Today's Headlines and Commentary

Hannah Kris
Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 4:36 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national-security news and opinions.

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley said a leaked letter from a U.S. general indicating the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq was a “mistake,” reports Politico. The officials stated that the letter was a draft and had not been authorized.

Esper ruled out attacks on cultural sites in Iran, acknowledging that such actions would constitute war crimes, according to the New York Times. The announcement came after President Trump claimed on Twitter that the U.S. military had identified targets that included Iranian sites of cultural importance.

At least 50 people were killed and 200 were injured in a stampede during funeral services for Soleimani in the city of Kerman, located in Southeastern Iran, says the Washington Post.

President Trump threatened severe sanctions against Iraq in response to a nonbinding vote by the Iraqi Parliament calling for the expulsion of U.S. troops from the country, according to the BBC.

Facebook says it will now ban deepfakes—videos that have been manipulated by artificial intelligence in order to mislead viewers—from its platform, reports the Times. The company says this policy will not affect parody videos or satire.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that he has enough votes in the Senate to move forward with an impeachment trial without an agreement with Democrats on calling witnesses, according to the Post.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Sean Quirk analyzed new movements by the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea.

Mikhaila Fogel shared a special edition episode of The Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes hosted Scott R. Anderson, Bobby Chesney, Ashley Deeks, Jack Goldsmith and Samuel Moyn in a discussion of the domestic and international legal issues surrounding the strike that killed Souleimani.

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Hannah Kris is a freshman student at Oberlin College pursuing a major in Economics and Math.

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