At this time’s D Temporary: Border disaster; Afghanistan peace plan; Belief in navy declines; Bugs on a sub; And a bit extra.


“The crisis at the border is a lot worse than the Biden administrator has admitted.” Washington Post’s Nick Miroff reported on Wednesday evening. “There are now 3,500 unaccompanied minors in grim Border Patrol detention cells. [which is] A record, “he tweeted,” and they were there for an average of 107 hours. “Of these roughly 3,500 minors, almost 90% are between 13 and 17 years old. Add to this the 8,600 minors who are already in custody at the Ministry of Health and Human Services.

What now? Find new shelters first. And so, HHS officials are considering moving some migrants to Fort Lee, Virginia and Moffett Field, California, a former naval station in Santa Clara County. Otherwise, an HHS emergency facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, just reopened in February. “Officials are also looking into reopening a similar facility in South Florida,” says Miroff.

“We have already seen waves” Roberta Jacobson, President Biden’s chief coordinator for the southern border, said in a press conference Wednesday at the White House. “Surges tend to respond to hope. And after four years of pent-up needs, there was great hope for a more humane policy. ”

Jacobson also said smugglers “spread disinformation about what was now possible”. Regarding migration to the US “But I don’t think anyone would say that it is good to come to the US infrequently,” she told reporters. “That’s why I have tried repeatedly to dissuade people from listening to these smugglers. But we will do our best to do everything on each end – in the US, but especially in Central America and Mexico – to make sure we have safe, orderly and legal migration. In other words, stay tuned because even after four years of tough immigration policies from POTUS45, America’s ‘border crisis’ is not going to go away anytime soon. More from WaPo here.

Defense one

“Not done enough” to counter China’s growing aggression, US military officials warn // Patrick Tucker: “We were trying to create a sense of urgency in Washington,” said one of two senior US military officials as the Biden administration examined the Pentagon’s plans.

The Pentagon can’t spend China on submission, but alliances can prevent it, Hausdems said // Elizabeth Howe: The INDOPACOM commander’s second hearing in as many days is about building alliances.

According to surveys, American confidence in the military is declining // Marcus Weisgerber: Still, people still trust the military more than six other US institutions.

Defense One Radio, Ep. 88 // Defense One Staff: “2034: A Novel of the Next World War” by Elliot Ackerman and James Stavridis.

How ‘Mask Diplomacy’ Saved China’s Image in Africa // Dinko Hanaan Dinko, The Conversation: While Beijing was turning nimbly, the US let its relations collapse further.

Welcome to this Thursday edition of The D letter by Ben Watson with Bradley Peniston. Send us tips from your community here. And if you haven’t already subscribed to The D Brief, you can do so here. That day just a year ago The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic after the novel coronavirus started killing thousands of people around the world. President Biden is due to speak to the nation with a message of “hope” tonight, Reuters reports [Biden] urges people to continue to be careful to prevent further flare-ups. “The Associated Press has its own preview here.

Look over a Copy of the eight-page draft of the Afghan peace plan in America That first got to the Tolo News in Afghanistan on Sunday and now to the Washington Post, which published the document on Wednesday.
The topline read: via WaPo: “Overall, the document calls for the current government of Afghanistan to be replaced by temporary leaders, a new constitution drawn up and a ceasefire brokered. There are elements in these proposals that both sides have described as non-negotiable, making it unlikely that the plan will be implemented in its current form. “
Another POV: This plan is a “Hail Mary Pass” Jonathan Schroden from the Biden administration told Vox on Monday.
A possible new date for your calendar: March 27th. At that time, according to Tolo News and the Turkish state media, a planned UN-led peace conference could take place in Turkey.
Don’t look now, but the Taliban have allegedly taken control of another district center. Tolo reports separately. This one in the northern Almar district of the Faryab province, about 40 km from the border with Turkmenistan.
Around 40 Afghan security forces reportedly fled the site after it was surrounded by Taliban fighters. The Afghan troops are now on a base 200 meters away.
For the recording: The Kabul Defense Ministry says the district did not fall and that in fact Afghan troops “conducted an operation in the district and evacuated large areas from the Taliban and the district is under control [Afghan and not Taliban forces]. “A little more here.

Two other ISIS members in Africa have just been labeled as foreign terrorist organizations. According to a statement by the US State Department on Wednesday. The two groups are the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – Democratic Republic of the Congo (also known as “ISIS-DRC”) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – Mozambique (“ISIS-Mozambique”). The leaders of the groups, Seka Musa Baluku and Abu Yasir Hassan, were also individually labeled as terrorists.
We had heard about ISIS Mozambique for several months. Defense One’s Patrick Tucker shared the troubling rise and violent activity of the groups over the past few months.
However, ISIS-DRC is a little less well known. This is where several researchers come in with a new 53-page report (PDF) on the group published by George Washington University’s Extremism Program. “The report, which uses a significant amount of primary source information from defectors and locals, is intended to provide as detailed a view as possible of the Islamic State in the Congo and how the group fits into the global hierarchy of the Islamic State,” said one of the interviewed authors , Caleb Weiss, tells The D Brief.
Why this violence matters so far from the US: “With formal Islamic State affiliates and pro-Islamic state groups across Africa, the potential for transnational cooperation and migration of an increasing number of regional foreign fighters may jeopardize regional stability.” You can find the full report here.
Additional reading: “ISIS and Al-Qaida’s sub-Saharan subsidiaries are set to grow in 2021,” warned Colin P. Clarke of the Soufan Group and Jacob Zenn of the Jamestown Foundation in a Defense One published two weeks ago.

Last day: bed bugs on a submarine could be worse than snakes on an airplane. The Navy Times reported on the USS Connecticut’s months of efforts to eradicate the tiny bloodsuckers from the $ 6 billion submarine. And Task & Purpose followed with an interview with a former submarine bug inspector who says the only surefire way to get rid of the pests is to heat the area above 135 degrees, which seems unlikely.