Pentagon Will Add a Climate-Policy Czar (Jacqueline Feldscher, Defense One)

The Pentagon will reorganize its policy shop to elevate the mission of combating and responding to climate change, the department’s policy chief said Friday.

While the Defense Department has done a lot to prioritize climate change throughout the organization, including at the service secretary level, Colin Kahl, the defense undersecretary for policy, said that the organization he oversees is “one place where we haven’t done enough frankly.”

Pentagon Will Add a Climate-Policy Czar – Defense One


New White House Cyber Director Wants to Fight Like Cobra Kai (Patrick Tucker, Defense One)

The first U.S. National Cyber Director wants the government to take a tougher, more proactive approach to those who threaten America’s networks: degrade their capabilities and demonstrate how they would suffer should they attack.

John “Chris” Inglis’ vision for his brand-new office somewhat resembles the match-day strategy employed by the Cobra Kai dojo in the original Karate Kid: aim to cause your opponent pain. In other words: sweep the leg.

New White House Cyber Director Wants to Fight Like Cobra Kai – Defense One


Vulnerabilities Grow as Utilities Link Control Systems to the Internet (Patience Wait, Defense One)

The global electric utility sector is facing an increasingly dangerous cyberthreat landscape, even though there hasn’t been a publicly witnessed disruptive attack over the past five years. Utilities worldwide have been strengthening their security against threats to their IT networks but have not paid enough attention to their industrial control systems, or ICS, and operational technology, or OT, systems.

Vulnerabilities Grow as Utilities Link Control Systems to the Internet – Defense One

France USA

Biden tells Macron US ‘clumsy’ in Australian submarine deal (Sylvie Corbet and Zeke Miller, The Associated Press, Defense News)

Working to patch things up with an old ally, President Joe Biden told French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday that the U.S. had been “clumsy” in its handling of a secret U.S.-British submarine deal with Australia, an arrangement that left France in the lurch and rattled Europe’s faith in American loyalty.

Biden and Macron greeted each other with handshakes and shoulder grabs before their first face-to-face meeting since the deal was publicly announced in September, marking the latest American effort to try to smooth hurt French sensibilities. Biden didn’t formally apologize to Macron, but conceded the U.S. should not have caught its oldest ally by surprise.

Biden tells Macron US ‘clumsy’ in Australian submarine deal (

China Taiwan

China could invade Taiwan ‘soon,’ says former Australian PM Abbott (Joe Gould, Defense News)

 A former Australian prime minister said Friday he thinks China could “soon” invade Taiwan or otherwise escalate the situation and that the West should now be planning its military and economic response.

“I think we need to be prepared to think the unthinkable,” former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at a Wilson Center event here.

China could invade Taiwan ‘soon,’ says former Australian PM Abbott (


New variants of Chinese stealth fighters break cover (Mike Yeo, Defense News)

Two new variants of China’s stealth fighters have broken cover in the past three days, including China’s next carrier-based fighter, hinted at during a recent air show.

Photos and videos taken outside the Chengdu Aircraft factory in its namesake city on Tuesday showed a two-seat J-20 stealth fighter in overall primer, confirming persistent rumors such a variant was being developed by the company.

New variants of Chinese stealth fighters break cover (


The unintended consequences of the AUKUS deal (Lyle Goldstein, Defense News)

Washington and other allied capitals have been abuzz with talk of nuclear submarines since the surprise announcement of the new trilateral pact known as AUKUS in September. Aside from the frictions with France, the new agreement has been met with nearly universal adulation from the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

Some have raised legitimate concerns about the impact of the deal on nuclear non-proliferation. How to prevent myriad other countries from leaping into the domain of nuclear power for military applications when this is exactly how the leading powers are proceeding with selected “special friends”?

The unintended consequences of the AUKUS deal (

Ministerial Meeting in Bogotá on the Causes and Challenges of Migration

Joint Statement of the Ministerial Meeting in Bogotá on the Causes and Challenges of Migration (US Department of State)

The text of the following Joint Statement was released by the Governments of Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and the United States on the occasion of the regional Migration Ministerial co-hosted by the United States and Colombia in Bogotá, Colombia on October 20, 2021.

Begin Text:

The Ministries of Foreign Relations and high-ranking representatives of Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and the United States of America met on October 20, 2021, in Bogotá, Colombia for an urgent discussion about the causes and challenges of irregular migration, and how to respond to the attendant issues that currently affect various countries in the Americas. The participants analyzed the current patterns of irregular migration in the Americas, noting that this phenomenon had grown exponentially in recent years. They also discussed the factors causing this migration, its characteristics, and the social, health, human rights, and security challenges facing countries of transit, destination, and return.

They also focused on ways to strengthen regional cooperation to work on the causes of irregular migration, including the lack of employment opportunities that would promote economic development and weakened governance in certain countries. They likewise sought to better understand and address these migratory flows by, among other things, combating national and transnational crime that relies on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, while taking into account the respective capacities of each country.

The participants concurred that the irregular flow of migrants requires a regional response, as well as global resources, rooted in solidarity toward migrants and among States, and in the protection and promotion of the human rights of migrants. They therefore reached consensus on the need for measures with tangible results that will lead to human rights-based solutions, and that will benefit the countries involved and make it possible to resolve the issue of irregular migration in the Americas.

They prioritized respect for and the guarantee of the human rights of migrants, particularly women, children, and adolescents, especially unaccompanied minors, the majority of whom are physically, economically, and emotionally fragile, while also recognizing each country’s duty to manage, in accordance with its international commitments and domestic laws, the flow of migrants across international borders in a secure, humane, orderly, and regular fashion. They further committed to consider control, health, protection, and security measures in addition to actions to combat the crime of trafficking in persons and of migrant smuggling in particular. The foregoing includes their commitment to address these challenges through greater regional cooperation on migration, by promoting voluntary returns in accordance with applicable national and international laws, facilitating, within countries of origin, paths to legal migration for work, and expanding efforts to identify and investigate the trafficking-in-persons crimes committed against irregular migrants.

To combat trafficking in persons, the participants committed to coordinate existing mechanisms like the Quito Process, the South American Conference on Migration, and the Regional Conference on Migration, as well as others being developed, to strengthen regional cooperation on preventing, investigating, exchanging information about, and prosecuting crimes associated with migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. This effort includes ongoing consideration of forming a Working Group on Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons.

The attendees concurred that a joint effort is required to resolve the structural causes that lead to migration and intra-regional displacement, through policies and programs, like the Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V), the Comprehensive Development Plan promoted by El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and ECLAC, and the Build Back Better World initiative, among others, as a way to strengthen economic growth and spur development, infrastructure, production, and employment throughout the region. In turn, this effort will help strengthen and consolidate democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. In this vein, they intend to request that the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, CAF, and ECLAC submit a proposal on coordinating the development of production chains and physical infrastructure in the Americas and on investments and a strategy that will generate employment and income opportunities for citizens and receiving cities.

They shared the perspective that the opportunity exists to create a collective development strategy, taking into account successful models in the region, with a view to promoting conditions that favor investment and economic progress in the Americas. Accordingly, they committed to continue discussing this agenda, while encouraging more countries to participate and consolidating the details of the strategy through collaborative processes to address the challenges of irregular immigration. The emphasis was on immediate efforts that can be pursued with the certain hope of a better future for their citizens and of the consolidation of democracy in the Americas.

End Text.


Climate Change COP26 Energy Crisis

The Developing World Needs Energy—and Lots of It (Jason Bordoff, Foreign Policy)

When the world gathers in Glasgow, Scotland, next week for the United Nations climate summit, known as COP26, many climate leaders and activists from Africa and other parts of the developing world will be notably absent as they find it near impossible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

While this glaring disparity between rich and poor countries concerns health care, it is also a reminder that when it comes to climate change, developed and developing countries have vastly different needs that must be taken into account to put the world on a fair and just path to climate action.

COP26 Climate Summit Must Get Serious About Developing Countries (

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