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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:18 PM

There’s much out there, naturally, on the President’s State of the Union address—but we got to have a little excitement of our own in the national security world, as Raffaela laid out last night. Here are the Washington Post and the New York Times on the President’s executive order on cybersecurity. Raffaela has a summary, and Paul’s thoughts are here. And here is Jack on the President’s remarks on transparency and working with Congress (insert eye roll here).

CNN’s Jake Tapper has more on the President’s announcement that 34,000 troops will return from Afghanistan this time next year. Michael O’Hanlon of Brookings outlines four ideas that should influence President Obama’s thinking on Afghanistan in an op-ed in the Politico.

Speaking of Afghanistan, Kenneth Katzman of the Congressional Research Service has a report out entitled “Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy.”

Lots going on re: Chuck Hagel’s nomination. Jeremy Peters of the Times reports on the furiously partisan debate in the Senate Armed Services committee yesterday before the senators voted 14-11 to send Hagel’s nomination to the full Senate. During the debate, Senate Republicans Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Chuck Grassley and others ruled out the idea of a FISA-like court to oversee the drone program, says Carlo Munoz of the Hill. And Jennifer Rubin writes in the Post about why she thinks Hagel is a poor choice for SecDef.

John Brennan, meanwhile, is testifying in a classified hearing before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee today. The committee will vote on his nomination on Thursday, according to Carlo Munoz of the Hill.

In case you doubted that the sequester would do horrible, irreversible, apocalyptic harm to America’s defense and national security, let yesterday’s testimonies from the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing convince you. Here are Jeremy Herb of the Hill and Mike Mount of CNN’s Security Clearance blog.

Over at Foreign Policy, David Cole argues—in response to many recent voices stating that President Obama’s counterterrorism policies mirror those of his predecessor’s—that “claims that Obama is channeling Bush are grossly exaggerated.”

Peter Bergen of the New America Foundation has this piece in CNN arguing that the Esquire magazine story about the Navy SEAL who says he shot Osama bin Laden adds important detail to our understanding of Osama bin Laden’s final moments. Bergen also argues that the story differs from the one Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette told in his book No Easy Day.

The Associated Press reports that Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year old Pakistani women’s education activist who was shot at close range by the Pakistani Taliban, was released from a British hospital last week.

Seethe with jealousy, North Korea: Pakistan test fired a nuclear-capable missile on Monday, reports Dawn.

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.