A U.S. Army soldier at the airport in Kabul as U.S. personnel and some Afghans evacuate.

A U.S. Army soldier at the airport in Kabul as U.S. personnel and some Afghans evacuate. Army

2021 Top Ten: Policy

From domestic extremism to China's challenges to lingering Mideast operations, defense leaders had their hands full.

Here are some of the top defense-policy stories from 2021:

If China Is the No. 1 Threat, Why Doesn’t the 2022 Budget Reflect It? // Tara Copp: The Middle East will continue to demand resources even as troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

CIA Creates China Center To Shift To Great Power Competition // Jacqueline Feldscher: “It’s taking the top slot from the counterterrorism mission over the past 20 years,” said John Doyon, executive vice president of INSA.

The Forever War is Over. Its 2001 Authorization Lives On.  // Tara Copp: Pentagon says “over the horizon” strikes in Afghanistan will be conducted under the AUMF passed two decades ago.

The US Spent $83 Billion Training Afghan Forces. Why Did They Collapse So Quickly?  // Tara Copp: The U.S. is rushing enough airpower to evacuate thousands as the Taliban advances on Kabul.

After Trump ‘Chaos,’ National Security Council Seeks a Return to ‘Regular Order’ // Jacqueline Feldscher: The Biden White House is reinvigorating an interagency process some argue had largely halted under the Trump administration.

‘It Failed Miserably’: After Wargaming Loss, Joint Chiefs Are Overhauling How the US Military Will Fight // Tara Copp: In a fake battle for Taiwan, U.S. forces lost network access almost immediately. Hyten has issued four directives to help change that.

Pentagon Orders Troops to Get COVID Vaccine // Caitlin M. Kenney: Austin’s order follows FDA approval of one vaccine—and the deadliest week yet for COVID-stricken troops.

Should Killing a Satellite Provoke War on Earth? // Jacqueline Feldscher: A Space Force official says the service is considering how to respond to attacks in orbit.

Australia Will Get Nuclear-Powered Subs In New Partnership With US, UK // Jacqueline Feldscher: Dubbed AUKUS, the new security partnership will increase focus on the Indo-Pacific.

Click ‘Like’, Get Punished Under Pentagon’s New Anti-Extremism Policy // Tara Copp: First update since 2012 adds rules for social-media behavior.