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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Welcome back. Here’s hoping your Memorial Day Weekend was restful and relaxing.

The biggest news item of the day is this story by Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post.  It’s about designs for some of our country’s most sensitive weapons systems—which were compromised, earlier this year, by Chinese cyber attacks.

Hackers have attempted to breach American energy infrastructure as well, says CNN. Iran is thought to be behind this string of incidents.

Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald reports that, as of Sunday, 35 Guantanamo Bay detainees were being force fed. The number could be higher, however—prison officials are not allowed to include the 15 former CIA captives in their numbers.

Coverage of President Obama’s speech at National Defense University continues: In case you didn’t get enough Republican criticism of his address—check out Raffaela’s excellent post on this subject—The Hill has you covered.  Here are remarks from House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and, of course, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the Times also has talking points from the Sunday talk shows.

Declan Walsh of the Times discusses the effect that policies announced in the president’s remarks will have on Pakistan.  Less engagement with Pakistan will diminish the country’s strategic significance to Washington; Pakistan also will have to begin taking responsibility for terrorists on its soil.

Peter Bergen of the New America Foundation argues in this CNN op-ed that the essential part of the president’s address was not his discussion of specific policies in the War on Terror, but his “overarching framework for how to conceptualize the conflict”:

But the most significant aspect of the speech was the president’s case that the “perpetual wartime footing” and “boundless war on terror” that has permeated so much of American life since 9/11 should come to an end.

Obama argued that the time has come to redefine the kind of conflict that the United States is engaged in: “We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us.”

Jeremy Herb of the Hill reports that defense experts believe that targeting criteria outlined in President Obama’s speech spell a curtailment of drone strikes—and a possible end to signature strikes altogether.

Jane Harman of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has this article in Foreign Policy about how to lessen the risk of self-radicalization in the United States. She outlines four ways to mitigate the risk:

1.) intervene in the grey area between radical beliefs and violent behaviors; 2.) install redundant layers of security at both hard and soft critical targets; 3.) instill trust with communities where alienation is likely; and 4.) integrate a whole-of-government approach that embodies U.S. values.

Speaking of homegrown radicalism, the horrendous stabbing of a British soldier last week has led to the same questions about domestic intelligence failures that arose on these shores, after the Boston marathon bombings. John F. Burns of the Times informs us that the UK government acknowledged yesterday that it knew for two years that Michael Adebolajo, one of the two suspects, had links to Al Qaeda. He had been arrested by Kenyan police in 2010 on suspicions he was planning to join Al Shabaab. The Wall Street Journal has more.

Sadly, a French soldier was also stabbed over the weekend while patrolling a crowded commercial district, announces the Associated Press. The suspect remains at large.

And, African leaders have decided to move forward with plans for a military rapid reaction force to respond to security emergencies on the continent. Reuters has more.

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.