Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
DONALD TRUMP’S FOREIGN POLICY
Russia dismissed Donald Trump’s proposal on nuclear arms reductions less than a day after it became public yesterday, RFE reports.
The possibility of a break in transatlantic relations was faced by European leaders after Trump said that the E.U. was bound to break up and that he was indifferent to its fate over the weekend, Michael Birnbaum writes at the Washington Post.
“Radical and reckless.” US President-elect Donald Trump’s statement that the US may abandon NATO was condemned by the chair of the UK defense select committee Julian Lewis last night, the Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill reports.
Will Trump abandon Europe? Ishaan Tharoor examines this issue at the Washington Post.
Fears that provocations by President-elect Donald Trump over trade and territory could escalate into armed conflict are hanging over China as Trump’s inauguration as president approaches, Andrew Browne writes at the Wall Street Journal.
The “extraordinary vagueness” of Trump’s views on the Middle East’s numerous conflicts has allowed many regional leaders to imagine that he will take their side in those conflicts, observes Yaroslav Trofimov at the Wall Street Journal.
Trump is keeping world leaders on edge as his inauguration nears, writes Rogene Jacquette at the New York Times, examining some of his recent comments on NATO, Europe, China, Mexico and Russia.
The incoming administration must retain Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia, outgoing Vice President Joe Biden said at a meeting with Ukraine’s president yesterday, the Hill reports.
The Iran nuclear deal was years in the making and represents an agreement between the world’s major powers, not just Iran and the US, President Obama warned the incoming Trump administration on the one year anniversary of the deal yesterday. The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly reports.
Some of the most prominent Republican national security names say they have been blacklisted by Trump despite their readiness to serve their country under his administration because of public “Never Trump” letters they signed during the presidential campaign, David Nakamura reports at the Washington Post.
Monica Crowley will relinquish her post as senior director of strategic communications at the National Security Council over multiple allegations of plagiarism after recently being appointed by Donald Trump, she said yesterday, John Wagner reporting at the Washington Post.
Sen. John McCain is leaning toward voting to confirm Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, he said yesterday, the Hill’s Cyra Master reporting.
To understand Donald Trump, think of him as an independent, not a Republican, is the Financial Times’ Robert Zoellick’s advice to people around the world struggling to understand the incoming Trump administration.
Donald Trump’s response and what this suggests about how he’ll govern is the real emergency created by Russia’s apparent hacking of the US election, writes Jon Schwarz at The Intercept.
UK SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
The UK government’s attempts to sidestep being sued for the kidnapping of a Libyan dissident and his wife in 2004 were dismissed by the UK Supreme Court, which said that the claims of rendition and torture of Belhaj should be put before an English court, Owen Bowcott and Ian Cobain report at the Guardian.
Kazakhstan is ready to hold Syria peace talks in its capital Astana on Jan. 23, Russia’s RIA news agency reported today, citing the Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov. [Reuters]
Some Syrian rebel groups will attend the peace talks, they confirmed yesterday, Sarah El Deeb reporting at the AP.
President-elect Donald Trump’s administration should be invited to the Syria peace talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today. Laura Mills reports at the Wall Street Journal.
Lavrov claimed he had information that some European countries were considering disrupting the peace talks because they felt left out, Reuters reports.
Iraqi special forces entered Islamic State-held districts in eastern Mosul today, military officials said. [Reuters]
US-led airstrikes continue. US and coalition forces carried out 16 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on Jan. 14. Separately, partner forces conducted five strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]
The Obama administration tried to prevent Japan from improving ties with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today. [Reuters]
Lithuania will build an 80-mile-long fence along its border with Russia following the Russian military buildup in Kaliningrad over the past few months, it announced yesterday, a project that is expected to be largely funded by the E.U. as a security investment, Rick Noack writes at the Washington Post.
What is Russia’s endgame in Libya? Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar met Russian officials in an attempt to secure crucial military support that would help him to gain control of the country this week, writes Al Jazeera’s Barbara Bibbo.
ISTANBUL NYE NIGHTCLUB ATTACK
The suspect in the New Year’s Eve attack on a nightclub in Istanbul has confessed, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters today, Peter Kenyon reporting at NPR.
Abdulgadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national who was trainined in Afghanistan, was arrested following a police raid on a residence in an outlying district of Istanbul yesterday, Rod Nordland reports at the New York Times.
Masharipov carried out the attacks in the name of the Islamic State, Istanbul’s governor said this morning. [AP]
The UK is leading a “race to the bottom” in Europe with its Orwellian counterterrorism laws that are a serious threat to human rights, according to a report by Amnesty International. Owen Bowcott reports at the Guardian.
A Moroccan man suspected of promoting Islamic extremist groups online was arrested by Spanish police, Spain’s Interior Ministry said. [AP]
A ruling that the Egyptian government cannot transfer control of two important Red Sea islands to its main financial backer Saudi Arabia was upheld by an Egyptian court yesterday, deepening the divide between the two nations, whose relationship has been tense for over a year, reports Nour Youssef at the New York Times.
Gunmen killed eight police at a checkpoint in el-Wadi el-Gedid province in southwest Egypt last night, AFP reports.
Ten Guantánamo Bay detainees were transfered to Oman for “humanitarian reasons” where they will remain temporarily, the Omani Foreign Ministry confirmed yesterday. Paul Schemm reports at the Washington Post.
The letter to President Obama written by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in 2014 reached the White House, a source confirmed yesterday, Carol Rosenberg reporting at the Miami Herald.
The Defense Department trained at least 17 foreigners at some of its top schools who were later convicted or accused of criminal and human rights abuses in their own countries, according to a series of annual State Department reports to Congress, Lauren Chadwick writes at The Daily Beast.
The death toll in the war in Yemen has reached at least 10,000, the BBC reports.
US forces landed in Norway yesterday to train with allies and help to reinforce NATO’s northernmost border with Russia, Julian E. Barnes and Ellen Emmerentze Jervell report at the Wall Street Journal.
Trump’s attacks on the intelligence agencies following reports of an unverified dossier containing compromising information about him crossed a line, outgoing CIA Director John Brennan said in an interview published last night, the Hill’s Cyra Master reports.
The wife of Orlando nightclub massacre culprit Omar Mateen was arrested by the FBI and charged with obstructing the investigation of the mass shooting, officials said yesterday. Adam Goldman and Alan Blinder report at the New York Times.
China’s installation of weapons on artificial islands in the South China Sea is “very troubling,” the Philippines’ defense minister said today, Reuters reports.
A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli police during clashes in the West Bank involving hundreds of Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli security forces yesterday, the AP reports.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killing of a Jordanian soldier in the country’s southern Maan province on Jan. 6, the AP reports.
Boko Haram claimed it was behind yesterday’s double suicide bombings at a university in northeastern Nigeria which killed two people. Reuters reports.
Antiaircraft weapons hidden on rooftops began firing at “an unidentified flying object” in the sky above Tehran yesterday for the second time in a month, Thomas Erdbrink reports at the New York Times.
The US and Cuba agreed to share information on international criminal activity including terrorism despite Republican objections, Michael Weissenstein reports at the AP.
The Justice Department’s investigation of FBI Director James Comey’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails is welcome news, writes Michael R. Bromwich at the Washington Post.