Dunford nomination heads to the Senate; Taliban peace talks in Qatar; Senegal sends troops for Yemen; A-10 day on the Hill; And a bit more.

For the first time, the Islamic State took credit for an attack on U.S. soil, AFP reports this morning. Two attackers opened fire on a security guard outside a Muhammad cartoon-drawing event in Dallas Sunday night. The guard was injured in the ankle, but Texas police quickly shot and killed both assailants—one of whom had previously lied to FBI investigators after trying to join Islamic militants in Somalia back in 2009. WSJ’s Dan Frosch and Ana Campoy have the rest.

The Taliban set their conditions for peace in Afghanistan during talks yesterday in Qatar. And the only way they’ll even begin talking with Kabul is if all U.S. and NATO troops leave the country. The Taliban delegation did surprise some observers with an “unprecedented” openness to a power-sharing agreement, The Wall Street Journal’s Margherita Stancati reports from Qatar. 
But their 8-member delegation also requested an end to so-called “night raids” and they want their own leaders removed from a U.N. blacklist. Their robust and unrealistic demands were both an expected and disappointing development in the talks, which President Ashraf Ghani had hoped would be a hallmark of his time in office. Despite all that, both sides said they expect negotiations to continue next month. More from The Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan in Kabul.

Senegal goes to Yemen. The West African nation of Senegal turned heads yesterday when its foreign minister announced his country will soon send 2,100 troops to the Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen. It’s certainly not the first time Senegal has sent troops to Saudi Arabia, as WaPo’s Ishaan Tharoor reports. The announcement from Dakar comes one day after news broke of black-clad ground troops entering Yemen’s southern city of Aden.
Hundreds of airstrikes hit numerous airports across Yemen overnight as Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said the coalition in Riyadh is mulling another possible ceasefire while easing their stance on hosting Yemeni refugees. Residents reported more than 150 strikes hit Aden alone yesterday while the coalition air-dropped weapons to tribes loyal to the exiled president in the eastern province of Marib. More from Lebanon’s The Daily Star.

From Defense One

President Obama is expected to announce Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford’s nomination to replace Gen. Martin Dempsey as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The vice chairman’s seat will go to former Air Force cargo pilot and current head of U.S. Transportation Command, Gen. Paul Selva. Marcus Weisgerber has more.

But is it veto worthy? The White House blasts the House GOP for passing language restricting detainee transfers out of the Guantanamo Bay prison but just how far are Obama and Republicans willing to go? Politics reporter Molly O’Toole explains.

Democrats are threatening to withhold support for the GOP’s spending bill in the hopes of forcing a debate, if not a reversal, on spending caps that the Republican version skirts with a bit of creative accounting. National Journal’s Alex Brown has more.

Free eBook from Defense One: “Rebuilding the Military for the New Threat Era.” In a time of perpetual counterterrorism operations, here are five challenges to building tomorrow’s military—from funding new weapons to forecasting where conflict is heading in the 21st century. Pick up your free copy here.


Welcome to Tuesday’s edition of The D Brief, from Ben Watson and Defense One. If you’d like to subscribe, click here or drop us a line at the-d-brief@defenseone.com. If you want to view The D Brief in your browser, you can do that here.


It’s a very A-10 morning on the Hill today as Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John McCain (R-Ariz), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), David Purdue (R-Ga.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) will be joined by former Air Force joint tactical air controllers (aka JTACs) to continue their impassioned pleas to save the A-10 “Warthog” fleet from retirement. That mega-press conference gets underway at 10 a.m. EDT at room G-11 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

U.S. warships began accompanying British vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Monday. The move comes at the U.K.’s request while the Navy remains on standby in the region “indefinitely.” For more on the dynamics in the Strait of Hormuz, check out Defense One’s coverage here.

Baghdad is racing to reinforce its troops in Baiji as ISIS closes in on the highly contested refinery, reportedly seeking to behead any Iraqi troops they find, Reuters reported yesterday. Approximately 200 police, soldiers and Iraqi special forces were holed up in the facility, “surrounded by Daesh from all sides,” as one policeman said via telephone yesterday.

U.S. defense officials now say airstrikes in Syria killed two civilians, after denying any had been killed. That’s still far fewer than a Syrian monitoring group alleged late last week. The Daily Beast’s Nancy Youseff has more.
Syria appears to have just become an even more chaotic battlefield. A new report from Amnesty International alleges Syrian government forces as well as rebel groups are committing war crimes on a daily basis in Syria.
“Amnesty’s report says that from January 2014 to March 2015, government aircraft launched continual attacks using barrel bombs - oil barrels, fuel tanks or gas cylinders packed with explosives, fuel, and metal fragments - on rebel-held areas of Aleppo. Their targets included at least 14 public markets, 12 transportation hubs, 23 mosques, 17 hospitals and medical centres, and three schools.” More from the BBC.

Meantime in Africa, Boko Haram is more marginalized and on the run than ever as they continue to leave behind hundreds of women and children the group abducted during their reign in lawless northeastern Nigeria. More from Reuters’ Julia Payne in Malkhoi, Nigeria.
Also: Boko Haram reportedly stoned women to death so they couldn’t be saved by approaching Nigerian soldiers. More from WaPo.

A new problem for North Korea’s leadership—methamphetamines? It’s become a serious transnational drug trafficking issue, and there are ways intelligence agencies can act to gain an upper hand, writes former CIA analyst Soo Kim over at the intelligence and natsec site Overt Action.

The U.S. is looking into resurrecting an old Cold War-era mountain to protect against electromagnetic pulse attacks from Pyongyang. Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin has more on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado—and you can read our own Weisgerber from April on upgrades to the Cheyenne complex.

Texas officials are working to calm folks after a special forces exercise spooked some residents into thinking the White House wants to takeover the state you famously just don’t mess with. The Washington Examiner’s Tara Copp has more.

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