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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Today was the big day. Chuck Hagel faced his former colleagues who sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee today in his bid for SecDef. And just in time for this momentous day, a Republican Senator has come out of the pro-Hagel closet. Who is this daring soul, you ask? Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, so says Jeremy Herb of The Hill. Here’s Hagel’s opening statement, courtesy of the New York Times.

NPR‘s Ari Shapiro discussed on Morning Edition what President Obama’s national security Cabinet nominees say about U.S. military strategy.

David Ignatius focuses his column on the new strategies undertaken the new generation of Al Qaeda, which he dubs "Al Qaeda 2.0," and how the U.S. should adjust its counterterrorism policy to deal with the disparate cells accordingly.

Lydia Polgreen and Scott Sayare update us in the Times on the situation in Mali, particularly on France’s plan to transition responsibility over to African forces (not just Malian) for maintaining control over certain cities in the country.

It’s not just the U.S. government that is being subjected to lawsuits about its drone strike strategy, as John Bellinger III already noted this morning. Here’s the Times article on the lawsuit in U.K. over the drone strike that killed tribal elder Malik Khan and a dozen others in Pakistan back in 2011.

So much for economic sanctions against Iran: the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released a report indicating that holes in the contract oversight system between 2007 and 2012 resulted in the purchase of about $1.1B of Iranian fuel for the Afghan army. Ernesto Londono of the Washington Post has all the details on that "Oops!" here.

Alissa Rubin of the Times follows up on the Wall Street Journal report on the U.S. military’s decision to bar Afghan airline Kam Air from military contracts, reporting that Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants to see the evidence of drug smuggling so that Afghan authorities can investigate the situation for themselves.

The news of Fortune 500 companies’ responses to Senator Jay Rockefeller’s fall 2012 letter about cybersecurity policy is making waves. Here’s a Reuters report.

Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky Lab, has called for greater cooperation by intelligence agencies across borders on cybersecurity challenges at the firm’s Cyber Security Summit in New York. Computer Weekly reports on the details of that conference.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has approved the purchase of A123 by Wanxiang, a Chinese company. Here’s CBS News’ story. Meanwhile, Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports that the DOJ has asked the Federal Communications Commission to delay deciding whether Softbank, a Japanese company, can purchase Sprint. Read the letter sent to the FCC from the DOJ here.

Wells spent the day up at Fort Meade again covering Judge Pohl’s assertion of his power as The Judge, and Charlie Savage reports on the transcript released from Monday’s wrongly-censored portion of the hearing over at the Times. Meanwhile Carlo Munoz of The Hill tells all about that sleepover (Wells’ coverage, part 1) that the defense counsels are asking (Wells part 2) for (Wells part 3) at Camp 7.

The New York Times announced it’s been the target of cyber exploitation over the last four months. Here’s the AP story on the Times announcement.

Julian Pecquet of The Hill tells us that the White House’s coordinator for arms control and the prevention of WMD proliferation, Gary Samore, is headed up to Cambridge to run the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard.

Bill Moyers hosted former Senate Intelligence Committee General Counsel Vicki Divoll and the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Vincent Warren to talk about drone strikes. Here’s the video:

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter and check out the Lawfare News Feed, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Syracuse’s Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism’s newsroll, and Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief and Cyber Brief. Email Raffaela Wakeman and Ritika Singh noteworthy articles to include, visit the Lawfare Events Calendar for upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings at the Lawfare Job Board.

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