Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Christiana Wayne
Monday, September 20, 2021, 2:51 PM

The Pentagon said a U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month killed 10 civilians after several miscalculations by commanders who wrongly believed that an aid worker was carrying explosives in his car, according to the Washington Post. The Defense Department had initially called the strike a success, saying it had prevented another suicide attack on U.S. forces. In reality, the driver, Zamarai Ahmadi, was an aid worker for a U.S. based group and was hauling water cans for his family. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement, “We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced, and that Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as were the others tragically killed.”

France announced it was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Australia over a nuclear submarine deal between the two countries that was negotiated without informing France, according to the New York Times. Calling the behavior “unacceptable between allies and partners,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the decision to return diplomats to Paris was made by President Emanuel Macron. Le Monde, aFrench daily newspaper said of the deal, “For any who still doubted it, the Biden administration is no different from the Trump administration on this point: The United States comes first, whether it’s in the strategic, economic, financial or health fields. ‘America First’ is the guiding line of the foreign policy of the White House.”

A gunman killed six people and injured 28 in a shooting at a university in the Russian city of Perm, according to the BBC. Authorities said the attacker, a student at the university, was injured and detained by the police. He reportedly acted alone and said the attack was not politically or religiously motivated, though he expressed a desire to do harm to others in a social media post. President Vladimir Putin called the incident “a great loss not only for the families who lost their children but for the whole country.”

The United States will lift its ban on travelers from Europe, Great Britain and elsewhere which was implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Washington Post. Under the new rules described by Jeff Zients, White House coronavirus response coordinator, fully vaccinated travelers from anywhere in the world will be allowed to enter the country starting in November. Zients said the policy change “follows the science” and relies “on individuals, rather than a country-based approach.”

Paul Rusesabagina, a former hotel manager who was portrayed as a Rwandan national hero in a Hollywood film “Hotel Rwanda” about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, according to Al Jazeera. Rusesabagina was found guilty of supporting the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change, an armed political opposition group responsible for terror attacks in 2018 and 2019. He was credited with saving over 1,200 lives during the genocide, but Justice Beatrice Mukamurenzi said, “He founded a terrorist organisation that attacked Rwanda, he financially contributed to terrorist activities.” Ruseabagina boycotted the verdict and called the trial a “sham.”

ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

Caitlin O'Hara and Colin P. Clarke considered the long term future of Afghanistan.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.