Our picksCountering Domestic Terrorism | Hydropower Decline | TikTok’s Extremists Rabbit Holes, and more

Published 12 October 2021

·  Countering Domestic Terrorism May Require a New Strategy

·  Afghanistan: The Big Unanswered Question

·  Recalibrating U.S. Counterterrorism: Lessons Learned from Spain

·  Hydropower Decline Adds Strain to Power Grids in Drought

·  Pentagon Now Continuously Scanning All Staff with Security Clearances for Terrorist and Criminal Threats 

·  Facebook Whistleblower: Without Action, ‘Extremist Behaviors We See Today Are Only the Beginning’

·  Australian Far-Right Terrorism Investigations Have Increased By 750 Per Cent in 18 Months

·  Germany Suspends Soldiers in Military Guard over Far-Right Allegations

·  Extremists Await Sentencing for Planning Domestic Terrorism

·  TikTok’s Algorithm Leads Users from Transphobic to Far-Right Rabbit Holes

Countering Domestic Terrorism May Require a New Strategy  (Brian Michael Jenkins, The Hill)
After two decades of focusing on the terrorist threat posed by global and homegrown jihadists, the United States is pivoting to address domestic violent extremism. The challenge, says RAND’s Brian Michael Jenkins, is to “isolate and contain violent extremists without turning them into political martyrs or half the country into enemies of the state.” Doing this may require focusing less on intelligence collection and more on investigating violent crimes and bringing perpetrators to justice.

Afghanistan: The Big Unanswered Question  (Raphael Cohen, Lawfare)
The debate over the legacy of the U.S. war in Afghanistan is just beginning, and there are many questions to be answered. One in particular stands out to RAND political scientist Raphael Cohen: Does the United States still have the grit necessary to fight and win long wars? The answer is not immediately clear, but the stakes are. The sake of the international order and the fate of liberal democracy could depend on it, he says.

Recalibrating U.S. Counterterrorism: Lessons Learned from Spain  (Kim Cragin, Michael Bartlett, and Will Crass, Lawfare)
As the United States seeks to avoid overreliance on military forces to fight terrorism abroad, law enforcement agencies—international and domestic—will play an even more important role. America can learn much from its allies in this regard. Many U.S. allies, such as the United Kingdom and France, have experienced both foreign and domestic terrorist threats to their homelands, and most lack “over-the-horizon” military capabilities to mitigate these threats. Spain, in particular, has developed new and creative approaches to law enforcement in its struggle against terrorism.

Hydropower Decline Adds Strain to Power Grids in Drought  (Michael Phillis, AP)
After water levels at a California dam fell to historic lows this summer, the main hydropower plant it feeds was shut down. At the Hoover Dam in Nevada—one of the country’s biggest hydropower generators—production is down by 25%. If extreme drought persists, federal officials say a dam in Arizona could stop producing electricity in coming years.
Severe drought across the West drained reservoirs this year, slashing hydropower production and further stressing the region’s power grids. And as extreme weather becomes more common with climate change, grid operators are adapting to swings in hydropower generation.