October 23, 2021

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With Iran stonewalling nuclear talks, US and Israel contemplate alternatives to diplomacy

‘RUNWAY IS GETTING SHORTER’: Secretary of State Antony Blinken had an ominous warning for Iran if it doesn’t resume negotiations over returning to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal in return for sanctions relief.

There have been six sessions in Vienna about resurrecting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, since April, but none since the Iranian elections in June.

“We will look at every option to deal with the challenge posed by Iran. We continue to believe that diplomacy is the most effective way to do that, but it takes two to engage in diplomacy, and we have not seen from Iran a willingness to do that at this point,” said Blinken in remarks to reporters after a trilateral meeting with his counterparts from Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

“We are getting closer to a point at which returning to compliance with the JCPOA will not in and of itself recapture the benefits of the JCPOA, and that’s because Iran has been using this time to advance its nuclear program in a variety of ways, including enriching uranium to 20% and even 60%, using more advanced centrifuges, acquiring more knowledge,” Blinken said. “And so that runway is getting shorter.”

‘CLEARLY DRAGGING THEIR HEELS’: In case “every option” was not clear enough, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was even more blunt about the prospect of military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“Every day that passes, every delay in negotiations brings Iran closer to a nuclear bomb. The Iranians are clearly dragging their heels, trying to cheat the world to continue to enrich uranium, to develop their ballistic missile program,” said Lapid.

“If a terror regime is going to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act. We must make clear that the civilized world won’t allow it. If the Iranians don’t believe the world is serious about stopping them, they’ll race to the bomb. Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment, in any way,” he said. “We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil.”

“Yes, other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails. And by saying other options, I think everybody understands here, in Israel, in the Emirates, and in Tehran what is it that we mean.”


WHY WERE SANCTIONS LIFTED? The group United Against Nuclear Iran is questioning why the Treasury Department has lifted sanctions against two Iranian missile producers, Mammut Industrial Group and its subsidiary Mammut Diesel, without explanation.

“Reducing economic pressure on Tehran absent meaningful behavioral change would signal to the Iranian regime that it can extract concessions from the U.S. through its intransigence,” the group said in a press release. “Rather than undoing sanctions, the Biden administration should prepare to wage a full-scale diplomatic offensive in favor of extending the Iranian ballistic missile development restrictions contained in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 — set to expire just 24 months from now.”

Good Thursday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Victor I. Nava. Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense.


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HAPPENING TODAY: President Joe Biden meets in the Oval Office with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at 2:30 p.m.

ROGERS: ‘CHINA TESTING BIDEN’: Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, lead Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, is calling on President Joe Biden to send an unequivocal message to China that the U.S. would defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion from the mainland.

“The Chinese Communist Party seeks to take control of Taiwan and subjugate its people to their will. President Biden cannot let that happen,” Rogers said in a press release.

Rogers called China’s recent repeated incursions into Taiwan’s air defense zone “unacceptable aggressive behavior” and says its direct result of the message of weakness projected by the end of the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.

“President Biden’s disastrous handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal has clear implications for Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping watched as the president abandoned American citizens and allies behind enemy lines,” Rogers said.

“Since that moment, Chinese forces have deliberately and repeatedly violated Taiwan’s airspace without consequence. These are tests on a president that just failed to support a democracy when U.S. support was critical for its survival. Xi is calculating that President Biden doesn’t have the fortitude to step in and defend Taiwan — Biden needs to prove him wrong.”


NAVY ON TRACK TO FULL VACCINATION: The latest report from the Navy shows that as of yesterday, 99% of active-duty sailors have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 94% are fully vaccinated.

The Navy has set Nov. 28 as the deadline for active duty service members to be fully vaccinated and Dec. 28 for reservists.

Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, 163 Navy military and civilian personnel and dependents have died of COVID, including two this month, out of 83,648 cases.

HIJACKING THWARTED AND OTHER UNTOLD STORIES FROM HKIA: In a detailed account posted on an Air Force site Tuesday, we learned a few new details about the harrowing evacuation mission that eventually airlifted 124,000 from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in August.

Among the revelations in the account written by public affairs officer Lt. Col. Kristen Duncan was that U.S. troops were able to thwart a potential highjacking.

“On one occasion after they received an intel tip, five people onboard one of the commercial flights intended to hijack the aircraft,” Duncan writes, quoting the Lt. Col. Brian Desautels of the 71st Rescue Squadron as saying, “Our team worked to get them clear of the NATO ramp, relocated to the north side away from friendly forces, then ultimately onto the south side where the situation was handled.”

“The most unique thing about this deployment that caused stress back home, he said, was the 24/7 news of HKIA, because that was the only place the deployed Airmen could be in Afghanistan,” she writes.

“Families and spouses watched with the rest of the world, as the iconic video of a C-17 took off among a swarm of desperate Afghans who resorted to holding on to the outside and wheel chamber of the departing airplane. Not caught on video and less than a minute later, both HC-130J Combat King II took off on a sliver of remaining runway. With seconds to spare, they were airborne skimming just 10 feet above the crowd.”


2,000+ MORE AFGHANS OUT: On Tuesday, the State Department reported that with the help of private groups and veterans more than 2,000 Afghans have been able to leave the country.

“Of course, our priority is on facilitating the departure of American citizens, of LPRs — lawful permanent residents, that is to say — should they choose to leave,” said spokesman Ned Price. “But we have also assisted in the departure of Afghans, including Afghans to whom we have a special commitment. Our estimate is that since Aug. 31, a couple thousand Afghans have departed the country, Afghans who have chosen to leave the country, including with, in some cases, support of the U.S. government.”

POMPEO, O’BRIEN ‘ARCHITECTS OF PEACE’: Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser Robert O’Brien will jointly be awarded the Richard Nixon Foundation’s 2021 “Architect of Peace” Award at a gala tonight in Yorba Linda, California.

Pompeo and O’Brien are being honored “for their work developing and implementing both the 2020 Abraham Accords and the 2020 Serbia-Kosovo economic normalization agreements, as well as their oversight of the repatriation of more than 50 American hostages detained abroad,” the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Foundation said in a statement.

The Architect of Peace Award was established in 1995 shortly after President Nixon’s death and is given to individuals who embody his lifelong goal of shaping a more peaceful world.

Former recipients include Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; Sens. Elizabeth Dole, Joe Lieberman, and John McCain; and Walter and Leonore Annenberg.


The Rundown

Washington Examiner: China accuses Taiwan of pushing ‘two-state theory’ as cross-strait tensions alarm US

Washington Examiner: Air Force reveals commercial evacuation flight from Afghanistan was nearly hijacked

Washington Examiner: ‘Moments when nations must use force’: US and allies mull military options as Iran nuclear talks fade

Washington Examiner: Evidence for ‘lab leak’ COVID theory mounts thanks to private sleuths, says former key Trump national security adviser

Washington Examiner: Military archdiocese urges service members to get vaccinated but supports religious exemptions

Washington Examiner: Remains of Navy sailors who died in August helicopter crash recovered

Washington Examiner: Why some US officials see new indications Russia could be behind Havana Syndrome

AP: Taiwan tensions raise fears of US-China conflict in Asia

Reuters: Taiwan Says Don’t Get Too Close As China Defends Military Drills

USNI: CNO Gilday: U.S. Must Leverage Allies Like India To Counter China In Indo-Pacific

Stars and Stripes: Quad Nations Join For Second Phase Of Malabar Naval Exercise Off India’s Coast

Military Times: Combined Russian And Chinese Military Power Will Approach, But Not Exceed U.S.: Report

AP: Many Afghans pack their bags, hoping for the chance to leave

Air Force Magazine: Lockheed Martin Delivers Laser Weapon for AC-130J Gunship

Air Force Magazine: New Air Force Trainer Jet Program Supports ‘Reforge’ Concept

AP: China set to send 3 astronauts on longest crewed mission yet

Washington Post: Shirtless soldiers lie on broken glass, smash bricks as Kim Jong Un vows ‘invincible’ military

AP: North Korean soldier in blue generates buzz on social media

Bloomberg: U.S., Philippines Seek To Return To Full Military Drills In 2022

19fortyfive.com: Helicopters Beware: Russia is Deploying Anti-Helicopter Mines

19fortyfive.com: CROWS: The U.S. Army’s Plan for a Remote Controlled Machine Gun?

19fortyfive.com: Opinion: How to Get Congress to Dump Old U.S. Military Equipment for Good

Forbes: Opinion: Faster: Lockheed Martin CEO Signals Big Shift In Corporate Culture



8 a.m. — Potomac Officers Club virtual seventh annual Intel Summit on “current priorities and programs for intelligence agencies and new initiatives for the future, with Army Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. https://potomacofficersclub.com/events/poc-2021-7th-annual-intel-summit

9 a.m. 137 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland — Defense Strategies Institute 21st Biannual DoD/VA and GOV Health IT Summit, with the theme “Advancing a Single, Modernized Health IT System for Military and Government,” with Former VA Secretary Jim Peake, senior vice president of CGI Federal; Army Col. Joseph Hoffert, chief of the Defense Health Agency Solution Delivery Division; and Joseph Ronzio, deputy chief health technology officer at the Veterans Health Administration; Gil Alterovitz, artificial intelligence director at the Veterans Affairs Department; and Kevin Fu, acting director of medical device cybersecurity at the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health. https://iehrsummit.dsigroup.org/

4 p.m. — RAND Corporation virtual discussion: “Taiwan’s Security and the U.S.-Japan Alliance,” with former Assistant Defense Secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver, chairman of the Project 2049 Institute; Fukuda Madoka, professor at Hosei University; Kristen Gunness, senior policy researcher at RAND; and Scott Harold, senior political scientist at RAND. https://www.rand.org/events/2021/10/14.html

4 p.m. — Washington Post Live virtual discussion: “Securing Cyberspace,” with former Homeland Security Undersecretary Suzanne Spaulding, senior adviser for homeland security and director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live


9 a.m. — The Middle East Institute virtual Middle East Futures Forum panel discussion on “Cybersecurity and Cyber War.” https://www.mei.edu/events/middle-east-futures-forum

1 p.m. — Woodrow Wilson Center Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies virtual discussion, “Global Perspectives: UK-Russia Relations,” with Andrew Monaghan, senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute London; and Matthew Rojansky, director of the WWC Kennan Institute https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event

12 p.m. — Hudson Institute virtual discussion: “From Princeton to Iran’s Evin Prison,” with Xiyue Wang, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University; and Josh Block, adjunct fellow at Hudson. https://www.hudson.org/events/2026-virtual-even


2 p.m. — Atlantic Council Scowcroft Center Zoom event: “Maximizing Military Power through Minimizing Bureaucratic Barriers,” with retired Marine Gen. James Jones and retired Marine Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro; moderated by Missy Ryan, Washington Post staff writer and Pentagon correspondent. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/maximizing-military-power


10 a.m. — Defense One and NextGov Network Modernization Summit with Rep. Adam Smith, chairman, House Armed Services Committee; Michele Flournoy, co-founder and managing partner, co-founder, WestExec Advisors, Center for a New American Security; and Michael Spirtas, associate director, senior political scientist; International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND Corporation. https://events.defenseone.com/network-modernization-summit

10 a.m. 1740 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. — The Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies book discussion: Here, Right Matters: An American Story, with author retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, former White House National Security Council member; and Kent Calder, interim dean, Johns Hopkins SAIS. https://jh.zoom.us/webinar/register

12 p.m. — George Mason University National Security Institute event: “The National Security Implications of Antitrust: America’s Adversaries,” with Maureen Ohlhausen, section chair of antitrust and competition law, Baker Botts L.L.P.; Matt Perault, professor, University of North Carolina’s School of Information and Library Science; Alex Petros, policy counsel, Public Knowledge; and Jamil Jaffer, founder and executive director, National Security Institute. https://nationalsecurity.gmu.edu/the-national-security-implications

2 p.m. — American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research web event: “Does the US need a national cybersecurity strategy?” with James X. Dempsey, senior policy adviser, geopolitics, technology, and governance, Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University; James Andrew Lewis, director, Strategic Technologies Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Sujit Raman, partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Diane Rinaldo, senior vice president, Beacon Global Strategies; and Shane Tews, nonresident senior fellow, AEI. https://www.aei.org/events/does-the-us-need-a-national-cybersecurity-strategy


1 p.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies International Security Program on the future of the National Guard, with Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, director of the Army National Guard; and Mark Cancian, CSIS senior adviser. https://www.csis.org/events/conversation-ltg-jensen-director-us-army-national-guard


“Yes, other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails. And by saying other options, I think everybody understands here, in Israel, in the Emirates, and in Tehran what is it that we mean.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, speaking at the State Department about Iran’s unwillingness to negotiate a return the 2015 nuclear agreement.

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Tags: National Security, Daily on Defense

Original Author: Jamie McIntyre

Original Location: With Iran stonewalling nuclear talks, US and Israel contemplate alternatives to diplomacy

Original News : https://news.yahoo.com/iran-stonewalling-nuclear-talks-us-110400130.html

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