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Category Archives: Defense

The butterflies that could stop Trump’s wall

BBC News – “The obstacles to President Donald Trump’s border wall are not confined to the four walls of Congress. As areas are cleared to start building new sections, some landowners, including a butterfly sanctuary, have sued to stop the construction…The butterfly centre…sits on 110 acres near the southern tip of Texas – an area of low-lying marshes, brush and scrub forests, offering a variety of ecosystems that provide ample habitat for migratory species of all shapes and sizes. It is also flush along the Rio Grande River, which forms more than 1,260 miles (2027 km) of the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico. That puts the small, private environmental preserve in the centre of a raging debate over immigration and national security – and whether and where to build Donald Trump’s oft-promised border wall.

…South Texas is a funnel of sorts for animals that winter in Mexico and burst into the northern climes as the weather warms. It’s also the closest point in the US geographically to Central America, where a growing number of families have been fleeing poverty and political violence to seek refuge on US soil…”

Laptops to Stay in Bags as TSA Brings New Technology to Airports

Bloomberg: “Air passengers at a growing number of U.S. airports will no longer need to remove electronics, liquids, and other items from their carry-on luggage at security checkpoints as the Transportation Security Administration rolls out new technology. The TSA took a major step in a broader plan to revamp its overall screening process with faster,… Continue Reading

NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis

Belfer Center Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship: “Approaching the seventieth anniversary of its founding in April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remains the single most important contributor to security, stability and peace in Europe and North America. NATO provides the umbrella defending Europe from conventional and nuclear attack and a secure… Continue Reading

Public Sees an America in Decline on Many Fronts

Looking to the Future, Public Sees an America in Decline on Many Fronts – Majorities predict a weaker economy, a growing income divide, a degraded environment and a broken political system “When Americans peer 30 years into the future, they see a country in decline economically, politically and on the world stage. While a narrow… Continue Reading

To End Poverty, Think Like a Spy

Paul M. Bisca, To End Poverty, Think Like a Spy, Brookings (March 11, 2019) – “To better manage the unknown, development professionals might want to take a leaf from the intelligence community book and draw inspiration from how spies try to predict the future. Reduced to its simplest terms, the CIA defines intelligence as “knowledge and… Continue Reading

This is a chart about the world through the eyes of the US – 1900 to present

Pudding – Russell Goldenberg: “There is always that one country on our collective conscious, and I wanted to know how that has changed over time. So I turned to the newspaper, since headlines have long been the catalyst for daily conversations about what is going on in the world. Most of that content is still… Continue Reading

Drafting Only Men for the Military Is Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

The New York Times: “A military draft that applies only to men is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Houston has ruled, saying that excluding women is no longer justified because they can now serve in combat roles just as men do. Judge Gray H. Miller of Federal District Court in the Southern District of Texas… Continue Reading

CRS – U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress

Via FAS – U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress, Updated February 14, 2019. – “…The overall issue for Congress is how to respond to recent developments regarding the U.S. role in the world. Potential key issues for Congress include but are not necessarily limited to the following: Is the U.S. role changing,… Continue Reading

FBI’s War Crimes Unit on the Chopping Block

Just Security: “A special unit within the Federal Bureau of Investigation that handles war crimes may be shut down imminently, according to officials familiar with the administration’s decision-making process. The FBI’s International Human Rights Unit takes the lead on investigating individuals within the United States who have been accused of committing international crimes, including war… Continue Reading

Online Oral Histories of the Manhattan Project

“Voices of the Manhattan Project” is a joint project by the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of our oral history collections of Manhattan Project veterans and their families. The Manhattan Project was a great human collaboration. Participants included recent immigrants who fled anti-Semitism in Europe, young… Continue Reading

Whistleblowers Raise Grave Concerns with Trump Administration’s Efforts to Transfer Sensitive Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia

Whistleblowers Raise Grave Concerns with Trump Administration’s Efforts to Transfer Sensitive Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia. Prepared for Chairman Elijah E. Cummings Interim Staff Report Committee on Oversight and Reform U.S. House of Representatives. February 2019. “This interim staff report was prepared for Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and… Continue Reading

Chinese Telecommunications Device Manufacturer and US Affiliate Indicted for Theft of Trade Secrets

DOJ news release: Huawei Corporate Entities Conspired to Steal Trade Secret Technology and Offered Bonus to Workers who Stole Confidential Information from Companies Around the World A 10-count Indictment unsealed [January 28, 2019] in the Western District of Washington State charges Huawei Device Co., Ltd. and Huawei Device Co. USA with theft of trade secrets… Continue Reading