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Editor’s Note: There will be no Morning Brief on Monday due to the Presidents’ Day holiday. We will be back Tuesday, February 16th, 2016.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016
UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA AGREE ON SYRIA CEASEFIRE TIMELINE
Secretary of State John Kerry along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced early Friday morning that they had agreed on a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria to take place within the next week. The agreement also called for immediate access to provide humanitarian aid in besieged areas. However, Lavrov noted that Russia would continue its airstrike campaign targeting “terrorist” groups, including ISIS and the Nusra Front. The United States and Russia remain in sharp disagreement over which groups are defined as “terrorists” as Russia has claimed that many in the U.S.-supported opposition are linked to terrorist groups, such as the Nusra Front. New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNN

Related:
Atlantic: What happens if Aleppo falls?
Vox: Syria’s ceasefire: what it means and doesn't
Newsweek: Erdogan’s choice: whether to back Assad or the Kurds
Lawfare: The case for delisting the PKK as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reuters: Kurdish forces said to take air base near Turkish border
New York Times: Death toll from war in Syria now 470,000, group finds
FORMER GUANTANAMO DETAINEE RELEASED FROM MOROCCAN PRISON
A Moroccan Judge ordered the release of Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, on bail Thursday. Chekkouri still faces criminal potential criminal charges for his alleged involvement with a Moroccan Islamist group prior to his capture in 2001. He had been held in Moroccan custody for almost five months since his transfer from Guantanamo in September, despite assurances from the Moroccan government that he would be released within 72 hours of his transfer. Chekkouri spent 13 years at the Guantanamo Bay prison without being charged with a crime. New York Times, Reuters, Miami Herald

Related:
Miami Herald: Captive who wouldn’t leave Guantanamo decided at door of Europe-bound plane

Countering Extremism: A Minnesota man who admitted to making plans to join ISIS in Syria will likely be the second person to join a Minnesota-based deradicalization program. Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State on Thursday. Warsame awaits sentencing, but several sources told NPR that he will likely join the jihadi rehabilitation program, the only one of its kind in the United States. Heartland Democracy, a nonprofit organization, has been building a curriculum for the program, which includes only one other person, Abdullahi Yusuf, who in 2015 also pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide support to ISIS. NPR, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Oregon: The last four holdouts in the armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon surrendered to authorities on Thursday. The final protester, 27-year-old David Fry, threatened to commit suicide during a phone call with FBI agents that was broadcast live on the Internet. Thursday’s events marked the end of the 40-day standoff at the federal wildlife refuge. New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters

Related:
Guardian: Oregon militia standoff: dramatic final surrender at wildlife refuge – as it happened
SANDERS CRITICIZES CLINTON’S CONNECTIONS TO KISSINGER IN DEBATE
Bernie Sanders lambasted Hillary Clinton for seeking advice from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. In the one-on-one debate between the two candidates on Thursday night, Sanders called Kissinger “one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country.” Clinton responded to the attack on her judgment by criticizing Sanders for being overly critical of President Obama, and later calling him “weak” and “a disappointment.” New York Times, Politico, The Hill, Huffington Post

Related:
Slate: Bernie Sanders is trying to distract you
Washington Post: Hillary Clinton reviewed Henry Kissinger’s latest book -- and loved it
AL-QAEDA MAKING TERRITORIAL GAINS IN YEMEN
Over the last two weeks, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has made significant gains in southern Yemen, seizing five towns, including a provincial capital. Houta, the capital of Lahj province, was overrun by AQAP on January 26. The group met with continued success in other nearby towns, and plans to administer the captured territory. Much of this territory includes areas that were lost by AQAP in a 2011 U.S-supported Yemeni government offensive. Long War Journal

Afghanistan: U.S. defense officials said that the United States has “significantly” increased its airstrike campaign in Afghanistan against ISIS. U.S. and Afghan forces have conducted around 20 operations against ISIS over the last three weeks. Last month, President Obama granted military commanders broader targeting authority against ISIS in Afghanistan, no longer limiting airstrikes to the protection of U.S. and Afghan troops. Reuters, CBS News

Related:
Foreign Policy: In Afghanistan, how about trying this?: Don’t just do something, stand there
Huffington Post: A solution to the Afghanistan-Taliban conflict?
New York Times: Afghan policeman, shot after firing on NATO soldiers, dies of wounds

Somalia: The African Union force in Somalia, AMISOM, warned that Al-Shabab plans to disguise terrorists as AU soldiers. AU officials said that the militant group stole uniforms from AMISOM camps. Al-Shabab hopes to carry out attacks while wearing the uniforms in a bid to turn citizens against the peacekeeping force which has protected the Somali government for the past nine years. Voice of America

Related:
Newsweek: Al-Shabab plots attacks disguised in African Union uniforms
Migrant Crisis: NATO announced on Thursday that it will deploy ships to the Aegean Sea to deter human traffickers trying to reach Europe. Three warships will focus on monitoring, surveillance, and intelligence gathering activities, rather than stopping boats full of migrants. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “this is not about stopping or pushing back refugee boats.” However, in the event of a rescue, asylum seekers will be returned to Turkey, not Greece, if picked up by NATO ships in the Aegean. New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Guardian

Israel: On Thursday, an Israeli soldier was sentenced to seven months in jail for attacking a Palestinian detainee. The soldier, who has not been named, filmed the abuse on his cell phone, which occurred last October at an Israeli military base near Jenin. Haaretz

Related:
New York Times: Scanning borders, Israel surveys new reality of tunnels and terror

Europe: Google plans to block access to certain links when accessed in Europe in a bid to comply with European privacy regulations. The European Court of Justice’s “right to be forgotten” ruling in May 2014 allows for EU citizens to request their information be removed from web search results. Google plans to scrub search results across all of its domains, including U.S.-based Google.com, when accessed in a EU country. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters
How President Putin Is Getting What He Wants In Syria: “To the Western view there is no military solution in Syria, Moscow has effectively begged to differ. It chose a side - a side credible militarily in the sense it had too much to lose if defeated,” writes Jonathan Marcus on BBC News. “Contrast the Western approach, beset by problems and contradictions at every turn…Washington and al-Qaeda are objectively on the same side - contradiction number one.”

Thoughts As I watch My Army Walk Away From Counterinsurgency Once Again: “Will the Army forget or discard the counterinsurgency lessons learned over the last 15 years? I hope not but, if history is a guide, there is little reason to be optimistic,” writes Brig. Gen. John Scales (Ret.) in Foreign Policy. “Lessons will fade, and those who earned their PhDs in small wars will be passed over and left by the wayside.”

A Chance To Halt The Brutality In Syria: “As Secretary of State John Kerry noted, ‘The real test is whether all parties honor those commitments,’ ” writes the Editorial Board of The New York Times. “Given the brutality and dictatorial ambitions of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, and the duplicitous behavior of his chief ally, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, that is a huge if.”
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For cutting-edge analysis of the geopolitical events shaping global affairs, read today’s TSG IntelBrief: Women and the Longevity of the Islamic State

ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Center on National Security at Fordham Law will host “A Discussion with Peter Bergen, Author of United States of Jihad” TODAY, February 12, 2016. To RSVP, click here.

The Urban Consortium at Fordham Law will host a press conference with Mayor Jozias van Aartsen and Dr. Benjamin Barber to announce the Inaugural Event of the Global Parliament of Mayors on February 16, 2016. To RSVP, click here

The Center on National Security at Fordham Law will host “Iran in Context” with Laura Secor and Hooman Majd on February 23, 2016. To RSVP, click here.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, KAREN J. GREENBERG, DIRECTOR, CENTER ON NATIONAL SECURITY, FORDHAM LAW SCHOOL
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