Today's Headlines and Commentary

Raffaela Wakeman
Monday, November 5, 2012, 10:03 AM

For those seeking a respite from pre-election analysis and predictions, you've come to the right place. Or at least, the closest thing to right place based in Washington, D.C.

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For those seeking a respite from pre-election analysis and predictions, you've come to the right place. Or at least, the closest thing to right place based in Washington, D.C.

Remember Staff Sargent Robert Bales, the Army soldier charged with killing 16 civilians (nine of whom were children) this past spring in southern Afghanistan? Well he's making his first appearance in an Article 32 hearing in Tacoma, Washington. If he is convicted, he could face the death penalty, writes Ernesto Londono of the Post.

Almost as tired of hearing about drones as about the election? Well, you better get used to them being in the news, reminds The Economist.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense is not pleased by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction's finding that Afghanistan isn't able to maintain its operations once the U.S. departs in 2014. Here's Carlo Munoz of The Hill with a report.

James Ball of the Washington Post writes on the vulnerability of airport security checks, particularly since not all boarding passes are encrypted with a digital signature to prevent alterations.

A suicide bombing claimed by the Taliban over the weekend killed Fateh Khan, a prominent anti-Taliban politician, and five others. Here's Salmon Masood of the New York Times on the attack.

Over at the Christian Science Monitor, Mahvish Ahmad mulls the options for civilian victims of drone strikes in Pakistan. Complicating the matter seems to be the fact that laws passed by Pakistan's National Assembly are not applicable to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas until the president says so. Instead, the FATA is governed by laws dating back to the 19th century and the British colonial era.

Here's an innovative idea from Mother Russia for dealing with terrorism: skiing and sunbathing. Russia has plans to build seven ski resorts and three beach developments in the North Caucasus, the locus of Islamic fundamentalist violence in the country. Kathy Lally of the Post reports.

Voice of America's David Arnold profiles Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi, focusing on his decision to permit U.S. drone strikes in his country.

Mexican drug cartels are reaching further and further into the U.S., writes Sari Horwitz of the Post in this piece. Although the U.S. has contributed $1.9 billion in support to Mexico under the Merida Initiative, it has "barely put a dent" into the network north of the border.

Jeremy Herb of The Hill says that GOP senators want a special Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attack.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, 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 us noteworthy articles we may have missed at and, visit the Lawfare Events Calendar for upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings at the Lawfare Job Board.

Raffaela Wakeman is a Senior Director at In-Q-Tel. She started her career at the Brookings Institution, where she spent five years conducting research on national security, election reform, and Congress. During this time she was also the Associate Editor of Lawfare. From there, Raffaela practiced law at the U.S. Department of Defense for four years, advising her clients on privacy and surveillance law, cybersecurity, and foreign liaison relationships. She departed DoD in 2019 to join the Majority Staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where she oversaw the Intelligence Community’s science and technology portfolios, cybersecurity, and surveillance activities. She left HPSCI in May 2021 to join IQT. Raffaela received her BS and MS in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009 and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2015, where she was recognized for her commitment to public service with the Joyce Chiang Memorial Award. While at the Department of Defense, she was the inaugural recipient of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s General Counsel Award for exhibiting the highest standards of leadership, professional conduct, and integrity.

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