China Continues Crushing Hong Kong

The national security law not only carries sentences of up to life in prison, it also gives China jurisdiction to prosecute in mainland China violations of the law that took place in Hong Kong. It is now doing just that with 12 Hong Kong activists who attempted to flee to Taiwan by boat in August and were arrested at sea, ostensibly for crossing the border illegally. Extraordinarily, the national security law also applies to alleged violations committed by anyone, anywhere in the world.

How Democracy Dies: Big Tech Becomes Big Brother

The power-sharing of the U.S. Federal government with Big Tech appears a recipe for unharnessed power and corruption. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny caught on right away, saying: “This precedent will be exploited by the enemies of freedom of speech around the world. In Russia as well. Every time when they need to silence someone, they will say: ‘this is just common practice, even Trump got blocked on Twitter.'”

Cinderella Province in a Rebellious Mood

The mullahs had another reason to neglect the Baluch, a majority of whom are Sunni Muslims and deeply suspicious of a regime based on a militant Imamist ideology. During the past four decades, an accumulation of grievances has pushed the Baluch into a rebellious mood.

China Buys Western Academics

“The inaugural conference assured [everyone] that Tibet was never annexed, [and] that the Chinese intervention of 1950 had been requested by the Tibetans,” Nicolas Nord, a law professor, recalled.

[T]he proposed new head of the CIA, William J. Burns, said that if it were up to him, he would close Confucius Institutes in Western universities.

Al-Qaeda Is Being Hollowed to Its Core

Last year was a bad year for the world. Not even al-Qaeda was spared. To start, in January al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qassim al-Rimi was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, inflicting a serious blow to the group’s most operationally capable branch. Other al-Qaeda branches were attenuated over the course of 2020. Abdelmalek Droukdel, who led al-Qaeda’s branch in North Africa, was killed by French forces in Mali in June. In Syria, al-Qaeda’s unofficial branch, Hurras al-Din, continued to suffer leadership losses, further winnowing al-Qaeda’s cadre of veteran leaders. Al-Qaeda branches also suffered defeats on the battlefield. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was routed in Bayda governorate in Yemen, while Hurras al-Din’s ability to operate in Syria’s Idlib region was crippled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham on the ground and by American drones from above.

Biden Administration Seeks Out Least Bad Option in Afghanistan

As the Biden administration deliberates on its next step in Afghanistan, the deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw is currently set for this May.
There are legitimate concerns that a full withdrawal of U.S. troops would result in the Taliban seizing control of Afghanistan militarily and politically.
If the U.S. withdraws and Afghanistan devolves into outright civil war, terrorist groups will inevitably take advantage of the collapse of the state.
The Afghanistan Study Group warned that a May withdrawal would “hand a victory to the Taliban.”