Aftermath of the fall of Kabul | Defense News Weekly Full Episode, 8.28.21
- Defense News is proudly sponsored by Navy Federal Credit Union. If you're a member of our Nation's Armed Forces, the Department of Defense, or if your family is, we'd be proud to serve you too. - On this episode of Defense News Weekly more fallout from the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, and the effort to evacuate US citizens and vulnerable Afghans. And we hear from a former
Secretary of Defense on how you can help. We have updates on the Pentagon's vaccine mandate, and the reason 18 midshipman were kicked out of the Naval Academy. Also the latest headlines from the defense industry, an American version of this Israeli Iron Dome system, the army tested out. With the latest news and updates from the Pentagon to the platoon. This is Defense News Weekly. Welcome back to Defense News Weekly, I'm Andrea Scott. The news has been coming in a mile a minute lately, so let's get right to it. First up service members, not yet vaccinated against COVID-19,
will have to sit down for their shots soon or risk administrative or criminal action. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has received full licensure. And the Defense Department is now working up a policy to require it for troops. A timeline for vaccination completion will be provided in the coming days, according to Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby. White house officials remain committed to ending the US evacuation mission in Afghanistan by August 31st, despite increasing pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups who worry that vulnerable individuals will still be trapped in the country at that point. The Associated Press said President Joe Biden, has asked his national security team to draft contingency plans should an extension to leave the country be needed, but he has opted for now to keep his deadline, to withdraw all US troops. The looming deadline for US Forces
to pull out of the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan has received international scrutiny, as thousands of individuals are seeking to flee the country. The US Naval Academy has expelled 18 second year midshipman, after an investigation determined that they cheated on a remote physics exam in December, 2020. According to the investigation, more than 105 students were found to have quote, likely access unauthorized resources for the exam. 82 of those were found to have violated the school's honor code, but were retained with sanctions and a five month remediation program. Instructions were clear and explicitly stated that use of outside resources was prohibited.
The academy said the biggest vulnerability identified was an adequate proctoring. Now turning back to Afghanistan, one question many people have about the situation there is about the impact the rapid fall of the army and government has on veterans of the war. Recently, former acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher Miller sat down with Military Times to talk about the importance of checking in on veterans and a group he works with to do just that. - So this morning, 20 years of war you've known, we've known people who have lost their lives, who lost limbs, who have continued to suffer the seen and unseen wounds of war. You know, many families that have lost loved ones, paid the ultimate price for this last 20 years. What's your message to those people?
- I mean, that's really what has brought me out to speak with you and go public. That hasn't been what I've done since I left the office. No, my heart goes out to the Gold Star families and I can't even fathom what they're going through the reinjury and the re-traumatization of what they're going through. And every, the cliche question now is, was it worth it? Well, there's an, I just, and I'll go to my grave believing this, there's just an inherent value of service to your country and the tragedy that befalls that's the nature of war and the tragedy that is war wouldn't be war if there wasn't tragedy. So I can't even fathom and have any words of solace or anything like that.
I just, have been so honored to serve with them and their, well serve with their loved ones. And, there's biblical scripture of course, about no greater love hath a man than to give his life for a friend. I obviously didn't get that exactly right. But, and then for me, there's just enormous value and courage and dignity and serving your country. And, we are so fortunate. - Have many Gold Star family reached out to you? - Sure. - Can you share anything-- - No.
- About what they told you? - No. It's just too, it's too searing and I'll break down in tears. I can't talk about it here. - Anything else, any final thoughts, anything you wanna share the American public about your role as Secretary of Defense? - No one really cares about that. What I'd really like share though is, the goal that I had while I was there was to draw down these wars responsibly. I firmly believe that, then to organize the department for the future, which weren't very successful with, but still I think through some ideas on the table, but at the end of the day with the most important thing was to, give voice and provide support to members of our Armed Forces, veterans and their families. And I just, as a veteran, I think it's really, really important now, more important than ever that we come together as a country. And, only 1% of population serves,
that's fine. That's what we decided as a nation is the way we wanna do our national defense about 7%, I think are veterans. It's very small population and I just urge, the American people to reach out to a veteran. I represent, it was this one officer that I grew up with named Mike Carmichael had felt a calling and he's retired now. And he felt to call in about two months ago to establish an organization that brings public awareness to the crisis of veteran suicide. And of course,
Mike sent me a note. I'm like, "How can I help?" 'Cause I love the guy to death. And he established an organization called Check-A-Vet, checkavet.org and it provides public awareness. So for American citizens that are trying to learn about veterans issues, it's a great website, now look, we're not gonna make any money on it. That's not our point at all, happy to take donations to help expand
our base. But it, and the other thing is it's for veterans, if they're feeling in need, it's a good place to go for some resources. But at the end of the day, if you know a veteran go give him a hug. - Do you think after the tumult of Afghanistan subsides, do you think the United States, the public American public will still have that kind of same caring about veterans or is that gonna go away? - I mean, that's the thing I worry about the most. That's what I'm very focused on. Ministration has put a lot of money into veteran's administration, but let's be honest.
They only service about 30 to 40% of veterans needs. This is about America. We sent these folks off the war. We have a moral, ethical obligation to continue to provide support to them 'cause although the guns have fallen silent, the war continues for a lot of people.
And that's my biggest concern is like, "Oh, wars are done. We're gonna move on." This is the most critical time where we have to pay attention to these issues and make sure that our veterans and their families and Gold Star families that they're getting the services and the support they need. That's my fundamental principle that that's why I'm going public. - We had the cost of war report came out today and said that the cost of care for veterans of this war is jumping to $2.5 trillion over the next, by 2050. - Okay, so when we go to war, that's the cost of going to war. That's why these decisions of war and peace are so important. And that's why I think it's really important as well that the American people pay a lot more attention to these things as we go forward and that we have a strategy and we look at this clear eyed about what our objectives are and we stick with that.
- When we come back more analysis on the events in Afghanistan. And the latest headlines from the defense industry. - The military and defense market is constantly evolving. Stay on top of the latest news with Sightline Media Group, live events, continue to learn, understand new tools and technologies. - [Man] We're live, you're on three-- - Defense government and industry leaders come together for successful and proven, engaging events. You'll gain valuable insight. Get the chance to ask questions
all from the comfort of your own home or office. Sign up for our events, newsletters, and receive alerts for upcoming live streams. - Welcome back for more analysis on the collapse of Afghan resistance to the Taliban. We turn to an expert on the region from the Brookings Institute on how things fell apart, so fast. - The failure has been in the making for years and years. And the responsibility lies foremost with the Afghan government, the United States, the international communities made plenty of mistakes. Pakistan has duplicitously supported the Taliban for many years and never reduced it
support for Taliban. But at the end of the day, the most important responsibility is that of the Afghan political class, Afghan government that over and over put narrow parochial self-interested corrupt interests over the national interest, over the basic interest of their land of their people. To a large extent, leaving that they will be able to persuade the international community to stay in Afghanistan with an open-ended commitment for another five years, 10 years, they persuaded themselves that Afghanistan was too important to fail. And correctly believe that it was a geo
strategic center of the so-called New Great Game. Those were wrong judgements on their part. They've were repeated told that these were wrong judgments. Then the United States had over several presidents now sought to depart from Afghanistan, but they never believed it. And so they allowed the perpetuation of the most disastrous forms of corruption, of the most disastrous forms of misgovernance even in the very core of the most fundamental institutions, like the Afghan Security Forces. There is also the need for protection for the largest segment of people, not just those who directly work for the United States, but those who chose to work for Afghan human rights organizations, who were Afghan journalist who chose to work for the government, but they're not corrupt, they did not participate in the looting and malfeasance in the country. They should be made available to them also, and to come to the United States. So the crucial
aspects now are to allow the visa processing to start taking place rapidly, the screening as well, to get people on the flights. And to also engage with the Taliban. So it doesn't start preventing the evacuations and departures. The Taliban is not been doing that in Kabul, but getting access to Kabul has been challenging. That is banditry and looting and attached by robbers on people watching to get to the Kabul Airport and people who are far away, away from Kabul might be very afraid and concerned to travel on the road. There are tremendous amount of road stops that have Afghan faces going forward. Brain drain is one aspect that's already happening with all those people who are trying to get to the United States or Canada or Europe. The big economic decline will be, that is significant dimension affecting all the many people who will not be able to leave the country. That is also a high possibility that the Taliban will simply not
know how to administer more than governance systems. And of course, it's an open verdict yet as to how more moderate or not the Taliban will be compared to the 1990s. As I mentioned, I believe that kind of the maximum outcome that we could expect is an Iran like regime. - Now for the latest, from the defense industry, we turn to Defense News Weekly, Daniel Woolfolk. - The US Air Force awarded Kratos and General Atomics contracts worth a combined $20 million for further development of the autonomous Skyborg drone wingman. That's according to a Monday
announcement from the service. Kratos received $13.2 million to continue work on its XQ-58A, while General Atomics got $7 million for its MQ-20 Avenger. The funding will allow the companies to continue integrating their air vehicles with the Leidos-built Autonomous Core System, which acts as a Skyborg's brain. It also pays for continued flight testing and experimentation, which will inform the Air Force. Whether the Skyborg's drone is ready to move to a program of record in fiscal year 2023. After integrating the UTAP-22 Mako drone with the autonomy core,
Kratos conducted its first Skyborg test flight in April. A General Atomics Avenger equipped with the autonomy core took to the skies in the second Skyborg flight test in June. General Atomics, Kratos and Boeing were tapped to build Skyborg air vehicle prototypes in December 2020. So far, Boeing's Skyborg prototype has not flown and the Air Force plans to
host its next operational exercise this fall. More drone development news out of the Middle East. Two Saudi companies have inked an agreement to co-produce and further develop the Sky Guard drone for operational use. The UAV has only ever undergone testing. The deal was signed on August
19th, between the Prince Sultan Defense Studies and Research Center and Advanced Electronics Company, which is a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries better known as SAMI. The UAV originally designed and manufactured by the Research Center has successfully passed testing and experimentation to qualify it's subsistence in different environmental conditions. Flight tests were also conducted to assess design requirements. The United States is a little closer to attaining hypersonic technology. Army and industry officials announced that the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body is expected to take part in a second more challenging flight test later this year. The Defense Department has been jointly developing the C-HGB that will serve as the base of its offensive hypersonic missile.
The test marks a major step forward in accomplishing that mission. Amid a mounting criticism that the United States is behind China and Russia in the hypersonic weapons development. The glider body will be made up of the weapons warhead, guidance system, cabling, and thermal protective shield. Each service will use it as the base while developing individual weapons systems such as launchers capable of firing weapons from the land or the sea. Hypersonic weapons
are capable of flying faster than the speed of sound and it can maneuver between varying altitudes and azimuths, making it harder to detect and kill. The Iron Dome system is well-known for protecting Israel from rocket attacks. And it's something the United States has invested in. The US Army and the Israeli Missile Defense Organization fired off the Iron Dome at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The technology is made by the Israeli defense company, Rafael. The US army plans to create two batteries with the system. That's it for defense energy headlines. When we returned to personal finance expert,
Jeanette Mack. Explains the difference between soft and hard credit pools. - On this edition of Money Minute, Navy Federal Credit Union, personal finance expert, Jeanette Mack gives you the details on the different types of credit pools. - It's a fact of life, if you wanna buy a car, be a homeowner or even a renter you'll have to have credit. And lenders will be making what's called hard and soft credit inquiries to check your credit worthiness at various times in your life. So it's important to know the difference between the two. Lenders do a hard credit pull to see if you're financially
able and trustworthy to take on a loan like a credit card or a mortgage. It helps them see if you're managing current accounts responsibly. This hard pull on your credit can also lower your credit score because you're essentially asking for a loan. A soft inquiry, has no impact on
your score and happens when you receive an offer like a pre-approval for a credit card, or when you check on your own credit. Before you apply for a loan, ask if a hard or soft inquiry is required. Keep hard inquiries to a minimum because multiple hard credit pools in a short time span, can hurt your credit score even more. If you consistently make on-time and maintain low balances, a hard credit pull every once in awhile, won't hurt. And it's always smart to check your three credit reports once a year, reviewing regularly, help spot any errors and get them fixed quickly. Bottom line, your credit score plays a big role in your financial life.
So take time to build and maintain your credit worthiness for a strong financial future. - Thanks Jeanette, we'll see you next time. To get more of our coverage, be sure to check out our headlines online at army, navy, air force, and marinecorpstimes.com and defensenews.com.
And to be the most up-to-date in your unit, get a list of our top stories in your email each weekday with our Early Bird Brief. And make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. - Now on a lighter note, did you know the CIS predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services, once conjured a unit of women posing as friendly companions, but whose goal was to poison German morale in world War II? It was called the League of Lonely War Women. and history nets. Claire Barrett is here to tell us about it. - I get kind of tired looking at these fishermen, hanging around here to view us.
But you, you're sort of of different. - During World War II, Allied Intelligence Services tried all kinds of things to plan the minds of Axis troops from radio broadcast, leaflet drops, to straight up using British cadavers to fool the Germans. No creative approach was spared as the Allies performed psychological judo, against their enemies. One of those propaganda efforts was a little known outfit called the League of Lonely War Women or in German, This shadowy unit of women went around Western Europe, preying on the emotions of homesick Germans, trying to turn them against the war effort by making them think their wives and girlfriends were cheating on them. And in turn, lowering
troop morale. Created by American Barbara Lauwers, a corporal in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the CIA, the League of Lonely War Women utilized so-called black propaganda. Propaganda intended to create the impression that it was generated by those it was supposed to discredit. Letters were airdropped to Germans in the field with the intention of casting doubt on their partner's faithfulness. The letters, according to historian Kelly Keith,
were supposedly written by women back home, suggesting that they were seeking sex and relationships with others. The mission's purpose, was to bring down German soldiers morale by making them believe their wives and girlfriends were being unfaithful while they were off fighting the war. The Czechoslovakia and born Lauwers was multi-lingual, which aided the Allies greatly in their war of disinformation. One letter drafted by Lauwers read, "The dreams you had at the front and the longings of your lonely nights will be fulfilled. We want you not your money. Therefore you should always let us show you our membership card in advance. There are members everywhere because we women, understand our duties to the Homeland and to its defenders. With all those foreigners around us, the leaflet continued. We would like once more
to press a real German youth who are bosom, no inhibitions now. Your wife, sister, or lover is one of us as well." Talk about insidious. Additionally, leaflets were strewn around occupied cities and towns with instructions for those with lonely hearts, to show up to coffee shops, bars and restaurants with a red heart shaped cutout, adorning their uniforms.
From there, a member of the League of Lonely War Women would meet up with them and subtly stoke their homesickness and frustrations with the war. According to later accounts by the CIA, countless Germans took the OSS agents up on their offer. And while it's hard to quantify psychological warfare, the League of Lonely War Women are certainly an interesting postscript of the Second World War. So these women or recruited in local towns who spoke the language, who wouldn't really stick out. So the OSS would go in and recruit these local women to kind of pick up these German soldiers.
And it was kind of their way of aiding the Allies. So they were outright told to sleep with the soldiers, someone flirt, obviously sometimes, that was where it was taken, but they weren't outright said like you had to sleep with these men. There was definitely just some flirting, some cajoling and just to make them feel homesick really. It's very Soviet Sparrow style, but. - And that's all we have time for this week. Please visit us on militarytimes.com and
defensenews.com for more coverage. Thank you for joining us and we'll see you next week.