Army Spc. Elizabeth Porter, a field medic, swabs a fellow soldier’s nose for a COVID-19 test at Farke Airfield, Albania, May 16, 2021.

Army Spc. Elizabeth Porter, a field medic, swabs a fellow soldier’s nose for a COVID-19 test at Farke Airfield, Albania, May 16, 2021. Army Sgt. Jaccob Hearn

The Army Brief: Plans for Afghan visa applications; Next-gen vaccine; Racism-teaching debate; and more...

Welcome to The Army Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the service’s future. 

America’s Afghan helpers may get evacuated. The Biden administration appears to be heeding calls to bring people who worked as interpreters or in other roles during U.S. operations out of the country until their request for asylum can be processed, according to a White House plan reported by the New York Times. It’s not clear to which countries tens of thousands of Afghans could be sent. 

Army vaccine trials. A vaccine being researched and tested by the Army is effective against different coronavirus variants, Defense One reports. However, the United States remains vulnerable to future pandemics, according to the scientists.

Military pulled into racism-teaching politics. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pushed back on GOP lawmaker’s comments Wednesday regarding critical race theory being taught and discussed among military personnel, including West Point cadets, Defense One reports

Here’s a quote: “I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. And the United States Military Academy is a university. And it is important that we train and we understand — and I want to understand white rage and I’m white. And I want to understand it,” Milley said. 

Sign up to get The Army Brief every Friday morning from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On this day in 1876, Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho forces fought and later won the Battle of the Little Bighorn against the 7th Cavalry Regiment in Montana. But the death of Lt. Col. George Custer and his troops increased efforts to force Native Americans onto reservations. 

From Defense One

Make US Army Aviation More Lethal // R.D. Hooker, Jr.: A few tweaks—and one big move—could dramatically increase the combat power available to commanders.

Uncertainty About Post-Withdrawal Plans Clouds Biden’s Upcoming Meeting with Afghanistan’s Ghani // Jacqueline Feldscher: Still, experts say, the White House meeting will be an overdue show of support for the Afghan government.

Austin: I Support Taking Military Sex Crime Prosecutions Away From Chain of Command // Tara Copp: Defense secretary breaks with Joint Chiefs after they warn that Sen. Gillibrand’s leading UCMJ reform bill goes too far.

It's Time to Wargame Against an AI-Enabled China // Patrick Tucker: Top commanders say military training needs to reflect how artificial intelligence will change the pace of war.