategy House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on National Security January 28, 2020 Witness: John Sopko - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Sound Clips 48:54 John Sopko: We've almost created a system that forces people in the government to give happy talk success stories because they're over there on very short rotations. They want to show success. The whole system is almost geared to give you, and it goes up the chain of command, all the way to the President sometimes. He gets bad information from people out in the field because somebody on a nine month rotation, he has to show success, and that goes up. 54:24 John Sopko: Maybe incentivize honesty. And one of the proposals I gave at that time,be cause I was asked by the staff to come up with proposals, is put the same requirement on the government that we impose on publicly traded corporations. Publicly traded corporations have to tell the truth. Otherwise the SEC will indict the people involved. They have to report when there's a significant event. So put that onus, call it The Truth in Government Act if you want, that you in the administration are duty bound by statute to alert Congress to significant events that could directly negatively impact a program or process. So incentivize honesty. 1:10:25 John Sopko: Over 70% of the Afghan budget comes from the United States and the donors. If that money ended, I have said before and I will stand by it, then the Afghan government will probably collapse. Wartime Contracting Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs September 21, 2011 Witnesses: Charles Tiefer: Commissioner on the Commission on Wartime Contracting Clark Kent Ervin: Commissioner on the Commission on Wartime Contracting Sound Clips 1:11:30 Charles Tiefer: Our private security in Afghanistan appears to be a major source of payoffs to the Taliban. Our report has the first official statement that it's the second-largest source of money for the Taliban. Sen. Carl Levin: After drugs. Charles Tiefer: After drugs, that's right. 1:25:18 Clark Kent Ervin: It's critical that the government have a choice, and that means that there needs to be at least a small and expandable, organic capacity on the part of these three agencies to perform missions themselves, so the next time there's a contingency, the government has a choice between going with contractors and going in-house and the determination can be made whether it's more effective to do it either way, whether it's cheaper to do it either way. As we said at the inception, right now the government doesn't have an option. Contractors are the default option because they're the only option. President George W. Bush announces U.S. Military Strikes on Afghanistan October 7, 2001 President George W. Bush: Good afternoon. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against Al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the Al-Qaeda network, and return all foreign nationals including American citizens unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met and now the Taliban will pay a price by destroying camps and disrupting communications. We will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans. ** International Campaign Against Terrorism Senate Foreign Relations Committee October 25, 2001 Witness: Colin Powell: Secretary of State Sound Clip 27:00 Colin Powell: Our work in Afghanistan though, is not just of a military nature. We recognize that when the Al Qaeda organization has been destroyed in Afghanistan, and as we continue to try to destroy it in all the nations in which it exists around the world, and when the Taliban regime has gone to its final reward, we need to put in place a new government in Afghanistan, one that represents all the people of Afghanistan and one that is not dominated by any single powerful neighbor, but instead is dominated by the will of the people of Afghanistan. Executive Producer Recommendations Elect Stephanie Gallardo 2022 Krystal Kyle and Friends. August 21, 2021. “Episode 35 Audio with Matthew Hoh.” Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

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Federal Drive with Tom Temin
USPS moving ahead with mail price and delivery changes despite pushback

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2021 18:03


The Postal Service is moving ahead with plans to both increase mailing prices and slow down delivery for nearly 40% of first-class mail. It's a one-two punch that some of its biggest customers warn will accelerate the decline in mail volume. USPS says they'll boost efficiency and save money. You can guess what Congress thinks. We get the latest from Federal News Network's Jory Heckman.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Scientists are looking at a protein in birds to help the Army with navigation of autonomous vehicles

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2021 17:58


Can the wings help the Army? No, not the Air Force. Actual birds. Scientists working with the Army have isolated a protein in birds that could help with navigation of future autonomous vehicles. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione talked about it with Army Research Office Biochemistry Program Manager Stephanie McElhinny.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
NSA's Cybersecurity Collaboration Center wants to join other agencies to battle cyber attacks

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2021 9:56


The National Security Agency is not known for opening its arms to outsiders. But the NSA's Cybersecurity Collaboration Center is trying to change that perception just as the nation seems to be under constant cyber attack. The center staff wants to work with the defense, telecommunications, and other industries to develop a more widely shared understanding of cyber threats facing the country. For more, Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday spoke with the chief of the center Morgan Adamski.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Agencies begin setting tentative reentry dates for federal employees

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2021 18:35


Agencies are setting tentative dates for their employees to return to the office. The dates are part of agencies' wider reentry plans. They were to due to the White House for review last week but many agencies are still fine-tuning the details. And they're still working out how telework and remote work programs will fit into the equation. The Office of Personnel Management recently gave agencies some advice on how to handle those lingering telework questions. To help sort it all out, Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
First look at Senate NDAA adds $35B to DoD, takes all nonmilitary crimes out of chain of command

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2021 15:41


The Senate Armed Services Committee reported out its version of the 2022 Defense authorization bill last week. The legislation has some historic changes and a bit of a plus-up for the Defense Department. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more insight.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Bureau of the Fiscal Service outlines vision for the future of financial management

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2021 16:59


The Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service laid out its most complete vision of what the future of financial management shared services will mean to agencies and vendors. The second request for information outlined the role of the Quality Service Management Office (QSMO) and how it hopes to reach the right mixture of standardization and flexibility. For when and how this will all become available to agencies, Federal News Network's Jason Miller spoke with the Bureau's acting commissioner, Matt Miller, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
House task force pushes Pentagon to wean itself off Chinese sources

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 17:32


A group of House lawmakers is out with new legislative proposals addressing vulnerabilities in the defense supply chain. They want the Pentagon to take supply chain security more seriously, especially when it comes to dependencies on China for key materials. Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to explain more.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Former State Department leaders urge Congress to address chronic Foreign Service workforce challenges

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 16:52


Former State Department leadership have said it's time to rethink what a stint in the Foreign Service looks like. Options on the table include transforming the agency's up-or-out system of promotions, and allowing outside experts to lend their talents to the Foreign Service for a few years at a time. Former officials said these changes would help the department retain a diverse pool of mid-career talent. Federal News Network's Jory Heckman had more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Sesame Street tackling race with military families

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 23, 2021 17:10


The Sesame Workshop has a long history of working with the Defense Department. Its goal is to help children of service members adapt to the sometimes-difficult living conditions they face. This year, the muppets are tackling race and diversity. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione spoke with the workshop Vice President Maria del Rocio Galarza.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Pentagon faces political battle to retire old weapons systems — and some newer ones

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 23, 2021 15:20


Both the Air Force and the Navy want Congress' permission to retire some of their weapons systems. The basic rationale is to free up money for the sort of high-end warfare they say they need to prepare for. Some of those systems are decades old, and showing their age, but not all of them. Federal News Network's Jared Serbu had details on the services' varying justifications for divestiture. Hear more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Warner says ‘time is now' for cyber incident reporting legislation

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 22, 2021 9:24


It might sound surprising, but many federal contractors are under no obligation to report cybersecurity breaches to the government. That could changing under a new bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate this week. The Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021 would require contractors, critical infrastructure companies, and agencies themselves for that matter, to report successful cyber intrusions within 24 hours. For more, Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday spoke with one of the bill sponsors, Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Bureau of Fiscal Service CDO tries to balance public data with security

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2021 25:19


Federal data isn't much use if no one can find it. Many chief data officers are running inventories of their data, saying they've got a battle getting their agencies to think critically about it. The Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service is also assessing the maturity of its data and trying to make it more shareable. The bureau's CDO Justin Marsico works closely with its chief information officer to balance data security and availability inside and publicly. For more on getting a CDO office up and running Federal News Network's Jory Heckman spoke with Marsico on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
‘Confusing' chain of command hangs over Veterans Affairs police reforms

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2021 17:05


Who's in charge of the Veterans Affairs Departments police force? That's one question VA officials hope to settle as they struggle to reform VA's law enforcement arm. Government overseers said veterans and employees could be at risk in the meantime, and are pressing the VA to sort out a confusing leadership structure that could be preventing the department from instituting other changes. Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
DoD will soon release climate change strategy that will impact almost every facet of the military

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 17:42


The Defense Department said it was going to start considering climate change a major part of its national security planning. That was back in January. Now, the department is almost finished with its strategy. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Census nominee open to post-COVID telework in bid to improve workforce morale

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 17:51


President Joe's Biden's pick to run the Census Bureau has outlined to Congress steps he's take to improve workforce morale. Robert Santos said Census employees worked under harrowing conditions last year, in some cases 80-hour work weeks to get ahead of pandemic delays. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee also heard from Biden's pick to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency without a permanent director for more than four years. For more on these nominees, Federal News Network's Jory Heckman joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
5 more takeaways from VA's EHR strategic review

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 16, 2021 10:40


The Department of Veterans Affairs wrapped up a highly-anticipated strategic review of its massive electronic health record program. But the toughest work lies ahead. VA said it will implement a new governance structure to manage the project. And it's working on new budget estimates and a deployment schedule. VA Secretary Denis McDonough said the review findings were disappointing. But he is confident VA and Cerner can correct the missteps. Congress isn't so sure. More from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
New Pentagon policy to accelerate use of 3D printing amid fresh cyber concerns

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2021 8:59


3-D printing is helping the Defense Department manufacture body armor, vehicle parts and other important stuff. But now the DoD inspector general has revealed holes in the cybersecurity of the military's 3-D printers. For what it all means, the Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday spoke with Joe Veranese, the business systems manager at America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

FEDTalk
Whistleblower Protection - Where We Stand 243 Years After the First Whistleblower Law

FEDTalk

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2021 58:08


On FEDtalk this week, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley provides a keynote address on the importance of whistleblower protection. In our special lead up show to National Whistleblower Day, Senator Grassley highlights the importance of ensuring whistleblowers are safe from reprisal and have access to a forum to adjudicate their disputes. Following the Senator's address, host Debra Roth continues the conversation with Tom Devine, Legal Director of the Government Accountability Project and Liz Hempowicz, Director of Public Policy for the Project on Government Oversight. The group discusses how far we have come since the first whistleblower law and how far we still need to go. They touch on a variety of issues related to whistleblower protection and how their organizations provide support for those blowing the whistle across the federal government and private sector. Finally, inaugural director of the House Office of the Whistleblower Ombuds, Shanna Devine, sits down with Roth in the final segment to introduce the new office and its functions. Devine reviews the Office's core mission and how her staff is working to help Congressional offices navigate the complex world of whistleblower law and handling claims. The show airs live on Friday, July 16th, 2021 at 11:00 am ET on Federal News Network. You can stream the show online anytime via the Federal News Network app and listen to the FEDtalk podcast on PodcastOne and Apple Podcasts. FEDtalk is a live talk show produced by Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a federal employment law firm. Bringing you the insider's perspective from leaders in the federal community since 1993. FEDtalk is sponsored by the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). The FLTCIP is sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, insured by John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company, under a group long term care insurance policy, and administered by Long Term Care Partners, LLC (doing business as FedPoint).

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Air Force Academy will soon start using mixed reality for hands-on learning

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2021 10:09


Chemistry courses can get messy. Dangerous chemicals, Bunsen burners, reactions that go wrong. And anyhow, chemistry labs are hard to replicate in remote learning. That's why the Air Force Academy is working to create a mixed-reality lab where students can experiment safely from anywhere. For more, Federal News Network's Scott Maucione spoke with Wale Lawal, an assistant professor at the academy, and with GIGXR CEO David King Lassman.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
What it takes to keep federal technology transfer going

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2021 12:02


Federal News Network concludes its series on the Federal Lab Consortium and the business of federal tech transfer, with a look at the operational arm that keeps it all going. It's called the TechLink Center, and its housed at Montana State University. The Federal Drive's Tom Temin talk about it with the Center's new executive director Brett Cusker.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
VA will miss its original 2022 deadline for resolving legacy appeals

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2021 16:58


The Department of Veterans Affairs is no longer on track to meet its goal of resolving all legacy appeals by the end of 2022. No surprise — the pandemic pushed those timelines back. Attorneys at the Board of Veterans Appeals have been teleworking and holding some hearings virtually. But delays for records and exams are slowing down progress. Now Congress wants to know what the board will do about the appeals backlog. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko had more information on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
FAA, Air Force among agency CDOs trying to improve data literacy

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2021 17:25


Chief data officers help agencies use data to improve services. Several CDOs have launched training programs to improve the data literacy of people in their agencies. For two examples, Federal News Network's Jory Heckman spoke with the Deputy Chief Data Officer at the Federal Aviation Administration Marseta Dill, and Air Force CDO Eileen Vidrine, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Report raises questions about commanders' ability to handle legal decisions

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2021 9:07


The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, which the Pentagon canceled last week, is all over except for packing away the pieces. Details on this and other matters are in this week's DOD Reporters notebook. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione and Jared Serbu joined Federal Drive's Tom Temin to discuss those topics and more.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
A look inside at how the General Services Administration auctions off something you can's see or touch

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 9, 2021 18:47


GSA auctions act as the government's clearinghouse for surplus assets and equipment, even when those assets are intangible. Recently GSA auctioneers disposed of eleven lots of cryptocurrency. It had an estimated value of $377,000. For details, Federal News Network's Jonathan Tercasio spoke with the Regional Commissioner for GSA's federal acquisition service, Thomas Meiron.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Which agencies scored well in pandemic response efforts in the workplace?

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 9, 2021 32:05


Biden administration officials express hope they'll never again have to measure, on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, how agencies responded to a global pandemic. But there's one agency that earned a near-perfect score on its COVID-19 response efforts. 97% of employees at the Farm Credit Administration say they're satisfied with how the agency supported their physical and mental well-being during the pandemic. That's the highest score of any agency of any size on the 2020 Best Places to Work rankings. It even beat NASA. Vonda Bell is FCA's chief human capital officer. Glen Smith is chairman. They tell Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko, what they attribute the high scores to in 2020.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
NGA using familiar arrangement to test commercial space products

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 9, 2021 18:25


The National Geospatial Agency is building tighter relationships with commercial space companies by using the same kind of legal agreement you enter into when you leave your car in a paid lot. So-called “bailment agreements” give NGA a chance to test a company's product and provide some feedback. For more, Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday spoke with NGA's Director of Commercial and Business Operations, Dave Gauthier.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Bureau of the Fiscal Service showing how digitization is done

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2021 18:12


The Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service is showing other federal financial agencies how technology can help them replace paperwork. The bureau has published what it calls a Digital End-to-End Efficiency strategy, that walks agencies through how to identify workflows ripe for automation, and how to squeeze out the most cost. For more, Federal News Network's Jory Heckman spoke with innovation program manager Craig Fischer, but first you'll hear from a management and program analyst with the bureau's Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation, Cindy Good.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Contracting officers, grant managers on the frontlines of White House's Made in America initiative

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2021 17:55


Federal contracting officers and grant managers, heads up! You are on the front lines of the Biden administration's Made in America initiative. The latest guidance from the Office of Management and Budget details the steps they've got to take to carry out that January order. For more, Federal News Network's Jason Miller spoke, in her very first interview since taking the job, with the director of OMB's Made in America Office, Celeste Drake.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Pentagon cancels JEDI Cloud contract after years of contentious litigation

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2021 19:55


After a long and bitter legal dispute, the Defense Department has opted to cancel its signature cloud computing contract. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure deal, known a JEDI, had been awarded to Microsoft and was protested by Amazon. Now the whole project will be replaced. Federal News Network's Jared Serbu had the latest on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
DoD taking immediate measures to address lack of trust on sexual assault and change prosecution process

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2021 19:23


After months of study, the Defense Department is hearing harsh news from the commission it hired to study sexual assault in the military. The report confirmed much of what many assault survivors have been saying about DoD's culture for years. The Pentagon is already taking steps to change some of its policies and is working with Congress to change the law. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the latest.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
CISA headquarters plans finalized as DHS consolidated campus reaches ‘critical mass'

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2021 19:48


The Homeland Security Department is closer to having more of its component headquarters in one location. It's moving ahead with plans to build a new headquarters for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on the former Saint Elizabeths campus in Southeast D.C. The CISA headquarters advances a project that dates to the George W. Bush administration. Federal News Network's Jory Heckman joined the Federal Drive with the latest.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Industry calling on NITAAC to reassess CIO-SP4 solicitation, push back due date for bids

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2021 20:05


The much-anticipated, next great governmentwide acquisition contract is a mess. It starts with the National Institutes of Health IT Acquisition and Assessment Center, or NITAAC. The center is facing a backlash from industry over last minute changes it made to the solicitation for its $50 billion CIO-SP4 information technology services vehicle. Federal News Network's Jason Miller has been asking around. He joined the Federal Drive with why contractors are so concerned, and what they want NITAAC to do about it.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Pentagon security agency aims to get background investigations software on track

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2021 19:30


National security agencies are leading the way in enrolling their employees in new “continuous vetting” programs for security clearance. But the IT system that forms the backbone of this background investigation strategy is still under development after a few shaky years. Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday has more.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
VA's EHR strategic review is complete, but path forward isn't quite ready for primetime

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2021 17:39


The Department of Veterans Affairs has a growing number of IT projects on the to-do list. Financial management modernization, supply chain and logistics modernization, and many more. Then there's the IT elephant in the room. VA has a lot of attention and money focused on the electronic health record modernization program. And Congress isn't so sure VA has the bandwidth to juggle them all. More from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.

FEDTalk
Change Management in an Ever-Changing World

FEDTalk

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2021 53:19


On FEDtalk this week, join a discussion on change management with John Kotter, Chairman of Kotter, and Kotter Affiliate, Gaurav Gupta. Regarded by many as the authority on leadership and change, John P. Kotter is a best-selling author, award winning business and management thought leader, business entrepreneur and Harvard Professor. His ideas, books, and company, Kotter, help mobilize people around the world to better lead organizations in an era of increasingly rapid change. Gaurav has a passion for translating strategy into successful implementation and for developing learning-focused teams. Gaurav has worked with clients in industries as diverse as food and beverage, oil and energy, healthcare, chemicals, and finance. Gaurav draws on his extensive global (having worked in over 10 countries) and diverse functional experience in collaborating with business leaders to develop and implement effective transformation efforts. The show breaks down top considerations for guiding employees through changing workforce conditions in the post-pandemic world. The panel will discuss how agencies can take advantage of the changes to improve employee skills and introduce a culture that values change and modern thinking. Kotter discusses these issues through the lens of his new book, Change: How Organizations Achieve Hard-to-Imagine Results Despite Uncertain and Volatile Times - Kotter (kotterinc.com). Learn more about the work occurring at Kotter, here: Strategy Execution and Change Management Consultants - Kotter (kotterinc.com) The show airs live on Friday, July 2nd, 2021 at 11:00 am ET on Federal News Network. You can stream the show online anytime via the Federal News Network app and listen to the FEDtalk podcast on PodcastOne and Apple Podcasts. FEDtalk is a live talk show produced by Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a federal employment law firm. Bringing you the insider's perspective from leaders in the federal community since 1993. FEDtalk is sponsored by the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). The FLTCIP is sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, insured by John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company, under a group long term care insurance policy, and administered by Long Term Care Partners, LLC (doing business as FedPoint).

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
DoD touts gains in vaccination rates, but worries about Delta variant

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2021 7:19


The Pentagon is getting ready to wind down the COVID-19 task force officials stood up toward the beginning of the pandemic. But that doesn't mean DoD considers the pandemic over. Officials say they've made huge strides in vaccinating servicemembers, but tighter restrictions could still return at least some bases if there are outbreaks of the Delta variant of the virus. Federal News Network's Jared Serbu has an update on DoD's COVID response.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
USPS ‘put its thumb on the scale' awarding delivery vehicle contract, vendor tells court

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2021 9:07


A vendor on the short list to build the Postal Service's next-generation delivery vehicle says it was unfairly disqualified from the $3 billion contract. The electric vehicle company Workhorse says USPS took its prototype out of consideration over a crash into a ditch that was due to a driver's error. The bid protest adds to pressure USPS is facing from Congress over the contract award. For more on these and others postal issues, Federal News Network's Jory Heckman talked with the Federal Drives Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Agencies score high marks from employees on handling of pandemic, but leadership issues persist

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2021 16:43


This years best places to work in the Federal Government rankings show a mixed bag: Glowing reviews on handling of the pandemic but leadership issues persist. The Office of Management and Budget scores dropped through the floor. The Department of Homeland Security made improvements but finished last yet again. The rankings, from the Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group, are out, and Federal News Network's Alazar Moges examined them in detail on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Industry presses for more time on cyber EO's software transparency initiative

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2021 17:57


Industry groups are urging the Biden administration to take it slow on a major software transparency and security initiative. The Commerce Department is under orders to define a so-called “software bill of materials.” But contractors are wary of the potential implications for new acquisition rules. Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more details.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Biden creates sweeping diversity and inclusion initiative through new executive order

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2021 20:29


Agencies have extensive instructions from the Biden administration on improving diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the federal workforce. President Biden signed a new order late last week. It runs more than 5,000 words. The order has a little bit of everything. It addresses unpaid internships, pay in the federal government, training, opportunities, ex convicts and even agency literature and gender pronouns. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to walk us through the new order.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Census Bureau training 5 agencies to run ‘do-it-yourself' data sprints

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2021 8:51


The Census Bureau's Opportunity Project puts federal data to work, pairing agencies up with tech teams from the private sector to create digital projects that benefit the public. This year's sprints focused on addressing COVID-19 and post-pandemic recovery. But for the year ahead, the bureau is also working with five agencies to run these types of data sprints on their own. For more on the pandemic sprints and next steps, Federal News Network's Jory Heckman spoke with the director of the Opportunity Project Director Drew Zachary.

Leaders and Legends in Government
JAIC CTO discusses the benefits of next generation technologies

Leaders and Legends in Government

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2021 46:20


Nand Mulchandani, chief technology officer for the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, joins Aileen Black on Leaders and Legends to discuss how the adoption next-generation AI and software technologies is helping to transform the Department of Defense.

Leaders and Legends in Government
TechNet CEO discusses company's leadership role in innovation

Leaders and Legends in Government

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2021 48:17


Linda Moore, the new president and CEO TechNet joined Aileen Black on Leaders and Legends to talk about leadership and to discuss TechNet's role as the voice of innovation.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Pentagon CMMC review aims to address small biz cost concerns, ‘restore trust' in assessment processes

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2021 9:07


The Pentagon is shedding some light on a much anticipated review of its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program. Officials said small business is at the top of their priorities. This as the chief executive of the CMMC Accreditation Body said its possible there are just weeks to go until assessments get the green light.Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday talked with the Federal Drive's Tom Temin.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
DoD launches project to quickly shift AI from labs to real-world warfighting

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2021 17:39


The Defense Department has a new plan to speed up its adoption of artificial intelligence technologies. The A-I and Data Accelleration Initiative – or ADA – formally launched this week. It includes four lines of effort, all designed to make sure DoD isn't just working with A-I in experimental settings, but moving it into practical applications in combatant commands around the world. Federal News Network's Jared Serbu has details.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Military leaders push back on taking crimes out of chain of command

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2021 19:08


Consider for a moment nonmilitary crimes like murder or larceny committed by members of the military. It looked like smooth sailing this year for a bill that took prosecution of these crimes out of the chain of command. The legislation had more than 60 sponsors in the Senate and heavy support in the House. Then the letters from top brass started coming it. Now it looks like there's a fight brewing among the military service chiefs, the defense secretary and Congress. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione has the latest.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
OPM vows to improve PMF program amid ‘unacceptable decline' in diverse candidates

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2021 19:36


The federal government's flagship leadership development program will go through a review and some changes in the coming years. The Office of Personnel Management says it wants to make the Presidential Management Fellows program more inclusive. That's after hearing from current and former fellows, and seeing what OPM calls an unacceptable decline in the number of diverse applicants. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to explain what the frustrations are, and how OPM intends to improve.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
After more than two decades, GWACs may be due for a refresh

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2021 8:56


The theory behind governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs) hasn't changed since the mid-1990s. But with many of the 10 GWACs run by the General Services Administration, NASA and the National Institutes of Health going through recompetes and refresh efforts in the coming years, it may be time to rethink how GWACs work. For one set of possible changes, Federal News Network's Jason Miller spoke with the executive director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation Matthew Cornelius.

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Popular federal websites riddled with accessibility flaws

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2021 20:05


Nearly half of the most popular federal websites are difficult to navigate for disabled people. That's according to research by the Information Technology and Innovation Fund. For details, Federal News Network's Jonathan Tercasio spoke with report authors Ashley Johnson and Daniel Castro on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.