Recent Legal History of the Death Penalty in America

While capital punishment – the death penalty – has been an integral part of the American judicial system since the colonial period, when a person could be executed for offenses like witchcraft or stealing grapes, the modern history of American execution has been shaped largely by political reaction to public opinion.

Spotlight

City of Lynchburg

Strategically located with easy access to major markets, Lynchburg is a distinctive city with all the amenities and resources to live, learn, work, play…and prosper.
 
 Lynchburg, Virginia is a city which remembers its past while focusing on the future - a vibrant central city fostering a strong sense of community, economic opportunity for all our citizens and responsive, results-oriented local government. Lynchburg is a city of 50 square miles located near the geographic center of the state, bordered by the eastern edge of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. It is located approximately 180 miles southwest of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

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Government Business

Bond elections catalyze numerous contracting opportunities

Article | July 14, 2022

People often believe that bond elections only fund construction projects. Although it’s true that construction opportunities do occur when bond packages are approved, sales of certificates of obligation or general obligation spawn hundreds of other contracting opportunities. Companies that provide services related to technology, energy systems, furniture, landscaping, and security also benefit. Voters already have approved an abundance of bond packages this year, and more are pending in November elections. Although it’s true that construction opportunities do occur when bond packages are approved, sales of certificates of obligation or general obligation spawn hundreds of other contracting opportunities. Georgia The state of Georgia has funding of $1.133 billion that will be used for new projects, the purchasing of equipment, repairs and renovations to existing facilities. Some of it will also be used to launch new construction projects. School districts have been allocated approximately $378 million and $302 million is available for projects at the University System of Georgia. The Department of Transportation will receive over $152 million for roads, bridges, and rail projects, and the Technical College System of Georgia will receive approximately $99 million for various projects. The state also allocated $20 million for a new conference center at Lake Lanier Island and $12 million for infrastructure improvements at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. West Virginia The Cabell County Board of Education authorized the issuance of $87.5 million in public school bonds after it was approved by voters in August. Architectural firms and design teams will be in high demand soon as construction is planned for early 2021. Projects include rebuilding Meadows Elementary and Milton Elementary and construction of a new Davis Creek Elementary facility. Other school buildings will receive major renovations including new windows, doors, roofing, HVAC systems, sprinkler systems, and security upgrades. New York Bond funds were approved in Lewis County for a $33 million capital project to construct a new surgical pavilion and renovation of the existing Medical-Surgical floor. Bidding will be solicited in January and February 2021 with construction to begin immediately. The project includes construction of a 36,224 square-foot surgical pavilion as well as the renovation of about 18,889 square feet of the existing Medical-Surgical inpatient floor. California The state of California recently announced the sale of $2.65 billion of revenue bonds to benefit various projects at the University of California (UC). About $1.15 billion will be spent on campus projects. Regents for the university system announced that about than 50 construction projects at all 10 UC campuses are planned. Projects include improvements to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Research and Extension Center and Franz Hall. Seismic upgrades are planned for the Irvine Campus, the engineering tower, four gateway quad buildings, and the social sciences buildings. More earthquake-resistant improvements will be made at a number of additional facilities. Louisiana In August, $140 million in bonds were approved for construction of a new high school and the completion of 13 other construction and improvement projects for Ascension Parish Public Schools. Approximately $79.5 million has been set aside for a new high school which will be located in Prairieville. Solicitation documents for contractors will be released in 2021. Other projects that have been approved include $27 million in renovations at East Ascension High School, $7.5 million for artificial turf at four high school stadiums plus the stadium at the new high school, $4.4 million for a classroom addition at St. Amant Primary, and $2.3 million for improvements at Donaldsonville High School. Texas Voters recently approved $76.6 million for the Plainview Independent School District and this funding will be used to consolidate and restructure elementary and middle school facilities. Some of the revenue will also be used to update security and technology. The proposed building plan consolidates six elementary campuses into three with pre-K programs and increased capacity at each campus. Some solicitation documents are expected in November, and others are planned for early 2021. Hawaii The state of Hawaii successfully sold $995 million of general obligation bonds, and the funding will be used to finance capital improvements for various public buildings, elementary and secondary schools, community college and university facilities, public libraries, and parks. As 2020 draws to a close over the next few months, millions more in funding for all types of projects will result as November bond packages are placed on the ballot for voter approval. Even in the midst of a pandemic, public assets must be maintained, expanded, and made safe for citizens. The activity generated by the bond elections stimulates local economies, and the projects that result create thousands of jobs as well. Mary Scott Nabers is president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc., a business development company specializing in government contracting and procurement consulting throughout the U.S. Her recently released book, Inside the Infrastructure Revolution: A Roadmap for Building America, is a handbook for contractors, investors and the public at large seeking to explore how public-private partnerships or joint ventures can help finance their infrastructure projects.

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Transit, mobility projects to play vital role in economic recovery

Article | May 27, 2021

As the country battles to recover from COVID-19, transit leaders are calling for the next federal relief package to appropriate substantial funding to allow public transit to play its critical part in the economy’s recovery. In the interim, many of these transit and mobility authorities throughout the nation are moving forward with capital improvement projects already in the pipeline and in various phases of development. They will soon be announcing large projects, especially in quickly growing regions, and their planning documents list upcoming initiatives that range from mid-size construction projects to sprawling billion-dollar programs that focus on aging infrastructure. The following are just a few examples of upcoming projects from tollway and mobility authorities. California Just east of San Francisco, the Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority in late June approved $46.8 million in funding for the next stage in Valley Link, a 42-mile light-rail line. This project will connect a planned train station in North Lathrop to an existing station in Pleasanton. Another $13 million previously dedicated to the project paid for conceptual design work that is near completion. Also, elsewhere in the state, the Transportation Corridor Agencies, in coordination with Caltrans, is proposing a $180 million project to add a direct 241/91 Express Connector linking the northbound 241 Toll Road to the eastbound 91 Express Lanes and the westbound 91 Express Lanes to the southbound 241 Toll Road. The connector will alleviate traffic and improve access to toll lanes in Orange and Riverside counties. Texas The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has several forthcoming procurements and will be soliciting bids in early August for the third phase of the 183A extension project. This $180 million project will create a 6.6-mile extension of the busy tollway north from Leander to east of Liberty Hill. Construction is expected to begin in early 2021. New Jersey The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has $24 billion in various road and infrastructure projects in its Proposed 2020 Capital Improvement Program released in March 2020. The authority has outlined 24 projects that provide system solutions and upgrades. One of the largest initiatives is a $2.9 billion project to replace approximately 200 bridge decks. Another large undertaking, projected to cost about $1.4 billion, is described as raising a section of Garden State Parkway above a revised 100-year floodplain. Florida Florida’s 2021 budget earmarks $90 million for an ambitious tollway project spanning hundreds of miles. The Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, or M-CORES, plan calls for construction of 340 miles of new toll roads by 2030. M-CORES outlines new road infrastructure for three corridors: the Suncoast Connector from Citrus County to Jefferson County; the Northern Turnpike Connector from the northern terminus of Florida’s Turnpike northwest to the Suncoast Parkway; and the Southwest-Central Florida Connector from Collier County to Polk County. Initiated by a state Senate bill in 2019, this is a $10 billion project. Kansas The city of Overland Park and the Kansas Turnpike Authority are conducting a study that could lead to a $300 million project for U.S. 69. City leaders turned to the Turnpike Authority for help with widening the highway which has become the most congested in the state. The collaborative effort would include widening the highway to six lanes, with two of them being tolled. Illinois The Illinois Tollway Authority is closing its bid filing period for a more than $100 million project to reconstruct a section of Interstate 294, and numerous other projects are slated to occur in the next several years. A project to reconstruct the northbound C-D Road has a cost projection of between $25 and $50 million. Another planned project includes demolishing and rebuilding the Southbound Mile Long Bridge with a cost of more than $100 million. Another interesting project outlined involves building ongoing ramps from 75th Street to Interstate 55 which will also cost approximately$100 million. Pennsylvania The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) released a request for information to determine how best to structure procurements to replace and enhance the commission’s tolling Customer Service Center system and customer service operations. A number of contracting opportunities will result from this initiative. The commission is inviting responses from software application development companies with innovative products in the customer relationship management, customer account management, and customer experience spaces. System integrators and/or software developers with expertise in CRM, customer account management, call centers, customer contact systems and CX, and transactional/financial processing and billing systems also are also encouraged to respond. PTC is also interested in input from customer service firms specializing in the design and integration of innovative customer contact systems with new or existing applications. In addition to construction and engineering projects, numerous tollway authorities are moving toward all-electronic toll collections. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission moved from toll collectors to all-electronic this year, and the Bay Area Toll Authority suspended in-person toll collecting in March because of COVID-19. This trend will provide numerous opportunities for IT companies in the near future as transit and mobility authorities search for technology solutions to modernize the driving experience on toll roads. Mary Scott Nabers is president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc., a business development company specializing in government contracting and procurement consulting throughout the U.S. Her recently released book, Inside the Infrastructure Revolution: A Roadmap for Building America, is a handbook for contractors, investors and the public at large seeking to explore how public-private partnerships or joint ventures can help finance their infrastructure projects.

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Emerging Technology

Public facility corporations provide alternative source of project funding

Article | July 16, 2022

Taxpayers, citizens, and industry leaders may not be totally familiar with Public Facility Corporations (PFCs), but that should change, especially now since public funding for critical projects is at an all-time low. PFCs are becoming somewhat common in many regions of the country. If the legal entity (PFC) is not familiar, here’s a bit of background. A PFC is a nonprofit corporation created by a sponsoring governmental entity — a city, county, school district, housing authority, or special district. PFCs have broad powers over public facilities, including financing, acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, renovation and repair. A PFC, once created, has the authority to issue bonds on behalf of its sponsoring public entity and once the bonds are funded, the money can be used in numerous ways. This type of legal entity has gained attention because public officials with critical projects are being forced to seek alternative funding sources. In Texas, public facility corporations are allowed the broadest possible powers to finance or provide for the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of public facilities at the lowest possible borrowing cost. A sponsor — such as a municipality, county, school district or housing authority — may create one or more of nonprofit public facility corporations. Then, the PFC can issue bonds for the construction of public facilities or finance public facilities or even loan the proceeds of the revenue to other entities for specific purposes. A report that was released by The University of Texas School of Law found that a house bill approved during the 2015 legislative session “expands the authority of public facility corporations and allows the corporation to exercise any power that a nonprofit corporation might exercise and/or grant a leasehold or other possessory interest in a public facility owned by the PFC.” Here’s a bit more background of what is happening in Texas and there are numerous similar examples throughout the country. The El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) several years ago created the EPISD Public Facility Corporation to fund construction of central offices through non-voter approved bonds. The corporation issued more than $29 million in bonds. The plan called for the EPISD to repay the bonds with general fund dollars from the district's general fund. The 2019 Texas Legislative Session ended with a $4 million rider added to the state appropriations budget. The money was provided to the city of Port Aransas to build a $36 million apartment complex for affordable housing. Plans call for the 200-unit complex to be operated by the Port Aransas Public Facility Corporation. The corporation will work in partnership with a private company to develop and manage the property. An investment of approximately $14 million came from the private sector partner, and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs provided an additional $18 million in funding. Site work on the project began in July 2020. Many school districts have created public facility corporations for construction projects for schools, and many municipalities have also used PFCs. The revenue from these types of bonds is sometimes called lease-revenue bonds. They do not require voter approval. Public facility corporations do not have the authority to raise tax rates, but it is possible for a school board to approve a property tax increase to make payments on the bonds sold by a PFC. The city of Tioga, located in the Sherman/Dennison region of Texas, constructed a new high school with funding from a public facility corporation. A collaborative initiative was launched with a lease-purchase agreement which allowed the PFC to hold title to the land and facility until the investment was repaid. At that time, the agreement calls for everything to transfer back to the district. Because the current campus was reaching its maximum capacity, a new high school campus had been a priority for the district and this was the funding mechanism selected. The city of Fate in Rockwell County recently embarked on a public-private partnership to develop an affordable seniors housing community. The projected cost is approximately $30 million. To fund the project, the city created a PFC. Plans are for the city to handle the design, construction, and management of the project in collaboration with the PFC. City leaders will appoint board members to the funding corporation which will then operate the development as a nonprofit. The project is anticipated for completion in January 2022. There are similar types of alternative types of funding options in other parts of the U.S. In Utah, for instance, the Park City Board of Education approved a PFC which will allow the district to secure revenue for a number of master plan projects. The projects have a combined projected cost of $122 million. The school district had considered the funding option of general obligation bonds, which would require voter approval, but elected to create a Local Building Authority (LBA). This funding option will allow them to fund an expansion of a high school facility to accommodate ninth-graders and expand another campus to allow for eighth-grade students. Public officials, legislators, government contractors, and taxpayers all should have an interest in watching PFCs as well as other alternative funding sources. Until traditional public funding becomes more available for critical public projects, there will be a need for various types of funding solutions. Mary Scott Nabers is president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc., a business development company specializing in government contracting and procurement consulting throughout the U.S. Her recently released book, Inside the Infrastructure Revolution: A Roadmap for Building America, is a handbook for contractors, investors and the public at large seeking to explore how public-private partnerships or joint ventures can help finance their infrastructure projects.

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Government Business

What the US-Iran war might look like

Article | December 3, 2020

With Iran in escalation mood to get n to "Holy War" or "War For Survival of Islam" with Air Striking US and Allied Bases in Iraq which though has hardly given any blow to US Confidence and its Marines deployed there,Iran is going to architect a full blown war which as we know it would feature a series of moves and countermoves, we know it’d be very messy and confusing, and we know it’d be extremely deadly. But unlike with the path to war, it’s less useful to offer a play-by-play of what could happen. So with that in mind, it’s better to look at what the US and Iranian war plans would likely be — to better understand the devastation each could exact. How the US might try to win the war The US strategy would almost certainly involve using overwhelming air and naval power to beat Iran into submission early on. “You don’t poke the beehive, you take the whole thing down,” Goldenberg said. The US military would bomb Iranian ships, parked warplanes, missile sites, nuclear facilities, and training grounds, as well as launch cyberattacks on much of the country’s military infrastructure. The goal would be to degrade Iran’s conventional forces within the first few days and weeks, making it even harder for Tehran to resist American strength. That plan definitely makes sense as an opening salvo, experts say, but it will come nowhere close to winning the war. “It’s very unlikely that the Iranians would capitulate,” Michael Hanna, a Middle East expert at the Century Foundation in New York, told me. “It’s almost impossible to imagine that a massive air campaign will produce the desired result. It’s only going to produce escalation, not surrender.” It won’t help that a sustained barrage of airstrikes will likely lead to thousands of Iranians dead, among them innocent civilians. That, among other things, could galvanize Iranian society against the US and put it firmly behind the regime, even though it has in many ways treated the population horribly over decades in power. There’s another risk: A 2002 war game showed that Iran could sink an American ship and kill US sailors, even though the US Navy is far more powerful. If the Islamic Republic’s forces succeeded in doing that, it could provide a searing image that could serve as a propaganda coup for the Iranians. Washington won’t garner the same amount of enthusiasm for destroying Iranian warships — that’s what’s supposed to happen. An Iranian Army soldier stands guard on a military speedboat, passing by a submarine during the “Velayat-90” navy exercises in the Strait of Hormuz on December 28, 2011. Ali Mohammadi/AFP/Getty Images Trump has already signaled he doesn’t want to send ground troops into Iran or even spend a long time fighting the country. That tracks with his own inclinations to keep the US out of foreign wars, particularly in the Middle East. But with hawkish aides at his side, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, there’s a chance they could convince him not to look weak and to go all-in and grasp victory. But the options facing the president at that point will be extremely problematic, experts say. The riskiest one — by far — would be to invade Iran. The logistics alone boggle the mind, and any attempt to try it would be seen from miles away. “There’s no surprise invasion of Iran,” Brewer, who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, told me. Iran has nearly three times the amount of people Iraq did in 2003, when the war began, and is about three and a half times as big. In fact, it’s the world’s 17th-largest country, with territory greater than France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal combined. The geography is also treacherous. It has small mountain ranges along some of its borders. Entering from the Afghanistan side in the east would mean traversing two deserts. Trying to get in from the west could also prove difficult even with Turkey — a NATO ally — as a bordering nation. After all, Ankara wouldn’t let the US use Turkey to invade Iraq, and its relations with Washington have only soured since. “IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE THAT A MASSIVE AIR CAMPAIGN WILL PRODUCE THE DESIRED RESULT. IT’S ONLY GOING TO PRODUCE ESCALATION, NOT SURRENDER.” —MICHAEL HANNA, A MIDDLE EAST EXPERT AT THE CENTURY FOUNDATION The US could try to enter Iran the way Saddam Hussein did during the Iran-Iraq war, near a water pass bordering Iran’s southwest. But it’s swampy — the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet there — and relatively easy to protect. Plus, an invading force would run up against the Zagros Mountains after passing through, just like Saddam’s forces did. It’s for these reasons that the private intelligence firm Stratfor called Iran a “fortress” back in 2011. If Trump chose to launch an incursion, he’d likely need around 1.6 million troops to take control of the capital and country, a force so big it would overwhelm America’s ability to host them in regional bases. By contrast, America never had more than 180,000 service members in Iraq. And there’s the human cost. A US-Iran war would likely lead to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dead. Trying to forcibly remove the country’s leadership, experts say, might drive that total into the millions. That helps explain why nations in the region hope they won’t see a fight. Goldenberg, who traveled recently to meet with officials in the Gulf, said that none of them wanted a US-Iran war. European nations will also worry greatly about millions of refugees streaming into the continent, which would put immense pressure on governments already dealing with the fallout of the Syrian refugee crisis. Israel also would worry about Iranian proxies targeting it (more on that below). Meanwhile, countries like Russia and China — both friendly to Iran — would try to curtail the fighting and exploit it at the same time, the Century Foundation’s Hanna told me. China depends heavily on its goods traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, so it would probably call for calm and for Tehran not to close down the waterway. Russia would likely demand restraint as well, but use the opportunity to solidify its ties with the Islamic Republic. President Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, stand side by side in the group picture at the G20 summit on June 28, 2019. Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images And since both countries have veto power on the UN Security Council, they could ruin any political legitimacy for the war that the US may aim to gain through that body. The hope for the Trump administration would therefore be that the conflict ends soon after the opening salvos begin. If it doesn’t, and Iran resists, all that’d really be left are a slew of bad options to make a horrid situation much, much worse. How Iran might try to win the war Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart left his post as the No. 2 at US Cyber Command in 2019, ending a decorated four-decade career. Toward the end of it, he spent his time at the forefront of the military intelligence and cybersecurity communities. If anyone has the most up-to-date information on how Iran may fight the US, then, it’s Stewart. “The Iranian strategy would be to avoid, where possible, direct conventional force-on-force operations,” he wrote for the Cipher Brief on July 2, 2019. “They would attempt to impose cost on a global scale, striking at US interests through cyber operations and targeted terrorism with the intent of expanding the conflict, while encouraging the international community to restrain America’s actions.” In other words, Tehran can’t match Washington’s firepower. But it can spread chaos in the Middle East and around the world, hoping that a war-weary US public, an intervention-skeptical president, and an angered international community cause America to stand down. That may seem like a huge task — and it is — but experts believe the Islamic Republic has the capability, knowhow, and will to pull off such an ambitious campaign. “The Iranians can escalate the situation in a lot of different ways and in a lot of different places,” Hanna told me. “They have the capacity to do a lot of damage.” Take what it could do in the Middle East. Iran’s vast network of proxies and elite units — like Soleimani’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — could be activated to kill American troops, diplomats, and citizens throughout the region. US troops in Syria are poorly defended and have little support, making them easy targets, experts say. America also has thousands of civilians, troops, and contractors in Iraq, many of whom work in areas near where Iranian militias operate within the country. US allies would also be prime targets. Hezbollah, an Iran-backed terrorist group in Lebanon, might attack Israel with rockets and start its own brutal fight. We’ve heard this story before: In 2006, they battled in a month-long war where the militant group fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israel, and Israeli forces fired around 7,000 bombs and missiles into Lebanon. About 160 Israelis troops and civilians died, according to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and about 1,100 Lebanese — most of them civilians — perished, per Human Rights Watch, a US-headquartered advocacy organization. It also reports about 4,400 Lebanese were injured, and around 1 million people were displaced. But that’s not all. Iran could encourage terrorist organizations or other proxies to strike inside Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf nations. Last year, it planned and executed drone strikes on two major Saudi oil facilities deep inside the kingdom, convulsing world markets. Its support for Houthis rebels in Yemen would mostly certainly increase, offering them more weapons and funds to attack Saudi Arabia’s airports, military bases, and energy plants. The US government on April 8, 2019, said it had designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization, marking the first time a US government has made such a designation on a foreign government’s organization. Rouzbeh Fouladi/NurPhoto via Getty Images Experts note that the Islamic Republic likely has sleeper cells in Europe and Latin America, and they could resurface in dramatic and violent ways. In 1994, for example, Iranian-linked terrorists bombed the hub of the Jewish community in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring roughly 300 more. That remains the largest terrorist attack in Latin America’s history, and the possibility for an even bigger one exists. In 2018, Argentina arrested two men suspected of having ties with Hezbollah. But Chris Musselman, formerly the National Security Council’s counterterrorism director under Trump, told me the US and its allies may have the most trouble containing the proxy swarm in Western Africa. “We could see a conflict that spread quickly to places the US may not be able to protect people, and it’s a fight that we are grossly unprepared for,” he said, adding that there’s a strong Hezbollah presence in the region and American embassy security there isn’t great. Making matters worse, he continued, the US isn’t particularly good at collecting intelligence there, meaning some militants could operate relatively under the radar. “This isn’t really a law enforcement function that US can take on a global scale,” he said. It would require that countries unwittingly hosting proxies to lead on defeating the Iranian-linked fighters, with US support when needed. The chaos would also extend into the cyber realm. Iran is a major threat to the US in cyberspace. Starting in 2011, Iran attacked more than 40 American banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. The attack made it so the banks had trouble serving its customers and customers had trouble using the bank’s services. In 2012, Iran released malware into the networks of Saudi Aramco, a major oil company, which erased documents, emails, and other files on around 75 percent of the company’s computers — replacing them with an image of a burning American flag. In the middle of a war, one could imagine Tehran’s hackers wreaking even more havoc. “WE COULD SEE A CONFLICT THAT SPREAD QUICKLY TO PLACES THE US MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PROTECT PEOPLE, AND IT’S A FIGHT THAT WE ARE GROSSLY UNPREPARED FOR” —CHRIS MUSSELMAN, FORMERLY THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL’S COUNTERTERRORISM DIRECTOR UNDER TRUMP “I would expect them to have begun selected targeting through socially-engineered phishing activities focused on the oil and gas sector, the financial sector and the electric power grid in that order,” Stewart wrote. “There may be instances now where they already have some persistent access. If they do, I expect they would use it, or risk losing the access and employ that capability early in the escalation of the crisis.” Recent reports indicate that Iranian cyberwarriors have stepped up their online operations, with a particular emphasis on preparing to attack US firms. Among other moves, they’re aiming to trick employees at major businesses to hand over passwords and other vital information, giving them greater access to a firm’s networks. “When you combine this increase with past destructive attacks launched by Iranian-linked actors, we’re concerned enough about the potential for new destructive attacks to continue sounding the alarm,” Christopher Krebs, a top cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, told Foreign Policy last July. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attends a graduation ceremony of the Iranian Navy cadets in the city of Noshahr on September 30, 2015. Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images All of this — proxies striking around the world, cyberattacks on enterprise — would happen while Iran continued to resist conventional American forces. In the Strait of Hormuz, for instance, Iranian sailors could use speedboats to place bombs on oil tankers or place mines in the water to destroy US warships. The Islamic Republic’s submarines would also play a huge part in trying to sink an American vessel. And the nation’s anti-ship missiles and drones could prove constant and deadly nuisances. Should US troops try to enter Iranian territory on land, Iranian ground forces would also push back on them fiercely using insurgent-like tactics while the US painfully marches toward Tehran. Put together, Brewer notes succinctly, a US-Iran war would be “a nasty, brutal fight.” Aftermath: “The worst-case scenarios here are quite serious” Imagine, as we already have, that the earlier stages of strife escalate to a major war. That’s already bad enough. But assume for a moment not only that the fighting takes place, but that the US does the unlikely and near impossible: It invades and overthrows the Iranian regime (which Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton, at least, has openly called for in the past). If that happens, it’s worth keeping two things in mind. First, experts say upward of a million people — troops from both sides as well as Iranian men, women, and children, and American diplomats and contractors — likely will have died by that point. Cities will burn and smolder. Those who survived the conflict will mainly live in a state of economic devastation for years and some, perhaps, will pick up arms and form insurgent groups to fight the invading US force. Second, power abhors a vacuum. With no entrenched regime in place, multiple authority figures from Iran’s clerical and military circles, among others, will jockey for control. Those sides could split into violent factions, initiating a civil war that would bring more carnage to the country. Millions more refugees might flock out of the country, overwhelming already taxed nations nearby, and ungoverned pockets will give terrorist groups new safe havens from which to operate. Iran would be on the verge of being a failed state, if it wasn’t already by that point, and the US would be the main reason why. To turn the tide, America may feel compelled to help rebuild the country at the cost of billions of dollars, years of effort, and likely more dead. It could also choose to withdraw, leaving behind a gaping wound in the center of the Middle East. In some ways, then, what comes after the war could be worse than the war itself. It should therefore not be lost on anyone: A US-Iran war would be a bloody hell during and after the fighting. It’s a good thing neither Trump nor Iran’s leadership currently wants a conflict. But if they change their minds, only carnage follows. “The worst-case scenarios here are quite serious,” Hanna told me.

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Spotlight

City of Lynchburg

Strategically located with easy access to major markets, Lynchburg is a distinctive city with all the amenities and resources to live, learn, work, play…and prosper.
 
 Lynchburg, Virginia is a city which remembers its past while focusing on the future - a vibrant central city fostering a strong sense of community, economic opportunity for all our citizens and responsive, results-oriented local government. Lynchburg is a city of 50 square miles located near the geographic center of the state, bordered by the eastern edge of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. It is located approximately 180 miles southwest of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

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