Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 2:33 PM

The Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russian military police were patrolling the area between Turkish and Syrian military forces in northwestern Manbij, a city in northern Syria where U.S. troops were stationed prior to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the region, reports the Washington Post.

President Trump announced new sanctions on Turkish government agencies and officials in response to their “heinous acts” in Syria, reports the New York Times. The sanctions did not target Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but the Treasury Department warned of additional measures if Turkey did not shift course. The president also announced the doubling of tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and the suspension of negotiations on a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey.

Rudy Giuliani was reportedly paid $500,000 last year by Fraud Guarantee, a Florida-based business co-founded by Lev Parnas, who was indicted last week on charges of campaign finance violations, according to the Post. Giuliani defended himself, saying “I know exactly where the money came from. I knew it at the time... I will prove beyond any doubt it came from the United States of America.”

Fiona Hill, the former senior official for Russia and Europe on the National Security Council, testified on Monday in a closed-door session before the three House committees handling the impeachment inquiry. The Washington Post reports that Hill claimed that Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine were not coordinated with the appropriate U.S. foreign policy officials and that John Bolton instructed her to raise concerns about Giuliani’s behavior with White House lawyers as Bolton did not want to be part of any “drug deal.”

Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, defended his actions in Ukraine during a televised interview, in which the younger Biden suggested that he neither had an ethical lapse nor acted improperly while working for a Ukrainian gas company, reports ABC News.

Official data from the European Union border agency Frontex shows that more Afghans than Syrians have migrated to the EU so far this year, reports Reuters. Many of the migrants are relocating from Iran, a country hit hard by recent U.S. sanctions.

The South Korean Justice Minister Cho Kuk, who was a close ally to President Moon Jae-in, has resigned from his position over allegations of ethical violations and financial wrongdoing within his family, reports the New York Times.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Max Smeets discussed his proposal for memoranda of understanding between NATO states concerning offensive cyber effects operations.

Herb Lin commented on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s new proposal to contact businesses vulnerable to external threats and explained why businesses fear this new proposal could be abused.

Jacob Schulz announced that Lawfare is now accepting spring internship applications.

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