Fdd's overnight brief

October 21, 2021

In The News


U.S. troops in Syria were targeted on Wednesday in a “deliberate and coordinated attack” that appears to have used both unmanned aircraft and indirect fire, U.S. military officials said. – Washington Post  

Iran plans to abandon production of its Fakhravac Covid-19 vaccine for lack of demand, its defense ministry said on Tuesday. Iran’s five other domestic Covid vaccines could also be in jeopardy, as Iranians have shown they prefer imported vaccines. – New York Times  

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud and U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley met in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss the Iranian nuclear talks, the state news agency SPA said. – Reuters 

The U.S. special envoy for Iran will meet British, French and German diplomats in Paris on Friday to discuss stalled efforts to get Iran to resume compliance with the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, three diplomatic sources said on Wednesday. – Reuters  

Fragile measures to monitor Iran’s nuclear activity that were established by the U.N.’s atomic energy watchdog are becoming undone, its director-general has warned. – CNBC  

Against the backdrop of the recent tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan, and as part of Iran’s attempts to make it known that it has the ability to operate trained ethnic military groups in other countries, media affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) published information about the previously unknown Azeri Shi’ite militia “Hussainiyoun.” – Middle East Media Research Institute  

Maya Carlin writes: Without its proxies, Tehran’s ability to project power abroad is nearly nonexistent. Since Iraqi support for the PMF has already dwindled significantly in recent years, the preliminary election results do not bode well for Iran’s future in the country. In the upcoming months, Fatah will likely work tirelessly to undermine the election results and secure its position in coalition negotiations. Ultimately, this election will significantly impact Iraq’s relationship with its neighbors and the United States for years to come. – The National Interest  

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The context then of the strike on Tanf is part of a wider regional struggle. However, Iranian media has not layed up the attack, leading to questions over whether Iran is the major player here, or if other elements closer to the Syrian regime or local militias are the guiding hand. – Jerusalem Post 


Mawlawi Zubair Mutmaeen used to run Taliban suicide-bombing squads in Kabul. On a recent day, in his new role as police chief for one of the Afghan capital’s districts, he was busy mediating a marital dispute. – Wall Street Journal 

Taliban representatives attended their first international conference since the movement took power in Afghanistan in August, gathering with senior officials from Russia, China and other countries in Moscow, where they came under pressure to form a more inclusive government and pursue a friendly policy toward the country’s neighbors. – Wall Street Journal 

The top Republican on the House Defense Appropriations Committee is raising questions on whether biometric data was collected on the thousands of now-released terrorists from Bagram Air Base prison in Afghanistan, and pressing the White House on whether the location of these individuals is known. – Fox News  

With Afghanistan in deep economic crisis and its health service in disarray, the Red Cross, with decades of experience treating the war’s victims, is one of the few centres that can supply prosthetic limbs. – Reuters  

To stave off the worst consequences, Taliban leaders made a pragmatic choice: they requested that former officials within the previous government return to work. Taliban officials reportedly requested that technocrats within the former government’s Finance Ministry and central bank return to work, acknowledging that they understood how to run the country and the group’s members did not. – The National Interest  


At least 13 people including several children were killed Wednesday when government forces shelled a marketplace and roads in the last major section of the country held by rebels, providing a test for the fragile security alliance between Russia and Turkey. – Wall Street Journal 

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates’ de facto ruler, discussed developments in Syria and the Middle East with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported. – Reuters 

Russia is disbanding a militia it formed, funded, and armed in southern Syria over the past few years, Channel 12 reports, without citing sources. The network’s Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari says the Syrian and Iranian regimes have long been unhappy with the force, which did not answer to either of them but rather to Moscow. – Times of Israel  

Ishtar Al Shami writes: And of the international community, Syrian feminists also demand that they not be left alone to face their repression by the Assad regime and extremist forces. In spite of some Syrians maligning this relationship, they call for the international support for them and their organizations inside and outside Syria to continue, with all means of material, technical, and cognitive support. – Washington Institute 

Natasha Hall, Karam Shaar and Munqeth Othman Agha write: Western governments, despite sanctioning Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, have become one of the regime’s largest sources of hard currency. Assad does not merely profit from the crisis he has created. He also has created a system that rewards him more the worse things get. It is time to change the incentives, change the system, and start thinking strategically about Syria’s future. – Center for Strategic and International Studies  


Urged by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to treat Syrians escaping the war as guests, Turkish citizens widely accepted the newcomers — at least at first. Yet in many places, the welcome has waned and the long-term presence of Syrian refugees has become a bitterly contentious issue in the political arena. – New York Times  

A Turkish court has sent to jail pending trial six suspects, including four Russians, accused of espionage after they were detained on suspicion of preparing armed attacks on Chechen dissidents, state broadcaster TRT Haber said on Thursday. – Reuters 

Michael Rubin writes: Biden’s inner circle may continue to spin the recent Afghanistan disaster as inevitable if not wise, but it was neither. They may also believe that what happens in Afghanistan stays in Afghanistan, but it does not. Autocrats are attracted to American weakness the way flies are to honey. The perception that America is weak, combined with Erdogan’s ego and domestic problems, suggests a perfect storm is brewing. – Washington Examiner 

Zvi Bar’el writes: Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems has created a deep rift between Ankara and Washington that began during the Trump administration and has grown wider under President Joe Biden. For Russia, the deal was not only good business but won it a new friend at America’s cost. To preserve their friendship, both Moscow and Ankara are not at all anxious to enter into a military conflict over Idlib. – Haaretz 


The United States and Israel are planning to create a joint team to discuss reopening the US consulate in Jerusalem, according to a new report. – New York Post 

A group of retired Israeli army generals will travel to Washington next week with a clear message for decision-makers and opinion-shapers: The only formula for peace is a strong Israel. – Jewish Insider 

Last week, journalist Ben Caspit sought to publish an article on the employment of the media adviser in the Maariv newspaper, but the article was spiked by the military censor. The censor explained that Iran wants to hurt anyone connected to the Mossad, and that publishing the name of the adviser, who often travels abroad, would endanger her. – Haaretz 

Amir Gal Or writes: If we do not learn the complexities of Chinese culture alongside an understanding of the regime of the Communist Party – a party that strives for Israel to consult with it on global issues, we will not be able to produce the communication bridges needed to build trust and cooperation, especially in emergencies. Awareness of what is happening and future scenarios is a necessary first step. – Jerusalem Post 

Efraim Inbar writes: Like Israel, Moscow dislikes a strong Iranian influence in Damascus. This explains why, until now, Russia has allowed Israel to strike at Iranian targets in Syria. It is important that Bennett renew this quiet understanding. However, Israel-Russia understandings on the Iranian nuclear issue should not be expected. Russia sees a strong Iran as a useful factor that weakens the regional status of the US, which is Russia’s main rival in the international arena. – Jerusalem Post 


Lebanese leaders indicated a willingness to continue negotiations with Israel about the countries’ maritime border, in a meeting with US Senior Advisor for Global Energy Security Amos Hochstein in Beirut on Wednesday. – Jerusalem Post 

David Gardner writes: Last week’s street fighting in Beirut was not just the deadliest violence in the Lebanese capital for more than a decade. It is part of a battle waged by Hizbollah, the Iran-backed politico-military force, and its allies to ensure the judicial investigation into the August 2020 explosion in Beirut goes nowhere. If they get their way and extinguish this last flicker of the rule of law, Lebanon will be well on the way to becoming an Iranian protectorate on the Mediterranean. – Financial Times 

Hanin Ghaddar writes: A political bargain to sideline Bitar would eliminate the only sovereign space left within Lebanon’s institutions. The only other choice is to protect Bitar and ensure a free and fair election in March. Hezbollah will try to fight the second scenario, probably by threatening more insecurity and violence. Yet the civil unrest scenario is risky for the group—this strategy has already backfired three times in the past three months. – Washington Institute 


The military has secured large areas of the strategic stretch of land bordering Palestinian-run Gaza and Israel on one side and the Suez Canal on the other, and is no longer on the back foot, witnesses, security sources and analysts say. – Reuters 

Egypt has a long history of political prisoners turning to writing to capture their experiences in confinement. An icon of the 2011 revolt that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak, Abdel Fattah wrote prolifically over the years, becoming one of the best-known voices of the protest movement. – Agence France-Presse  

Alberto M. Fernandez writes: Although Egypt under Al-Sisi very much plays the reformist or enlightened card before the West, the reality on the ground in Egypt is more complicated. While the regime is strongly against the Muslim Brotherhood organization, it is perfectly willing and able to allow “approved” types of religious extremism by certain groups and moral policing by the likes of Sabri to run their course. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Gulf States

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates reiterated their support for Bahrain’s plans to balance its budget, a move expected to help their neighbour in the debt capital markets despite delays in plans to fix its heavily indebted finances. The three Gulf allies extended a $10 billion aid package to Bahrain in 2018 to help it avoid a credit crunch. – Reuters  

Bobby Ghosh writes: Despite the bonhomie on display in that photograph of the three princes, the UAE and Qatar remain wary of each other, and the ties between and Emiratis and Saudis are being tested by a growing economic rivalry. The companies Sheikh Tahnoon heads, given their scale and the breadth of their interests, will undoubtedly be in the vanguard of that competition. – Bloomberg  

Jon B. Alterman writes: Saudis see their future success built on the foundation of a partnership with the United States. The Biden administration should be looking for ways to partner with Saudis and others on projects that help move the Middle East in a direction that advances mutual interests. The United States has a stake in the future of Saudi Arabia, and the Saudis are highly incentivized to work with the United States. That creates leverage, and the administration should use it. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Korean Peninsula

The barrage of tests in recent weeks by North Korea has served as a reminder that Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions aren’t going away — and that, in fact, the country is chipping away at the wishlist of new weapons that leader Kim Jong Un laid out in January. And with many items still on that list, there probably will be more tests to come. – Washington Post 

The United States has offered to meet North Korea without preconditions and made clear that Washington has no hostile intent toward Pyongyang, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on Wednesday as the Security Council met over North Korea’s latest missile launch. – Reuters 

North Korea said on Thursday the United States was overreacting to its recent missile test and questioned the sincerity of Washington’s offers of talks, accusing it of operating “double standards” over weapons development. – Reuters 

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 19 October that the country is developing a new space weather forecast and warning system to support the operation of key military assets. – Jane’s 360 


China tested a hypersonic missile in August that orbited the globe before heading toward its target, adding a new capability to Beijing’s already sizable military buildup, U.S. officials said. U.S. officials and weapons experts outside government have speculated the missile program might be intended as a way to evade U.S. missile defenses with a nuclear-armed system. – Wall Street Journal 

China is pulling out the stops to ease its worst power crunch in two decades, reversing course on earlier ambitions to curb coal use as it sets new policies to revive production and loosen imports of the electricity-generating fuel. – Wall Street Journal  

China and Russia are beating the United States in the race to send people to Mars, and NASA’s target date of 2033 is looking like a long shot. […]And the propulsion is only one of three major areas in which U.S. efforts remain deficient, according to a senior NASA official who testified alongside Myers, while Russia and China have conducted more focused investments in the novel technology. – Washington Examiner 

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he is concerned about Chinese hypersonic missiles, days after a media report that Beijing had tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide weapon. – Reuters 

The United States said on Wednesday that China’s industrial policies “skew the playing field” against imported goods and services, as well as their foreign providers, and that Washington would pursue all means to secure reforms. – Reuters 

President Joe Biden’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, took a tough line on dealings with China at his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, saying “genocide in Xinjiang,” abuses in Tibet, and bullying of Taiwan must stop. – Reuters 

China has for the first time showed off retired 1950s era fighter jets that have been converted to unmanned drones, with satellite photos of two of its east coast bases near Taiwan showing a large number of the jets on site. – Defense News 

Susan Thornton writes: Mr. Biden should, of course, continue to call out China’s human rights abuses or pressure on Taiwan, but we need to recognize that our ability to get China to move on these issues is negligible. That’s why Mr. Biden must not squander the leverage the United States can achieve. Setting clear priorities and ensuring China knows progress will lead to a constructive relationship is a necessary starting point. – New York Times 

Joshua C. Huminski writes: If America is to succeed in this multi-faceted, dynamic era of competition with Moscow and Beijing, the CIA must remain at the forefront, and adapt and be resourced accordingly. […]It needs to re-embrace the human aspect of human intelligence if we are to win this contest of wills with Beijing and Moscow. – The Hill 

Joseph Bosco writes: Beijing, Moscow, Tehran, and Pyongyang know they cannot defeat the United States, separately or together, but they believe America can defeat itself by perverting its perceived strengths into self-generated weakness — when diversity and dissent become irreparable division, freedom of speech becomes an avenue of visceral attack, political rivals become mortal enemies, and each side sees the other as threatening the very survival of the republic. Foreign disinformation campaigns foster precisely such domestic distortions. – The Hill 

South Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should rethink its decades-long policy of non-interference in the affairs of member states, amid a worsening human rights crisis in Myanmar, Malaysia’s top diplomat said on Thursday. – Reuters 

The United States sees the decision by Southeast Asian nations to exclude Myanmar’s leader from a regional summit as very significant but more needs to be done to address the challenges the country is facing after the military coup there, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Four militants and a soldier were killed in two separate gun battles in Indian Kashmir on Wednesday, a police officer said, as violence in the disputed region continued following a spate of attacks on civilians. – Reuters 


For decades, residents of Taiwan have paid far more attention to the threat of natural disasters than to the possibility of a military conflict with nearby China. Recently, however, the specter of a Chinese invasion has begun to take on a more seismic proportion in the minds of many of the island’s 23 million people—some of whom worry they aren’t sufficiently prepared. – Wall Street Journal 

The Philippines has issued a diplomatic protest over Chinese vessels challenging its ships patrolling the South China Sea with sirens, horns and radio communications, its foreign ministry said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

John Bolton writes: More military assets supporting Taiwan are critical but potentially futile without a fuller American strategic vision, with buy-in from citizens and other like-minded countries. That vision must be broad, persuasive and implemented without delay,to ensure the sustained popular support needed to prevail. – Wall Street Journal 

James Durso writes: If NATO had stuck around, Central and South Asia could have planned trade via a semi-stable Afghanistan, which would have made opportunities for Afghans. As it is, it’s now up to local leaders to build trade links across Afghanistan when the governing body, the Taliban, isn’t recognized by any other governments, including theirs (yet). – The Hill 

Jack Detsch writes: But they don’t want to rock the boat either. A move to expand the president’s authorities could upset the principle of “strategic ambiguity,” which argues the United States isn’t legally bound to defend Taiwan against Chinese assault—a principle that has held up for more than four decades. They’re worried Biden is being clawed away from the tendency of restraint he displayed in Afghanistan and that a more unpredictable president might wield expansive war-making authorities more carelessly. – Foreign Policy 


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that the alliance would still need to talk to Russia after Moscow suspended its diplomatic mission to the alliance over an espionage dispute. – Reuters 

Russia delivered a blow to hopes of a breakthrough international deal on climate change when the Kremlin said on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin would not fly to Scotland for talks starting at the end of this month. – Reuters 

Russia scrambled two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets to escort a pair of U.S. B-1B strategic bombers over the Black Sea, Russia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday, an incident that coincided with a visit to the region by the U.S. secretary of defense. – Reuters 

Moscow has warned NATO that any move towards Ukraine’s membership in the bloc will have consequences, the RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as saying on Thursday. – Reuters 

Tom Rogan writes: Yes, the ransomware groups operate separately from the formal authority and action of the Kremlin security apparatus. But my sources tell me that only a limited number of less capable hacking groups actually operate outside of Kremlin authority. Those sources also tell me that groups like Evil Corp. do not launch major attacks on the U.S. without the say-so of their Kremlin masters. Biden’s appeasement of Russia is now a trend. – Washington Examiner 


Spain’s highest criminal court agreed on Wednesday to extradite Venezuela’s former intelligence chief, Hugo Carvajal, to the United States, where he faces drug trafficking charges, according to a court statement. – New York Times  

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu will visit Slovakia next week on a rare trip to Europe that will also include a trip to the neighbouring Czech Republic and a virtual address to a forum in Rome, his ministry said on Thursday. – Reuters 

Poland’s clash with Brussels over a court ruling that questioned the supremacy of European Union law has been added to the agenda of a leaders’ summit this week at the request of several countries that see it as a serious crisis for the bloc. – Reuters 

The UK has brokered a trade agreement with New Zealand that will cut tariffs on clothing, buses and wine, and, it hopes, lay a foundation for joining a trans-Pacific economic bloc of 11 countries. – Financial Times 

Editorial: Europe’s willingness to harm itself in the name of unachievable climate goals is one of the greatest acts of democratic self-sabotage in history. Yet Europe’s leaders are heading to the global climate confab next month in Glasgow to increase their energy masochism. And America’s President Biden is eager to join them in abandoning energy security. Mr. Putin must be amazed at his strategic luck. – Wall Street Journal  

Guy Chazan and Sam Fleming write: Merkel will reprise today the role of mediator she has often played in her 16 years as chancellor when EU leaders gather in Brussels for a meeting that is likely to be dominated by the dispute with Poland. But there is a big difference this time — Merkel is on the way out and this is likely to be the last EU summit she will ever attend. – Financial Times 


The Ethiopian government carried out a second air strike within hours on the Tigray region on Wednesday, significantly escalating a campaign to weaken rebellious Tigrayan forces in an almost one-year-old war. – Reuters 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa dispatched special envoys to Eswatini for talks with Africa’s last absolute monarchy about growing unrest in the southern African nation. – Bloomberg 

As the atrocities sweep the restive African nation, the CAR government continues to remain silent. And if some of those in Islamic communities—who are threatening to take action should the abuses go on—run out of patience, the country could descend into further chaos. – The Daily Beast 

The Americas

To fathom the magnitude of Venezuela’s financial collapse, travel southeast from Caracas, past the oil fields and over the Orinoco River, and head deep into the savanna that blankets one of the remotest corners of the country. There, in the barber shops and restaurants and hotels that constitute the main strip of one dusty little outpost after another, you’ll find prices displayed in grams of gold. – Bloomberg  

After two years of mudslinging and ruptured ties, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday it was necessary to repair diplomatic relations with Colombia. – Reuters  

The presidents of Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday asked for U.S. assistance in stemming the flow of thousands of migrants crossing the dangerous jungles that divide Panama and Colombia as they make their way to the United States. – Reuters 

Accountability for human rights abuses committed during Colombia’s decades-long conflict and recent anti-government protests are critical to preventing future abuses, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a visit to the Andean country on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Editorial: The costs of Haitian anarchy go beyond the misery of the immediate victims. It harms investment and economic development, fuels poverty and destroys hope for a better life. Haitians become itinerants, spreading across the Western Hemisphere for a safe place to live and work. After the 2010 earthquake, hundreds of thousands migrated to South America. In case you haven’t noticed, tens of thousands have migrated tthe U.S. border this year. – Wall Street Journal 

Benjamin N. Gedan writes: Fortunately, Mr. Biden recognizes that U.S. security and prosperity depend upon success, or at least stability, in Latin America. The president is no doubt drawing up ambitious commitments for the Summit of the Americas to be held next summer, which he will host. Still, given the region’s monumental challenges, there is no time to spare in introducing a more generous U.S. approach. – New York Times 

United States

Nicholas Burns, President Biden’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to China, told a Senate panel on Wednesday that if he was confirmed he would help Mr. Biden pursue a strategy of competition and cooperation with a rising Beijing, which he called “the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century.” –New York Times

Paula Dobriansky writes: Colin Powell was a man of great humility and integrity. He is a true inspiration and a model not only for military leaders and diplomats but all Americans. In his 1981 inaugural address, President Reagan said, “Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes—they just don’t know where to look.” Colin L. Powell was a hero of our time. He will be sorely missed. – Wall Street Journal 


Microsoft President Brad Smith said governments and companies are at last starting to cooperate to address the mounting cybersecurity issues facing the world. “It’s critical that the U.S. and other governments lead the way, and it’s vital that we in the tech sector play the roles that we need to play to support this,” Mr. Smith said at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference Wednesday. – Wall Street Journal 

Huawei Technologies Co. continued to bolster its lobbying operation in Washington even though a spending surge hasn’t dented restrictions on its ability to do business in the U.S. – Bloomberg 

Britain’s competition watchdog fined Facebook 50.5 million pounds ($69.4 million) on Wednesday for violating rules during the U.K. investigation into the social media giant’s purchase of Giphy. – Associated Press 

The Department of Defense is at an “inflection point” when it comes to cyberspace and cyber operations and must consider the role of the people behind cybersecurity systems, according to a top official. – C4SIRNET 

The Air Force Research Laboratory successfully demonstrated new joint machine learning algorithms with the United Kingdom, showcasing the countries’ ability to collaborate on deploying artificial intelligence in support of war fighters. – C4SIRNET 


A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the White House to fully fund the F-35 Lightning II program in the coming years. – Defense News 

The August test of a Chinese space-based hypersonic missile is unlikely to trigger an arms race, but could influence the White House and Defense Department’s effort to shape new missile defense and nuclear posture strategies, experts say. – Defense News 

An Annapolis couple charged with stealing submarine secrets in an effort to pass them to another country pleaded not guilty in federal court on Tuesday. – USNI News 

The most remarkable thing about the agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States [AUKUS] to share advanced technologies, including nuclear propulsion for submarines, is Canberra’s commitment “to an adversarial role with China,” a former undersecretary of State for political affairs said Wednesday. – USNI News 

The US Army insists it needs a human-piloted Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) helicopter to perform the armed reconnaissance mission despite experts telling Janes the service could perform the mission with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). – Jane’s 360  

Boeing will consider offering the T-7A Red Hawk aircraft to the US Air Force (USAF) for its recently revealed Advanced Tactical Trainer (ATT) requirement. – Jane’s 360 

The US Department of Defense (DoD) may be focused on finding technologies to down aerial drones, however, its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is also working with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon BBN Technologies on ways a single operator can control hundreds of ground and aerial drones at once. While this developmental effort has been ongoing for years, it is scheduled to culminate in November when both companies head to Fort Campbell in Kentucky for a field experiment where each entity will test out their respective technologies. – Jane’s 360 

Editorial: The United States has deployed a limited ground-based antimissile system in Alaska and California, saying it is intended to stop a missile attack from North Korea. But it seems likely that China and Russia are developing asymmetric, exotic weapons systems like hypersonics or Russia’s nuclear-powered cruise missile “Burevestnik” as a potential way to evade U.S. missile defenses. Meanwhile, the United States is developing non-nuclear hypersonic systems that could be used for prompt attacks against targets in regional conflicts. – Washington Post 

Patty-Jane Geller writes: The Biden Administration is reportedly considering changing the long-standing U.S. nuclear declaratory policy of calculated ambiguity to one of “no first use” (NFU) or “sole purpose.” […]If President Biden follows through on his commitment to consult with the military and our allies, then he clearly should reach the same conclusion that they and previous Presidents have reached: to oppose an NFU or sole-purpose policy. – Heritage Foundation 

Long War

A federal judge has ruled that the United States has no legal basis for holding an Afghan man at Guantánamo Bay because although he fought on the side of a militia in Afghanistan, he was not part of Al Qaeda. – New York Times  

British interior minister Priti Patel said on Wednesday that the terrorism threat level to members of parliament was now deemed substantial, days after lawmaker David Amess was stabbed to death at a public meeting in his constituency. – Reuters  

After the Afghan Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, a new movement is being led by Islamist and pro-Taliban figures in Pakistan as well as in the U.S. and other Western countries for the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist imprisoned in the United States for helping Al-Qaeda and, according to an FBI report, “for the attempted murder and assault of U.S. nationals and U.S. officers and employees in Afghanistan.” – Middle East Media Research Institute