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IAVA Daily News Brief – Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Today’s Top Stories

Congress Has Less Than 10 Days To Make All of These National Security Decisions

In 10 days, on Dec. 11, a continuing resolution to fund the federal government will expire, forcing another shutdown if Congress doesn’t approve more money. It’s also the deadline for members of Congress to push through a long list of defense and national security issues they once again have put off until the last minute before planning to head home for the holidays. Defense One >>

National Guard, Reserves first up in expansion of VA sex assault treatment
The VA on Monday extended sexual assault counseling and treatment programs to some National Guard and Reserve veterans for the first time. Stars and Stripes >>

Obama faces shrinking pool of Pentagon contenders
Wanted: Thick-skinned candidate to oversee a sprawling bureaucracy bitten by budget cuts and join a national security team besieged by criticism. Must be tolerant of White House interference. Associated Press >>

AFGHANISTAN
Afghan district police chief Ahmadullah Anwari only has enough grenades to hand out three to each checkpoint in an area of Helmand province swarming with Taliban insurgents who launch almost daily attacks on security forces. Reuters >>

A three-week-long wave of Taliban attacks in Kabul has led several aid agencies to put their staff members on higher security alert, and some have sent foreign workers out of Afghanistan earlier than usual ahead of the holidays, aid officials say. New York Times >>

The coming launch of NATO’s training and advisory mission in Afghanistan will mark a new phase in Kabul’s relationship with the alliance that will bring peace and stability to the country, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Monday. Stars and Stripes >>

IRAQ
Law enforcement officials are warning U.S. military personnel they could be targeted by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Hill >>

About 250 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, officials announced Monday. Military Times >>

Iraq’s prime minister said Monday he retired 24 officials from the Interior Ministry as part of efforts to restructure the country’s security apparatus and remove those who failed to confront the crisis caused by the Islamic State group’s onslaught. Associated Press >>

MILITARY AFFAIRS
The sudden death of a Marine Corps combat veteran after his controversial exit from the military was a result of drug toxicity from one of his prescriptions, according to a newly published autopsy report. Marine Corps Times >>

A U.S. Air Force pilot taking part in Operation Inherent Resolve was killed when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed due to maintenance problems, according to the Pentagon. Stars and Stripes >>

Marines run through the Jungle Warfare Training Center’s endurance course Tuesday while carrying simulated casualties on litters on Camp Gonsalves, Okinawa, Japan. “The hardest part about the course was the stretcher carries,” said Cpl. Samuel C. Mills, from Lawrenceville, Ga. “If we didn’t work as a team during this obstacle, I think it would have been almost impossible (to get through it ).” Mills is a fire support man with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, currently assigned to 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. Military Times >>

NEW GREATEST GENERATION
In a brightly lit community room near Fort Belvoir, the young parents of military families listened intently as Christine Vance explained how they could get some charity to survive the holidays. Washington Post >>

When First Sergeant Chris Carlisle arrived at billionaire B. Wayne Hughes Jr.’s sprawling ranch in central California last August, he was pissed off. The 37-year-old Marine had been wounded twice during three tours overseas-including the bloodiest battle in Afghanistan-earning two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. After returning to San Diego in 2010, he faced a new enemy: himself. Forbes >>

Returning and homeless veterans are getting a little extra help this winter. Fox 6 >>

When it comes to impressing a hiring manager, be sure to show your qualifications, not just tell them. Task and Purpose >>

INSIDE WASHINGTON
A bipartisan bill sponsored by First District DFL Rep. Tim Walz aimed at preventing veteran suicides is gaining momentum in Congress. Post-Bulletin >>

Seth Moulton wants to ensure that Congress has a vigorous debate over authorizing troops in Iraq and Syria. He is looking for a full team of staffers and vowing to help fix the bureaucratic morass at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Boston Globe >>

House and Senate lawmakers have reached a compromise on a joint fiscal year 2015 defense policy bill and hope to unveil the measure Monday night or early Tuesday morning, according to one of the chief negotiators. The Hill >>

The Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress are battling over whether the VA is firing employees fast enough as part of a major management overhaul, but legal analysts say even the five-day notice the administration has settled on is too short and employees who have been fired could sue to get their jobs back – with taxpayers on the hook for back pay. Washington Times >>

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