Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Ritika Singh
Thursday, January 24, 2013, 4:45 PM
Let’s begin with the latest and greatest national security threat facing the American homeland: North Korea.

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Let’s begin with the latest and greatest national security threat facing the American homeland: North Korea. Pyongyang has said that its rockets are targeting “the arch-enemy of the Korean people,” the United States, according to the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. So much for diplomacy---but you’ve gotta appreciate the candor. SecDef Leon Panetta has lifted the military’s ban on women in combat. Here is the Times on the decision. Senator John Kerry’s confirmation hearing as Secretary of State is over. Here is the Washington Post with his statement and coverage of the hearing. Senator Chuck Hagel is sure to have less of an easy time at his hearing. Check out Wyoming Senator John Barrasso’s op-ed against the SecDef nominee in today’s Wall Street Journal. The Associated Press informs us that David Headley has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Agence France Presse reports that Pakistan’s attorney general, Irfan Qadir, has stated that Pakistani authorities are detaining at least 700 people suspected of terrorism in the tribal areas. Speaking of Pakistan, Christine Fair, Karl C. Kaltenthaler, and William J. Miller have an interesting piece in the Atlantic arguing that the conventional wisdom that Pakistani public opinion strongly opposes the drone program is wrong:
Unfortunately, drone critics have been highly selective in their use of the data, with a tendency to rely on survey answers that cast Pakistani opinion as being overwhelmingly hostile to drones. When one examines all of the data gathered by Pew on drones in Pakistan, a very different and much more complex picture emerges about Pakistani attitudes toward various aspects of the American drone program. A more detailed look at the data suggests that that even while some Pakistanis think drones kill too many innocent Pakistanis, they are still necessary.
There has been a wealth of coverage of SecState Hillary Clinton’s testimony on the Benghazi attacks. Here’s some of it from’s Elise Labott and the Post's Dana Milbank. Just in case you were still interested, Gen. John Allen has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the Gen. Petraeus—Paula Broadwell—Jill Kelley trifecta. CNN’s Barbara Starr has the story. The United Nations is opening an inquiry into U.S., U.K., and Israeli drone strikes, and will present the findings at the General Assembly session this fall, says Owen Bowcott of the Guardian. Spencer Ackerman of Wired’s Danger Room blog has more. In that vein, Reuters tells us that six suspected Al Qaeda members were killed in a drone strike in Yemen. The Wall Street Journal reports on the “mixed messages” between the U.S. and France on the level of American involvement in the French offensive in Mali. For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter and check out the Lawfare News Feed, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Syracuse’s Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism’s newsroll, and Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief and Cyber Brief. Email Raffaela Wakeman and Ritika Singh noteworthy articles to include, visit the Lawfare Events Calendar for upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings at the Lawfare Job Board.

Ritika Singh was a project coordinator at the Brookings Institution where she focused on national security law and policy. She graduated with majors in International Affairs and Government from Skidmore College in 2011, and wrote her thesis on Russia’s energy agenda in Europe and its strategic implications for America.

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