Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Monday, October 21, 2019, 4:21 PM

CNN reports that a convoy has successfully transported American military personnel from Syria into Iraq as part of President Trump’s withdrawal from Syria. The New York Times reports that Trump is now leaning in favor of a Pentagon plan to keep approximately 200 American troops in Syria, in part to prevent other parties from gaining access to oil fields.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly told his party members in a meeting weeks ago that he found it unacceptable that Turkey was barred from pursuing a nuclear weapons program due to obligations from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, according to the Times.

Following bipartisan backlash, President Trump reversed his decision to host next year’s G7 summit at Trump National in Doral, Florida, reports CNN.

Gen. Austin S. Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, confirmed that American forces have been gradually reduced over the past year to roughly 12,000 people in Afghanistan, reports the New York Times. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday, hoping to restart talks for a peace agreement with the Taliban, according to Reuters.

U.S. and U.K. intelligence officials confirmed that a Russian-backed hacking group known as Turla hacked an Iranian hacking group known as OilRig in order to use the Iranian group’s resources and network to anonymously steal secret information from several Middle Eastern governments, according to the BBC.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that his attempts to pull together a coalition government had failed, according to the Washington Post.

The U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow blocked an attempt by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to hold another vote on the latest Brexit deal on Monday since the vote was “in substance the same” as the one that failed on Saturday, reports the Post.

At least eight people died in Chile on Sunday during violent protests which started over an announced subway fare increase in the country. Chilean President Sebastián Piñera had canceled the increase on Saturday, but the move has failed to stop demonstrations, reports the Times.

India and Pakistan exchanged fire across the highly militarized border dividing Kashmir, leading to the death of at least nine civilians and soldiers, reports the Post.

ICYMI: Last Weekend on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared the latest episode of The Lawfare Podcast, in which a variety of experts speak with Benjamin Wittes about the latest developments from Syria.

David Priess discussed impeachment from the perspective of historical practice and the framers’ intent to argue that the proximity of an election should not influence the decision to impeach a president.

Carter Malkasian explained the logic of the continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan and some arguments for withdrawal.

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