International Security & Defense

484 Items

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ bluff on the border will hurt security, not help

| May 31, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recently announced a zero tolerance policy on border security. Though its contours have not been described in great detail, at its core, it is a commitment to criminally prosecute every person who illegally crosses the border.

This strategy may provide sound bites, and harsh rhetoric may generate some short-term deterrent effect, but it is impossible for this policy to actually be implemented over any reasonable time period. By announcing a threat that is effectively a bluff, the Trump administration likely will harm border security rather than enhance it.

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Analysis & Opinions - Cleveland.com

President Trump's Talk of Border Security Crisis is Misleading

| May 24, 2018

To argue the southwest border is in a state of crisis and out of control overlooks the extraordinary progress that has been made in securing the southwest border during the last 30 years. Worse still, it is deceptive and poisons the debate about what additional steps the United States should take to address southwest border security.

Photo of state and local election officials at D3P conference.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Election Officials from 38 States Learn to Fortify Elections Against Attacks

| Mar. 29, 2018

More than 120 election officials from 38 states gathered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this week to participate in role-playing exercises that provided them with tips, tools, and training to fortify their election systems against cyber attacks and information operations. Organized by the Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the two-day event featured a tabletop exercise (TTX) scenario for officials that simulated attacks on election systems ranging from hacks and social media misinformation to  manipulation of voter information and trust. The state and local election officials learned how to better prepare, defend, and respond to a range of attacks on the integrity of American elections and how to empower their colleagues back home with this knowledge as they prepare for the 2018 and 2020 elections.   

March for Our Lives, Washington, D.C.

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - CNN

The Marching Students Wowed This Security Mom

| Mar. 25, 2018

"The effectiveness of the anti-gun control lobby took gun violence out of the equation of what constitutes homeland security for too long. It was so effective that we often couldn't even see how absurd that distinction was until you showed us otherwise. Why would some risks — terrorism, climate change, pandemics — be viewed as national security issues and yet the one most consequential means by which you all were at risk of getting killed — gun violence — was somehow removed from the discussion?"

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Analysis & Opinions - Philadelphia Inquirer

Abolishing ICE is a very bad idea

| Mar. 23, 2018

There has been an increasing drumbeat from progressives arguing in favor of abolishing or defunding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for instance in a recent column for the Inquirer and during an interview with Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.). In essence, activists are arguing that ending ICE should be the position of the Democratic Party and a litmus test for its presidential candidates. This is a bad idea.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, right, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and former arrive for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Testimony - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Jeh Johnson Testimony on Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Elections

| Mar. 23, 2018

In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our Nation for the purpose of influencing the election that year – plain and simple. The experience should be a wake-up call for our Nation, as it highlighted cyber vulnerabilities in our political process, and in our election infrastructure itself. Now, with the experience fresh in our minds and clear in our rear-view mirror, the key question for our leaders at the national and state level is this: what are we doing about it? The matter is all the more urgent given the public testimony of our Nation’s intelligence chiefs last month, before this very Committee, that the Russians effort continues into the ongoing 2018 midterm election season.

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Reducing Transaction Costs at North America’s Borders

| Mar. 20, 2018

The North American market is a significant driver of U.S. economic activity and competitiveness. Mexico and Canada are the United States’ two biggest export markets, making up over a third of overall U.S. exports valued at more than $580 billion. Imports from both countries contain far higher proportions of American content than goods that are imported from Asia or Europe.

Nonetheless, and even recognizing the new era of North American trade created by the North American Free Trade Agreement, there are still significant logistical constraints to commercial flows within North America, with the result that the United States, Mexico, and Canada are effectively leaving money on the table in terms of competitiveness and job growth. And many of these constraints are tied to the efficiency of the countries’ ports of entry.

FBI Headquarters

FBI, via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

A ‘global game of whack-a-mole’: Overseas data rules are stuck in the 19th century

| Mar. 05, 2018

How should law enforcement officials deal with digital data that happens to be stored in a different country? If FBI agents, pursuing a subject who committed a crime in the United States, serve a valid court order on an American company, the government shouldn’t have to wait a year because the company happens to store the information overseas. Likewise, if the London police are investigating a local murder, the fact that they are seeking phone records from a communications provider located in the United States should not block them from doing their job.