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The Early Edition: January 23, 2017

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.


The Trump administration has not sent a delegation to the Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan because of “the immediate demands of the transition,” the State Department said Saturday.…   continue »

Top 10 Gender and Security Developments of 2016

These developments and issues are not in any hierarchical order. They represent a broad swath of gender-related practices, actions, opportunities and setbacks that emerged in 2016.

1. Guatemala’s Historic Sexual Violence Trial — On February 26, a Guatemalan court found that two former military officials committed sexual violence against Q’eqchi indigenous women and that those crimes constituted crimes against humanity.  continue »

And Dan Coats Makes Five–Senior Policymakers in a Trump Administration Who Would Take a Hard Line on Russia

President-elect Donald Trump will reportedly name former Indiana Senator Dan Coats to replace James Clapper as Director of National Intelligence. Coats would become the fifth in the line of senior policymakers who would presumably take a very different approach to Russia than the one articulated by the President-elect and by retired Lt.…   continue »

Can Trump Unravel Obama’s Rules of War?

For eight years, the Obama administration has pursued a tough-minded war against al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups that has eliminated their leaders from Somalia to Afghanistan to Yemen. Though many critics have argued for more transparency and greater legal constraints, the policy has been anchored in what President Barack Obama considers to be a principled and pragmatic framework for regulating the use of lethal drone strikes outside hot war zones.…   continue »

The Office of Special Counsel’s Oversight Role in National Security: A Home for Whistleblowers

To function efficiently and effectively, the government must promote whistleblowing by its employees. This is especially true in the national and homeland security contexts, where bureaucratic decisions can threaten the safety of U.S. forces, citizens, and basic liberties.

The vital role of government whistleblowers is exemplified by the case of a Marine Corps civilian scientist named Franz Gayl.…   continue »

Saudi Arabia Finally Admits to Using Cluster Bombs in Yemen–After Pattern of Denials

On Monday, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told the House of Commons that following the UK’s own analysis, the Saudi-led coalition has now admitted to using UK manufactured cluster munitions in Yemen. Mr. Fallon heralded the “transparent admission” by the coalition, and added, “we therefore welcome their announcement today that they will no longer use cluster munitions.” Many news outlets ran a headline focused on the Saudi-led coalition’s statement that it would stop using cluster munitions in Yemen (including Al Jazeera, Fox, ReutersUPI).…   continue »

Difficult Days Ahead for the Int’l Criminal Court


As the International Criminal Court (ICC) closes out a tumultuous year, it faces hard times ahead. Diminishing support for the Court specifically, and international disengagement generally, mean that the Court will have difficulty in these next years advancing its core mission of pursuing accountability for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.…   continue »

A Patriot Fears Not Truth about Russian Election Interference: Time for a commission to investigate

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2016 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin holds the Cabinet meeting in Moscow's Kremlin, Russia. Recent hacks of election data systems in at least two states have raised fear among lawmakers and intelligence officials that a foreign government is trying to seed doubt about - or even manipulate - the presidential race, renewing debate over when cyberattacks cross red lines and warrant a U.S. response. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the Central Intelligence Agency briefed Senators that it is “clear” that Russian hacking operations were designed to help Donald Trump win the Presidency. While there has reportedly been an intelligence community consensus for some time that Russians were interfering in the 2016 election, the conclusion that there was a pro-Trump motive has roiled the political discussion since.…   continue »