Bottom Line Up Front: The U.S. Congress was recently notified about a potential arms sale between the U.S. and Taiwan, estimated at close to $2 billion. Beijing has expressed serious concern about the deal, claiming that it violates the ‘One-China’ policy that Washington has agreed to uphold. The arms ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. is continuing to pressure the E.U. about defense spending, continuing a trend that has stretched back through previous administrations. The E.U. has established two military platforms for E.U. member states aimed at increasing domestic security as well as various domestic defense industries. The ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Just last week, the Islamic State's affiliate in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula launched a deadly attack, killing eight police officers at a checkpoint. Since forming in 2014, terrorists have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and destabilized the region, damaging Egypt’s once-vibrant tourism industry. Beyond attacking the ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. government has confirmed that it repatriated eight U.S. citizens—two women and six children—who were with the Islamic State in Syria. The eight had been held by Syrian Kurdish forces, part of the tens of thousands of former Islamic State militants and family members ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Thousands of videos and channels that promote extremist beliefs will be removed from YouTube, according to the company. To date, tech companies have mostly focused on removing jihadist-related content but more recently, social media giants have come to target other hateful and violent ideologies, including ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Although they are on the same side in the conflict in Syria, Russia and Iran each maintain their own priorities beyond propping up the Assad regime. Russia and Iran have expended massive resources to carve out their own long-term spheres of influence in Syria and ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Last week, members of the Afghan Taliban along with Afghan politicians and power brokers met in Moscow to discuss the contours of a potential peace deal for the war-ravaged country. Representing the Taliban was one of the group’s original co-founders, Abdul Ghani Baradar, who offered ...

  Bottom Line Up Front: On June 4, 1989 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) staged a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters who gathered at Tiananmen Square to demand democratic reforms. Thirty years after the event, China has arguably grown more autocratic than it was in 1989 under the leadership of ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Civilian pro-democracy protesters were gunned down on Monday by Sudanese security forces in Khartoum, the country’s capital. According to various media reports, at least thirteen protesters were killed and approximately 200 injured. Concerned about pro-democracy protests spreading beyond Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Just last week, seven members of the so-called Islamic State, all of them from France, were sentenced to death by an Iraqi court. Many Western countries have refused to take back citizens who traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State. An estimated ...

  Bottom Line Up Front: On May 19, 2019, a prison riot in Vakhdat, Tajikistan, left 29 people dead, including supporters of the so-called Islamic State. Allegedly orchestrated by militants, government information about the riot is limited and leaves many questions unanswered. Tajikistan has seen an uptick in jihadist-inspired violence ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Toward the end of May, John Walker Lindh was released from U.S. federal prison after serving 17 years of a sentence stemming from ten charges related to terrorism. At least 90 more terror-related offenders will be released in the United States over the next five ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In 2017, the National Security Agency lost control of a cyberweapon known as EternalBlue, leaked online by a group known as 'the Shadow Brokers.’ Malicious code can be traded and sold on the Dark Web, available to those with the resources to purchase it or ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The only consistency in the Trump administration’s Middle East policy has been to support autocratic regimes and strongmen, as it has in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The Trump administration’s top national security officials met with Congress multiple times in May to discuss how the President ...

  On May 10, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a raise in tariffs on Chinese imports from 10 to 25%, further escalating the ongoing trade dispute with Beijing. The hike in tariffs came as a surprise as both the U.S. and China had been raising expectations in early May ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. is threatening the E.U. over the latter’s initiatives to increase member defense spending and cooperation. Washington objects to conditions in the European Defense Fund and Permanent Structured Cooperation on Defence and Security that restrict non-E.U. participation. The U.S. is stressing the issue as ...

Bottom Line Up Front The Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies are making moves to retake Idlib from the last remaining pocket of rebel fighters holed up in the province. A combination of Russian airpower and Syrian Army ground forces have moved aggressively to retake sections of southwestern ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Reprisal attacks stemming from the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka have exacerbated religious and ethnic tensions, destabilizing the country as the government struggles to formulate an adequate response. Sri Lanka has a painful recent history of ethnic and religiously-driven violence. The ideology of 'bin Ladenism’ ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Germany is experiencing a renewed wave of virulent anti-Semitism and intimidation and violence directed toward immigrants, especially Muslims. Some German politicians have displayed admirable leadership to speak out strongly against anti-Semitism and calling for fellow Germans to 'stand against this with all our means.' This ...

  Bottom Line Up Front After the well-documented Russian disinformation and influence campaign in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, some elements of the U.S. government and defense establishment are taking significant steps to prevent a similar event in 2020. After successfully thwarting online influence operations prior to the 2018 U.S. ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Most states, particularly those in the West, have refused to repatriate their citizens who joined the Islamic State and who now reside in crowded camps. Thousands of Islamic State family members are being held in the al Hol Camp in Syria, living in fetid conditions ...

  Bottom Line Up Front China has created a highly controlled environment in Xinjiang where it monitors ethnic Uighurs, relying on emerging technologies to track and surveil its citizens. The Chinese Communist Party cites widespread religious extremism as the reason behind its draconian counterterrorism strategy. There is a palpable fear ...

  Bottom Line Up Front  Tensions have spiked between the U.S. and Iran recently, with both countries engaging in a series of tit-for-tat actions and heated rhetoric. But conflict should not be considered inevitable; containing Iran is possible and presents a favorable alternative to direct military conflict. Iran’s ‘playbook’ is ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. State Department is reportedly increasing its counterterrorism efforts, even as its diplomatic portfolio is further reduced. The State Department’s Antiterrorism Assistance program (ATA) has long served as a critical component of the department’s liaison efforts. However, the Trump administration’s open disdain for diplomacy ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Recent unrest in Venezuela and the continuing uncertainty over whether embattled President Maduro will step down continues to drag on. Following a recent coup attempt, some have speculated that Russia involved itself to save the Maduro regime. The deteriorating situation has caused more than 3 ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On May 6, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) once again pushed for a transfer to civilian rule in Sudan. While the AU and the UN are pushing Khartoum to transition away from strongman rule, regional powers are seeking to guard their ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Murder rates in Mexico are again on the rise due to shifting dynamics between the cartels and a struggle for control of lucrative drug trafficking routes. There are several large cartels responsible for smuggling drugs into the U.S.; the most advanced groups have also developed ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Later this month, French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will co-host a conference with the stated objective of regulating violent extremist content online. The conference is in response to the live-streamed and downloadable March 15 terrorist attacks at two mosques ...

Bottom Line Up Front As U.S-supported Saudi air strikes continue to kill Yemeni civilians, a bill to end that support remains stuck in the Senate. In April, President Trump vetoed a different bill passed by both chambers aimed at ending U.S. support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, something ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The global jihadist movement is alive and well, even after the so-called Islamic State’s territorial caliphate has collapsed. The Iranian Threat Network has grown in strength and now extends further than at any point in recent memory. The threat posed by right-wing extremism is undeniable—several ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. Treasury Department recently imposed sanctions on the Rawi terrorist financing network, which helped move funds for the so-called Islamic State. The network was truly global in nature; headquartered in Iraq, it had connections that spanned the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Even without ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On Easter Sunday, coordinated suicide attacks shook Sri Lanka, leaving more than 200 people dead and injuring several hundred more. Eight separate attacks targeted Christians celebrating Easter Sunday, the culmination of the holiest week in the Christian calendar, as well as tourists staying in Western ...

  Bottom Line Up Front: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is China’s principal foreign policy vehicle and may be the most significant geopolitical strategy of the 21stCentury. BRI now extends to approximately 70 countries and is increasingly folding EU-countries under its infrastructure investment umbrella—most recently, Italy. Beijing’s investments in European ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On April 16, Egypt’s parliament passed amendments to the Constitution that provide President al-Sisi with a path forward to maintain power until 2030. There is little observable public opposition to the constitutional changes, likely a result of the oppressive nature of the Egyptian government. Under ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In Europe, groups on the political far-right are attempting to mainstream and normalize their ideologies to recast themselves for the modern era. The Identitarian Movement is transnational, with linkages across Europe and increasingly in North American and Australia. The Identitarian Movement and similar groups base ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Global arms sales are booming, with a spike caused by a years-long increase in spending from countries in the MENA region. Countries exporting arms cite the link between deterrence and stability to justify these sales, while often downplaying the role these weapons play in helping ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The conditions inside camps of displaced persons across Syria and Iraq, including family members of Islamic State fighters, presents an immediate humanitarian threat and a long-term strategic security opportunity. The camps are a mix of people who fled the Islamic State as well as hard-core ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Turkey’s ruling AKP party is asking for a full recount in the mayoral election in Istanbul, making accusations of ‘wide-spread crimes.’ Defeats for the AKP in the nation-wide elections demonstrate that despite Erdogan’s attempt to consolidate power, there remains a very credible political opposition across ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In India, the world’s largest democracy, politics continue to be disrupted by ‘fake news’ and deliberate disinformation campaigns targeting the nation’s elections. ‘WhatsApp’ is used by more than 200 million Indians and plays a central role in the spread of false news while also feeding ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The 8 April Trump administration announcement designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization will have little practical effect on IRGC operations. There are few benefits to the designation because the IRGC is already widely sanctioned; few foreign companies transact any ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The Atomwaffen Division is a Neo-Nazi group formed in 2015 with a cellular-based organizational structure and an estimated membership of several dozen to 80, located across the United States.  The group fetishizes Nazi relics and Third Reich propaganda and its ideology can be described as ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The investigation into the hacking of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ phone demonstrates how private firms have developed sophisticated electronic espionage capabilities. From social engineering to cyberespionage, private firms and individuals are increasingly hired by governments to blackmail critics and rivals. This trend will likely intensify—barriers ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In March, 130 civilians were killed in an attack in the Mopti region of central Mali, where a growing security crisis threatens to further destabilize the country. Despite sustained international efforts, several jihadist groups are active in Mali and have exacerbated pre-existing tensions within the ...

  Bottom Line Up Front A growing number of countries are taking steps to limit internet access for their citizens to suppress unrest and anti-government protests. The Algerian government has tried to shut down internet access ahead of elections, but the restrictions have failed to prevent the spread of protests. ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. is continuing its aggressive campaign against the growing influence of Chinese telecom giant Huawei as countries move toward 5G infrastructure. Particularly noteworthy is the adoption of Huawei infrastructure by ‘Five Eyes’ countries, America’s closest and most trusted allies in information sharing and intelligence ...

  Bottom Line Up Front: On 19 March in a surprise move, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned during a public television announcement. Nazarbayev’s resignation is strategic and designed to ensure a stable future for his country by promoting a smooth political transition. Russia and China each have a vested interest ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In December 2018, the U.S. announced it would look to end its support for‘unproductive, unsuccessful and unaccountable U.N. peacekeeping missions.’ The U.S. funds approximately 28% of the U.N. peacekeeping operations, which consist of 14 operations involving over 100,000 personnel. Washington objects to operations with no ...

  Bottom Line Up Front There are possible links between the recent New Zealand mosque shooter and a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist white supremacist paramilitary organization called the Azov Battalion. The Azov Battalion is emerging as a critical node in the transnational right-wing violent extremist (RWE) movement. Recruits from the U.S., Norway, ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On March 19, the coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State announced it was finally in control of Baghouz, IS’ last openly held territory in Syria. With tens of thousands of IS fighters and their families now captured, pressure is rapidly escalating as detention centers grow ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Iran can exercise ‘hard power’ in Iraq through several major Shi’a militias that it has nurtured. Iran’s militia allies are emerging as significant political actors in Iraq and potentially in the broader region, following the prototype of Iran’s key regional proxy, Lebanese Hezbollah. With armed ...