OUR PICKSThe Case Against Masks at School | Water Sector & Cyberattacks | Anti-Vaxxers Will Believe Anything, and more

Published 27 January 2022

·  The Case Against Masks at School

·  American Deterrence’s Missing Half

·  Biden Team Promises New Approach to Extremism, but Critics See Old Patterns

·  UK Anti-Terror Police Make 2 More Arrests in Texas Synagogue Hostage Probe; 4 Total in Custody

·  Student Who Opened Fire During Lecture Linked to Neo-Nazi Party

·  Electric Grid Is ‘Attractive Target’ for Domestic Violent Extremists in US, Intel Brief Says

·  Twitter Suspended 44K Accounts for Promoting Terrorism, Violent Orgs in First Half of 2021

·  EPA Leading Effort to Secure the Water Sector Against Cyberattacks

·  The Shady Site That Shows Anti-Vaxxers Will Believe Anything

The Case Against Masks at School  (Margery Smelkinson, Leslie Bienen, and Jeanne Noble, The Atlantic)
Districts should rethink imposing on millions of children an intervention that provides little discernible benefit.

American Deterrence’s Missing Half  (Raphael S. Cohen, The Hill)
The Department of Defense is the only Cabinet agency whose core mission revolves around deterrence, the department is in reality only responsible for half of what we should consider deterrence. Military force provides what Nobel Prize-winning economist Thomas Schelling termed the “power to hurt.” Successful deterrence, then, requires something more — the ability to credibly signal the willingness to use that power if necessary. The will to use force, however, is ultimately a political question that rests not with the Department of Defense but with political leadership and, more fundamentally, the American public. Support for deterrence by the American public is, today, very much in question.

Biden Team Promises New Approach to Extremism, but Critics See Old Patterns  (Odette Yousef, NPR)
There is widespread agreement that domestic extremism poses a grave threat. But the Biden administration’s response has some observers wondering if the president’s team is recycling past mistakes or failing to grasp the scope of the challenge. As President Biden begins his second year in office, his administration continues to roll out efforts aimed at the threat of violent domestic terrorism. It has identified violent white supremacy and extremist militias as the greatest current threats. Its arsenal includes a program at the Department of Homeland Security called the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3). Billed as an entirely new approach to prevention, top officials say it puts local communities at the center in the fight against the spread of ideologies that inspire targeted violence and terrorism. But some outside observers worry that it closely resembles earlier problematic anti-terrorism efforts at DHS, and that it falls short of meeting a post-Jan. 6 reality in the U.S.