U.S. Cyber Defense ‘Terrible,’ Former NSA Director Says

“Over the last decade cyber has become an element of national power used by us and by our adversaries. We need the defensive architecture that allows industry to defend itself long enough for government to (then) come in and help,” Gen. Keith Alexander, former commander of U.S. Cyber Command and former director of the National Security Agency said in a speech at Duke.

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Khizr Khan: ‘The Country Remains Divided’

Khzir Khan is a lawyer whose son was killed while serving in the Iraq war. He and his wife, Ghazala, entered the national spotlight when he addressed the Democratic National Convention in July and offered to lend Donald Trump his personal pocket Constitution. Since then, he has continued to speak out on behalf of Muslim-Americans and veteran families. “Now, as we continue to speak, the country remains divided,” Khan told Zach Fuchs, managing editor of Duke Political Review.

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3 Questions Trump Must Answer After His Syria Strike

“Candidate Trump repeatedly promised that he would not simply conduct American foreign policy in the way Obama did. By punishing Assad for his brazen violation of international law and basic human decency, Trump took a significant step forward in fulfilling that campaign promise,” writes political scientist Peter Feaver. “But Trump also promised that his approach would produce more lasting success than Obama’s. Whether he fulfills that promise will depend on what comes next, not on what happened Thursday.”

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How to Handle North Korea? Apply Pressure — Then Wait

“Last year alone, North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests and 24 missile tests, with more this year, including a new missile test on April 5, clearly intended to overshadow and complicate the first meeting this week between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. To avoid past failures in trying to thwart North Korea, the Trump administration should initiate bilateral diplomatic talks with the communist nation immediately,” writes Andrew Byers, a visiting assistant professor of history and an intelligence analyst.

Read More in The Hill

Trump and His ‘America First’ Philosophy Face First Moral Quandary in Syria

President Trump has vowed to follow a radically new approach to foreign policy that jettisons the costly mantle of moral leadership in favor of America’s most immediate economic and security interests. But it’s unclear how the crises in Syria would produce a significant shift in policy. “They have not yet figured out what they are trying to do,” says political scientist Peter Feaver. “What looks like recalibration might be multiple voices.” 

Read More in The Washington Post

The U.S. Response to Syria and North Korea

Law professor Charlie Dunlap shares insights on Trump’s foreign policy challenges. “I think the jury is still out as to how exactly Trump’s ‘America first’ stance will influence foreign policy. My bet is that it will be very situation-specific, and in the case of North Korea, it won’t differ, initially anyway, too much from the Obama approach except to say that Trump may believe he can better motivate China to help with a solution than his predecessor was able to do,” he says.

Read More at Duke Today

Civilians In Mosul Remain Trapped As ISIS Digs In

Law professor Charlie Dunlap, a retired major general in the U.S. Air Force, talks about U.S. military operations and urban warfare in Mosul, where some 400,000 civilians remain trapped. More than 100 civilians were reportedly killed in a recent U.S. air strike, and Dunlap and military officials have noted that ISIS is using civilians as human shields. “In the case of Mosul the enemy has had 2 1/2 years to prepare for this assault” and they have burrowed in, Dunlap says. He added that urban combat is always very dangerous for civilians. “Every civilian casualty is a tragedy and the military has to work very hard to avoid them.”

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Admiral: U.S. Relies Heavily On Allies in Latin America

The biggest security challenge facing the U.S. in in the Caribbean and Central and South America is monitoring the smuggling networks that operate there and have connections to other parts of the word, says Adm. Kurt Tidd, the U.S. Navy admiral in charge of the region. Also speaking at the event this week at Duke were U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, retired Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and a Duke alum who’s now a researcher at the university. Political scientist Peter Feaver moderated the talk.

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Sadly, We Have To Expect More Civilian Casualties If ISIS is to be Defeated

“The truth is that even with the most precise weaponry, restrictive rules of engagement, and meticulous adherence to international law, it’s inevitable that more civilians are going to be killed if ISIS is going to be ousted from Mosul and put on the path of complete destruction,” writes law professor Charlie Dunlap. “It’s a grim reminder that there is no such thing as immaculate war if evil is going to be stopped.  Let’s have the fortitude to see the mission through even as we grieve the cost.”

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ISIS Is Winning The Cyber War; Here’s How To Stop It

“To defeat ISIS, we need an entirely new strategy, one that takes on ISIS where it is highly effective — in cyberspace. While ISIS continues to foment regional instability in the greater Middle East, its prowess online has made it a threat to Western nations as well. ISIS focuses significant resources on cyberspace, where it has a global presence, using sophisticated techniques to electronically communicate with its far-flung sympathizers, spread its propaganda and recruit operatives around the world,” writes historian Andrew Byers and a colleague.

 

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North Korea Crisis, Erdogan’s Power Grab, State Dept. Budget Cuts

This week on the podcast “On Security,” public policy professor David Schanzer discusses the growing threat of North Korea, the increasing authoritarianism of NATO ally Turkey, and the value and necessity of soft power and foreign aid for American security and influence abroad.

Listen at On Security

Preventing Peacekeeper Abuse Through Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping

” … If the UN is serious about change, it should consider adopting an equal opportunity peacekeeping model, a model that focuses on larger gender inequalities in missions as a way to ensure that the overall quality of peacekeeping missions improve,” writes political scientist Kyle Beardsley. “Only then might the reduction of sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions be possible.”

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