Counterterrorism

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NYTimes: Who Is Watching the Watch Lists?

Author: Susan Stellin

"The government refuses to confirm or deny whether someone is on the list, officially called the Terrorist Screening Database, or divulge the criteria used to make the decisions—other than to say the database includes 'individuals known or suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism and terrorist activities.' Even less is known about the secondary watch lists that are derived from the main one."

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CRS: U.S.-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism

U.S.-EU cooperation against terrorism has led to a new dynamic in U.S.-EU relations by fostering dialogue on law enforcement and homeland security issues previously reserved for bilateral discussions. Nevertheless, some challenges persist in fostering closer U.S.-EU cooperation in these fields. Among the most prominent are data privacy and data protection concerns.

See more in United States; Counterterrorism

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NYT: Rise of the Predators

Author: Mark Mazzetti

"While it was not the first country where the United States used drones, [Pakistan] became the laboratory for the targeted killing operations that have come to define a new American way of fighting, blurring the line between soldiers and spies and short-circuiting the normal mechanisms by which the United States as a nation goes to war."

See more in Counterterrorism; Pakistan

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CTC: AQIM’s Playbook in Mali

Author: Pascale Combelles Siegel

As the French-led military forces retake northern Mali, [AQIM emir Abdelmalek] Droukdel's eight month old letter should resonate as an ominous warning as it points to a long-term strategic plan to outlive the intervention and sets the stage for a potentially successful return. Clearly, under Droukdel's leadership, AQIM has no intention of relinquishing northern Mali.

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NYT: How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs

Authors: Mark Mazzetti, Charlie Savage, and Scott Shane

This account of what led to the [Anwar al-]Awlaki strike, based on interviews with three dozen current and former legal and counterterrorism officials and outside experts, fills in new details of the legal, intelligence and military challenges faced by the Obama administration in what proved to be a landmark episode in American history and law.

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FP: My Drone War

Author: Pir Zubair Shah

American drones have changed everything for al-Qaeda and its local allies in Pakistan, becoming a fact of life in a secret war that is far from over, writes Foreign Policy's Pir Zubair Shah.

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CNN: CIA Drone War in Pakistan in Sharp Decline

Authors: Peter Lampert Bergen and Jennifer Rowland

The CIA's drone program, while successful, has been largely unpopular in Pakistan. But drone strikes are decreasing since they peaked in 2010. Peter Bergen and Jennifer Rowland of CNN ask: Is it because of politics or because we're running out of real targets?

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FP: Fire When Ready

Author: Jack Goldsmith

Obama's targeted drone strikes--even on Americans--aren't illegal, writes Jack Goldsmith for Foreign Policy. In fact, he writes, there's a solid legal foundation and a number of checks and balances upholding his right to take out terrorists.

See more in Counterterrorism; International Law; United States