Today's D Brief: Iran's new missile; WH looks to Army logistics in Ukraine; Senators warn against new nuclear deal; And a bit more.

Iran’s military just unveiled a new missile with a 900-mile range, state-run media IRNA reported in English on Wednesday. 

Tehran calls it the “Kheibar Shekan,” or Kheibar buster, which “refers to an ancient Jewish oasis called Kheibar in the Arabian Peninsula's Hijaz region that was overrun by Muslim warriors in the 7th century,” according to Reuters

And just in case there was any question, Iran’s military chief announced Wednesday at the unveiling of the new rocket, “We will continue on the path of growth, development, and excellence for our missile power, both in terms of quantity and quality.”

Bigger picture: American and Iranian negotiators met in Vienna on Tuesday in what seems to be among the more substantive attempts to revive something like the 2015 nuclear agreement struck by POTUS44’s administration, and later abandoned by POTUS45. However, on the other hand, “the advances Iran has made since the Trump administration exited the deal in 2018 have eroded gains for Western negotiators, who have been striving to ensure Iran never gets close to developing a nuclear weapon,” the Wall Street Journal reports this morning from Berlin and Washington. 

Back stateside, 32 Republican senators sternly warned POTUS46 against reaching any deal with Iran that doesn’t get senate approval first. Should the Biden administration proceed anyway, then it’s Groundhog Day all over again, the senators said in their letter to the president on Monday. “Any agreement related to Iran’s nuclear program which is not a treaty ratified by the Senate is subject to being reversed, and indeed will likely be torn up, in the opening days of the next Presidential administration, as early as January 2025.” Read the rest of that letter over via Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, here. The Hill has a bit more, here.

ICYMI: “Iran is the No. 1 destabilizing factor in the Middle East right now with their malign behavior,” said Army Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, the commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and the nominee to lead America’s military missions in the Middle East at U.S. Central Command. He sat through his confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Defense One’s Jacqueline Feldscher has more from that one, here.

Today on the Hill: Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee are receiving a closed-door briefing on Iran and those Vienna talks, and apparently at the TS-SCI level, according to the committee’s website

Some SFRC members will also discuss Afghanistan and the humanitarian response this afternoon, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Details here.

Also on the Hill:The Legal and Human Costs of 20 Years of U.S. Drone Strikes.” That’s the focus of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, which began reviewing that very American way of war at 10 a.m. ET. That one’s not classified, and you can catch it live here


From Defense One

Iran Is ‘No. 1 Destabilizing’ Threat In Middle East, CENTCOM Nominee Says // Jacqueline Feldscher: The U.S. must use advanced technology and work with regional partners to counter Tehran, Army three-star tells lawmakers.

The $76 Billion Cost of a Yearlong Continuing Resolution // Arnold Punaro: Inflation is making 2022 a terrible year to lack a budget. Congress must act.

Autonomous Black Hawk Tests Will Pave the Way For Future Unmanned Missions // Patrick Tucker: Software once designed to be a digital co-pilot is taking the wheel.

US Navy Updating Contact List of Sailors, Employees, Families, in Eastern Europe // Caitlin M. Kenney: As tension grows over Russia’s threats to Ukraine, the roster could help mount an evacuation.

DOD Wants More Software Factories // Lauren C. Williams: Defense officials outlined plans to make the Air Force's Kessel Run a model across the department.

Welcome to this Wednesday edition of The D Brief, brought to you by Ben Watson, with Elizabeth Howe and Jennifer Hlad. If you’re not already subscribed to The D Brief, you can do that here. On this day in 1991, Lithuanians voted to leave the Soviet Union.


The White House just approved a plan to help Americans depart Ukraine, should they choose to leave the country because of conflict with Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Some 30,000 Americans are believed to be in Ukraine presently, according to U.S. officials, who are no doubt looking to learn from the recent tragedy of Kabul’s rapid collapse this past August.
Several receiving facilities are planned in Poland, just across Ukraine’s border; and the current plan is for them to be staffed by those U.S. paratroopers who recently flew to Europe as part of a 3,000-troop alliance assistance package. Read more at the Journal, here.
Meanwhile, Russia sent three more warships to the Black Sea as its second phase of exercises in Belarus are set to begin on Thursday. According to U.S. Naval Institute News, “The 4,080-ton amphibs are each capable of landing 10 main battle tanks and about 350 troops ashore.” More, here.
And Europe’s central bank is warning Russia-sponsored cyberattacks could be coming, Reuters reports from Frankfurt and London. 
The Washington-Brussels hotline is open: White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan rang up NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to chat about Ukraine on Tuesday. Diplomacy, de-escalation, and contingency planning for NATO’s eastern flank were also discussed, according to the White House’s readout.
Next: NATO’s Stoltenberg welcomes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to alliance headquarters in Brussels. And that’s the same day Germany is set to host four-way Ukraine talks in Berlin, featuring officials from Paris, Kyiv, and Moscow.

The U.S. Air Force approved its first religious waivers for the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. After disapproving 3,222 of the controversial waivers, nine have been approved, according to new data made public on Tuesday.
More than 2,500 requests are still being processed, Defense One’s Elizabeth Howe reports. These latest approvals make the Air Force the second branch to have done so; the Marine Corps granted its first religious exemptions last month. The Army and Navy have yet to approve one, and both branches have begun the process of separating service members who have refused.

The State Department just cleared a possible $70 million sale of missiles to Jordan, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday, signaling Congress could now approve or reject the sale—though no one expects that.
Involved: 114 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System rockets; and 114 “practice rockets” produced largely at Lockheed Martin’s missile unit, based in Dallas. Read more, here.
ICYMI: Taiwan could soon get $100 million in Patriot air defense systems, DSCA announced on Monday. The pending package “will help to sustain [Taiwan]’s missile density and ensure readiness for air operations…as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense,” DSCA said in its release. Raytheon and Lockheed would handle that one in facilities at Massachusetts and Arkansas, respectively. More here.

And lastly today: Don’t look now, but al-Qaeda’s leader is advocating harmony, tolerance, and forgiveness in his latest video message to followers, entitled, “Together to Allah, part 3.” In this latest video, 70-year-old Ayman al-Zawahiri admitted his last two messages “may have been a bit dry,” AQ-watcher Elizabeth Kendall noted on Twitter on Tuesday after taking it in. “They were,” she tweeted. And added, “So is [part three], apart from a bizarre anecdote of a bedouin who urinated in a mosque (he was forgiven).”
Another wonk’s POV: “The best de-radicalization trick is to allow these senile videos to keep coming,” Middle East scholar Hassan Hassan responded on Twitter. 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.