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MAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: At least they’re talking again. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone yesterday according to a joint statement released simultaneously in Washington and Paris.
Macron was reportedly seeking an apology for the way France was blindsided by a surprise U.S. and U.K deal with Australia to provide technology to build a fleet of nuclear-powered attack submarines, which effectively torpedoed a $66 billion French deal to sell Australia diesel-powered subs.
The statement stopped short of an apology but contained conciliatory language aimed at smoothing over the rift that left the French seething. “The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners. President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard,” the statement said.
In return, Macron said French ambassador Philippe Etienne, who had been recalled to Paris in protest, will return to Washington next week.
NEXT STEPS: Biden and Macron have agreed to meet in person next month in Europe, possibly on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Italy.
“The two leaders have decided to open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives,” the joint statement says. “President Biden reaffirms the strategic importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, including in the framework of the European Union’s recently published strategy for the Indo-Pacific.“
‘DONNEZ-MOI UN BREAK’: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking to reporters before addressing the United Nations General Assembly session, did little to soothe the French ire, employing some fractured “Franglais” to tell the French to “get a grip” and “give me a break.”
“And what I want to say about that is, I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to, you know, ‘prenez un grip’ about all this, and ‘donnez-moi un break’ because this is fundamentally a great step forward for global security,” Johnson said.
Johnson expressed surprise that Macron, who faces a presidential election in April, was taking the Australian submarine deal so personally. “I think everybody has been a bit taken aback by the strength of the French reaction, and we all want to reach out,” Johnson said, adding, “We love the French.”
Good Thursday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Victor I. Nava. Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense.
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HAPPENING TODAY: Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday discusses the state of the Navy at a 9 a.m. Defense One "State of Defense” digital event.
ALSO: Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost goes before the Senate Armed Services Committee at 9:30 a.m. for her confirmation hearing to be commander, U.S. Transportation Command.
SENATE NDAA FILED: The leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee have filed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes $768 billion for the Pentagon and Energy Department.
“We are one step closer to enacting the annual National Defense Authorization Act — something Congress has done every year for the last 60 years in a row,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking Republican, in a joint press release with Committee Chairman Sen. Jack Reed.
“This bill is the most important bill we do each year, but the current crises we face make it more essential now,” Inhofe said. “That’s why this year’s bill boosts defense spending by $25 billion above the President’s request.”
The bill now goes to the floor where senators will have a chance to offer amendments before it is reconciled with the House version.
PENTAGON ‘OPEN’ TO ENDING KOREAN WAR: In response to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s Tuesday address to the U.N. General Assembly, in which he called for a declaration ending the 1950-1953 Korean War, the Pentagon said the idea was worthy of discussion.
“We're open to a discussion about an end-of-war declaration,” said spokesman John Kirby, “but we are also committed to diplomacy and dialogue with the DPRK to achieve denuclearization.”
It’s not the first time Moon has called for the end-of-war declaration, which is something North Korea is anxious for. “I propose that three parties of the two Koreas and the U.S., or four parties of the two Koreas, the U.S., and China come together and declare that the War on the Korean Peninsula is over," Moon said.
“The United States remains committed to achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy with North Korea,” said Kirby. “We continue to seek engagement with the DPRK to address a variety of issues.”
DOD ROLLS OUT PLAN TO BATTLE SEXUAL ASSAULT: At a briefing yesterday, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks outlined the steps the military will be taking to battle sexual assault and sexual harassment in the ranks.
The new policies came as the result of the recommendations of the 90-day Independent Review Commission appointed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this year.
Hicks announced the moves the Pentagon could make on its own, including establishing special-victim prosecutors, full-time sexual assault response coordinators, and victim advocates.
“There are some key elements we have asked Congress to help us with,” said Hicks. “The first and most important is the change to the Uniform Code of Military Justice to expand a group of activities or offenses around sexual assault, sexual harassment, and related sexual offenses and put those outside of the chain of command and under these offices of special prosecutors.
Both the House and Senate NDAAs have language to that effect.
GO TO THE SPACE FORCE: The chief of space operations has announced the transfer of Army and Navy satellite communications billets, funding, and mission responsibility to the U.S. Space Force.
Space Force Gen. John "Jay" Raymond made the announcement at the Air Force Association meeting in Washington on Tuesday.
The transfers are scheduled to be effective Oct. 1, 2021, if the DOD budget is passed and signed by that time, the Pentagon said.
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AP: Top US general holds ‘productive’ talks with Russian officer
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South China Morning Post: China vs U.S.: Beneath The Surface Of The Submarine Technology Gap
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THURSDAY | SEPTEMBER 23
9 a.m. — Defense One "State of Defense: Navy" digital event, with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday. https://d1stateofdefense.com/register/
9:30 a.m. G50, Dirksen — Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost to be commander, U.S. Transportation Command. https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings
10 a.m. — Arms Control Association and the Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition virtual discussion: “U.S. Chemical Weapons Stockpile Elimination: Progress Update,” with Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Chemical and Biological Defense Brandi Vann; Irene Komelly, chair of the Colorado Citizens' Advisory Commission; and Paul Walker, coordinator at CWC https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register
11 a.m. — Counter Extremism Project webinar: “Future Terrorism And Security Challenges Emanating From Afghanistan,” with Edmund Fitton-Brown, coordinator of the ISIL, al Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, U.N. Security Council; Sofia Koller, research fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations; and Guido Steinberg, senior fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register
12 p.m. — Washington Post Live virtual book discussion on Peril, with co-authors Bob Woodward, Washington Post associate editor; and Robert Costa, Washington Post national political reporter. https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live
1:30 p.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group and Aerospace Security Project virtual event “Investing Intelligently in Remotely Crewed Systems: Leveraging Capability for Future Conflict,” with Will Roper, former assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics; Rebecca Grant, president, IRIS Independent Research; Todd Harrison, senior fellow, CSIS International Security Program; and Rose Butchart, associate fellow, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group. https://www.csis.org/events/investing-intelligently-remotely-crewed-systems
2 p.m. — Middle East Institute virtual discussion: “Iran Facing Outward: Changing Politics, Military Doctrine, and Border Issues,” with former Afghan Interior Minister Ali Jalali, professor at National Defense University; Manochehr Dorraj, professor of political science at Texas Christian University; Mahmood Monshipouri, professor of international relations at San Francisco State University; and Fatemeh Aman, nonresident scholar at MEI https://www.mei.edu/events/iran-facing-outward
FRIDAY | SEPTEMBER 24
TBA — President Joe Biden hosts a meeting of leaders of the “Quad” at the White House, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi.
TUESDAY | SEPTEMBER 28
9:30 a.m. G50 Dirksen — Senate Armed Services Committee hearing: “The conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations,” with Lloyd Austin, secretary of defense; Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander, U.S. Central Command. https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings
WEDNESDAY | SEPTEMBER 29
9:30 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Committee hearing: “Ending the U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan,” with Lloyd Austin, secretary of defense; Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander, U.S. Central Command. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to, you know, ‘prenez un grip’ about all this, and ‘donnez-moi un break’ because this is fundamentally a great step forward for global security.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s employing “Franglais” in response to French complaints about the U.S. and U.K. submarine deal with Australia. Translation: “get a grip” and “give me a break.”
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Original Author: Jamie McIntyre