Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Emily Dai
Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 12:31 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national security news and opinion.

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley defended his actions in the last months of the Trump administration during his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, reports CNN. Milley insisted that calls to his Chinese counterpart saying he would warn Chinese officials before the United States launched an attack, first reported in the book “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, were both appropriate and that numerous officials including X and Y were aware it occurred. The contentious hearing included several senators calling for Milley’s resignation and be tried for treason.

The European Union and the United States will hold the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-E.U. Trade and Technology Council on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. Officials aim to move past recent disputes in foreign policy and forge a closer alliance on trade and technology issues. The gathering was nearly derailed by the U.S. decision to withdraw from Afghanistan without consulting European allies and the AUKUS deal that left France angry. Although E.U. Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis insisted the council’s work is not targeted at a specific country, his list of non-market problem areas reiterated U.S. complaints about China. The allies have a shared interest in competing more effectively with China.

North Korean state media reported Tuesday that the government tested a new hypersonic missile called “Hwasong-8,” says the Wall Street Journal. The test was part of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s plan to place North Korea’s war-fighting capabilities “on the highest level.” North Korea continues to follow through on Kim’s promises for military advances as nuclear talks between the country and the U.S. remain gridlocked.

The Department of Homeland Security is not allowing flights carrying more than 100 U.S. citizens and other evacuees from Afghanistan to land in the United States, reports Reuters. An administration official stated that the government usually takes time to verify the manifests of charter planes before allowing them entry.

Brazil’s first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, received a coronavirus vaccination while in New York, despite Jair Bolsonaro’s proudly unvaccinated status, according to the New York Times. Defying a United Nations honor system to ensure vaccination among world leaders, Jair Bolsonaro still addressed the General Assembly last Tuesday. Since Jair Bolsonaro previously downplayed the pandemic, some Brazilians believed Michelle. Bolsonaro’s vaccination was a disrespect for her country’s own health system. Nearly 600,000 Brazilians have died from the coronavirus, and only 41 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.’

Progressives on Tuesday warned Democratic leaders that a bipartisan infrastructure bill can’t pass the House if Senate centrists can’t commit to a broader social benefits package as well, reports the Hill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi divorced the infrastructure bill from a more divisive “family” benefits package in an attempt to moderate House Democrats. Sen. Bernie Sanders urged House Democrats to not yield on the bill “until Congress passes a strong reconciliation bill.”  

Reuters reports that a new poll conducted by the Eurasia Group Foundation indicates that a majority of Americans want more diplomacy and fewer troops stationed abroad. Eurasia Group Foundation senior fellow Mark Hannah believes that participants may have been affected by the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan, which showcased the failure of democracy promotion abroad.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Jacob Schulz sat down with Costanze Stelzenmüller and Yascha Mounk to talk about the results of the German elections and its implications for European and global affairs.

In a paper for the Hoover Institution’s Aegis Series, Jennifer Lynch delved into problems with suspicionless searches of consumer bases, outlining the threat these searches pose to privacy interests and legal arguments surrounding this issue.

Rohini Kurup shared a livestream of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing examining the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations.

Adam Chan analyzed the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and Team Telecom and their efforts to counter potential threats from Chinese companies’ involvement in the United States.

Stewart Baker shared the most recent episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring Nick Weaver to discuss recent cryptocurrency restrictions, Maury Shenk to explain the plans the Biden administration and the EU have for Big Tech, Adam Candeub to talk through Wall Street Journal’s series on Facebook’s difficulties managing the social consequences, as well as a series of shorter updates.

Bryce Klehm announced this week’s Lawfare Live in which Julian Ku, the Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law, will join Lawfare Editor-In-Chief Benjamin Wittes to discuss Meng Wanzhou’s recent deal with the Department of Justice.

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Emily Dai is a junior at New York University studying Politics and Economics. She is an intern at Lawfare.

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