Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Vishnu Kannan
Friday, August 2, 2019, 3:44 PM

Early Friday morning local time, North Korea launched short-range projectiles off its east coast, according to the South Korean military, Yonhap News Agency reports. The South Korean presidential office said that the projectiles appear to be a new type of short range ballistic missile but that more analysis is necessary. Today’s test is the country’s third in eight days. CNBC writes that President Trump downplayed the significance of the tests in a series of tweets, saying the tests were not a violation of the agreement signed between the two leaders in Singapore and adding that Kim Jong Un “will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!”

As part of a proposed deal with the Taliban, the U.S. would withdraw between five and six thousand troops in exchange for Taliban agreeing to a ceasefire and renouncing Al-Qaeda, the Washington Post reports. U.S. officials say that the deal could be finalized before the September Afghan elections.

President Trump announced that he is withdrawing the nomination of Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas for the position of Director of National Intelligence, says the New York Times.

Indian officials announced that they had found evidence of a planned attack by Pakistani military-backed militants on a Hindu pilgrimage site in Kashmir, Reuters reports. According to the officials, Pakistani military-marked ordinance was discovered amongst weapons caches which intelligence reports indicated were linked to likely attacks on travel routes to the site. An order from Kashmir’s Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra instructed pilgrims to “curtail their stay in the (Kashmir) valley immediately and take necessary measures to return [home] as soon as possible.”

On Friday the U.S. announced its formal withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, CNN writes. The 1987 agreement has come under increasing strain as the U.S. and NATO accused Russia of violating its terms. In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "Russia is solely responsible for the treaty's demise," and that "Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its noncompliant missile system." The Trump administration in February announced its intent to withdraw from the INF.

The Chinese government warned that it would retaliate against the U.S. if President Trump follows through with his promise to apply a 10% tariff to $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, per Reuters.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Dhruva Jaishankar noted that the globalization of the tech sector has affected international relations and national security.

Wyatt Hoffman and Ariel E. Levite argued that the market and the government need to move beyond just punishing corporations after major cybersecurity failures to instead steer them toward proactive and comprehensive cyber risk management.

Mikhaila Fogel shared the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s denial of Roger Stone’s motion to dismiss the charges against him.

Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the most recent episode of the National Security Law Podcast, in which they discuss several succession in office topics for the Director of National Intelligence and positions in the Department of Homeland Security, an update on proceedings in the military commissions and more.

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