Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Elliot Setzer
Monday, March 2, 2020, 12:29 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national security news and opinion

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Turkey said Sunday that it was preparing to launch a major counteroffensive against the Syrian government, for the first time openly declaring war on the Assad government, reports the New York Times. Turkey shot down two warplanes and inflicted losses on ground forces in Syria’s Idlib region on Sunday, writes the Washington Post.

The United States and the Taliban signed a peace deal Saturday stipulating the full withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan within 14 months, according to the Washington Post. Yet Afghan president Ashraf Ghani on Sunday publicly rejected a March 10 deadline for a prisoner swap with the Taliban called for by the peace deal, writes NPR. Fighting resumed Monday between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces, marking an end to the reduction in violence leading up to the agreement, reports Politico.

North Korea fired two missiles off its east coast Monday in its first weapons launch of the year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The South Korean military said the missiles were likely short-range ballistic missiles.

Israelis returned to the ballot box again today for the third election since last April, reports the Washington Post. The final days of the campaign showed signs of momentum for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that Congress could not sue to enforce its subpoenas of executive branch officials, writes the New York Times. A divided three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought by the House Judiciary Committee against President Trump’s former White House Counsel Donald McGahn.

A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Sunday that President Trump’s appointment of Ken Cuccinelli as acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, suspending two policies Cuccinelli had implemented as head of the agency, reports Politico.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Myunghee Lee and Emir Yazici discussed China’s policy of “preventive repression” in Xinjiang.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a conversation with Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig on their new book “A Very Stable Genius.”

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Elliot Setzer is a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford Law School and a Ph.D student at Yale University. He previously worked at Lawfare and the Brookings Institution.

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