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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, February 22, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Two explosions in Hyderabad, India have killed sixteen people—including five students—and injured more than 100. The blasts were “long-planned” according to intelligence officials, and Indian Mujahideen is the group suspected to be responsible for the attack. The New York Times has the story.

Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti of the Times report on the tussle between the Obama administration and Congress on whether to release the targeted killings memos or more information about the Benghazi attacks in order to get John Brennan confirmed.

BBC.com tells us that three Birmingham gentlemen have been convicted on terrorism charges for plotting to set off up to eight bombs. Paul Cruickshank writes in CNN’s Security Clearance blog that this trial reveals Al Qaeda’s “new strategy to target the West.”

Meanwhile, NATO is considering keeping Afghan troop levels at 352,000 until 2018 instead of cutting the force after 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal and the Times.

Enter, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove: The Air Force general is President Obama’s pick to serve as NATO’s supreme allied commander after Gen. John Allen resigns, reports the Washington Post.

One step forward, four steps backward: The Associated Press reports that at least half of the Afghan Taliban fighters released by Pakistani authorities in a gesture of goodwill have rejoined the fight.

Speaking of recidivism, Susan Sim, vice president for Asia of the Soufan Group, discusses the pros and cons of terrorist rehabilitation programs in this op-ed in the Journal.

Senator Lindsey Graham publicly stated that the 4,700 people have been killed by U.S. drone strikes, marking the first time a U.S. official has revealed a number for drone casualties. Al Jazeera has the story.

The Los Angeles Times says that drone strikes in Afghanistan increased 72 percent in 2012—and the upswing is likely to continue.

In other drone news, WAMU reports that the Virginia state senate has passed a two-year moratorium on the use of drones in the state.

Ali Soufan, former FBI special agent and author, argues in this op-ed in the Times that Zero Dark Thirty is “bunk” in terms of its historical accuracy.

And, it’s not just Zero Dark Thirty we national security folk had in store for us this year. The Gatekeepers, the award-winning documentary about Israel’s notorious secret service agency, Shin Bet, premieres today. Check out the Washington Post’s review here and the trailer below:

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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