Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Monday, July 23, 2012, 11:00 AM

Yasir Ghazi and Rob Nordland of the New York Times tell us that today was the bloodiest day all year in Iraq, with 37 coordinated attacks killing at least 97 people and injuring more than 300.

For all those concerned about whether the Assad regime may dip into its hefty stock of chemical weapons, never fear: its Foreign Ministry spokesman assured members of the media that it would not use them "against Syrian civilians." Neil MacFarquhar of the New York Times reports.

Joby Warrick of the Washington Post unpacks the significance of last week's suicide bombing in Bulgaria by Hezbollah.

A letter from the Office of the DNI to Senator Ron Wyden acknowledged that intelligence agencies' collection of communications under FISA have violated citizens' right to privacy on at least one occasion. Ellen Nakashima at the Post provides the details.

Josh Gerstein of Politico summarizes the latest happenings in the John Kiriakou/CIA leak case.

Anonymous reportedly hacked into an Arab bank over the weekend, and threatened to let loose "global internet destruction" unless the bank admitted to financing terrorist organizations. The Times of India reports.

The Senate has a new cybersecurity bill, which Senator Joe Lieberman hopes will move to the floor this week. The Hill's got coverage here, here on privacy advocates' satisfaction with the revised legislation, and here on the Chamber of Commerce's lack of satisfaction. Read Paul's thoughts on the bill here.

Craig Whitlock and Julie Tate of the Washington Post report on the U.S. military's decision to provide Yemen with more than $100 million in counterterrorism and security aid this year.

Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution writes in The Atlantic on some issues that the drone industry's new "code of conduct" seemed to overlook, particularly issues that may require revising existing laws.

And over at the New York Times Opinionator blog, John Kaag and Sarah Kreps attempt to apply the myth of Gyges to the U.S. policy of targeted killing.

The International Criminal Court has opened a preliminary investigation into the violence in Mali, writes Jaclyn Belczyk of Jurist.

Vanda Felbab-Brown of Brookings has this Foreign Affairs piece on our withdrawal from Afghanistan. She concludes:

The pace and shape of the U.S. and ISAF drawdown in Afghanistan, which are yet to be fully determined, will produce far greater pressures than simply logistical ones. How many U.S. troops are left behind in Afghanistan after 2014 and what roles they retain will influence whether civil war will, in fact, materialize. Ultimately, although Pakistan is likely to continue cultivating vicious allies like the Haqqanis, an unstable Afghanistan will destabilize Pakistan, too. Resolving the logistics to get out of Afghanistan on schedule is important. But staying in Afghanistan in a sufficiently robust and wisely structured presence so that security can be strengthened and Afghan governance improved is even more crucial. The worst possible outcome would be to be rushing out of Afghanistan and then lacking even the logistical routes to do so.

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