9:13 AM 10/19/2017 – Prominent Trump campaign officials and supporters amplified the tweets by the fake Tennessee Republicans account | Trump questions who paid for dossier: ‘Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?’ – The Hill

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Pouneh Ahari

TRUMP-RUSSIA Update

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his role in the firing of former F.B.I. director James Comey in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday which focused on Russian interference in U.S. politics, saying that he did not think the significance of the error the Mr. Comey made on the Clinton matter had been fully understood, referring to Comeys 2016 comments that the was not recommending charges against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her private email use. Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilber report at the Wall Street Journal.

  • Sessions pointedly changed his previous account of his contacts with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016, stating that he did not recall whether certain areas were discussed in the meeting. Sessions also said that he did not have a continuing exchange of information with the Russians, a shift from his previous claim that he had no contacts with them. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller has not interviewed Sessions in relation to the Russia investigation, the Attorney General said yesterday, at the hearing Sessions also refused to address questions about his private conversations with Trump on the Russia investigations, the firing of Comey and other key issues. Josh Gerstein and Elana Schor report at POLITICO.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) questioned Sessions on his comments during his confirmation hearing, pointing out his shifting testimony, to which Sessions responded that he had conducted no improper discussions with Russians at any time regarding a campaign or any other item facing this country. Lydia Wheeler reports at the Hill.

  • Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday, according to a source familiar with the matter, Lewandowski was privy to campaign officials efforts to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and maintained close ties to the Trump campaign after his departure. Karoun Demirjian reports at the Washington Post.
  • Officials from opposition research firm Fusion GPS met with the House Intelligence Committee yesterday in response to a subpoena issued by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), but refused to testify before the panel. Focus has been on the firm as it commissioned a controversial dossier about Trumps connections to Russia compiled by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein report at POLITICO.
  • Google has privately briefed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees ahead of two Nov. 1 hearings into Russian interference in the U.S. election and the online disinformation campaigns. Mary Clare Jalonick reports at the AP.
  • Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch will testify before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees at the Nov. 1 hearings, Jonathan Allen reports at NBC News.
  • Democratic senators are preparing today to unveil new legislation targeted at political ads on social media, subjecting them to transparency and disclosure laws. Ali Breland reports at the Hill.
  • An account purporting to speak for Tennessee Republicans was a fake Twitter account set up by Russian operatives, according to two people familiar with the matter, the success of the account demonstrating the reach of the Russian disinformation campaign. Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Adam Entous reveal at the Washington Post.
  • Prominent Trump campaign officials and supporters amplified the tweets by the fake Tennessee Republicans account, Betsy Woodruff, Ben Collins, Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman report at The Daily Beast.

Selected and Saved News Stories – Trump 

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
The Case for Centrist ‘Triangulation’ in the Trump Era Is Hilariously Weak – New York Magazine
UK probes alleged money laundering link to South Africa – ABC News
Trump: Russia uranium deal ‘biggest story that Fake Media’ ignores – Politico
Risch: Korean dictator promotes fight he can’t win – Idaho State Journal
Trump Says ‘Fake Media’ Doesn’t Want to Cover Obama/Clinton Uranium Deal With Russia – CNSNews.com
South Korean opposition leader: Nukes are the only way to guarantee peace – kplr11.com
Trump reacts and a crisis is born – CNN
Will polls push GOP to the center? – The Wilson Times
Donald Trump added Chad to US travel ban because African nation had ‘run out of passport paper’ – The Independent
Saved Stories – 1. Trump
The Early Edition: October 19, 2017
 

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

SYRIA

The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) have cleared 98 percent of the Islamic States de facto capital of Raqqa, the spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition Col. Ryan Dillon tweeted today.

The impending defeat of the Islamic State group in Raqqa will open a new phase in the Syrian conflict, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said yesterday, blaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assads regime for hindering previous efforts to liberate the city. Sarah El Deeb reports at the AP.

The U.N. seeks access to Raqqa and is ready to increase assistance following the defeat of Islamic State militants, a U.N. official in the Syrian capital of Damascus said yesterday, adding that aid groups were struggling to support the thousands of civilians in camps for the displaced near Raqqa. The BBCreports.

The S.D.F. will redeploy fighters to the frontlines of the eastern Deir al-Zour province, a spokesperson for the S.D.F. said yesterday, adding that victory in Raqqa would have a positive impact on the offensive against the Islamic State fighters. Tom Perry and Lisa Barrington report at Reuters.

A senior Syrian army commander has been killed in the near the eastern city of Deir al-Zour in an operation against Islamic State militants, Brig. Gen Issam Zahreddine led government offences in the Homs province and maintained a government presence in Deir al-Zour despite the almost three year long siege on his forces. The AP reports.

The U.N. must ensure accountability for the April 4 chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said yesterday, urging the Security Council to quickly vote on renewing the Joint Investigative Mechanism which is investigating the incident that killed more than 90 people. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.

The al-Qaeda-linked Tahrir al-Sham alliance released a video yesterday purporting to show its leader Abu Mohamad al-Golani, two weeks after the Russian military said it had critically injured Golani. Reuters reports.

The Islamic State groups loss of territory has undermined its ability to raise revenue and collect money from civilians in its self-styled caliphate; it is likely that the group will now adopt insurgent tactics instead of pursuing state-building ambitions. Maria Abi-Habib explains at the Wall Street Journal.

The Islamic State group is set to establish itself as a guerilla force following the heavy territorial losses it has suffered in Syria and Iraq, many counterterrorism officials have said; the group still has many fighters, sympathizers and the ability to inspire attacks abroad. Margaret Coker, Eric Schmitt and Rukmini Callimachi explain that the terrorist group is far from defeated at the New York Times.

The defeat of the Islamic State group in Raqqa ushers in a period of uncertainty, the plethora of parties on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq trying to gain influence now that their common enemy faces impending downfall. Sarah El Deeb and Zeina Karam set out the various parties and alliances and their conflicting interests at the AP.

Tahrir al-Sham is set to benefit from the downfall of the Islamic State, the alliance, also known as the Levant Liberation Committee, dominates Syrias northern Idlib province and has allowed some Islamic State fighters who have fled to the province to join their group. Bassem Mroue and Qassim Abdul-Zahra explain at the AP.

The U.S. lacks a strategy for the next phase of the war in Syria, the Financial Times editorial boardsets out the potential future dangers.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out two airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on October 17. Separately, partner forces conducted five strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his role in the firing of former F.B.I. director James Comey in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday which focused on Russian interference in U.S. politics, saying that he did not think the significance of the error the Mr. Comey made on the Clinton matter had been fully understood, referring to Comeys 2016 comments that the was not recommending charges against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her private email use. Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilber report at the Wall Street Journal.

Sessions pointedly changed his previous account of his contacts with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016, stating that he did not recall whether certain areas were discussed in the meeting. Sessions also said that he did not have a continuing exchange of information with the Russians, a shift from his previous claim that he had no contacts with them. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has not interviewed Sessions in relation to the Russia investigation, the Attorney General said yesterday, at the hearing Sessions also refused to address questions about his private conversations with Trump on the Russia investigations, the firing of Comey and other key issues. Josh Gerstein and Elana Schor report at POLITICO.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) questioned Sessions on his comments during his confirmation hearing, pointing out his shifting testimony, to which Sessions responded that he had conducted no improper discussions with Russians at any time regarding a campaign or any other item facing this country. Lydia Wheeler reports at the Hill.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday, according to a source familiar with the matter, Lewandowski was privy to campaign officials efforts to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and maintained close ties to the Trump campaign after his departure. Karoun Demirjian reports at the Washington Post.

Officials from opposition research firm Fusion GPS met with the House Intelligence Committee yesterday in response to a subpoena issued by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), but refused to testify before the panel. Focus has been on the firm as it commissioned a controversial dossier about Trumps connections to Russia compiled by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein report at POLITICO.

Google has privately briefed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees ahead of two Nov. 1 hearings into Russian interference in the U.S. election and the online disinformation campaigns. Mary Clare Jalonick reports at the AP.

Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch will testify before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees at the Nov. 1 hearings, Jonathan Allen reports at NBC News.

Democratic senators are preparing today to unveil new legislation targeted at political ads on social media, subjecting them to transparency and disclosure laws. Ali Breland reports at the Hill.

An account purporting to speak for Tennessee Republicans was a fake Twitter account set up by Russian operatives, according to two people familiar with the matter, the success of the account demonstrating the reach of the Russian disinformation campaign. Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Adam Entous reveal at the Washington Post.

Prominent Trump campaign officials and supporters amplified the tweets by the fake Tennessee Republicans account, Betsy Woodruff, Ben Collins, Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman report at The Daily Beast.

IRAQ

Thousands of Iraqi Kurds have fled northern Iraq following the Iraqi government forces seizure of a host of territory from Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the Iraqi forces have taken control of the disputed Kirkuk region, demonstrating the changing political map in Iraq and the potential for new conflict between ethnic groups. Isabel Coles and Ali A. Nabhan report at the Wall Street Journal.

We have not yet closed the gates [with Iraq], but this could happen at any time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Tuesday in response to the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum. Hande Firat reports at The Hürriyet Daily News.

A united Iraq is best for our stability and best for the stability of the region and the world, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi writes at the New York Times, noting the successes of the Iraqi people in the fight against the Islamic State, castigating the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum and urging unity.

This weeks battle for the Iraqi disputed city of Kirkuk put the U.S. and Iran on the same side and against the U.S. Kurdish allies. David Zucchino and Eric Schmitt explain the strange dynamics and the U.S. approach to the Kurdish independence referendum at the New York Times.

AFGHANISTAN

A Taliban attack on an Afghan army base yesterday killed 43 soldiers, and the fight ended with a U.S. airstrike, according to N.A.T.O. officials. Antonio Olivo reports at the Washington Post.

The latest attack marks a week of bloodshed in Afghanistan, including a suicide bombing in the city of Gardez on Tuesday that killed at least 41 and the killing of at least 30 on the same day in Ghazni province. The BBC reports.

New fencing and guard posts along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border would help to reduce militant attacks in both countries, Pakistans military said yesterday, however the Afghan government has objected the fence and does not recognize the frontier as an international border. Munir Ahmed reports at the AP.

IRAN

I dont want to waste time on answering the rants and whoppers of the brute U.S. president, Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday, responding to Trumps decision not to certify Irans compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement. The BBC reports.

Europes opposition to Trumps decision was good, but not enough, Khamenei added, saying that they must stand up against the U.S. measures including the sanctions they anticipate to emerge from Congress. Frederik Pleitgen, Tamara Qiblawi and Shirzad Bozorgmehr report at CNN.

Wheres the outrage? the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley asked the Security Council yesterday, saying that member states should not judge Iran by the narrow confines of the nuclear deal as this misses the true nature of the threat. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.

Trump has provided Europe with a moment of truth on Iran, Europeans too readily embraced Iran and the business opportunities provided by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and they should now work with Washington to craft a better approach. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

NORTH KOREA

A nuclear powered U.S. aircraft carrier patrolled waters off the Korean Peninsula today in a show of power in the face of the North Korean threat, Tim Kelly reports at Reuters.

Trump administration officials are debating whether the president should visit the demilitarized zone (D.M.Z.) between North and South Korea, with some saying his presence could further increase tensions and others expressing concern about his personal safety. David Nakamura reports at the Washington Post.

European leaders will deliver a statement today calling on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, Reuters reports.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

The U.S. is a reliable partner to India and shares its values and vision for global stability, peace and prosperity, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a speech yesterday ahead of a planned trip to Asia, also chastising China for, at times, undermining the international, rules-based order. Felicia Schwartz reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The Trump administration seeks to deepen ties between the U.S. and India, Tillerson also said, his remarks comparing the U.S. relationship with India versus its relationship with China marking a significant and pointed criticism of Beijing. Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

China contributes to and defends the rules-based world order, the Chinese embassy in Washington said in a statement, responding to Tillersons comments. The BBC reports.

The U.S. would hold Myanmars military leaders accountable for its actions against the Rohingya Muslim minority, Tilllerson said yesterday, but stopped short of saying whether the U.S. would take any measures against the military leaders. David Brunnstrom and Jonathan Landay report at Reuters.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

The Islamist militant Hamas group must explicitly commit to nonviolence if it is to play any role in the Palestinian government, and it must recognize the state of Israel, the U.S. Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt said today, reflecting demands made by Israel. The AP reports.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can enjoy the support of Trump, however some in Israel have expressed concerns about the future should the Israeli government be perceived as being too close to Trump. Aron Heller provides an analysis at the AP.

GUANTÁNAMO

Guantánamo Bay prison guards seized court-approved, non-networked laptop computers and hard drives issued to the accused Sept. 11 attack plotters yesterday, raising questions about respect for client-attorney privilege. Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

The chief war crimes prosecutor at Guantánamo has postponed his retirement for at least another two years, a Pentagon spokesperson said yesterday. Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Chad was included in Trumps latest travel ban because it ran out of passport paper, U.S. officials have said, the AP reports.

Lawyers for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl filed a brief on Tuesday arguing that Trumps comments about the sergeant who walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009 cast impermissible shadow over upcoming sentencing proceedings. Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) has expressed deep concerns about reports that Hewlett Packard Enterprise complied with a Russian request to review its cybersecurity software in a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, urging the Pentagon to disclose any specific risk to U.S. military systems. Morgan Chlafant reports at the Hill.

The key points made by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his speech to the 19th Community Party Congress, including his comments on Chinas place in the world and its foreign policy aims, are set out by Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher at the New York Times.

Read on Just Security »

The Case for Centrist ‘Triangulation’ in the Trump Era Is Hilariously Weak – New York Magazine
 


New York Magazine
The Case for Centrist ‘Triangulation’ in the Trump Era Is Hilariously Weak
New York Magazine
And we’ve already discussed the unpopularity of his vision for tax and health-care reform, but just to underscore the point: In a recent analysis of VOTER survey (Views of the Electorate Research Survey) data, political scientist Lee Drutman found and more »
UK probes alleged money laundering link to South Africa – ABC News
 

UK probes alleged money laundering link to South Africa
ABC News
U.K. authorities are investigating allegations that British banks inadvertently acted as conduits for money laundering linked to corruption in South Africa. British Treasury chief Philip Hammond passed on allegations raised in a letter by former and more »
8:02 AM 10/19/2017 Trump News Review: Elections 2016 Investigation Google News: From Facebook to Pokémon Go: How Russia meddled in the 2016 election The Daily Dot

Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (18 sites) Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News: From Facebook to Pokémon Go: How Russia meddled in the 2016 election – The Daily Dot The Daily Dot From Facebook to Pokémon Go: How Russia meddled in the 2016 election The Daily Dot Is there any internet platform … Continue reading“8:02 AM 10/19/2017 – Trump News Review: Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News: From Facebook to Pokémon Go: How Russia meddled in the 2016 election – The Daily Dot”
Lawsuit says Trump’s ownership of hotels violates the constitution

Case filed in New York concerns interpretation of emoluments clause in regards to presidents hotels patronized by foreign government officialsA federal judge on Wednesday pressed government lawyers to explain why Donald Trumps ownership of hotels patronized by foreign government officials did not violate the constitution, a key question that could shed light on Trumps finances if a civil lawsuit heard in New York is allowed to proceed.At issue in the case brought by the left-leaning public policy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) is the interpretation of the so-called foreign emoluments clause of the constitution, a provision meant to prohibit bribery of federal officials by foreign governments.

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Former Facebook employees regret working for company as Russia election probe continues: ‘What have I done?’ – The Independent
 


The Independent
Former Facebook employees regret working for company as Russia election probe continues: ‘What have I done?’
The Independent
Less than a month before Facebook executives appear in front of US intelligence officials to explain the role their platform played in Russian meddling at the 2016 US election, former employees have come forward and expressed regret at having worked at …
Social-Media Legislation Gains Traction After Months of Russia ProbesBloomberg
Senators Demand Online Ad Disclosures as Tech Lobby MobilizesNew York Times
Senators target election meddling with new social media billCNBC
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Trump: Russia uranium deal ‘biggest story that Fake Media’ ignores – Politico
 


Politico
Trump: Russia uranium deal ‘biggest story that Fake Media’ ignores
Politico
President Donald Trump complained Thursday that the fake media doesn’t want to follow news related to an Obama-era sale of uranium deal involving the Russian government, resurfacing an issue he spoke of often on the campaign trail to attack Democrat …
Trump: Uranium deal with Russia ‘biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow’The Hill
Donald Trump promotes criticism of Hillary Clinton for role in Russian uranium deal while attacking ‘fake’ mediaThe Independent
Trump blasts ‘Fake Media’ for ignoring Russia uranium deal sealed ‘with Clinton help’Fox News
Business Insider –The New American (blog) –Washington Examiner
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Risch: Korean dictator promotes fight he can’t win – Idaho State Journal
 

Risch: Korean dictator promotes fight he can’t win
Idaho State Journal
Democrats easily could grab back control of the Senate after next year’s mid-term elections, perhaps with the blessing of President Donald Trump. … Risch doesn’t go as far as describing Kim Jong Un as crazy, although he may have somepersonality 
Trump questions who paid for dossier: ‘Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?’ – The Hill
 


The Hill
Trump questions who paid for dossier: ‘Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?’
The Hill
President Trump on Thursday questioned who paid for a controversial and unverified dossier about his alleged connections toRussia. Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the 
Trump floats conspiracy by Democrats, FBI and Russia to pay for ‘pee pee tape’ dossierRaw Story
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Newsmax –U.S. News & World Report –Gears Of Biz
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Trump Weighs in on ‘Fake’ Dossier on His Alleged Russia Ties – U.S. News & World Report
 


U.S. News & World Report
Trump Weighs in on ‘Fake’ Dossier on His Alleged Russia Ties
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President Donald Trump, left, sitting next to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, right, speaks during a meeting of the committee and members of the President’s economic team in the Cabinet Room of the White House in …
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Trump Says ‘Fake Media’ Doesn’t Want to Cover Obama/Clinton Uranium Deal With Russia – CNSNews.com
 


CNSNews.com
Trump Says ‘Fake Media’ Doesn’t Want to Cover Obama/Clinton Uranium Deal With Russia
CNSNews.com
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How Russia and Trump Collusion Would Have Worked, From First Contact to Election Day – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
How Russia and Trump Collusion Would Have Worked, From First Contact to Election Day
Newsweek
To get further insight, Newsweek spoke with a handful of former intelligence and law enforcement officials to map out how collusion could have worked, based on Russia’s long history of sophisticated intelligence and influence operations. … foreignand more »
How the Islamic State Will Grapple With Defeat in Raqqa

U.S. officials are right to crow about the fall of Raqqa and the pain the United States inflicted on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Although Obama administration policies deserve much of the credit, the U.S. allies conquest of Raqqa marks the end of the Islamic States quasi-state status, a devastating blow. However, when the Islamic State previously fell, it revived as a stronger, more dangerous group. The director of British intelligence has warned of an intense threat of terrorism, and terrorism expert Aaron Zelin cautions that [t]he Islamic State is not finished. Assessing the situation from the Islamic States perspective helps observers to understand both sides of this analytical debate. The group is weak locally and vis-à-vis its jihadists but is likely to gain at least some opportunities for a resurgence in the years to come.The Islamic State, the successor group to al-Qaeda in Iraq, has oscillated between victory and defeat. In 2005, it rode high: The United States was on the edge of defeat in Iraq, and the groups terrorism and horrific violence had polarized the country. Al-Qaeda in Iraq planned to exploit the resulting sectarian civil war by championing the countrys Sunni Muslim community.But victory turned swiftly to defeat. By 2010, Shiite Muslim militias had left a bloody trail through many Sunni communities. Not only had the group failed to protect Iraqs Sunnis, but ordinary Iraqis turned against the group because of its brutality, and an array of Sunni militants cooperated with U.S. and Iraqi forces to decimate al-Qaeda in Iraqs ranks and force the group underground. Yet only a few years later, the group exploited the Iraqi governments discriminatory, anti-Sunni policies and the outbreak of violence in neighboring Syria. In 2014, it surged back into Iraq: At its peak, it ruled territory the size of South Korea, inspired perhaps 40,000 foreign fightersto travel from around the world to join the group, and established or inspired provinces in Libya, the Sinai and other parts of the Muslim world.

With Raqqas fall, the Islamic State has lost the last of the major cities it once controlled and almost all its territory in Iraq and Syria. Its money flow has dried up, and its stream of volunteers has dwindled to a trickle. Many of its fighters, who the group once boasted would battle to the death, have surrendered or fled. Yet the Islamic States past revival suggests its too soon to assume the groups defeat. Consider that despite its major losses, it still has more fighters than when it faced defeat in the past. It is planning to go underground, as it did before in Iraq, and wage an insurgent and terrorist campaign in the territory it once held.

But to sustain an insurgency, the group must develop and expand an underground infrastructure in its former strongholds in Iraq and Syria. If successful, an insurgency will prevent the Iraqi and Syrian governments, foreign troops, or local militias from establishing order and completely stamping out the group. The Islamic States heavy reliance on foreign fighters presents a weakness: The foreigners stand out from locals, who frequently resent them, hindering operations in an already-challenging mission. In addition, the groups paltry finances will encourage local leaders to seek other sources for patronage. Many locals will turn first to those paymasters, and if they are hostile then the Islamic State will have its hands full.

As it attempts to regroup, the Islamic State could benefit from the power vacuum created in its absence. To defeat the Islamic State, someone must develop good governance in its former territories in Iraq and Syria to persuade locals to help uproot the groupan unlikely task that has no credible volunteers. The Islamic State is likely to increase violence against local leaders who cooperate with its many enemies: When operating underground in Iraq, the group waged an assassination campaign that killed hundreds of Iraqi leaders who worked with U.S. forces. Such a campaign can backfire if locals have an alternate source of protection, but without that the intimidation might work. In addition, the Islamic State is likely to seize on divisions between its opponents, who are now more eager to fight one another because they no longer face an immediate threat from ISIS. And having developed a presence in Syria, it has two countries where it can mount a revival, as opposed to the one it had in the past.

The Islamic State is not enemy No. 1 as the war over the carcass of its self-proclaimed Caliphate commences. Already, the Baghdad government is exchanging fire with Kurdish forces. Shiite militias in Iraq are committing abuses against Sunnis in the formerly-ISIS-controlled areas they conquer, and worse can be expected from the murderous Assad regime if it consolidates its presence in former Islamic State territory. Many locals are likely to remain sympathetic to a group that claims to champion the Sunni cause.

Worryingly for those in the United States and Europe, the Islamic State maintains more opportunities for success outside of the Muslim world. Many options available to the Islamic State frighten the United States and its allies but also demonstrate the extent of the groups demise. Instead of sending conquering armies into the heart of the Arab world to defeat the apostasy and inspire supporters, it will rely on lonewolf terrorists and other sympathizers to strike the more distant West; many of them are incompetent or do not neatly match the groups goals. The Islamic State also proved adept at directing or inspiring operations via the Internet. From a U.S. or European political perspective, bombings or shootings in Paris or in an Orlando nightclub are worse than the Islamic State ruling over hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Syrians.

ISIS may exploit divisions among its many enemies outside of Iraq and Syria. The fight against ISIS brought together Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States, among other strange bedfellows. Often, the alliance resembled parallel actions rather than real cooperation, but the shared interest served as a check on many rivalries. Now these states can return to ignoring, if not undermining, one another.

Indeed, the Islamic State can take comfort that its enemies, too, face many problems. Kurds and Arabs are shooting each other again in Iraq, and Syria shows little sign of stabilizing. For all the Trump administrations bombast on terrorism, the United States is not eager or able to provide the region with the good governance required to turn locals away from extremisma strategy that demands money, troops and constant diplomatic attention. None of these conditions is likely to change soon.

Many of the Islamic States remaining challenges primarily originate in the global jihadist world. Al-Qaeda leaders long warned that the Islamic State had declared a caliphate prematurely and that locals would turn against the group over its brutality and its refusal to work with other resistance groups. These chickens have come home to roost. In Syria, al-Qaedas stalking horse, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, is deeply enmeshed with other anti-regime groups. Outside the region, the Islamic State has a damaged brand: It bragged about its successes, establishing a caliphate and challenging Islams enemies. Now it is in retreat, and its caliphate is in ruins. While the Islamic State can still brag that it achieved more than al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups, the memory of a caliphate, or a virtual one, cannot match the real one the Islamic State had claimed to rule.

Fortunately for the jihadist movement, the Islamic State inspired many new recruits and has spread its propaganda everywhere. With the fall of Raqqa and the demise of the group more broadly, many of the recruits are up for grabs, and a rival or a new group may eventually pick up the pieces. The Islamic State, after all, benefited when the United States killed Osama bin Laden, decimated the ranks of al-Qaeda cores leadership and otherwise devastated that groups operational capacity.

In short, there are many reasons not to buy fearmongers arguments that the Islamic State will win by losing. But a more lasting victory will require following up on the military campaign and resolving new problems that the Islamic State may attempt to exploit. The United States and other anti-ISIS forces are likely to make fitful progress at best. The Islamic State will remain weak and off-balance, yet it will find some holes in its opponentsdefenses and otherwise maintain itself with the hope of reviving in the years to come.

Protests never meant to disrespect nation – Brunswick News
 

Protests never meant to disrespect nation
Brunswick News
NFL owners could become part of the solution instead of the problem only if they admit racism is white people’s problem, and second, agree to fight against organized crime to end domestic terrorism. NFL owners should want to help their athletes who
South Korean opposition leader: Nukes are the only way to guarantee peace – kplr11.com
 


kplr11.com
South Korean opposition leader: Nukes are the only way to guarantee peace
kplr11.com
If there was a balance of nuclear power between North Korea and South Korea then there would be no war and no cause foranxiety. Like Trump, Hong attracted criticism during the campaign over his attitudes towards women, after he was quoted as saying …and more »
Trump reacts and a crisis is born – CNN
 


CNN
Trump reacts and a crisis is born
CNN
(CNN) President Donald Trump’s chronic inability to turn the other cheek to a perceived slight has landed the White House with a crisis on multiple fronts over his handling of the ISIS ambush in Niger that killed four US troops. White House seeks to 
Donald Trump’sUnseemly Condolence-Call Bragging GameThe New Yorker
Father of Soldier Killed in Niger: Trump Was Respectful When He Called MeTIME
Trump’s Condolence Call to Soldier’s Widow Ignites an ImbroglioNew York Times
GQ MagazineDeadlineABC NewsWashington Post
all 898 TrumpDug Himself a Mighty Hole on the Deaths of US Soldiers. Then, He Kept Digging.Daily Beast
Trump keeps his focus on the sideshowsPolitico
Donald Trump didn’t create danger of presidential dictatorship, he inherited itUSA TODAY
PolitiFactPEOPLE.com
all 853
 
news articles »
Russia may have used Messenger to influence US elections Facebook – Rappler
 


Rappler
Russia may have used Messenger to influence US elections Facebook
Rappler
Marcus also said that along with federal investigators, they are still trying to determine the full extent to which Russian agents used online platforms and their various tools to influence the US elections. At this point, while Facebook says they are and more »
Iran’s Ayatollah says Trump is ‘foul-mouthed’ and ‘pretends to be an idiot’ – CNN
 


CNN
Iran’s Ayatollah says Trump is ‘foul-mouthed’ and ‘pretends to be an idiot’
CNN
Last week President Trump said Iran was violating the nuclear accord and has threatened to withdraw the US from the deal of which several countries, including Russia, China, and the EU, are all also party to. So far, the other participants have said and more »
Former French intelligence chief to testify at terror trial – SFGate
 

Former French intelligence chief to testify at terror trial
SFGate
But Merah had been placed on the “fiche S” listing, a register of people suspected of being radicalized, as soon as 2006 because of his relationship with older brother Abdelkader Merah, who is on trial for complicity to terror in connection with the and more »
3:47 AM 10/19/2017 Fake Melania Trump? Some think Melania is being impersonated by a Secret Service agent who looks like her

Fake Melania Trump? Some think Melania is being impersonated by a Secret Service agent who looks like her The secret life of Putin’s ‘chef’ who cooks up more than food – New York Post   mikenova shared this story from putin and trump – Google News. New York Post The secret life of Putin’s ‘chef’ who cooks up more than … Continue reading“3:47 AM 10/19/2017 – Fake Melania Trump? Some think Melania is being impersonated by a Secret Service agent who looks like her”
Putin and the ‘triumph of Christianity’ in Russia – Aljazeera.com (blog)
 


Aljazeera.com (blog)
Putin and the ‘triumph of Christianity’ in Russia
Aljazeera.com (blog)
At the time, this was a relatively fringe concern; most Russians had other things on their minds – such as the country’s economic problems, its deteriorating relationship with the West over Syria and the re-election of Putin to the top job after an and more »
4:00 AM 10/19/2017 ALL POSTS ON G+

Posts on G+ from mikenova (1 sites) Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Video and Audio News | News Topics…   Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Video and Audio News … Continue reading“4:00 AM 10/19/2017 – ALL POSTS ON G+”
Will polls push GOP to the center? – The Wilson Times
 


The Wilson Times
Will polls push GOP to the center?
The Wilson Times
A series of recent polls show a surly electorate in North Carolina. They don’t like Donald Trump and they think the country is heading in the wrong direction. That’s bad news for incumbents, the majority of whom are Republicans. According to polls by and more »
Donald Trump added Chad to US travel ban because African nation had ‘run out of passport paper’ – The Independent
 


The Independent
Donald Trump added Chad to US travel ban because African nation had ‘run out of passport paper’
The Independent
When President Donald Trump added the African nation of Chad last month to his most recent instalment of travel restrictions, everyone from the Pentagon to Chad’s leaders to the French government was perplexed. The US has praised Chad’s cooperation …and more »

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