Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Vanessa Sauter
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 12:52 PM

On Wednesday, Wikileaks leader Julian Assange confirmed that the head of a data analytics firm working with Trump’s campaign contacted Assange last year, the Daily Beast reports. Alexander Nix, the head of Cambridge Analytica, admitted that he sent an email to Assange seeking to assist Wikileaks in finding and releasing Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails. According to unnamed sources, Assange declined the request. This connection is the closest reported between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign during a time when Trump fervently admonished Clinton and publicly requested Russia’s help to recover Clinton’s lost emails.

Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, articulated his frustration with the Trump administration on Wednesday over the administration missing its Oct. 1 deadline to implement Russia sanctions, according to Politico. Trump signed the bipartisan sanctions bill in August, but his administration has yet to penalize certain Russian entities. Sens. John McCain and Ben Cardin have also expressed concern over the sanctions delay. Corker notably did not accuse the administration of purposeful delay, but intends to “check into it.”

Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Seoul on Thursday for his annual meeting with South Korean military officials, the Washington Post reports. Dunford will discuss, among other things, improving South Korea’s ballistic missiles and upgrading their military networks. Defense Secretary James Mattis will head to Seoul next week following Dunford’s departure.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s sentencing proceedings continued yesterday with emotional testimony from James Hatch, a former Navy SEAL whose military service dog was killed in a mission to retrieve Bergdahl, according to the Washington Post. Hatch’s testimony is part of an ongoing process to determine whether the consequences, often deadly, that followed Bergdahl’s abandonment of his post should factor into the sergeant's punishment. Hatch, who suffered career-ending injuries during the mission, delivered the tattered harness of his deceased military dog as evidence in the sentencing proceedings.

In an interview with several U.S. publications, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged the U.S. and Iran not to involve Iraq in growing conflicts over the nuclear deal and U.S. sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reports. Abadi reiterated his support for U.S. forces in Iraq fighting the Islamic State group, but that any attacks on coalition forces in Iraq, including those that U.S. officials believe are Iran proxies, would be considered “an attack on Iraq, on the sovereignty of Iraq, the sovereignty of the state.”

President Donald Trump admitted that he did not authorize the mission in Niger resulting in the deaths of four U.S. special forces members, according to the Hill. Trump stated that his generals had the authority, clarifying that he “gave them authority to do what’s right so that we win.” On Monday, Gen. Dunford said that the soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission that did not require the president’s authority.

ICYMI, Yesterday on Lawfare

Ashley Deeks, Sabrina McCubbin and Cody Poplin considered what the U.S. could learn from Cold War anti-propaganda strategies.

Ian Hurd discussed why both liberal and realist theorists incorrectly interpret the international laws of war.

The Lawfare Editors flagged the next Hoover Book Soiree with Susan Landau on Nov. 1.

Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck posted this week’s National Security Law podcast.

Garrett Hinck summarized the European Commission’s privacy shield review.

Matthew Kahn posted the live stream of a House hearing on the risk that Kaspersky Labs products pose to the federal government.

Kahn also posted the Oct. 24 executive order to resume the U.S. refugee admissions program.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.