Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Benjamin Pollard
Monday, July 25, 2022, 4:46 PM

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

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Subscribe to receive this newsletter directly to your inbox.

Myanmar’s military government announced that it had executed four democracy activists on Monday. Hip-hop artist turned politician Phyo Zeya Thaw and activist Kyaw Min Yu, also known as Ko Jimmy, were among the executed. The government accused the men of “brutal and inhumane terror acts,” which their supporters contest. The executions were the first in the country in over three decades.

Ukrainian officials reported that its forces wiped out 50 Russian arms depots last month with HIMARS rocket systems provided by the United States. The Russian government said it destroyed HIMARS in Bogdanovsky, Ukraine, although such reports have been rejected by the Ukrainian government. The U.S. Defense Department also announced today that it will be sending four more HIMARS systems and over 500 Phoenix Ghost drones to Ukraine.

Russian missiles struck a port in Odessa on Saturday, one day after Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement which would resume the export of blocked Ukrainian grain to alleviate global hunger. Ukrainian officials said that two Russian missiles successfully hit the port, while an additional two were shot down. A Russian government spokesperson said that the Odessa strikes “should not affect” the agreement, adding that the missiles targeted military infrastructure unconnected to grain exports.

Thousands evacuated from Mariposa County in California due to a surging wildfire that has burned over 14,000 acres of forest. Around 2,000 firefighters have been sent to combat the fire, which was 10% contained as of Monday morning. California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for the county as a result of the fire.

At least 17 Haitian migrants died in a boat capsizing off the coast of the Bahamas. One person is missing and 25 others were rescued. Authorities believe the migrants were part of a human-smuggling operation run by two rescued Bahamians who are now in custody. The boat was en route to Miami.

Tunisians voted on a proposal Monday that would dramatically expand the executive powers of the country’s president, Kais Saied. The referendum, if successful, would virtually end democratic rule in Tunisia, according to the president’s critics. Under the new constitution, Saied would have the power to propose laws and appoint judges, dramatically limiting the power of the parliament and judiciary.

U.N. nuclear watchdog surveillance cameras will remain off in Iranian nuclear sites until the 2015 nuclear deal is reinstated, Iranian officials said on Monday. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Iran is “galloping ahead” with its nuclear program as concerns mount in the West that the country is nearing the creation of a nuclear bomb. Iran disconnected the cameras in June in response to an IAEA censure criticizing the Iranian government for not cooperating with the agency.

ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes sat down with Quinta Jurecic, Natalie Orpett, David Priess, and Molly Reynolds on Twitter Spaces to discuss the Jan. 6 House select committee’s eighth hearing in its current series.

Raphael S. Cohen and Gian Gentile discussed what the U.S. military learned from its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how these lessons would impact its approach to conventional warfare, such as the war in Ukraine.

Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith argued that the recently introduced bipartisan Electoral Count Reform Act is an improvement over the 1887 Electoral Count Act.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

Benjamin Pollard is a student at Brown University studying history and political science. He is a former intern at Lawfare.

Subscribe to Lawfare