TURKISH TANKS ROLL SOUTH: Just as Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ankara to address tensions in the U.S.-Turkey relationship, Turkey sent about 20 tanks and a smaller number of special forces across its southern border to attack Islamic State fighters in an operation supported by U.S. and coalition airpower, and involving moderate Syrian rebels. The Associated Press this morning, quoting Turkish state media, said rebels took a town near Jarablus, which is held by ISIS. The stated objective is to clear the border area and liberate Jarablus from ISIS control.

Biden meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has accused the U.S. of harboring a muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Erdogan blames for fomenting the failed coup against him. Turkey, a key NATO ally, has also been seeking closer ties with Moscow and Tehran as it moves away from the West, amid rising anti-American sentiment among the Turkish populace, the majority of whom, according to recent polls, believe the U.S. was behind the coup attempt.

Underscoring its pivot from the U.S., Turkish officials are now suggesting Russian jets could soon be flying out of Incirlik, the southern air base the U.S. has been using to bomb ISIS, Joel Gehrke reports. Turkey remains miffed at what it sees as abandonment by the U.S. in the immediate aftermath of the coup, and a parade of U.S. officials has subsequently been heaping praise on the NATO ally in an attempt to smooth things over. Yesterday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, "We deeply appreciate, frankly, Turkey allowing us to use Incirlik because it allows us to carry out airstrikes in close proximity and support for the Syrian Democratic Forces that are fighting in northern Syria and we want to continue with that relationship.”

Good Wednesday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre), National Security Writer Jacqueline Klimas (@jacqklimas) and Senior Editor David Brown (@dave_brown24). Email us here for tips, suggestions, calendar items and anything else. If a friend sent this to you and you’d like to sign up, click here. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll be sure to add you to our list.

Want to learn more about Daily on Defense? See our introductory video here.

CONDEMNATION ALL AROUND: In a rare display of unity, Japan, South Korea and China all rebuked North Korea for test-firing a missile from a submarine yesterday. The U.S. Strategic Command tracked the presumed KN-11 ballistic missile off the coast of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan, approximately 300 miles off North Korea. “We strongly condemn this and North Korea's other recent missile tests, which violate UN Security Council Resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea's launches using ballistic missile technology,” said a statement released by U.S. Pacific Command. North Korea appears to making progress toward its goal of launching nuclear weapons from submarines in order to threaten targets far from its shores.

U.S. COMBAT KIA: One U.S. service member was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Tuesday after stepping on an improvised explosive device while on a training patrol with Afghan forces. Another U.S. service member as well as six Afghan soldiers were also wounded.

“This tragic event in Helmand province reminds us that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and there is difficult work ahead even as Afghan forces continue to make progress in securing their own country,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement.

FOLLOWING THE MONEY: The State Department is refusing to confirm whether 13 transfers of nearly $100 million each in January, which can be seen on a government website, are the payments the U.S. made to Iran to settle a failed arms deal, Pete Kasperowicz writes. Those payments can be found on a website that tracks spending in the "Judgment Fund" toward the settlement of foreign claims. But when department spokesman Toner was asked if those payments represent the $1.3 billion the Obama administration paid to Iran, he said he didn't know. "I've seen the document to which you are referring, I have not had a chance to double check it."

PAY NO ATTENTION TO TRUMP: Vice President Joe Biden was in Latvia on Tuesday reassuring NATO allies that the U.S. would stand by its commitment to come to their defense if they are attacked, Kelly Cohen writes. Unprompted, Biden commented on Donald Trump’s remarks that the U.S. may not come to the aid of allies if they had not paid enough, saying Trump’s remarks are “nothing that should be taken seriously, because I don't think he understands what Article 5 is."

F-35 WARNING BELLS: Bloomberg has a scoop suggesting the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is not living up to its promises. “In fact the program is actually not on a path toward success but instead on a path toward failing to deliver,” says the Aug. 9 memo obtained by Bloomberg. The assessment by Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational testing, was written just a week after the Air Force touted the F-35’s initial operating capability, and said it is combat ready. The memo comes as Pentagon officials face a 2019 decision point about whether to move into full production, which Bloomberg calls “the most lucrative phase for Lockheed, the biggest U.S. defense contractor.”

PATROL BOATS TO QATAR: The State Department has approved the potential sale of $124 million worth of Mk-V fast patrol boats, training and support to Qatar. The contractor is Gulfport, Mississippi-based USMI.

CLINTON IN ROGUE’S GALLERY OF “INSIDER THREATS”” An Army training slide shows a photo of Hillary Clinton as an example of an insider threat that could compromise classified information or operational security. The Army confirmed that the slide, which had been posted on social media, was real and had been developed about a year and a half ago by a local Army command for training, but was no longer in use. Clinton was pictured along with former CIA Director David Petraeus, Nidal Hasan, who carried out the shooting at Fort Hood, and Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter.

Speaking of Petraeus, the retired four-star general says he’s trying to avoid being political by not endorsing any candidate, while still speaking out on national security issues, when asked. In an interview with Politico, Petraeus predicts there could be an “October surprise” before the election in the form of a sooner-than-expected victory over ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul. “That means that Iraqi authorities need to accelerate the plans for subsequent governance in Mosul city and Ninevah Province.” The UN’s refugee agency is warning as many as 1.2 million Iraqis could become refugees when the battle to liberate Mosul begins.

CYBER ATTACKS ON THE NEWS MEDIA: Hackers have reportedly carried out a "series" of breaches against reporters from American news agencies. The intrusions came against reporters for the New York Times and other unnamed news outlets, CNN reported Tuesday. The network added that the FBI and other agencies are investigating the incidents, which allegedly they attribute to Russia.

GET OUT OF GAZA: The State Department is urging Americans to get out of the Gaza Strip “as soon as possible” when border crossings are open. A travel warning issued yesterday says the security situation in Israel and the West Bank “remains complex” and “can change quickly.” The travel warning says “U.S. citizens should exercise caution and remain aware of their surroundings when traveling to areas where there are heightened tensions and security risks.”


Foreign Policy: U.S. and Europe Say Assad May Have Kept Some Chemical Weapons

MSNBC: Trump eager to return military equipment to police departments

Bloomberg: The Pentagon Takes Aim at Bomb-Carrying Consumer Drones

The Verge: Parrot’s Disco drone is coming next month for $1,299

The Daily Caller: Germany Seriously Reconsidering Military Conscription

Defense News: GAO: Pentagon Can't Tell the Difference Between Wartime and Base Dollars

Defense One: When Campaigns Smear Generals and Intelligence Officers

Breaking Defense: Another Baby Step For Army Aviation’s ‘Top Priority’

Defense One: ‘Autonomy’: A Smart Overview of the Pentagon’s Robotic Plans

CNN: Battle looming: Iraqi troops, militia inch toward ISIS-held Mosul

Reuters: Special Report: Massacre reports show U.S. inability to curb Iraq militias

Military Times: Prosecutors: McCain comments shouldn't derail Bowe Bergdahl trial

Military.com: This Female Marine Passed Infantry Training Battalion

Navy Times: Navy asks for help spotting drones in Idaho

Breaking Defense: Chinese Threaten Japan, Australia Over South China Sea; Time For US FON Ops?

Military Times: North Korea plants mines in DMZ, United Nations says

Reuters: Kerry commits to more military aid to Nigeria, U.S. official says

Associated Press: Prisoner not seen publicly since 2002 at Gitmo hearing

Task and Purpose: Sailor Arrested For Trying To Hire Hitman To Kill His Wife



10 a.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, speaks at CSIS about the future of military innovation and joint capabilities. csis.org


10 a.m. 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW. The Brookings Institution hosts a panel discussion on the defense budget and overseas contingency operations spending. brookings.edu

1 p.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Government officials from the U.S. and the Netherlands will discuss how to improve information sharing between allies to better counter terrorism. csis.org


11 a.m. 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. A panel of experts discusses the defense items Congress must address in the remaining months of 2016. heritage.org