David B. Rivkin Jr. and George S. Beebe write: Confirmed or not, the allegations should serve as a sobering reminder that unconstrained shadow warfare with Moscow can produce genuine dangers for Americans. One glaring difference between the Cold War and today is that the Cold War was fought within the parameters of agreed rules. Today, we have almost none. We would be wise to consider this as our national discourse on Russia proceeds. – The Hill
An Algerian court sentenced to prison several officials and businessmen linked to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on charges of corruption on Wednesday. Prominent tycoon Ali Haddad was slapped with an 18-year jail sentence. Meanwhile, Abdelmalek Sellal and Ahmed Ouyahia, former prime ministers who are already behind bars for other graft cases, were each handed a 12-year jail term. Jail terms ranging between two to 20 years were also handed down to eight former ministers. Authorities in Algeria have arrested several of the country’s wealthiest businessmen and former officials amid protests that continued despite Bouteflika's resignation last year, as Algerians demand a transition to democracy and the trial of figures linked to the former regime. Read More
Last week, the Australian government published a white paper on defense and national strategy. The report underscores that Australia is ramping up its defense spending by 40 percent over the next decade, accounting for China’s aggressive behavior in the region and toward Canberra itself, notes Gary Schmitt in an American Interest article. As most countries get ready to tighten their belts in the wake of COVID-19, the Australian government intends to deal with the security environment as it is, not as it hopes it might be. Read more here.