Army Technology lists five of the most popular tweets on military and security in Q3 2021 based on data from GlobalData’s Aerospace, Defence and Security (ADS) Influencer Platform.

The top tweets are based on total engagements (likes and retweets) received on tweets from more than 150 military and security experts tracked by GlobalData’s ADS Influencer platform during the third quarter (Q3) of 2021.

1. Josh Rogin’s tweet on Taliban seizing US weapons

Josh Rogin, columnist at The Washington Post, shared an article on US weapons worth billions of dollars falling into the hands of the Taliban, following the collapse of the Afghan security forces after the US armed forces exited from the country. The Taliban now has access to various weapons including Humvees, mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack planes.

Furthermore, Afghan forces possessed 211 US-supplied aircraft in their stock as of 30 June 2021, according to an assessment conducted by a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The article detailed that the weaponry may not be useful to militants without proper training, but gives them the opportunity to boost their propaganda, while also highlighting the huge amount of US funds that were wasted in Afghanistan.

Username: Josh Rogin

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Twitter handle: @joshrogin

Likes: 749

Retweets: 376

2. Dr. Jeffrey Lewis’ tweet on Russia preparing to test nuclear cruise missile

Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, shared an article on satellite images showing Russia’s plans to test its nuclear cruise missile. The images were taken on 16 August by Capella Space, a commercial satellite imaging company. Named Skyfall, the nuclear-powered missile is designed to destroy US defence systems, the article highlighted.

The cruise missile’s nuclear reactor can provide it with unlimited range to remain undetected by US missile defence radars and interceptors, according to Lewis. He added that further testing is required to check whether the system can work successfully without posing any threats to the environment and human health. Russia had first tested the nuclear-powered cruise missile in November 2017 at a site near the Arctic Circle and has since conducted several other tests, although none of them are believed to have been successful, the article added.

Username: Dr. Jeffrey Lewis

Twitter handle: @ArmsControlWonk

Likes: 336

Retweets: 205

3. Wim Zwijnenburg’s tweet on Ethiopia using armed drones made by Iran

Wim Zwijnenburg, a humanitarian disarmament project leader at the civic and social organisation PAX, shared an article on Ethiopia using armed drones manufactured by Iran. The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) is known to have deployed Iranian drones since the conflict in the Tigray region erupted, according to opponents of the Ethiopian government. The only known use of drones in the country is by the police who have been using small unarmed Chinese commercial drones, which were later adopted by the military.

Researchers have highlighted that Ethiopia may be using Iranian drones including the Mohajer-6 based on satellite imagery obtained from Planet SkySat and MAXAR. The claims that Ethiopia is using Iranian drones indicates that Iran’s drone programme may be growing in terms of beneficiaries, the article added. Iran is only known to have supplied drones to its allies including Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

Username: Wim Zwijnenburg

Twitter handle: @wammezz

Likes: 309

Retweets: 269

4. Lara Seligman’s tweet on Pentagon cancelling the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract

Lara Seligman, Pentagon reporter at news and information company POLITICO, tweeted about the cancellation of the JEDI contract by the Pentagon. The US Department of Defense (DoD) launched the bidding for the JEDI cloud computing contract to modernise the Pentagon’s information technology (IT) operations for ten years. The contract was awarded to Microsoft in 2019, although Amazon filed a lawsuit claiming bias against its competitor in the bidding process.

The Pentagon is now working on a new cloud-computing contract as the old contract did not meet its existing needs amid a constantly evolving technology environment. The DoD will seek proposals for the new contract, in which both Amazon and Microsoft can participate.

Username: Lara Seligman

Twitter handle: @laraseligman

Likes: 282

Retweets: 132

5. Tara Copp’s tweet on US joint warfighting concepts being scrapped

Tara Copp, senior pentagon correspondent at publishing firm Defense One, shared an article on the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Hyten scrapping joint warfighting concepts after a defeat in a wargaming exercise in October 2020. A red team in the exercise that had spent the last 20 years studying the US defeated the US blue team in a fake battle for Taiwan.

The classified wargame was a new joint warfighting concept that was based on the joint operations concepts that have guided the US military forces for several years. The military has shifted to a new concept named Expanded Maneuver following the defeat. Hyten expects the US military to fight under the new concept by 2030 using the latest weapons and aircraft, the article detailed.

Username: Tara Copp

Twitter handle: @TaraCopp

Likes: 235

Retweets: 94