Our picksPreventing terrorism; the real border crisis; Pan Am Flight 103: 30 years on, and more

Published 7 January 2019

·  Preventing terrorism starts with a plan

•  Trump’s failure to address the real crisis at the border

•  Trump claims support from past presidents for the wall: Clinton, Bush and Obama beg to differ

•  Trump wanted out of Syria immediately. Now U.S. says “no timeline” to leave.

•  House Dems eye $12B in aid for states hurt by natural disasters

•  Two weeks into shutdown, hundreds of TSA agents have stopped showing up for work

•  Pan Am Flight 103: Robert Mueller’s 30-year search for justice

•  The truth behind the bomb that took down Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie remains a 30-year mystery

Preventing terrorism starts with a plan (Haroro J. Ingram, Cipher Brief)
The Trump Administration’s National Strategy for Counterterrorism, released this past October, has received positive reviews for its balanced focus on the challenges associated with confronting terrorism abroad and in the homeland. In practice, however, little has been done to address the threat of America’s ‘domestic terrorists’ and there remains no preventative strategy for the homeland.

Trump’s failure to address the real crisis at the border (Jonathan Blitzer, New Yorker)
The more the shutdown fight centers on the wall, the further away lawmakers get from solving the actual policy problem: the growing number of refugees.
For the past two weeks, the President and top members of his Administration have been making their case, citing a “border crisis” and threats to American sovereignty and security, while blaming the usual suspects for the incursion, from MS-13 and the migrant caravan to Nancy Pelosi and liberal judges. “The crisis is not going away,” the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, wrote on Twitter. “It is getting worse.”
The irony, in light of the continuing political deadlock, is that Nielsen and the President are right about the current situation. There is an immigration crisis at the border—it’s just not the one the President keeps talking about. In the last half decade, while immigration at the U.S. border has dropped significantly compared with earlier years, the profile of migrants has changed in ways that the U.S. immigration system has never been designed to address. Instead of young men and seasonal workers, most of whom migrated from Mexico, the majority of people now arriving are asylum-seeking families and children from Central America. In November, more than twenty-five thousand families crossed the U.S. border—the highest such monthly total on record—fleeing violence, poverty, and rampant political corruption that have made parts of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala virtually uninhabitable. “There is a refugee crisis in our hemisphere,” Cecilia Muñoz, who served as the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Barack Obama, told me recently. “You can’t fix that at our border. The countries in the region—with the U.S. as the leader—need to try to deal with this collectively.” (Cont.)