by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon
The Trump administration on Thursday imposed economic sanctions on 19 Russians and two Russian intelligence agencies for their role in the 2016 election meddling and costly cyber attacks and penetrations.
The Russian spy agencies included the Federal Security Service and the GRU military intelligence service, along with six GRU officers.
No FSB officers were named in the Treasury Department list of sanctioned Russians, although 13 Russians indicted last month in a separate action, were named.
The Russians are linked to the Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg operation that used social media to interfere with the presidential election.
Government officials did not say whether the Internet Research Agency was a front organization for the Russian government.
Officials also revealed that Russian cyber actors conducted reconnaissance into industrial control systems related to the U.S. electrical grid in a bid to obtain sensitive information that could be used in future attacks aimed at shutting down power networks. Continue reading
by Aaron David Miller • CNN
If I had to describe the U.S.-Iranian relationship in one word it would be “overmatched.”
We’re playing checkers on the Middle East game board and Tehran’s playing three-dimensional chess. Iran has no problem reconciling its bad and contradictory behavior while we twist ourselves into knots over our tough choices, all the while convincing ourselves that America’s policy on the nuclear issue is on the right track.
Iran isn’t 10 feet tall in this region, but by making the nuclear issue the be-all and end-all that is supposed to reduce Iran’s power, the United States is only making Tehran taller. Consider the following: Continue reading
The arms control community is upset says William Broad of the New York Times.
The administration in whom they had trusted to begin the process of eliminating nuclear weapons is not following the script. It is sticking to a plan to fully modernize our arsenal of nuclear weapons even while reducing our weapons to the lowest level of deployed strategic weapons since the Eisenhower administration.
While one may have thought the arms control community wanted to reduce nuclear warheads and thus would be pleased that we have reduced such weapons dramatically since the end of the Cold War and by 30% since the Moscow Treaty with the 2010 New Start Treaty, their real ambition is to diminish the capability of America’s nuclear arms that remain after reductions. Continue reading
On Columbus Day, Mitt Romney went to the Virginia Military Institute to outline a starkly different foreign policy vision from President Obama’s approach of apologizing for America, ignoring Islamism, mistreating our allies and embracing our enemies.
It came none too soon. The Syrian war has spilled across the border of a NATO ally and there are new indications the rebellion is drifting toward the influence of radical jihadists.
In our own hemisphere, the anti-US strongman with whom Obama shared a brother handshake in public, Hugo Chavez, just claimed a new mandate to advance his anti-American cause. Continue reading