• 2020 Conflicts: The Most Likely, and Most Damaging to U.S.

    The Council on Foreign Relations has asked policy experts to rank thirty ongoing or potential conflicts based on how likely they are to occur or escalate in the next year, and their possible impact on U.S. interests. For the second year in a row, a highly disruptive cyberattack on critical infrastructure, including electoral systems, was the top-ranked homeland security–related concern. A mass-casualty terrorist attack was a close second. A confrontation between the United States and Iran, North Korea, or with China in the South China Sea remain the biggest concerns overseas.

  • Iran's Attacks on U.S. Assets Could Encourage N. Korea's Nuclear Ambitions: Experts

    Iran’s attacks on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops as Tehran announced it will no longer comply with restrictions on uranium enrichment may encourage North Korea to perfect its nuclear and missile technologies, experts said.

  • Australia’s Fires: The Worst Is Yet to Come

    “Human-caused climate change is most certainly an important contributing factor to the recent fire season in Australia,” says an expert. “What is perhaps most concerning, is that while this year’s fire season, just now underway, appears to be unprecedented, forecasts suggest it will be dwarfed by future conditions.”

  • Iran Abandons 2015 Nuclear Deal

    Iran says it is no longer limiting the number of centrifuges used to enrich uranium— a virtual abandonment of the 2015 nuclear deal. But the Sunday statement did not make any explicit threats that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon — something Iran has always denied it wants to do. Its statement said Iran will still cooperate with the International Atomic Agency. President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out in 2018.

  • Australia: Rising Temperatures, Intensifying Winds Threaten New Fire Wave

    Firefighters in Australia are working around the clock as temperatures and winds are expected to pick up in the coming days, threatening to ignite a fresh wave of fires. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet with leaders of financial institutions and agencies to discuss the soaring costs of the on-going crisis.

  • Ordinary Jihad

    In 2012, Mohamed Merah, a French self-proclaimed jihadist, and friends killed seven people, including three Jewish children outside their school, in several shootings in southwestern France. Since then, more than 260 people have died in France at the hands of Islamist terrorists. Many of the killers came from what what Bernard Rougier, in his book The Conquered Territories of Islamism, called “Islamist ecosystems.”

  • Was America’s Assassination of Qassem Suleimani Justified?

    David Petraeus, the former American army general who served as the commander of the Central Command and later as director of the CIA, said that the killing of Qassem Suleimani was “more consequential” than the killing of Osama bin Laden or of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Economist writes that while few bemoaned the demise of the jihadist leaders of al-Qaeda and Islamic State, the killing of Suleimani on 3 January has sparked a debate over the legality, effectiveness, and impact of his assassination.

  • U.S. Strike Kills Commander of Iran’s Elite Quds Force

    The Pentagon confirmed the killing of Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani in an elaborate missile strike in Baghdad. Soleimani, a cunning and ruthless military commander, was the mastermind behind Iran’s relentless drive to achieve a regional hegemony in the Middle East. His major achievements include securing Bashar al-Assad’s victory in the Syrian civil war; turning Iraq into an Iranian satellite; making Hezbollah into a potent and well-equipped military force; igniting the Houthi rebellion in Yemen; overseeing the development of sophisticated drones and cruise missiles which, in a massive September 2019 attack on Saudi oil facilities, showed they can evade U.S. dense air-defenses; and accelerating Iran’s march to the bomb since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.

  • Don't Ignore Far-Left Extremists Even as Far-Right Violence Is Rising: German Police

    New Year’s violence between left-wing extremists and police in the eastern Germany city of Leipzig has created a heated political debate. “It is right and important to fight far-right extremism with all means, but that doesn’t mean we should disregard the left,” said Rainer Wendt, head of one of the two largest German police unions.

  • Helping Keep U.S. Nuclear Deterrent Safe from Radiation

    Advanced modeling speeds up weapons research, development and qualification. It also lets researchers model changes in experimental conditions that increase the total radiation dose, change how fast a device gets that dose, and mix and match destructive elements like neutrons, energy and heat in environments that cannot be recreated in experimental facilities.

  • The Monsey Attack: What’s the Basis for the Federal Charges against Grafton Thomas?

    Grafton Thomas is accused of committing the horrific, anti-Semitic attacks in Monsey, New York last Saturday.  Marty Lederman writes that “One might have expected (I did) that the United States would have charged Thomas with violations of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. 249(a),” but that for some reason, “the government has instead elected to charge Thomas pursuant to a different criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. 247(a)(2).” “It’s… likely the government will be able to satisfy the commerce element of Section 247(a)(2),” he writes,” “but it would’ve been much easier for the government to satisfy the different commerce element prescribed by Section 249(a)(2).”

  • Lockdown: Living Through the Era of School Shootings, One Drill at a Time.

    Ninety-five percent of American schools now conduct drills to prepare students for a school shooter. Elizabeth Brocklin writes that “For adults who were out of high school by the time of the 1999 Columbine shooting, this is an unfamiliar phenomenon. We don’t have a clear picture of how the drills are experienced by the children they were designed for.”

  • U.S. Military Precariously Unprepared for Climate Threats, War College & Retired Brass Warn

    A series of climate-related disasters has paralyzed the strategic capabilities of several U.S military bases in recent years. David Hasemyer writes that it has exposed the military’s vulnerability to extreme weather, shining light on its failure to prepare adequately and on the consequences this lack of preparation could have for U.S. national security.

  • GOP Senators: Chinese Drones Pose National Security Threat

    A group of GOP senators called on the administration to restrict the use of Chinese drones by U.S. government agencies. “American taxpayer dollars should not fund state-controlled or state-owned firms that seek to undermine American national security and economic competitiveness,” they write.

  • Germany Restructures Police, Intelligence to Fight Far-Right Violent Extremists

    German government statistics show that in 2018 there were more than 24,000 active right-wing extremists in Germany, with about 12,500 of them considered capable of carrying out violent acts. The total number of these extremists is expected to increase in 2019 by as much as a third, to 32,200, according to government documents obtained by the newspaperTagesspiegel. On Tuesday, The German government unveiled broad new measures to restructure domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies in 2020 in order to make the German intelligence and law enforcement services more capable to fight the rising threat of right-wing extremism.