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The Pentagon Reportedly Has A Secret Plan To Launch A Cyber Attack On Russia Over Future Election Interference
The U.S. has prepared to launch a cyber attack on Russia if it directly interferes with the midterm elections next week, according to a report from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI).
The Department of Defense and U.S. intelligence community secretly blueprinted an offensive cyber attack on Russia if it is found to electronically interfere with the elections on November 6, the report said.
It cites unnamed current and former senior U.S. officials who know about the plan.
Details of what the plan would involve, or how it would work, are scant. But it claimed that U.S. military hackers have been given the necessary permission to access Russian networks to carry out an attack.
To trigger the attack, Russia would have to directly interfere with the midterm elections, the report said. This would include actions like attempting to tamper with voting registration or vote tallies.
In other words, Russia would have to unleash something more than "malign influence" on the elections, such as "trying to sway peoples' opinion or the way people might vote," an unnamed senior administration told reporters on a call on Wednesday, as cited by the CPI.
The report suggests that the U.S. is further integrating cyberwarfare with its regular military strategies and that its intelligence community is growing increasingly concerned with offensive cyber attacks on the U.S.
Russia has allegedly attempted to spread far-right propaganda on Facebook in an attempt to influence the midterms already.
Earlier this year, a Russian woman was accused of orchestrating a $35 million scheme to create thousands of fake social media and email accounts, in order to post divisive left- and right-wing memes and talking points on Facebook and Twitter.
The alleged plan was organized under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump earlier this year, which eases the rules on the deployment of digital weapons for national security.
It was designed to allow Defense Secretary Jams Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to approve retaliatory strikes without the approval of other government authorities, the CPI said. Most of the powers outlined in the executive order remain classified.
John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, told reporters in September: "For any nation that's taking cyberactivity against the United States, they should expect ... we will respond offensively as well as defensively."
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Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday he and the Pentagon will comply with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry subpoena, but it'll be on their own schedule.
"We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress," Esper said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note — as we typically do in these situations — to ensure documents are retained."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.