Russia be warned: According to the BBC, President Obama has said that American military intervention is a possibility if Syria uses its chemical weapons.
The Washington Post reports that Afghan soldiers will now spy on each other in an effort to “reduce insurgent infiltration in the country’s security services.”
In other news from Afghanistan, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey’s plane was attacked by pesky militants, who fired rockets at Bagram Airfield.The Post has the story.
Here’s a shocker: Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has called for an investigation into the “green-on-blue” attacks, says the Hill.
Reuters informs us that Pakistan’s refusal to hand over Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s military chief who was captured in 2010, “symbolizes one of the biggest obstacles to negotiations [between Afghanistan and Pakistan]: a legacy of bone-deep suspicion dividing the neighbors.” Methinks it also symbolizes something else: the ISI’s willingness to shelter the Taliban in Pakistan.
Here’s today’s news from Yemen in one sentence: The New Atlanticist blog of the Atlantic Council discusses anti-Americanism and the dangers it poses in Yemen, where–Agence France Presse reports—militants with ties to Al Qaeda blew up a gas pipeline.
Gina Bellafante of the New York Times writes about the NYPD’s Domain Awareness System and the limits of surveillance in New York City.
The Atlantic has this story about Gauss, the latest internet virus found to have affected thousands of computers in the Middle East last week. It concludes:
If the Gauss malware is indeed the product of the same U.S.-Israeli cooperation that built Flame and possibly Stuxnet, it would be yet another indicator of how rapidly the new world of cyber threats, offensives, and engagement, is developing, how untested it all is, and how few norms or regulations keep it in check.
From the Department of Creative Approaches to Deficit Reduction: CNN reports that federal officials have seized $150 million linked to Hezbollah.
This will have the CIA quaking: The United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights has said that if the United States does not open an independent investigation into its targeted killing program, it will have to “step in to investigate the human rights abuses committed.” The Examiner has the story.
Uri Friedman of Foreign Policy provides this short history of targeted killing. It opens:
U.S. President Barack Obama has taken George W. Bush’s war on terror to a new level, approving, as journalist David Rohde recently put it in Foreign Policy, "more targeted killings than any modern president" through drone strikes against suspected militants from Pakistan to Somalia to Yemen. The idea of decapitating the enemy’s leadership stretches at least as far back as the fourth century B.C., when Emperor Chandragupta Maurya assassinated two Greek governors as part of his conquest of India, though the tactic has become more common over the last century. But what makes targeted killing different from assassination, which the United States banned decades ago? And how has the legal justification evolved for a practice that has become so prominent that the president now personally decides which enemies of the state should live or die?
Three members of AQIM—including one senior member of the group—were arrested in southern Algeria yesterday, says Agence France Presse.
And here’s The Onion, with the latest news on Julian Assange—today’s Moment of Zen:
LONDON—Following Thursday’s announcement that Ecuador will grant him political asylum, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told reporters that not even he is totally sure what his legal situation is right now. “So wait, what exactly is my current status, and which countries can I go to?” asked Assange, adding that he is also “pretty hazy” on the outstanding criminal charge, or charges, against him at this point. “I think I’m wanted for questioning in Sweden, but if I go there they can apparently extradite me to the United States or something? And I guess I’m allowed to go to Ecuador, of all places, but then I also can’t for some reason? I honestly don’t know anymore.” At press time, Assange told reporters the only thing he is completely certain of is that he has a website.