Fdd's overnight brief

August 26, 2021

In The News


The Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. military are conducting extraction operations to evacuate Americans using helicopters and ground troops as the window begins to close for rescuing all people at risk in Afghanistan. – Wall Street Journal 

The Taliban is scrambling to reach a deal with former Afghan officials to establish a government that could gain international recognition, keep aid money flowing into the country and restore access to billions of dollars in international reserves. – Washington Post 

But the biggest immediate threat to both the Americans and the Taliban as the United States escalates its evacuation at the Kabul airport before an Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline is a common rival that is lesser known: Islamic State Khorasan, or ISIS-K, the terrorist group’s affiliate in Afghanistan. – New York Times 

On his tour through the fallen city of Kabul last week, Taliban-aligned militant Khalil Haqqani rose to address a crowd at the capital’s largest place of worship, Pul-i-Khishti Mosque. As he clutched a U.S.-made M4 rifle, his security guards, similarly armed, were draped in the U.S. combat aesthetics that have come to symbolize the last 20 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. – Washington Post 

The United States and European allies accelerated their efforts to evacuate Western and local nationals from Afghanistan on Wednesday, with less than a week remaining before President Biden’s departure deadline, as the military prepared to hand control of the Kabul airport to Taliban forces. – Washington Post 

President Biden has delivered regular remarks about the widening U.S. evacuation efforts in Afghanistan that critics say often paint a rosier picture than the facts on the ground warrant and at times deflect blame for the rapidly deteriorating situation. – Wall Street Journal 

At least 250,000 Afghans who may be eligible for expedited American visas remain in Afghanistan, far too many for American forces to rescue before their deadline to leave next week, new estimates suggest. – New York Times 

Several current and former Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday that they aren’t worried that the execution of the evacuation will leave a permanent political stain on him or on them. – NBC 

Four months before seizing Kabul, the Taliban put out a propaganda video targeting an unlikely audience: the country’s Shia minority, particularly its highly-persecuted Hazara community. – Financial Times 

The longer-term resettlement issue is “where the crisis is moving to,” as the United States is already moving equipment and drawing down forces it has sent to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul to secure the evacuation of Americans, other foreign nationals and Afghans who assisted the U.S. mission, worked for non-governmental organizations and the U.N. – USNI News 

Pentagon officials appear furious over an unannounced visit by two lawmakers to Afghanistan this week, saying that their presence took precious resources away from a precarious situation as the deadline to evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghan allies nears. – Military.com 

The incidents are among dozens contained in an internal U.N. security document seen by Reuters that describes veiled threats, the looting of U.N. offices and physical abuse of staff since Aug. 10, shortly before the Taliban swept to power. – Reuters 

A former interpreter for the U.S. military said he received calls mocking President Joe Biden and threatening him as the country crumbled at the hands of the Taliban. – Washington Examiner 

Editorial: The Biden Administration is spinning the Afghan disaster as an inevitable but short-term setback in its long-term pivot to East Asia. But that strategy requires stable and friendly European allies to shoulder more of their own defense burden. The President’s failures in Afghanistan will make that more difficult. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: At this point, despite Mr. Biden’s assurances to the contrary, the possibility of rescuing all the Afghans to whom this country owes an obligation is looking increasingly remote, though it must remain the objective. If he sticks to next Tuesday’s deadline for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Kabul’s airport, it’s hard to imagine a scenario that does not consign some, perhaps many, desperate Afghans to a grim future. – Washington Post  

Editorial: So far IMF members have blocked recognition of the Taliban, and on Wednesday the World Banksaid it had “paused” disbursements to the country. […]Some are suggesting that these assets should be among the bargaining chips that President Biden uses to get Americans and Afghan allies out of the country. But unless NATO plans to finance a government in Kabul that executes infidels and oppresses women, recognition must be off the table. – Wall Street Journal 

Sami Sadat writes: It pains me to see Mr. Biden and Western officials are blaming the Afghan Army for collapsing without mentioning the underlying reasons that happened. Political divisions in Kabul and Washington strangled the army and limited our ability to do our jobs. Losing combat logistical support that the United States had provided for years crippled us, as did a lack of clear guidance from U.S. and Afghan leadership. – New York Times 

Marc A. Thiessen writes: In other words, Biden’s claim that we have an “over the horizon” capability to combat an al-Qaeda resurgence is a joke. It took more than seven years for the United States to drive the Islamic State from the caliphate Biden handed them in 2011. Now, Biden has handed the global jihadist movement a new radical Islamic emirate in Afghanistan to replace it. – Washington Post 

James Hohmann writes: The Afghan refugees of 2021 are dramatically different than the Cubans of 1980. There’s not a criminal element among those being airlifted out of Kabul. […]Still, we’ve seen the danger in letting disinformation like this go unchecked. Biden needs to talk more about not just the rigorous vetting process but also why it’s so important that the United States welcomes Afghans at places such as Fort McCoy. That may be a tricky balancing act when he’s leaving so many deserving people behind, but it’s politically vital. – Washington Post  

Daniel Henninger writes: The baseline for a Republican foreign policy should be a recognition that the future is not about avoiding “endless wars” but about the U.S. showing the world it will spend what’s needed to create a credible deterrent against wars and acts of terror. The Taliban’s refusal to extend the Biden Aug. 31 deadline proves we do not have that now. – Wall Street Journal  

Michael R. Bloomberg writes: Even if the deadline is dropped, of course, tens of thousands of deserving Afghans — human-rights activists, female leaders, judges, journalists — will remain in the country after the evacuation is complete. The U.S. should make clear to the Taliban that any hope of future economic or diplomatic engagement will depend on how they’re treated. Refusing to acknowledge errors is one thing. But the Biden administration must now have the courage not to compound them. – Bloomberg 

Annie Pforzheimer writes: The United States cannot look away from the human rights violations that follow when it withdraws its military forces. We saw it in Vietnam and, tragically, we will almost certainly see it in Afghanistan. What kind of country will the United States be if we duck the responsibility to use the influence and the leverage we do have to advocate forcefully for prisoners of conscience and to press for human rights? It is the very least we can do for the brave men and women we have left behind. – The Hill 


Iran this week restarted fuel exports to Afghanistan that had been disrupted by fighting between the Taliban and forces under the now deposed Afghan government, traders in Tehran and former U.S. officials say, with the Taliban now providing critical dollars to the sanctions-crushed Iranian economy from its lucrative narcotics operations. – Wall Street Journal 

Iran’s parliament confirmed an experienced diplomat trusted by the country’s hard-liners as its new foreign minister as the government prepares for a possible return to nuclear negotiations in coming weeks. – Wall Street Journal 

The top American negotiator in the Iranian nuclear talks said Washington is prepared to make compromises “on difficult issues” if Tehran does the same. – Bloomberg 

Jason Rezaian writes: I’ve long believed that the transparency that is a product of our near-universal access to digital communications is poison for authoritarians, who have traditionally shunned even the notion of accountability for their abuses. Leaks like this one are bound to keep coming, and there is increasingly little Iranian officials will be able to claim in their defense. No one inside Iran doubts that torture is one of the pillars Evin is built on — and with stories like this, no one outside Iran can, either. – Washington Post 

Barry Rosen writes: Raisi has the blood of innocents on his hands. Privately, many Iranians would revel in a decision to deny Raisi a visa to enter the United States. […]If the White House is to have any credibility in promoting human rights, democracy and the universal values at the foundation of our republic, President Biden should not afford Raisi the privilege of walking on American soil. Not this year, and not ever. – The Hill 


Facing growing anti-migrant sentiment at home, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was unequivocal when he spoke to Charles Michel, the EU council president, about a possible mass influx of Afghan refugees towards Europe. – Financial Times 

There may soon be positive developments in Turkey’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday, as Ankara aims to ease tensions with regional powers that have impacted Turkey’s economy. – Reuters  

The currency has weakened about 11% versus the dollar this year. For a government whose balance sheet remained resilient even as the country has lurched from crisis to crisis, a lack of transparency over its contingent liabilities remains a worry. – Bloomberg  


Since taking over in June as Israel’s prime minister, Naftali Bennett has tried to construct a new political order. The biggest obstacle might be the man he displaced, his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu. – Wall Street Journal 

The meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Bennett and US President Biden is a “chance for the Prime Minister to hear directly from the President his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and self-defense, and supporting Israel’s defense needs,” a senior administration official told reporters ahead of the meeting. – Jerusalem Post 

Israel’s defense minister on Wednesday accused Iran of launching a deadly drone strike on an oil tanker last month from its territory and reiterated that Israel would act alone if needed to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. – Associated Press  

President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday will seek to reset the tone of U.S.-Israeli relations in their first White House meeting and find common ground on Iran despite differences on how to deal with its nuclear program. – Reuters 

Israel said that it would be easing commercial restrictions on the Gaza Strip and expand entry of goods to the Palestinian enclave following days of heightened tensions. – Associated Press 

Israel’s military is accelerating its operational plans against Iran due to the progress of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi has warned. – Jerusalem Post 

The US administration recognizes that a return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran might not be possible, and as a result is open to Israeli approaches to countering Iran, according to a senior member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s entourage. – Times of Israel 

Jacob Magid writes: No matter how well Thursday’s White House meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett goes for US President Joe Biden, it is unlikely to draw much attention away from the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, where thousands of civilians who assisted the US-led coalition over the past two decades face being left behind in the now Taliban-controlled territory. – Times of Israel 

Ronald S. Lauder writes: If Israel does not find its way into the hearts and minds of millennials, Americans and Jews, the crucial American-Israeli alliance will be severely damaged. And if this alliance is thus damaged, Israel will grow weaker and suffer. Bennett and Lapid must do everything within their power to turn this around: rebuild the American-Israeli alliance and the Israeli-Jewish alliance here and now. – Jerusalem Post 

David Makovsky writes: However, the metric of the Biden-Bennett successful relationship is not their antipathy towards Netanyahu, but rather their ability to work together in this new post-Afghanistan period on issues from Iran to working with the Palestinians to ensure Hamas does not emerge victorious. It would also be a rebuke to the new narrative that the U.S. has given up fighting extremism. – The Hill 

David Hacham writes: As a result, it is possible to assess with a high degree of confidence that even if partial agreements are reached between Hamas and Israel, Gaza’s problems will not vanish from the daily agenda, but instead will remain as fixed, disturbing issues, and that they will continue to act as trigger points leading to potential security escalations with Israel. – Algemeiner 

David Makovsky writes: If the two allies are unable to counsel each other on Iran, Palestinian gradualism, and other matters, then their differences may soon spill out into the open and end the current honeymoon. Alternatively, if the broader forces shaping American retrenchment in the Middle East make Israel even more important to Washington’s regional calculus, this strategic imperative could overshadow any bilateral policy differences going forward. – Washington Institute 


Shas MK Moshe Arbel has called on Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz to provide the Lebanese health system with emergency humanitarian assistance in light of the public health crisis in the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the political and economic crises the country is currently facing. – Jerusalem Post  

An Iranian tanker with fuel for Lebanon had not yet left Iran as of Wednesday, but is expected to leave by Friday, according to TankerTrackers.com, who announced the delay on Twitter. – Jerusalem Post  

Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said that the U.S. administration is running an economic and media war in Lebanon from within its embassy. He made these remarks in a public address that was posted on Spot Shot on YouTube on August 19, 2021. Nasrallah said that U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea meets with “so-called NGOs” and makes demands of them, incites, and bankrolls them. He said that the U.S. Embassy colludes and conspires against the Lebanese people. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Middle East & North Africa

Egypt will open the Rafah crossing on its border with the Gaza Strip in one direction for three days on Thursday to allow stranded Palestinians to return back to the tiny coastal enclave, two security sources said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Morocco regrets the “completely unjustified” decision of neighboring Algeria to break off diplomatic relations, the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said Wednesday, calling some of Algeria’s reasons “absurd.” – Associated Press  

Saudi Arabia’s procurement and offset agency, the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), has launched a new online platform to help connect stakeholders in the country’s defence industrial base. – Jane’s 360 

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s Supreme People‘s Assembly (SPA), the isolated state’s rubber-stamp parliament, will meet on Sept. 28 to discuss economic policy and other issues, state media reported on Thursday, as the country faces mounting economic crises. – Reuters  

The U.S. State Department has OK’d a sale of precision-guided weapons worth about $258 million to South Korea. – Defense News 

The Bank of Korea raised its policy rate for the first time in almost three years on Thursday, becoming the first major Asian central bank to shift away from pandemic-era monetary settings as ballooning consumer debt created new threats for the economy. – Reuters  


Chinese and Russian leaders discussed Afghanistan on Wednesday, Chinese state media said, but did not echo the G7’s call for the Taliban to allow people to flee the country after Aug. 31, as desperate crowds left behind by the withdrawal of U.S. troops continue to fear for their safety. – Reuters 

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday again charged China with bullying its Southeast Asian neighbours, the second time in two days she has attacked Beijing during a regional visit, as Washington tries to rally regional partners to take on China’s growing economic and military influence. – Reuters 

China’s top diplomat to Canada lashed out at the country in a phone call with Meng Wanzhou, a sign that tensions are escalating before the final decision on whether the Huawei Technologies Co. executive will be extradited to the U.S. – Bloomberg 

China’s campaign to clamp down on industries ranging from steel to education to property has roiled financial markets and curbed the outlook for growth in the world’s second-largest economy. – Bloomberg 

Chinese virologist Zhang Wenhong is among a slew of recent high-profile targets in a campaign by nationalist web users to harass anyone they deem critical of China’s government and pressure officials and websites to censor them. – Bloomberg 

The pro-democracy group that organises Hong Kong’s annual June 4 rally to commemorate those who died in the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 is being investigated by national security police on suspicion of collusion with foreign forces. – Reuters 

Editorial: Beijing is still blustering about “a counterattack” against those who “baselessly accuse China” on COVID, as a spokesman put it this week. It claims it will “continue to cooperate” with WHO — when in fact it rejected the agency’s July proposal for a second, more serious investigation in Wuhan. Are such over-the-top threats why Team Biden refuses to pressure China to come clean? – New York Post 

Tom Rogan writes: Yet, in the absence of a reliable U.S. partner that can consolidate against China’s bullying, tolerating China becomes the easiest choice. The alternative is to earn China’s increasing ire without adequate recourse to deter or restrain China’s economic and military coercion. Perception matters, and Biden has made himself a picture of unreliability. – Washington Examiner 

Matthew Kroenig writes: America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has dealt a blow to American credibility, but losing a war to China would be even more devastating. Washington cannot take the chance. It must ensure it has the capabilities needed to defend itself, its allies and its forces from the growing Chinese military threat. – The Hill 

Dean Cheng writes: What China gains in light of the catastrophic American failure in Afghanistan is a wonderful opportunity to highlight American unreliability and fecklessness. As Beijing has already signaled to Taiwan, if Washington won’t support Afghanistan, where it has trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and fought for 20 years, why should Taipei believe that Washington will commit itself to Taiwan’s security? – The Daily Signal 

South Asia

Pakistan’s already shaky reputation in the West is likely to plummet now, as the Taliban take over Afghanistan. Calls to sanction Pakistan have already circulated on social media. Absent foreign financing, Pakistan faces reliance on a jihadist drug trade encouraged by the new rulers in Kabul. A Taliban-run state on its border will no doubt embolden Taliban and other Islamist militants in Pakistan itself. – New York Times  

The Post reviewed roughly 15,000 videos and images captured by civilians, as well as data showing the number of people killed since Feb. 1, to reconstruct the massacre in Bago. Interviews with seven eyewitnesses and analysis of geolocated videos and photos from Bago reveal that heavy weaponry was used against protesters. Analyses of Internet data and troop movements show a sophisticated level of planning by the military to crush the uprising. – Washington Post 

Russia will deliver Pantsir missile defence systems to Myanmar on schedule as outlined in the relevant sales contract, the RIA news agency cited the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation as saying on Wednesday. – Reuters  

Josh Rogin writes: Given Biden’s haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover, the United States has little alternative but to seriously consider Pakistan’s offer of cooperation. Sure, it might not work, but it’s worth a shot. Meanwhile, Washington and Islamabad might find a path back to being true allies. That still makes strategic sense for both countries, perhaps now more than ever. – Washington Post  


Vice President Harris, on her second international trip in the role, got a taste of the intensifying rivalry between the United States and China as she flew into Vietnam — a former U.S. adversary wary of Beijing’s growing dominance and now courted by Washington. – Washington Post  

Japan should stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday in response to media reports that Japan and Taiwan’s ruling parties will hold security talks on Friday. – Reuters 

Taiwan announced a more modest pace in defence spending for next year on Thursday, but will spend $1.44 billion on new fighter jets, as the island bolsters its forces in the face of increased pressure from Beijing. – Reuters 


Europe is facing a natural-gas shortage just as Russia is completing a controversial pipeline to Germany, increasing President Vladimir Putin’s leverage over the continent’s energy flows. – Wall Street Journal  

In an interview with The New York Times, his first with a news organization since his arrest in January, Mr. Navalny talked about his life in prison, about why Russia has cracked down so hard on the opposition and dissidents, and about his conviction that “Putin’s regime,” as he calls it, is doomed to collapse. – New York Times 

Four Russian military planes evacuated Russian and other nationals from Kabul on Wednesday on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, as Moscow held military exercises involving its tank forces in neighbouring Tajikistan. – Reuters  

Maria Snegovaya writes: But if Russia’s current repressive wave is not primarily driven by the leadership’s fear of losing elections, the crackdowns are unlikely to end in September. A more pessimistic view is that Putin’s regime is transforming into an increasingly repressive Belarus-style autocracy, suggesting that independent and nongovernmental groups in Russia may be in line for closer government scrutiny — and rough times ahead. – Washington Post  

Ben Dubow writes: As covered here previously in Russian involvement in the Fort Detrick conspiracy, Russian propaganda is highly decentralized, with the state and its media outlets rarely creating content from scratch. […]American weakness and untrustworthiness were the main messages Russian leadership hoped to convey in the wake of the Afghanistan debacle. But — they said — don’t take our word for it. Just look at what people are saying in Ukraine, Georgia, and the United States. – Center for European Policy Analysis 


Europe’s largest nations have airlifted more than 9,000 Afghans out of their country in recent weeks and are bracing for the possibility that hundreds of thousands more will arrive, in what would be a major test of the region’s ability to absorb another wave of immigrants from the Muslim world. – Wall Street Journal 

France will no longer be able to evacuate people from Afghanistan from Friday evening onwards, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told RTL radio. – Reuters 

A General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SkyGuardian medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has arrived in the UK ahead of a capability demonstration campaign. – Jane’s 360 

Philip Stephens writes: For a nation such as Britain, rightly ambitious about the contribution it can make to international peace and security but, operating under unavoidable economic constraints, the facts of geopolitics are simple enough. It needs strong ties with the world’s most powerful democracy and influence on its own continent. – Financial Times 

Leonid Bershidsky writes: Europe’s involvement in Afghanistan was for the most part a symbolic investment in the U.S. security guarantee. European nations did pay a price in soldiers’ lives, though, and have little to show for it. That makes going along with U.S. President Joe Biden’s announced strategy of strengthening NATO a tough political sell. – Bloomberg 


Hundreds of Boko Haram militants attacked a military post in southern Niger overnight, killing 16 soldiers and wounding nine more, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.- Reuters 

Nigeria and Russia have signed a military cooperation deal providing a legal framework for the supply of equipment and the training of troops, the Nigerian embassy in Moscow said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

A gunman killed three police officers and a private security guard on a rampage through a diplomatic quarter of Tanzania’s main city Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, before being shot dead while holed up in a guardhouse at the French embassy’s gate. – Reuters 

Latin America

To help address unequal access to Covid-19 vaccines around the world — an issue that “remains the Achilles’ heel” of the pandemic fight —  the World Health Organization is starting a program to manufacture vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Carissa Etienne, the director of the Pan American Health Organization, said Wednesday. – New York Times  

The OPEC member, which was once among the world’s largest oil exporters, is on the verge of collapse after decades of corruption and malfeasance by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The state’s potential to implode is accelerating because of strict U.S. sanctions, weaker oil prices, and the near failure of its economic backbone the petroleum industry. – Oil Price  

Mexico received 124 media workers and their family members from Afghanistan, including New York Times journalists, the government said on Wednesday, as people flee after the Taliban militant group’s takeover. – Reuters 

Murders of human rights and community activists in Colombia were down to 78 in the first half of the year, the country’s human rights ombudsman said on Wednesday, but the attacks persist. – Reuters 

Sea, whose biggest shareholder is Chinese technology group Tencent, is backed by hefty financial firepower. Despite being lossmaking, its New York-listed shares have surged 680 per cent since the start of 2020 to give Sea a market value of almost $170bn, close to that of Shopify, as Covid-19 fuelled an ecommerce boom in south-east Asia.But Sea’s attempts to replicate in Latin America the dominance it enjoys in its home region will face intense opposition in the form of MercadoLibre, the Nasdaq-listed group and market leader. – Financial Times 

United States

A Michigan militia member was sentenced to six years and three months in prison after he pleaded guilty to taking part in a plot to kidnap the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, over her response to the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge determined Wednesday. – Wall Street Journal 

 A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction and death sentence of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine Black people at a South Carolina church in 2015, court documents showed. – Reuters 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that U.S. policy is still not to negotiate with terrorists, despite the Biden administration relying heavily on the statements and promises by Taliban leaders to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan. – Fox News  

Twenty years ago, US president George W. Bush declared a “war on terror”. Today, its failure is undeniable, with jihadist groups both more numerous and scattered more widely across the world. – Agence France-Presse 

Karl Rove writes: The weaknesses that have plagued Mr. Biden’s Afghan response can also be seen in his handling of other issues, like the southern border. If these habits don’t change, there will be more debacles in the country’s future. The perception among voters is bound to grow—as it did with Jimmy Carter —that Mr. Biden simply isn’t up to the task. – Wall Street Journal 

Michael Barone writes: Biden’s failures are arguably greater. He acquiesced to a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and follows their dictates while energizing Islamic terrorist groups endangering our very homeland; risked destabilizing nuclear-armed Pakistan; emboldened adversaries such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran; and alienated and undermined our allies from London to Tokyo. – Washington Examiner 

Michael Makovsky writes: Indeed, Biden’s failure has been so widely condemned or mocked and his credibility — the currency of international relations — so thoroughly damaged that even if he succeeds in evacuating stranded Americans and Afghan partners from Afghanistan (big if), it’s likely he’ll become a hobbled, damaged figure on the world stage, incapable of leading on any issue of consequence, for the remaining three-plus years of his presidency. That would be dreadful for US national security. – New York Post 


President Biden hosted executives from major technology, financial and energy companies on Wednesday for a summit on national cybersecurity, calling the issue “the core national security challenge we are facing.” – Wall Street Journal 

Western Digital Corp. is in advanced talks to merge with Japan’s Kioxia Holdings Corp., according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could be valued at more than $20 billion and further reorder the global chip industry. – Wall Street Journal  

A Tuesday letter from the head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to end the presence of accounts on the social media platform linked to US-designated terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah. – Algemeiner 

The new leader of the U.S. Army school that trains soldiers to become cyber warriors wants to change a problem he’s seen working in the field: Graduates aren’t ready on day one to conduct their missions. – C4SIRNET 

The Pentagon’s top IT official said Wednesday that the department’s new enterprise cloud contract, known as the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, remains on schedule. – Defense News 


The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is preserving money to develop a new surface-launched nuclear cruise missile, and is adding 12 Super Hornets and a second guided-missile destroyer to the Navy’s shipbuilding plan, according to a copy of the chairman’s mark for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget obtained by USNI News on Wednesday. – USNI News  

A marquee cooperation project between the European Union and the Pentagon aimed at cutting red tape during cross-border deployments of military gear in Europe has yet to get off the ground, as negotiations continue about the ground rules for non-EU participants. – Defense News  

This month, the U.S. Space Force replaced its long-established acquisitions arm — the Space and Missile Systems Center — with a new field command called Space Systems Command. – Defense News 

The Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw), Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support, has ordered radars from Hensoldt and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the German Navy’s F124 air-defence frigates, IAI announced in a press release on 24 August. – Jane’s 360 

House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer urged leaders at the State Department and Homeland Security to detail the vetting process for Afghan refugees. – Washington Examiner