Is Biden’s Foreign Policy Team the Best of ‘the Blob’?

It is certainly cohesive. But the downside of cohesion is groupthink.

#blinken-antony-j, #china, #defense-department, #global-warming, #national-security-council, #state-department, #united-states-international-relations

Trump and Ukraine: Former Advisers Revisit What Happened

Amid the current crisis, Fiona Hill and other former advisers are connecting President Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine to Jan. 6. And they’re ready to talk.

#bolton-john-r, #hill-fiona-1965, #national-security-council, #presidents-and-presidency-us, #putin-vladimir-v, #rumors-and-misinformation, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #storming-of-the-us-capitol-jan-2021, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #united-states-international-relations, #vindman-alexander-s, #war-and-armed-conflicts, #zelensky-volodymyr

U.S. Makes Contingency Plans in Case Russia Uses Its Most Powerful Weapons

A team of national security officials has been assigned to sketch out responses if President Vladimir V. Putin unleashes chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #biological-and-chemical-warfare, #defense-department, #national-security-council, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #nuclear-weapons, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #sullivan-jacob-j-1976, #ukraine, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Biden Rehires National Security Staff Member Pushed Out Under Trump

The National Security Council confirmed that Ellen Knight, who told of improper pressure from Trump administration officials, was returning to help manage classified information.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #bolton-john-r, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #cooper-charles-j, #eisenberg-john-a, #knight-ellen-j, #national-archives-and-records-administration, #national-security-council, #philbin-patrick, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

What Does Vladimir Putin Want in Ukraine?

We spoke with Fiona Hill, a former Trump adviser, about how the Russian leader’s view of history has led him to the brink of war.

#biden-jill-tracy-jacobs, #defense-and-military-forces, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #europe, #hill-fiona-1965, #internal-sub-only-nl, #national-security-council, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government

Alexander Vindman Sues Trump Allies, Alleging Retaliation

The former Army colonel, who worked on the National Security Council, said in a lawsuit that Donald Trump Jr. and others carried out a campaign of intimidation against him.

#giuliani-rudolph-w, #national-security-council, #scavino-dan-jr-1976, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #trump-donald-j-jr, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vindman-alexander-s

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s Adviser, Long a Figure of Fascination

Washington has long been captivated by fallen star narratives, which has made President Biden’s national security adviser a figure of fascination, somewhere between sympathy and schadenfreude.

#afghanistan-war-2001, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #content-type-personal-profile, #national-security-council, #sullivan-jacob-j-1976, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Taliban and 9/11 Families Fight for Billions in Frozen Afghan Funds

The White House must figure out what to do with the Afghan central bank’s account at the Federal Reserve, now frozen under U.S. law.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #banking-and-financial-institutions, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #humanitarian-aid, #justice-department, #national-security-council, #september-11-2001, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #taliban, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Global Rivalries Are Miring the Clean Energy Revolution

The quest for Congo’s cobalt, which is vital for electric vehicles and the worldwide push against climate change, is caught in a cycle of exploitation, greed and gamesmanship.

#africa, #alternative-and-renewable-energy, #archer-devon, #batteries, #bhr-partners, #biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #china, #cobalt, #congo-democratic-republic-of-congo-kinshasa, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #ford-motor-co, #freeport-mcmoran-oilgas-inc, #general-motors, #glencore-international-ag, #global-warming, #kabila-joseph, #mines-and-mining, #national-security-council, #obama-barack, #politics-and-government, #tesla-motors-inc, #trump-donald-j, #tshisekedi-felix, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government

Climate Change Poses a Widening Threat to National Security

Intelligence and defense agencies issued reports warning that the warming planet will increase strife between countries and spur migration.

#global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #homeland-security-department, #immigration-and-emigration, #national-intelligence-estimates, #national-security-council, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

Blackbird.AI grabs $10M to help brands counter disinformation

New York-based Blackbird.AI has closed a $10 million Series A as it prepares to launched the next version of its disinformation intelligence platform this fall.

The Series A is led by Dorilton Ventures, along with new investors including Generation Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, StartFast Ventures and Richard Clarke, former chief counter-terrorism advisor for the National Security Council. Existing investor NetX also participated.

Blackbird says it’ll be used to scale up to meet demand in new and existing markets, including by expanding its team and spending more on product dev.

The 2017-founded startup sells software as a service targeted at brands and enterprises managing risks related to malicious and manipulative information — touting the notion of defending the “authenticity” of corporate marketing.

It’s applying a range of AI technologies to tackle the challenge of filtering and interpreting emergent narratives from across the Internet to identify disinformation risks targeting its customers. (And, for the record, this Blackbird is no relation to an earlier NLP startup, called Blackbird, which was acquired by Etsy back in 2016.)

Blackbird AI is focused on applying automation technologies to detect malicious/manipulative narratives — so the service aims to surface emerging disinformation threats for its clients, rather than delving into the tricky task of attribution. On that front it’s only looking at what it calls “cohorts” (or “tribes”) of online users — who may be manipulating information collectively, for a shared interest or common goal (talking in terms of groups like antivaxxers or “bitcoin bros”). 

Blackbird CEO and co-founder Wasim Khaled says the team has chalked up five years of R&D and “granular model development” to get the product to where it is now. 

“In terms of technology the way we think about the company today is an AI-driven disinformation and narrative intelligence platform,” he tells TechCrunch. “This is essentially the efforts of five years of very in-depth, ears to the ground research and development that has really spanned people everywhere from the comms industry to national security to enterprise and Fortune 500,  psychologists, journalists.

“We’ve just been non-stop talking to the stakeholders, the people in the trenches — to understand where their problem sets really are. And, from a scientific empirical method, how do you break those down into its discrete parts? Automate pieces of it, empower and enable the individuals that are trying to make decisions out of all of the information disorder that we see happening.”

The first version of Blackbird’s SaaS was released in November 2020 but the startup isn’t disclosing customer numbers as yet. v2 of the platform will be launched this November, per Khaled. 

Also today it’s announcing a partnership with PR firm, Weber Shandwick, to provide support to customers on how to respond to specific malicious messaging that could impact their businesses and which its platform has flagged up as an emerging risk.

Disinformation has of course become a much labelled and discussed feature of online life in recent years, although it’s hardly a new (human) phenomenon. (See, for example, the orchestrated airbourne leaflet propaganda drops used during war to spread unease among enemy combatants and populations). However it’s fair to say that the Internet has supercharged the ability of intentionally bad/bogus content to spread and cause reputational and other types of harms.

Studies show the speed of online travel of ‘fake news’ (as this stuff is sometimes also called) is far greater than truthful information. And there the ad-funded business models of mainstream social media platforms are implicated since their commercial content-sorting algorithms are incentivized to amplify stuff that’s more engaging to eyeballs, which isn’t usually the grey and nuanced truth.

Stock and crypto trading is another growing incentive for spreading disinformation — just look at the recent example of Walmart targeted with a fake press release suggesting the retailer was about to accept litecoin.

All of which makes countering disinformation look like a growing business opportunity.

Earlier this summer, for example, another stealthy startup in this area, ActiveFence, uncloaked to announce a $100M funding round. Others in the space include Primer and Yonder (previously New Knowledge), to name a few.

 

While some other earlier players in the space got acquired by some of the tech giants wrestling with how to clean up their own disinformation-ridden platforms — such as UK-based Fabula AI, which was bought by Twitter in 2019.

Another — Bloomsbury AI — was acquired by Facebook. And the tech giant now routinely tries to put its own spin on its disinformation problem by publishing reports that contain a snapshot of what it dubs “coordinated inauthentic behavior” that it’s found happening on its platforms (although Facebook’s selective transparency often raises more questions than it answers.)

The problems created by bogus online narratives ripple far beyond key host and spreader platforms like Facebook — with the potential to impact scores of companies and organizations, as well as democratic processes.

But while disinformation is a problem that can now scale everywhere online and affect almost anything and anyone, Blackbird is concentrating on selling its counter tech to brands and enterprises — targeting entities with the resources to pay to shrink reputational risks posed by targeted disinformation.

Per Khaled, Blackbird’s product — which consists of an enterprise dashboard and an underlying data processing engine — is not just doing data aggregation, either; the startup is in the business of intelligently structuring the threat data its engine gathers, he says, arguing too that it goes further than some rival offerings that are doing NLP (natural language processing) plus maybe some “light sentiment analysis”, as he puts it.

Although NLP is also key area of focus for Blackbird, along with network analysis — and doing things like looking at the structure of botnets.

But the suggestion is Blackbird goes further than the competition by merit of considering a wider range of factors to help identify threats to the “integrity” of corporate messaging. (Or, at least, that’s its marketing pitch.)

Khaled says the platform focuses on five “signals” to help it deconstruct the flow of online chatter related to a particular client and their interests — which he breaks down thusly: Narratives, networks, cohorts, manipulation and deception. And for each area of focus Blackbird is applying a cluster of AI technologies, according to Khaled.

But while the aim is to leverage the power of automation to tackle the scale of the disinformation challenge that businesses now face, Blackbird isn’t able to do this purely with AI alone; expert human analysis remains a component of the service — and Khaled notes that, for example, it can offer customers (human) disinformation analysts to help them drill further into their disinformation threat landscape.

“What really differentiates our platform is we process all five of these signals in tandem and in near real-time to generate what you can think of almost as a composite risk index that our clients can weigh, based on what might be most important to them, to rank the most important action-oriented information for their organization,” he says.

“Really it’s this tandem processing — quantifying the attack on human perception that we see happening; what we think of as a cyber attack on human perception — how do you understand when someone is trying to shift the public’s perception? About a topic, a person, an idea. Or when we look at corporate risk, more and more, we see when is a group or an organization or a set of accounts trying to drive public scrutiny against a company for a particular topic.

“Sometimes those topics are already in the news but the property that we want our customers or anybody to understand is when is something being driven in a manipulative manner? Because that means there’s an incentive, a motive, or an unnatural set of forces… acting upon the narrative being spread far and fast.”

“We’ve been working on this, and only this, and early on decided to do a purpose-built system to look at this problem. And that’s one of the things that really set us apart,” he also suggests, adding: “There are a handful of companies that are in what is shaping up to be a new space — but often some of them were in some other line of work, like marketing or social and they’ve tried to build some models on top of it.

“For bots — and for all of the signals we talked about — I think the biggest challenge for many organizations if they haven’t completely purpose built from scratch like we have… you end up against certain problems down the road that prevent you from being scalable. Speed becomes one of the biggest issues.

“Some of the largest organizations we’ve talked to could in theory product the signals — some of the signals that I talked about before — but the lift might take them ten to 12 days. Which makes it really unsuited for anything but the most forensic reporting, after things have kinda gone south… What you really need it in is two minutes or two seconds. And that’s where — from day one — we’ve been looking to get.”

As well as brands and enterprises with reputational concerns — such as those whose activity intersects with the ESG space; aka ‘environmental, social and governance’ — Khaled claims investors are also interested in using the tool for decision support, adding: “They want to get the full picture and make sure they’re not being manipulated.”

At present, Blackbird’s analysis focuses on emergent disinformation threats — aka “nowcasting” — but the goal is also to push into disinformation threat predictive — to help prepare clients for information-related manipulation problems before they occur. Albeit there’s no timeframe for launching that component yet.

“In terms of counter measurement/mitigation, today we are by and large a detection platform, starting to bridge into predictive detection as well,” says Khaled, adding: “We don’t take the word predictive lightly. We don’t just throw it around so we’re slowly launching the pieces that really are going to be helpful as predictive.

“Our AI engine trying to tell [customers] where things are headed, rather than just telling them the moment it happens… based on — at least from our platform’s perspective — having ingested billions of posts and events and instances to then pattern match to something similar to that that might happen in the future.”

“A lot of people just plot a path based on timestamps — based on how quickly something is picking up. That’s not prediction for Blackbird,” he also argues. “We’ve seen other organizations call that predictive; we’re not going to call that predictive.”

In the nearer term, Blackbird has some “interesting” counter measurement tech to assist teams in its pipeline, coming in Q1 and Q2 of 2022, Khaled adds.

#artificial-intelligence, #blackbird-ai, #deception, #disinformation, #enterprise, #fabula-ai, #fake-news, #national-security-council, #natural-language-processing, #new-york, #pr, #saas, #tc

20 Years After 9/11, Top National Security Posts Sit Empty

Two decades after the Sept. 11 attacks, there are again dozens of unfilled Senate-confirmed national security positions.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #bureau-of-alcohol-tobacco-firearms-and-explosives, #defense-department, #homeland-security-department, #national-security-council, #partnership-for-public-service, #presidential-transition-us, #republican-party, #senate, #september-11-2001, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

Samantha Power Still Believes America Can Help Save the World

Can the new head of U.S. foreign aid make America good again?

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #foreign-aid, #humanitarian-aid, #international-relations, #national-security-council, #power-samantha, #state-department, #third-world-and-developing-countries, #united-states-agency-for-international-development, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Colonial Pipeline Paid Roughly $5 Million in Ransom to Hackers

The payment clears the way for gas to begin flowing again, but it risks emboldening other criminal groups to take American companies hostage by seizing control of their computers.

#american-automobile-assn, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #colonial-pipeline-co, #cyberattacks-and-hackers, #east-coast-us, #extortion-and-blackmail, #infrastructure-public-works, #national-security-council, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pipelines, #shortages, #united-states-cyber-command, #united-states-politics-and-government

Biden Discloses Some of Trump’s Secret Drone Strike Rules

The release of the 2017 policy — with redactions — stemmed from open-records lawsuits by The Times and the A.C.L.U.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #al-qaeda, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #bossert-thomas-p, #civilian-casualties, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #drones-pilotless-planes, #national-security-council, #targeted-killings, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

With Afghan Decision, Biden Seeks to Focus U.S. on New Challenges

The president’s choice to set a firm date for a full withdrawal reflected a belief that the priorities of 2021 require moving on from policies set in 2001.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #china, #defense-department, #graham-lindsey, #national-security-council, #obama-barack, #reed-jack, #senate-committee-on-armed-services, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations

White House Border Coordinator to Step Down

Roberta S. Jacobson’s departure comes amid the administration’s efforts to reduce the flow of immigration from Central America.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #central-america, #harris-kamala-d, #immigration-and-emigration, #jacobson-roberta-s, #national-security-council, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Biden Steps Up Federal Efforts to Combat Domestic Extremism

The administration has taken a series of steps to prioritize dealing with white supremacists and militias, especially after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #fringe-groups-and-movements, #homeland-security-department, #justice-department, #national-security-council, #right-wing-extremism-and-alt-right, #storming-of-the-us-capitol-jan-2021, #surveillance-of-citizens-by-government, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #whites

The Agency at the Center of America’s Tech Fight With China

Washington lawmakers, lobbyists and other parties have been vying to influence how the Bureau of Industry and Security, under the Biden administration, will approach a technology relationship with China.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #china, #commerce-department, #defense-and-military-forces, #international-trade-and-world-market, #national-security-council, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-international-relations

Why Is It So Tough to Leave Afghanistan?

The foreign policy establishment just can’t admit when it got things wrong.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #joint-chiefs-of-staff, #national-security-council, #peace-process, #polls-and-public-opinion, #sullivan-jacob-j-1976, #taliban, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations

Liberals Grow Impatient With Biden’s Foreign Policy Decisions

A recent endorsement of his Iran policy from Jared Kushner inflamed frustrations among Democratic allies calling for bolder action abroad.

#blinken-antony-j, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #kushner-jared, #liberalism-us-politics, #mcgurk-brett-h, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #national-security-council, #nuclear-weapons, #obama-barack, #rhodes-benjamin-j, #sanders-bernard, #united-states-international-relations

Liberals Grow Impatient With President Biden’s Foreign Policy Decisions

A recent endorsement of his Iran policy from Jared Kushner inflamed frustrations among Democratic allies calling for bolder action abroad.

#blinken-antony-j, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #kushner-jared, #liberalism-us-politics, #mcgurk-brett-h, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #national-security-council, #nuclear-weapons, #obama-barack, #rhodes-benjamin-j, #sanders-bernard, #united-states-international-relations

Taking on a New Role, Susan Rice is Asserting Herself

After serving as United Nations ambassador and national security adviser in the Obama administration, she has unexpectedly ended up helping oversee domestic policy in the Biden White House.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #benghazi-attack-2012, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #black-people, #clyburn-james-e, #content-type-personal-profile, #deese-brian-c-1978, #domestic-policy-council-us, #klain-ronald-a, #national-economic-council-us, #national-security-council, #obama-barack, #presidential-transition-us, #rice-emmett-j, #rice-lois-dickson-1933-2017, #rice-susan-e, #sullivan-jacob-j-1976, #united-states-politics-and-government, #weingarten-randi

Biden Secretly Limits Counterterrorism Drone Strikes Away From War Zones

Requiring higher-level approval is a stopgap measure as officials review whether to tighten Trump-era targeting rules and civilian safeguards.

#al-qaeda, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #central-intelligence-agency, #civilian-casualties, #drones-pilotless-planes, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #national-security-council, #obama-barack, #pakistan, #presidential-transition-us, #shabab, #somalia, #sullivan-jacob-j-1976, #targeted-killings, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government, #war-and-armed-conflicts, #yemen

Biden’s Plan to Link Arms With Europe Against Russia and China Isn’t So Simple

The new president’s vow to restore the trans-Atlantic alliance is welcome, but Europeans want a more balanced relationship, with more dialogue and less diktat.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #defense-and-military-forces, #european-parliament, #gazprom, #international-relations, #johnson-boris, #lavrov-sergey-v, #macron-emmanuel-1977, #merkel-angela, #munich-germany, #national-security-council, #navalny-aleksei-a, #nord-stream-ag, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #nuclear-weapons, #pipelines, #united-states-international-relations

To ‘Re-engage the World,’ Biden Looks to Win Over U.S. Diplomats First

Some diplomats said the president’s speech was a much-needed antidote to distrust and dismissiveness at the State Department during the Trump administration.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #diplomatic-service-embassies-and-consulates, #foreign-service-us, #national-security-council, #pompeo-mike, #presidential-transition-us, #speeches-and-statements, #state-department, #tillerson-rex-w, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Biden Team Rushes to Take Over Government, and Oust Trump Loyalists

President Biden named nearly all of his cabinet secretaries and their immediate deputies before he took office, but his real grasp on the levers of power has come several layers down.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #citizenship-and-immigration-services-us, #defense-department, #environmental-protection-agency, #foreign-service-us, #health-and-human-services-department, #homeland-security-department, #housing-and-urban-development-department, #immigration-and-customs-enforcement-us, #justice-department, #national-security-agency, #national-security-council, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-agency-for-global-media, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans-affairs-department, #voice-of-america

Hong Kong Crackdown Is an Early Test for Biden

Even with Trump out of office, prospects seem dim for rapprochement between China and the United States.

#china, #communist-party-of-china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #hong-kong, #lam-carrie-1957, #national-security-council, #politics-and-government, #united-states-international-relations, #xi-jinping

Decrypted: With more SolarWinds fallout, Biden picks his cybersecurity team

All change in the capital as the Biden administration takes charge, and thankfully without a hitch (or violence) after the attempted insurrection two weeks earlier.

In this week’s Decrypted, we look at the ongoing fallout from the SolarWinds breach and who the incoming president wants to lead the path to recovery. Plus, the news in brief.


THE BIG PICTURE

Google says SolarWinds exposure “limited,” more breaches confirmed

The cyberattack against SolarWinds, an ongoing espionage campaign already blamed on Russia, claimed the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as another federal victim this week. The attack also hit cybersecurity company Malwarebytes, the company’s chief executive confirmed. Marcin Kleczynski said in a blog post that attackers gained access to a “limited” number of internal company emails. It was the same attackers as SolarWinds but using a different intrusion route. It’s now the third security company known to have been targeted by the same Russian hackers after a successful intrusion at FireEye and an unsuccessful attempt at CrowdStrike.

#anne-neuberger, #app-maker, #biden-administration, #china, #computer-security, #computing, #cybersecurity-startup, #european-medical-agency, #federal-trade-commission, #fireeye, #flo, #india, #malwarebytes, #national-security-council, #operating-systems, #russia, #security, #signal, #social-media, #software, #startups, #united-kingdom, #web-application-firewalls, #whatsapp, #white-house

Biden to Tap More Former Obama Officials for Top National Security Jobs

The president-elect is turning to trusted former colleagues to manage complex negotiations with Iran and Russia.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #central-intelligence-agency, #defense-department, #mcgurk-brett-h, #national-security-council, #nuclear-weapons, #nuland-victoria-j, #presidential-election-of-2020, #presidential-transition-us, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #sherman-wendy-r, #state-department, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations

Biden’s Pentagon Pick Reignites Debate Over Civilian Control of Military

Congress would need to approve a waiver for Lloyd J. Austin III, a recently retired general, to serve in the civilian post, four years after President Trump’s first defense secretary received one.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #austin-lloyd-j-iii, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #black-people, #congressional-black-caucus, #defense-department, #house-of-representatives, #national-security-council, #presidential-transition-us, #senate, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

Pentagon Chief Visits Somalia Ahead of Expected Troop Cuts

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller met with troops and commanders in the region as turmoil bedevils the nation with approaching elections and an enduring threat from the Shabab.

#central-intelligence-agency, #drones-pilotless-planes, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #miller-christopher-c-1965, #national-counterterrorism-center, #national-security-council, #shabab, #somalia, #state-department, #terrorism, #united-states-africa-command, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations

Biden Chooses Antony Blinken, Defender of Global Alliances, as Secretary of State

Formerly the State Department’s No. 2, Mr. Blinken is expected to re-establish the United States as a trusted ally ready to rejoin global agreements and court multilateral efforts to confront China.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #national-security-council, #presidential-election-of-2020, #senate-committee-on-foreign-relations, #september-11-2001, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations

Here’s How Trump’s Stalling Risks Our National Security

I’ve seen my share of presidential transitions. The administration hurts the country by not cooperating with President-elect Biden.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #flynn-michael-t, #national-security-council, #presidential-election-of-2020, #presidential-transition-us, #trump-donald-j

Who Are the Senior Officials at the Pentagon and the N.S.A?

The arrival of the new officials has prompted concerns. Their backgrounds offer insights into their policies.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #bolton-john-r, #central-intelligence-agency, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #cohen-watnick-ezra, #defense-department, #house-committee-on-intelligence, #miller-christopher-c-1965, #national-security-agency, #national-security-council, #nunes-devin-g, #patel-kashyap, #presidential-election-of-2020, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #tata-anthony-j, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-special-operations-command

A Biden Win Could Renew a Democratic Split on Trade

Democrats have been unified by their desire to oust President Trump. But if that happens, deep divisions on the issue of trade are likely to reappear.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #commerce-department, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #federal-trade-commission, #international-trade-and-world-market, #national-security-council, #north-american-free-trade-agreement, #organized-labor, #presidential-election-of-2020, #trans-pacific-partnership, #united-states-international-relations, #world-trade-organization

Trump’s Sanctions on International Court May Do Little Beyond Alienating Allies

Critics say the administration has targeted a human rights lawyer with economic penalties meant for warlords, dictators and authoritarian governments.

#afghanistan-war-2001, #assad-bashar-al, #bensouda-fatou, #bolton-john-r, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #european-union, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #international-criminal-court, #khashoggi-jamal, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #national-security-council, #netanyahu-benjamin, #palestinian-authority, #pompeo-mike, #trump-donald-j, #united-nations, #united-states-international-relations, #war-crimes-genocide-and-crimes-against-humanity

Russia Can Interfere Only if We Let It

Moscow’s operatives did not invent our crude tribal politics; they just exploited them.

#bolton-john-r, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #internet-research-agency-russia, #mcmaster-h-r, #national-security-council, #presidential-election-of-2016, #presidential-election-of-2020, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #united-states-politics-and-government

A White House Long in Denial Confronts Reality

The infections were a byproduct, former aides said, of the recklessness and top-down culture of fear that President Trump created at the White House and throughout his administration.

#mason-jeff-journalist, #mcenany-kayleigh, #national-security-council, #stepien-bill, #trump-coronavirus-positive-result, #trump-donald-j

Trump Has Sold Off America’s Credibility for His Personal Gain

From China to Ukraine, this president has acted at odds with American foreign policy. Imagine what he could do with four more years.

#china, #kyiv-ukraine, #national-security-council, #presidential-election-of-2020, #putin-vladimir-v, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vindman-alexander-s

White House Accused of Intervening to Keep Bolton’s Book From Becoming Public

A career official said political appointees “commandeered” the prepublication review process.

#bolton-john-r, #books-and-literature, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #justice-department, #knight-ellen, #manuscripts, #national-archives-and-records-administration, #national-security-council, #the-room-where-it-happened-a-white-house-memoir-book, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

U.S.-Russia Military Tensions Intensify in the Air and on the Ground Worldwide

Recent altercations in Europe, the Middle East and off the coast of Alaska have heightened tensions between the two rival powers.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #central-intelligence-agency, #defense-department, #gerasimov-valery-v, #joint-chiefs-of-staff, #milley-mark-a, #national-security-council, #north-american-aerospace-defense-command, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #pompeo-mike, #putin-vladimir-v, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-air-force, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

U.S. Will Revive Global Virus-Hunting Effort Ended Last Year

A federal agency is resurrecting a version of Predict, a scientific network that for a decade watched for new pathogens dangerous to humans. Joe Biden has also vowed to fund the effort.

#africa, #avian-influenza, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #bolton-john-r, #carroll-dennis-public-health-adviser, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #ebola-virus, #ecohealth-alliance, #epidemic-intelligence-service, #epidemics, #fauci-anthony-s, #frieden-thomas-r, #livestock-diseases, #national-security-council, #presidents-malaria-initiative, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-agency-for-international-development, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wuhan-china, #ziemer-r-timothy

Brother of Impeachment Witness Says His Firing Was a Whistle-Blower Reprisal

Yevgeny Vindman, Alexander S. Vindman’s brother, says he was fired in retaliation for his role in the impeachment inquiry and for raising ethics and legal concerns about the national security adviser.

#ethics-and-official-misconduct, #national-security-council, #obrien-robert-c-1952, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vindman-alexander-s, #vindman-yevgeny, #whistle-blowers

Trump Administration Plans Arms Sale to U.A.E. Despite Israeli Worries

The Trump White House is quietly planning sales of F-35 stealth fighters and advanced drones to the Emiratis as part of a wider plan to realign the Middle East, but Israel and Congress may object.

#arms-trade, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #defense-and-military-forces, #defense-department, #gantz-benny, #israel, #kushner-jared, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #nahyan-mohamed-bin-zayed-al-1961, #national-security-council, #netanyahu-benjamin, #saudi-arabia, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-arab-emirates, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Pompeo Warned Russia Against Bounties on U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is said to have sternly discussed payouts and red lines in a telephone call with Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.

#afghanistan-war-2001, #central-intelligence-agency, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #lavrov-sergey-v, #national-security-council, #pompeo-mike, #putin-vladimir-v, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #shaheen-jeanne, #state-department, #taliban, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

U.S. Examines Whether Saudi Nuclear Program Could Lead to Bomb Effort

Intelligence agencies are scrutinizing whether the kingdom’s work with China to develop nuclear expertise is cover to process uranium and move toward development of a weapon.

#arms-control-and-limitation-and-disarmament, #central-intelligence-agency, #defense-and-military-forces, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #international-atomic-energy-agency, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #national-security-council, #nuclear-energy, #nuclear-nonproliferation-treaty, #nuclear-weapons, #obama-barack, #saudi-arabia, #schiff-adam-b, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #uranium

Trump’s Syria Sanctions ‘Cannot Solve the Problem,’ Critics Say

Without a broader diplomatic effort, the newest and toughest penalties will worsen a humanitarian crisis without forcing a leadership change, experts say.

#assad-bashar-al, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #humanitarian-aid, #national-security-council, #norwegian-refugee-council, #office-of-foreign-assets-control-united-states-treasury, #pompeo-mike, #state-department, #syria, #treasury-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-nations, #united-states-international-relations

Trump Officials Reconsider Prosecuting ISIS ‘Beatles’ Without Death Penalty

American military officials in Iraq want two detainees taken off their hands and a British court has blocked sharing evidence for any death-penalty case. But other options are also getting a second look.

#barr-william-p, #detainees, #elsheikh-el-shafee, #emwazi-mohammed, #foley-james-1973-2014, #great-britain, #iraq, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #justice-department, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #kotey-alexanda, #national-security-council, #sessions-jefferson-b-iii, #syria, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

Trump Administration Plans to Bypass Arms Control Pact to Sell Large Armed Drones

The move has been opposed internally by arms control officials and lawmakers trying to limit the proliferation of such drones, especially in countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

#arms-trade, #civilian-casualties, #defense-and-military-forces, #defense-department, #drones-pilotless-planes, #general-atomics, #national-security-council, #navarro-peter, #pompeo-mike, #raytheon-company, #state-department, #trump-donald-j