Fdd's overnight brief

September 21, 2021

In The News


Ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia will not meet with Iran at the United Nations this week to discuss a return to nuclear deal talks, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters on Monday. – Reuters 

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated the country’s longstanding policy of not allowing Iranian athletes to compete against Israelis at a reception on Saturday for Iranian Olympic medalists from the 2020 Tokyo Games. – Algemeiner 

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the U.N. General Assembly in New York and held discussions on Iran, Afghanistan and the trilateral security partnership between the U.S., Australia and the UK, Britain’s foreign office said. – Reuters 

Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani on Monday dismissed threats by Israeli officials and warned of a “crushing” response. – Arutz Sheva 

Peter Brookes writes: These Persian provocations are a form of nuclear brinkmanship and blackmail that accrue added diplomatic leverage to Iran at the negotiating table, increasing pressure on the U.S. to make big concessions on any future nuclear deal. While Tehran insists that it only has interest in a peaceful nuclear program, its nuclear and missile programs tell quite a different story—a fairy tale narrative the Biden administration shouldn’t buy into. – The Daily Signal 


The only visible human activity, besides Taliban convoys driving up and down the valley’s main road, are the remaining families packing their belongings into trucks and minibuses as they abandon Panjshir for the relative safety of Kabul. – Wall Street Journal 

Blinken’s response — “We inherited a deadline. We did not inherit a plan” — appeared to crystallize the administration’s explanation for what happened: It had inherited a bad situation from the Trump administration, which had cut a deal with the Taliban and greatly reduced the number of troops in the country. It certainly elicited laughter from Sherman, who exclaimed, “No plan at all. It’s amazing that it wasn’t much, much worse.” – Washington Post 

The director of a girls’ school in Kabul desperately wants to learn details of the Taliban’s plan for girls’ education. But she can’t attend the weekly Taliban committee meetings on education. They are for men only. – New York Times 

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers said on Tuesday there was no evidence of Islamic State or al Qaeda militants being in the country, days after Islamic State claimed responsibility for bomb attacks in the eastern city of Jalalabad. – Reuters 

U.S. President Joe Biden will use his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday to stress that ending the military engagement in Afghanistan will open a new chapter of “intensive diplomacy,” a senior administration official said. – Reuters 

Thousands more fled on foot, across the borders of Pakistan and Iran. Smaller numbers of Afghans have ventured into Turkey in hopes of reaching Europe. – NPR 

The newly-formed Taliban government is an interim one and will include women, minorities and professionals over a period of time, the group’s main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told reporters in Kabul Tuesday. – Bloomberg 

U.S. President Joe Biden supports a thorough investigation of the U.S. drone strike that killed up to ten Afghanistan civilians last month, the White House said on Monday. – Reuters 

A majority of voters consider it a big problem that the U.S. military left behind billions of dollars of military hardware in Afghanistan, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds. – The Hill 

Amnesty International on Monday detailed alleged human rights abuses being carried out by the Taliban about a month after the militant group took over the Afghan government. – The Hill 

Robin Emmott and John Chalmers write: The makeup of the Taliban government and the human rights concerns have limited the scope of discussions in Brussels. EU ambassadors have not debated such issues as directly paying Afghan salaries of whether money could be transferred directly to the Afghan central bank. – Reuters 

Beth Bailey writes: Z.Q. said she pursues her education in hopes that the Taliban will not be capable of running Afghanistan or that she can leave the country. […]Nonetheless, P.R. said the Taliban’s treatment of women is “heartbreaking. All I can do is let you broadcast my message to the citizens of the world. Please stand for what is right. Please stand with Afghan women once and for all.” – Washington Examiner 

Tiana Lowe writes: The Biden administration is currently committing a sort of stolen valor against Beau, as though a cancer fatality gives Biden cover for laying waste to 20 years of efforts in Afghanistan. This killing of innocent civilians on the way out will inspire an entire generation of radicalism and terror. The invocation of Beau Biden’s name is, at best, an act of intellectual dishonesty and, at worst, an unacceptable degradation of Beau’s legacy. – Washington Examiner 


A drone strike hit a vehicle traveling on a rural road in rebel-controlled northwestern Syria on Monday, killing at least one person, rescue workers and a war monitor said. – Associated Press  

The Kremlin confirmed on Monday that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan would visit Russia for talks soon to discuss issues including the conflict in Syria, where Moscow and Ankara back opposing sides. – Reuters 

Washington is caught in a balancing act: Turkey is a key NATO ally, and also assisted with evacuations from Afghanistan, yet the United States also backs Kurdish forces in northeast Syria. Serekaniye’s death is just one casualty of that precarious balancing act. – Foreign Policy  


Notorious anti-Israel activists Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd, who each have a record of supporting terrorism, have been included in TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most-influential people in the world. – Algemeiner 

Ron Kampeas writes: While those agreements are decades older than the Abraham Accords, what’s missing from Israel-Egypt and Israel-Jordan relations are the people-to-people interactions — the normalization — that has flourished since the Abraham Accords signing. Blinken detailed the gains so far of normalization and its opportunities. – Times of Israel 

Jack Khoury writes: Even though there are a lot of weapons in the West Bank, especially in Jenin, it’s impossible to talk about an infrastructure that can challenge the Israeli security forces. […]Now the burden is with Hamas. Maybe some members of the group breathed a sigh of relief when the affair ended without a confrontation with Israel, but the end of the affair puts the group to the test. – Haaretz 


Lebanon’s new government won a vote of confidence on Monday for a policy programme that aims to remedy a devastating economic crisis, despite the parliamentary session being delayed when the lights went off due to power shortages. – Reuters 

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Monday a resumption of talks with the International Monetary Fund was a necessity to pull the country out of its financial crisis. – Reuters 

Editorial: The shipments were purchased by Lebanese businessmen, according to Iran, most likely with ties to Hezbollah. The Lebanese government, headed by prime minister Najib Mikati and which was finally formed last week after a year-long delay, has distanced itself from the scheme. – Agence France-Presse  

Gulf States

More than 50 anti-war groups are urging lawmakers to use the annual defense policy bill to end all U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen’s civil war. – The Hill 

As the first senior United Arab Emirates official to visit the Biden administration touched down in Washington, the message the Gulf state sought to promote was “the strength and continuity” of the partnership between the two countries. Yet when Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE’s president, sat down with his American counterparts it was another of the Gulf state’s relationships that was the focus of much of the discussions: China. – Financial Times 

On September 18, 2021, the top leadership of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which is sponsored by the Qatari Regime, hosted in the organization’s headquarters in Doha a delegation on behalf of the Taliban’s government in Afghanistan, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad ‘Abbas Stanikzai, which also included Taliban political bureau member  Al-Mawlawi Muti’ Al-Haqq, political bureau English-language spokesperson Suhail Shaheen and another bureau spokesperson, Muhammad Na’eem. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Simon Henderson writes: The more exact significance of the MbS-Tamim-Tahnoun tweet will emerge with any reaction by the UAE’s MbZ, who was away on official visits to Paris and London last week, and also any response from Bahrain, which may feel sidelined. But for the moment, a photo and 140 characters have thrown upside down the presumptions of many on whether and how one of the thorny issues for U.S. diplomacy in the Gulf could be altered. – Washington Institute 

Middle East & North Africa

Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Monday he had instituted transitional governing rules and would introduce a new electoral law, in a speech that came eight weeks after he seized executive power in a move his foes called a coup. – Reuters 

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi officially declared on Monday his country’s interest in hosting the United Nations’ COP27 summit scheduled for 2022. – Reuters 

France will host an international conference on Libya in November as the country prepares for elections at the end of December, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday. – Reuters 

Stephen R. Weissman writes: As the Biden administration faces important decisions concerning ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Ukraine, Libya and several African countries, the current generation of policymakers and their institutions would do well to recover the suppressed memory of peacemaking. All of us need to move from lamenting Afghanistan to learning from it. – The Hill 


Xi Jinping’s campaign against private enterprise, it is increasingly clear, is far more ambitious than meets the eye. The Chinese President is not just trying to rein in a few big tech and other companies and show who is boss in China. – Wall Street Journal 

Mainland Chinese property developers aren’t the only ones with reason to fear Beijing’s newly interventionist stance in the sector. Hong Kong property developers look set to join China Evergrande Group in the regulatory crosshairs, albeit for different reasons. – Wall Street Journal 

Hong Kong police arrested on Monday three members of a pro-democracy student group, accusing them of a “conspiracy to incite subversion” including by helping deliver snacks to prisoners with the aim of recruiting followers. – Reuters 

A tiny group of mostly pro-Beijing Hong Kong elites has held the city’s first vote since China overhauled Hong Kong’s electoral system last year to root out “anti-China” elements. – Financial Times 

President Joe Biden plans to make the case for the U.S. and China to cooperate on global threats including climate change in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, while insisting the countries are not headed for a new Cold War. – Bloomberg 

Key U.S. senators overseeing trade said the nation needs to step up efforts to assert itself in the Asia-Pacific region after China applied to join a trade treaty that was once pushed by Washington as a way to exclude Beijing. – Bloomberg 

Gen. Mark Milley , the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was “not going rogue” during his now-controversial communications with his Chinese counterpart, the original reporters behind the scoop now explain. – Washington Examiner 

Desmond Lachman writes: The prospective slowing of the Chinese economy will weigh especially heavily on the emerging market economies, which account for around half of the global economy. No longer will China’s Asian neighbors be able to count on a booming Chinese economy for their exports. Additionally, no longer will those commodity-dependent emerging market economies be able to count on high international commodity prices to be produced by the Chinese growth machine.  – The National Interest 

William Reinsch writes: This is a typical Chinese approach when the United States talks about human rights. For us it is a moral principle; for them it is an attack on the Communist Party’s control of the country. Past U.S. presidents have learned that if they persist, they will accomplish nothing with China, and they usually stop talking about it. It remains to be seen whether Biden will follow the same path, which is not noble but pragmatic. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

South Asia

China’s crackdown on its technology industry means global investors seeking emerging-markets exposure will turn their attention to India, said Sumant Mandal, a managing partner at U.S. venture investor March Capital Partners. – Bloomberg 

A CIA officer who was traveling with agency director William Burns to India this month reported symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome, CNN and the New York Times reported on Monday. – Reuters  

India’s plan to tighten rules on its fast-growing e-commerce market has run into internal government dissent, memos reviewed by Reuters show, with the Ministry of Finance describing some proposals as “excessive” and “without economic rationale”. – Reuters  

Akhil Ramesh writes: The U.S. should steadfastly stand with Asia’s most vibrant democracy over the Communist regime. And lastly, the Biden administration should adopt the French model of reviewing universities — one that was initiated to look into Islamo gauchisme, a strange partnership between radical Islamists and leftist scholars. – The Hill 


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday he will not speak with the French president at the United Nations this week even though French anger over cancellation of a $40 billion defence contract could threaten an Australian-EU trade deal. – Reuters 

The Philippines is backing a new defence partnership between the United States, Britain and Australia, hoping it can maintain the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, a view that contrasts sharply with some of its neighbours. – Reuters 

A U.N. expert has urged Indonesia to provide an independence activist in its Papua province with proper medical care to “keep him from dying in prison”, after reports that his health had deteriorated. – Reuters 

Max Boot writes: The United States has had ruptures with France before — in 1956 over the Suez crisis, in 1966 over France’s withdrawal from the NATO military command, in 2003 over France’s opposition to the invasion of Iraq — and America’s oldest alliance has always emerged intact. It will survive this time, too. Biden should have handled France better, but he deserves credit for a major win in the U.S. competition with China — the most significant strategic struggle of the 21st century. – Washington Post 

Sam Roggeveen writes: Why is Australia worthy of such favorable treatment? It’s not just that it is one of America’s oldest and closest allies. It’s that for many American observers of China’s increasingly aggressive behavior, Australia is also the canary in the coal mine for great power competition with China. – New York Times 

Gideon Rachman writes: The attempt to contain Chinese power will also heighten tensions with Beijing. But the alternative would be to accept uncomplainingly China’s efforts to dominate the Indo-Pacific. The US and its allies have decided to draw a line. – Financial Times 

Anthony B. Kim writes: In many profound and enduring ways, Taiwan and the U.S. have become strong partners sharing powerful commitments to the values of democracy, the rule of law, and free markets. The relationship today is a fruitful partnership that is more constructive and forward-looking than ever. – The Daily Signal 

Robert E. Kelly writes: So why would the South do this? Again, outside of the small percentage of Left, there is almost no interest or enthusiasm for this project. And if Seoul gets nothing from the treaty, then it is easy to understand why. In short, it is easy to predict there will be no treaty until North Korea is dramatically different. – The National Interest 


Russia’s ruling party won control of two-thirds of the seats in the Russian Parliament, a showing that will allow the government to enact changes to the constitution and bolsters the power of President Vladimir Putin. – Wall Street Journal 

At least six people were killed and 24 were wounded when a gunman opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm, authorities said Monday. – Washington Post 

Opponents accused Russian authorities of mass fraud on Monday after the ruling United Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, won a bigger than expected parliamentary majority despite unease over living standards. – Reuters 

Russia prevented citizens from exercising their civil and political rights in recent elections and the United States does not recognize the Russian Duma elections on sovereign Ukrainian territory, the State Department said on Monday. – Reuters 

The authorities are perfectly content with the system that has emerged, one which combines fearsome repression of the politically active with maintaining disengagement. But in addition to the deteriorating quality of Russia’s human capital there are other problems, including stagnating real disposable incomes and changes in global energy usage. The Kremlin will not always have oil and gas revenue to buy loyalty. – Financial Times 

The Biden administration is growing more concerned over Russia’s restrictions on natural gas exports amid fears that some European countries may not have enough supply to heat homes this winter if temperatures are colder than normal, the U.S. envoy for energy security said. – Bloomberg 

Tom Rogan writes: Because Putin has now rewarded Biden with a delivery of farcical vengeance to make the great Russian satirist Nikolai Gogol proud. As energy reserves run short and the cold winter beckons, Russian energy giant Gazprom is withholding gas supplies to Europe – Washington Examiner 


The European Union is discussing a possible delay of upcoming trade talks with the U.S. following outrage from France over a canceled Australian submarine contract that was scuttled in favor of a new defense pact with Washington and the U.K. – Bloomberg  

European Union foreign ministers expressed support and solidarity with France on Monday during a meeting in New York to discuss Australia’s scrapping of a $40 billion submarine order with Paris in favor of a U.S. and British deal. – Reuters 

British prime minister Boris Johnson once worried that his friendliness with Donald Trump would leave him out in the cold when Democrat Joe Biden took over the White House. – Reuters 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has launched an investigation into a data breach involving the email addresses of dozens of Afghan interpreters who worked for British forces. – BBC 

Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner for internal markets, has warned that “something is broken” in transatlantic relations, as Franco-American tensions over Washington’s new Indo-Pacific security pact threaten to spill over into trade and technology. – Financial Times 

Joe Biden has too many domestic priorities to find time to negotiate a trade deal with the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson said ahead of a meeting with the American president in Washington on Tuesday. – Bloomberg 

The International Monetary Fund began a virtual mission to Ukraine as the government seeks to resume a $5 billion loan that’s been frozen for months because its terms weren’t met. – Bloomberg 

France’s top diplomat declared Monday that there is a “crisis of trust” in the United States after a Pacific defense deal stung France and left Europe wondering about its longtime ally across the Atlantic. – Times of Israel 

France has always insisted on playing a major role in the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict. However its credibility and status as a senior partner again has been eroded, this time by the AUKUS Alliance. France will have to adjust to the fact that it is a declining power with a reduced sphere of influence. – Arutz Sheva 

Walter Russell Mead writes: Paris aspires to occupy a significant place in world affairs, and it is in America’s interest to help the French find and fulfill it. But the Franco-American strategic dialogue has been superficial. It needs to become deeper and more frank if the West is going to cohere. – Wall Street Journal 

Gerard Baker writes: Through its history the EU has prioritized—to great success—its economic interest, safe in the knowledge that the U.S. security umbrella was there to protect it. Now that the U.S. really needs it to share some of the costs of that umbrella, the EU is missing in action. – Wall Street Journal 

Aaron Blake writes: Biden’s approach is much more sugar than vinegar — a traditional approach to diplomacy. But it and the promises that have come with it also create expectations — both domestically and internationally. And allies are making clear that those expectations aren’t being met and the promises haven’t been realized. – Washington Post  

Eliot A. Cohen writes: The sudden blowing up of the $66 billion Franco-Australian deal required deft U.S. diplomacy to cushion the blow; the Australians could not have done it on their own and perhaps were not inclined to. It is unfortunate that U.S. statecraft could not encompass this substantial strategic industrial achievement while sustaining an old and valuable relationship with a good, if prickly ally. It is much better to devise a diplomatic balm and administer it before delivering this kind of blow to a proud and friendly state. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Anthony H. Cordesman and Grace Hwang write: This analysis shows that NATO needs to be fixed rather than broken, and there are no real European alternatives to Atlantic deterrence and defense. It shows that the U.S. and each of its NATO European allies need to focus on making the alliance more effective. They need to cooperate far more in shaping NATO’s real-world strategy and creating actual levels of meaningful modernization and cooperation. – Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Max Bergmann writes: The United States needs to do something big to reset relations with France. It should use this opportunity to offer its unreserved support for E.U. defense initiatives. Doing so would represent a sea change in America’s approach to Europe. It would also lay the groundwork for European defense integration, strengthen the European Union, and hopefully reestablish a strong Franco-American partnership. – War on the Rocks 


Authorities in Sudan thwarted a coup attempt Tuesday morning, officials in the country announced on state media. A statement from the prime minister’s office said those who were involved had been arrested. The people who plotted the coup were not identified, and the statement said that more details would be coming soon. – Washington Post 

Separatist rebels have killed 15 Cameroonian soldiers and several civilians in two bomb attacks this month, the government said on Monday, marking a new phase of a conflict that has dragged on for nearly five years and cost more than 3,000 lives. – Reuters 

Nigerian authorities imposed a communications blackout on Monday in several parts of Sokoto state as a crackdown against armed kidnappers in the country’s northwest region spreads. – Reuters 

The Americas

The Biden administration has begun sending many of the approximately 16,000 migrants who have overwhelmed this small city in recent days to their home country of Haiti, including some who haven’t lived in the impoverished island nation for years. – Wall Street Journal 

The United States said on Monday it had put Guatemala’s attorney general and five Salvadoran Supreme Court judges on a list of “undemocratic and corrupt” officials, in a sign of the Biden government’s frustration with Central American authorities. – Reuters 

Nicaragua on Monday accused Colombia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of not respecting a 2012 ruling on their maritime boundaries in the western Caribbean by that same court. – Reuters 

Editorial: It’s hard to believe that a re-elected Dr. Tedros will do anything other than maintain the WHO status quo. The Biden Administration keeps touting its faith in international institutions, but it refuses to do the hard work of making them accountable. A decent alternative to Dr. Tedros could at least insist on transparency and refuse to cover for authoritarian deception. – Wall Street Journal 

North America

President Biden, who was welcomed by much of the world as the steady hand who would restore trust in American leadership and repair alliances ruptured by President Donald Trump, has some repair work to do on his own account as he meets world leaders this week. – Washington Post 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was headed toward a third straight electoral victory Tuesday morning, although his bet that a snap vote would help him secure a majority government failed to materialize. – Wall Street Journal 

Republican activists and allies of Republican Sen. Rand Paul are charged with conspiring to use a “straw donation” to funnel a $25,000 donation illegally from a Russian national to then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential victory fund during the 2016 election. – Washington Examiner 

Ruth R. Wisse writes: The message was clear: Harvard students are too good for military service. Leave national defense to the farm boys and those who don’t make it to an elite college. Forty years of such scorn for the military will bring low any democracy. – Wall Street Journal 


Indonesian authorities have found no evidence that the country’s main intelligence service’s computers were compromised, after a U.S.-based private cybersecurity company alerted them of a suspected breach of its internal networks by a Chinese hacking group, an official said. – Associated Press 

Twitter said Monday it will pay $809.5 million to settle a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging that the company misled investors about how much its user base was growing and how much users interacted with its platform. – Associated Press 

Russia’s internet regulator is poised to significantly raise the fines it has slapped on U.S. technology companies such as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc. as the Kremlin escalates its push to curb access to information online. – Bloomberg 

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) is demanding that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube provide information regarding their policies surrounding mitigating extremist content on their platforms. – The Hill 

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) is pressing Facebook for documents regarding what he calls its “apparent failure” to protect user welfare based on recent reporting that revealed the platform is being used for human trafficking and that top executives had apparent knowledge of Instagram’s detrimental effects on teen users’ mental health. – The Hill 

Agriculture group New Cooperative group was hit by a ransomware attack over the weekend, potentially endangering operations of a company key to the agricultural supply chain. – The Hill 

Dmitri Alperovitch writes: In the short term, the Biden administration is right to bolster the federal government’s defensive capabilities and to encourage private companies to do the same. But the United States must recognize that it will not be able to defend its way out of the ransomware problem. – New York Times 


The admission Friday that the Aug. 29 U.S. drone strike in Kabul intended to thwart an ISIS-K attack instead killed innocent aid worker Zamarai Ahmadi and nine members of his family has sparked a Pentagon review, along with renewed debate about the efficacy of conducting counterterrorist strikes from “over the horizon.” – Washington Examiner 

The U.S. Air Force has five B-21 Raider bombers currently in various states of production at manufacturer Northrop Grumman’s plant in California, the service’s top civilian said on Monday. – Defense News 

Kaman is unveiling this week a medium-lift unmanned quadcopter meant to solve the biggest challenge to the Marine Corps’ expeditionary advanced base operations concept: resupplying small units of Marines scattered around island chains. – Defense News 

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on Monday used his first public speech to send a message to Congress: The aircraft in your district are not exempt from the retirements the Air Force must do to free up funds for next-generation planes, drones and weapons. – Defense News 

The Space Development Agency has approved design plans for its new missile warning satellites, which will be capable of detecting and tracking hypersonic weapons. – C4SIRNET 

As the Air Force looks to mature its information warfare organization and posture, it is beginning to experiment with how to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in disconnected and disaggregated environments. – C4SIRNET 

Air Force Special Operations Command plans to demonstrate an amphibious version of the MC-130J Hercules by the end of next year, AFSOC’s commander told reporters Monday morning at the Air Force Association convention. – Defense News 

U.S. 5th Fleet is beginning the inaugural Central Partnership Station exercise in Lebanon, meant to marry partner-building military training with humanitarian work in U.S. Central Command. – Defense News 

A major overhaul to the Air Force’s officer promotion system last year has improved diversity and bolstered readiness, with more updates planned in the next six months. – Defense News 

The three-ship Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group is now in the Mediterranean Sea after operating for 109 days in the Middle East supporting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Navy officials told USNI News on Monday. – USNI News 

William C. Greenwalt writes: Even under these best of circumstances, the US will be hard pressed to compete against a dedicated adversary, such as China, backed up by a newly emerging high technology economy. In the face of new threats, the time for treating the defense budget as a social program and a piggybank for other agencies has to come to an end. – American Enterprise Institute 

David Barno and Nora Bensahel write: These leaders should address the individual pain and anger that many servicemembers may be feeling by affirming the fundamental value of their military service. […]If the men and women who fought in the Afghanistan conflict are to remain fully committed to their service tomorrow, and to continue encouraging young people to consider military service, they need to hear about the end to this long war from those at the top. – War on the Rocks 

Long War

A Rwandan court convicted Paul Rusesabagina, a U.S. resident immortalized by Hollywood for saving more than 1,200 people during the 1994 genocide, on a string of charges including terrorism and sentenced him to 25 years in prison, effectively ending the activist career of one of President Paul Kagame’s sharpest critics. – Wall Street Journal 

Although no one in the United States could realize it at the time, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late 1979 was a seminal moment in the life of a young, devout Sunni Muslim whose father was a billionaire construction magnate in Saudi Arabia. – Washington Times 

Anchal Vohra writes: The U.S. deal with the Taliban and subsequent withdrawal from Afghanistan suggest Washington could learn to reconcile with, and perhaps even rehabilitate, extremist groups that do not claim to be a direct threat. Jihadists in the Middle East have noticed and are hoping to eventually cut similar deals with the Biden administration. – Foreign Policy