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Csaba Krizsan / MTI via AP

U.S. commanders are preparing American troops to confront the Russian military threat in Eastern Europe, including reintroducing Cold War-era tactics, the NYT reports.

The training shift for the U.S. Army includes working in smaller operating groups that are harder to target, using camouflage to avoid surveillance drones and rocket attacks, repainting battle tanks from desert-tan to dark green to match the terrain, and launching military exercises to learn and prepare for Russian tactics. Last month, 25,000 American and allied forces practiced tactics, including nighttime aerial assaults, across Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria over 10 days.

  • Several of the officers leading the effort were originally trained to counter Soviet operations, transferred to counter non-state actors, and now are returning to their roots.
  • Countering the threat: The U.S. and its NATO allies have positioned thousands of soldiers in the three Baltic States as well as in Poland to deter Russia, and ramped up air, sea, and underwater patrols from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
  • One new challenge: But there's many fewer soldiers there now (30,000) than during the Cold War (300,000), which means the Army is focusing efforts on how quickly troops and equipment can assemble in areas of need.

Context: This comes in response to Russia's increased aggression, particularly in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin has been investing in modern infantry forces, tanks, and artillery, and has modernized surveillance drones that coordinate strikes from afar, not to mention Russia's cyberwarfare capabilities. Russia has scheduled an exercise for next month on the edge of NATO territory that could involve as many as 100,000 troops.

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Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

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Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

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When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.