Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Emily Dai
Monday, November 22, 2021, 1:39 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national security news and opinion.

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A month after seizing power, Sudan’s military leadership on Sunday released Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok from house arrest and signed a deal reinstating him to office in an effort to end weeks of deadly protests, writes the New York Times. The 14-point agreement between Hamdok and Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the army chief that led the coup on Oct. 25, would restore the transitional government. However, the deal sparked a wave of protests as many saw it as an unacceptable concession to the military.

At least five people were killed and more than 40 were injured after an S.U.V. drove through a crowd gathered for an annual Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Nov. 21, according to the New York Times. City police said on Sunday that a person of interest had been detained and posed no further threat. The circumstances and what may have motivated the event are unclear.

The White House announced that more than 90 percent of federal workers received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine by the Nov. 22 deadline set by President Biden’s federal employee mandate, writes the Hill. Another 5 percent of the federal workforce has requested an extension or claimed a valid exception, bringing the total compliance to 95 percent.

Ukraine’s defense minister called on the United States and European nations on Friday to hold the Russian government accountable for renewed aggression on the Russia-Ukraine border, says the Washington Post. The Russian government has recently increased military activity along its border with Ukraine, opening the possibility that Russia could mount an invasion. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said he believed that Russian President Vladamir Putin was deciding whether to “go through the Ukrainian border and burn the bridges, or he is still bargaining and trying to find something interesting for him.”

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta described Jan. 6 rioter John Lolos as a “pawn” of former President Trump as he delivered a 14-day jail sentence, reports Politico. Mehta said Lolos’ sentence was shortened in part to reflect the fact that “[p]eople like Mr. Lolos were told lies, told falsehoods, told our election was stolen when it clearly was not,” and that the defendant’s conduct was enabled by Trump and his allies. In his remarks, Mehta also criticized other judges for not focusing more on the former president and the degree to which he influenced the rioters. Aside from the Lolos case, Mehta is also presiding over the case against 20 members of the Oath Keepers.

A report released Monday by a Stockholm-based think tank said the United States was added to an annual list of backsliding democracies for the first time, writes the Washington Post. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance found that globally more than one in four people now live in a backsliding democracy. The organization defines a backsliding democracy as a nation experiencing a decline in the quality of their democracy. The report's assessment of the United States determined that former president Trump’s questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election results was a “historic turning point” that “undermined fundamental trust in the electoral process.”

In separate interviews with NPR, two Fox News contributors said Sunday that Tucker Carlson’s special on the Jan. 6 Capitol attack led to their resignations from the network. Hayes and Goldberg said that the three-part series promoted a narrative contradicted by legal documents charging Jan. 6 participants, reporting from a broad array of news sources and some of Fox News’s own reporting.

ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

Brian Hausle and Matt Montazzoli examined the appropriate threshold of certainty for future drone strikes in light of the fact that Afghanistan is no longer an area of active hostilities.

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Emily Dai is a junior at New York University studying Politics and Economics. She is an intern at Lawfare.

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