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Cyberattacks Increasing but Biden Executive Order Doesn’t Go Far Enough

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Cyber attack

The United States has been painfully reminded this week of its vulnerability to cyberattacks. “They cut off a pipeline to the Eastern Seaboard for days, tried to poison a Florida water-treatment plant, held hospital IT systems hostage and stole an undetermined trove of information in the SolarWinds hack” reports Fox News. All the while, “the Biden administration searches for a way to respond.”

Biden didn’t particularly look very strong to the world when he consistently said China wasn’t a threat and that he was prepared to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal on the campaign trail. The world has taken notice and terror groups of all kinds are testing how far they can push the administration.

On Wednesday, Biden signed an executive order to strengthen U.S cyberdefenses and bolster the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA” reports Fox News. Experts say the technology to prevent many of these attacks already exists, but attacks are on the rise.

Targets include major infrastructure installations such as transportation hubs, energy facilities and utility companies and to most, attacks are seen as acts of war. In a statement, the White House said, “U.S. public and private sector entities increasingly face sophisticated malicious cyber activity from both nation-state actors and cybercriminals.”

“These incidents share commonalities, including insufficient cybersecurity defenses that leave public and private sector entities more vulnerable to incidents” the statement continued. Fox News states the Biden administration “also called on private companies to increase spending on their own cybersecurity, but it stopped short of bolstering offensive capabilities.”

Representative Denver Riggleman (R-VA) who has 20 years of experience in intelligence for the military, the National Security Agency and in private industry says Biden’s executive actions do not go nearly far enough.

Riggleman suggests increasing spending for offensive cyber capabilities, and use them to respond to future attacks, particularly those from Russia, China, Iran or North Korea. “We need to pick the first country that f— with us in a cyber way and bring them to their knees,” he told Fox News.

“We choose a target that we have access to, and once we identify that target, we take out that target – and then we [should] take it another step…if you want to come in and hit the Colonial Pipeline, which only serves several states, we’re going to hit your major hub and want to take down half your country for a week” he added.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. WILLIAM FLYNN

    May 17, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Dementia Joe is the Biggest Threat to National Security in the history of this country !

  2. marcia

    May 17, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    This country needs to be proactive not reactive. We’re so good at reacting but always think everyone is going to be a nice guy- WRONG. We need to get our hackle up and take them out at the knees in being prepared.

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International

Lawmakers Push Biden Not To Reenter Iran Nuclear Deal

“We write to urge you to immediately withdraw from the fruitless Vienna talks to re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”

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Iran

On Wednesday, 110 House Republican lawmakers signed a letter urging President Joe Biden (D) to abandon negotiations with Iran as the Biden administration tries to get Iran to reenter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“We write to urge you to immediately withdraw from the fruitless Vienna talks to re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and instead strongly enforce existing sanctions against Iran, particularly with respect to the oil trade between Iran and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Further delay of action on this only further enables Iran’s malign activities, including their aggressive nuclear pursuits,” the lawmakers, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul, wrote.

“The letter is a sign that Republicans are united against reentering the 2015 accord,” The Free Beacon reported. “It also comes as negotiations with Tehran drag into a second year, with the Iranian regime demanding further concessions from the Biden administration, including the full reversal of sanctions on the country’s nuclear program and regional terrorism enterprise.”

“As diplomatic talks resume after months of delays, Iran has greatly expanded its nuclear program, including its enrichment of uranium, a main component in an atomic weapon,” the outlet added. “Iran is now enriching and stockpiling highly enriched uranium, which can only [be] used for a bomb. This work has continued in the face of ongoing sanctions and opposition from the international community. Senior Biden administration officials have acknowledged in recent weeks that Iran is stalling negotiations while it advances its nuclear program.”

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal was widely criticized as Iran used the funds acquired from the deal, which was estimated to be between $100 to $150 billion, to fund terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Iran also reportedly violated the deal after it was passed.

In 2019, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, revealed that JCPOA negotiations had mandated that Iran destroy parts of their nuclear reactors by filling them with cement. However, Iran secretly acquired replacement parts so that the functionality of those reactors would not be ultimately affected. Salehi also said that pictures of reactors filled with cement had been photoshopped.

“A nuclear agreement with Iran is again on the table, but history has taught us that agreements like this with extremist regimes are worth as much as garlic peel,” former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned earlier this year. “To our best friends I say – an agreement with Iran which paves its way to nuclear weapons that threaten us with destruction – an agreement like this will not bind us.”

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International

Thousands of Afghan Allies And Their Families Still Stranded In Afghanistan

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Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of Afghans who helped the United States government and military are still stranded in the Taliban-controlled country, according to a new report from the New York Post.

“The non-profit volunteer organization No One Left Behind says that it is tracking more than 10,000 Afghans who are either eligible for, applied for, or were approved for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) and have requested help getting out of Taliban-controlled territory,” the New York Post reported. “No One Left Behind also said that it is tracking another 38,000 family members of SIV holders or applicants who remain in Afghanistan and have asked for aid.”

“This is likely a limited picture with more that have not reached out to us, but it underscores the significant volume of people in dire need as winter approaches and Taliban control result[s] in food shortages and human rights abuses, including directly targeting those that helped US forces,” a director at No One Left Behind told the New York Post.

“We are working tirelessly to make sure these people are not left behind, and we will continue to advocate to the [US Government] that they expand the scope of their evacuations to include these American allies,” the director added.

According to the New York Post, Task Force Argo co-founder Jesse Jensen said that his organization is “dealing with a backlog of more than 4,000 people, including family members, who are looking to leave Afghanistan.”

Jensen, a former Army Ranger, stated that that the number of Afghans who want to leave the country is likely far above 4,000 since Task Force Argo had to stop accepting evacuation requests.

“We have really run out of resources in order to do this,” Jensen said. “We’ve had three flights that are paid for, you know we’ll likely have to claw back those funds to return to investors if we don’t see a path to getting these folks out of the country.”

The report comes just the Biden administration admitted that it left hundreds more Americans stranded in Afghanistan after the withdrawal than it previously claimed.

“[W]e believe that about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan with some intention to leave,” President Biden said on August 31. “Most of those who remain are dual citizens, long-time residents who had earlier decided to stay because of their family roots in Afghanistan.”

However, since August 31, “the United States has directly assisted 479 American Citizens and 450 lawful permanent residents [in addition to their immediate families] to depart Afghanistan and relocate to the United States,” the State Department admitted in a press release.

According to the State Department, there are less than a dozen U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan who want to leave the terrorist-controlled country, are ready to depart, and have the necessary travel documents.

Last month, a report found that there were still 14,000 U.S. legal permanent residents stranded in Afghanistan at the time and at least 289 U.S. citizens.
Foreign Policy 
reported, “The State Department believes as many as 14,000 U.S. legal permanent residents remain in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy has learned, as the agency faces increasing scrutiny from Congress about the status of U.S. citizens and green card holders that are still stranded in the Taliban-controlled country.”

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