• Outgoing U.S. national security adviser: West has “failed to impose sufficient costs” on Russia

    Outgoing White House national security adviser H. R. McMaster has called for stronger measures against Russian “threats” and “provocations,” arguing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is mistaken in thinking the West will not push back against the Kremlin’s “hybrid warfare.” The comments were some of the strongest to date on Russia by McMaster, whose last day at the White House will be next week.

  • Gen. H. R. McMaster: "The Kremlin’s confidence is growing

    In a speech at the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, 3 April, the outgoing national security adviser Gen. H. R. McMaster said that “Russia has used old and new forms of aggression to undermine our open societies and the foundations of international peace and stability.” He said that Western countries have been “targeted by Russia’s so-called hybrid warfare, a pernicious form of aggression that combines political, economic, informational, and cyber assaults against sovereign nations.  Russia employs sophisticated strategies deliberately designed to achieve objectives while falling below the target state’s threshold for a military response.  Tactics include infiltrating social media, spreading propaganda, weaponizing information, and using other forms of subversion and espionage.” McMsster added: “The Kremlin’s confidence is growing.”

  • Russia's influence is much more than propaganda and fake news

    This liberal bias of Western political culture has led the majority of Russia-commentators to miss something which is in plain sight: that Russia’s conservative values are increasingly attractive among populist groups in the West, and that this attraction is doing what soft power is supposed to do: generating support for Russia’s foreign policy. The ideological attraction of the values put forward by the Russian regime cross several categories, including moral conservatism, illiberal governance, and strong leadership. This means that Russian propaganda is not simply being delivered to a uniform audience that needs to be convinced or confused: it is being delivered to a differentiated audience, some of whom – on the populist, far-right side of the spectrum — will buy into the messages put out by the Russian regime because it conforms with their ideological values. Countering Russian influence in the West is thus not simply a matter of fact-checking to counter the propaganda efforts: with populist, far-right movements the problem is fundamentally ideological.

  • EU said to reject ballistic missile penalties on Iran

    Members of the European Union are balking at imposing sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program. EU members Spain, Italy and Austria rejected proposed penalties by the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, which would penalize Iran for its continued ballistic missile program and support for the Assad regime in Syria’s civil war. These penalties would include freezing assets as travel bans on 15 individuals, companies, and groups involved in these endeavors.

  • The Baader-Meinhof gang dissolved in 1998 – but some members are still on the run

    Future members of the Red Army Faction – aka the Baader-Meinhof gang — committed their first known attack on 2 April 1968, when two Frankfurt department stores were hit with arson. The RAF dissolved in 1998, but many questions are still unanswered. Three former members of the Red Army Faction are still on the run. A series of robberies in the late 1990s put the authorities back on their trail. These thefts served no apparent political goal: Their only purpose was to finance the fugitives’ lives on the run.

  • Propagating online conspiracies

    Due to the Internet, conspiracy theories are on the rise and playing an increasingly significant role in global politics. Now new research has analyzed digital data to reveal exactly who is propagating them and why. The researchers said that conspiracies such as Pizzagate (which falsely claimed high-ranking Democratic Party officials were running a child-sex ring out of a pizza shop) and the anti-vaccination movement are becoming a bigger issue.

  • U.S. adds Pakistan's Milli Muslim League to terror list

    The United States has placed Pakistan’s Milli Muslim League (MML) political party on its list of foreign terrorist organizations for its alleged links to a militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The State Department said in a statement on 2 April that it had designated Milli Muslim League (MML) as a foreign terrorist group because it was operating as fronts for Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT) which is also on the U.S. terrorist list.

  • Russian media has offered 20 different narratives of Skripal poisoning

    As British investigators probe the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, international consensus continues to grow that Moscow was behind the attempted assassination. In Russia, by contrast, fingers are pointing in all directions but the Kremlin, with two dozen different narratives surrounding the Skripal case appearing in the Russian media. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Moscow of seeking to “conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies.”

  • European anti-Semitism: Trends to watch in 9 countries in 2018

    Anti-Semitism is once again a serious concern in Europe. Incidents are rising in several countries. Violent attacks, assaults and vandalism against the French Jewish community are making headlines nearly every day. Earlier this week, Jews in the United Kingdom took to the streets to protest deep-seated anti-Semitism in the Labor Party and the failure of political leaders on the left, including Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, to adequately address their concerns. ADL offers an assessment of the current situation in nine European countries.

  • #EnoughIsEnough: It is time to tackle anti-Semitism in the Labor Party

    Since Jeremy Corbyn was first named Labor party leader, in September 2015, there has been a growing focus on the problem of anti-Semitism in the party. Repeated cases of antisemitism from Labor Party members have not been dealt with quickly or effectively under Corbyn’s leadership and the Jewish community is now demanding action. On Monday last week, more than 1,000 members of the British Jewish community and its supporters protested in Parliament Square to tell the leader of the Labor party, Jeremy Corbyn, that Enough is Enough.

  • Funding restored to National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures lab

    The Fort Detrick, Maryland-based National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) is no longer facing an immediate jeopardy. The federal omnibus spending bill,  released last Wednesday evening, provided full funding for the biohazard laboratory – funding which the original administration’s budget proposal eliminated.

  • Russian ships scouting key communication cables

    Russia has not only attacked the infrastructure of American democracy, but has also engaged in what the U.S. government describes as a pervasive, wide-ranging cyber-assault on U.S. energy grid and other key components of the U.S. critical infrastructure. These attacks included leaving “sleeper” malware in key infrastructure nodes, which would allow Russia – remotely, and at the time of its choosing — to turn off power stations, open dam gates, shutdown water treatment facilities, and more. Western intelligence services have spotted Russian ships lurking around critical underwater communications cables, causing concern the Kremlin is doing reconnaissance in preparation for possible future retaliatory action.

  • Georgia passes anti-cyber whistleblower bill

    Despite the vigorous objections of the cybersecurity community, the Georgia legislature has passed a bill which would open independent researchers who identify vulnerabilities in computer systems to prosecution and up to a year in jail. Critics of the bill say that Georgia has positioned itself as a hub for cybersecurity research, but the bill would make cybersecurity firms think twice about relocating to Georgia.

  • Former Justice Stevens’s call for repealing the2nd Amendment: Compelling, hazardous

    On 27 March, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an op-ed article calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. Gregory Magarian, a former clerk for Justice Stevens and now a law professor specializing in constitutional law, says that Justice Stevens makes a compelling historical and legal case for amending the Constitution to repeal the Second Amendment, but that the path he advocates would present distinctive challenges and hazards.

  • A court case could set precedent for climate change litigation

    A closely watched federal trial pitting two cities against major oil companies has taken surprising and unorthodox turns. Stanford researchers examine the case, which could reshape the landscape of legal claims for climate change-related damages.