Fdd's overnight brief

April 11, 2023

In The News


Iran’s parliament has adopted proposals to toughen penalties for perpetrators of violence against women which could be voted into law within months, state media has reported. – Agence France-Presse

An Iranian-born American woman has been sentenced to four years in prison for providing financial support to a plot to kidnap dissident Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad, the Justice Department said Monday. – Agence France-Presse

Iran lashed out at the US after its rare move to disclose the deployment of a guided missile submarine in the Middle East over the weekend, amid heightened tensions and violence in the region. – Bloomberg

A Saudi delegation arrived in Tehran on Saturday to plan for the reopening of the kingdom’s embassy in the Iranian capital, the latest step in a thaw of relations between the regional rivals. – Bloomberg

Neville Teller writes: The Sunni Arab world recognized some time ago who its main enemy was.  The Abraham Accords are one outcome. Saudi Arabia is widely perceived as on the brink of joining the association. Would its new reconciliation with Iran withstand the shock? – Jerusalem Post

Yossi Yehoshua writes: These trends could pave the way for Tehran to challenge Israel and seek retribution for the various attacks that have occurred in Syria and Iran, based on reports in the international press. Behind the scenes, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is likely the central source of power whose agenda is being executed by regional proxies. This has led to the formation of a strong alliance between Iran, Hezbollah, and Palestinian terror factions. – Ynet

Russia & Ukraine

Russia is using “scorched earth” tactics as it fights to take Bakhmut, a top Ukrainian military commander said Monday, as the city in Ukraine’s east is reduced to rubble after months of heavy combat for which Kyiv and Moscow have paid a heavy price in lives and equipment. – Wall Street Journal

The State Department on Monday designated Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested by Russian security services last month, as “wrongfully detained,” launching a broad U.S. government effort to exert pressure on Russia to free him. – Wall Street Journal

Ukraine’s challenges in massing troops, ammunition and equipment could cause its military to fall “well short” of Kyiv’s original goals for an anticipated counteroffensive aimed at retaking Russian-occupied areas this spring, according to U.S. intelligence assessments contained in a growing leak of classified documents revealing Washington’s misgivings about the state of the war. – Washington Post

President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi of Egypt, one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East and a major recipient of U.S. aid, recently ordered subordinates to produce up to 40,000 rockets to be covertly shipped to Russia, according to a leaked U.S. intelligence document. – Washington Post

Poland and Ukraine have found what they say is a solution to an influx of Ukrainian grain that has infuriated Polish farmers, an issue that cast a shadow over the two neighbors’ close military and political cooperation against Russia. – New York Times

The Kremlin said on Monday that there was a general tendency to always blame Russia for everything when asked about accusations that Moscow may have been behind a leak of U.S. intelligence documents about a number of countries including Ukraine. – Reuters

Russia plans to overhaul its air defence forces after gaining new experience in the war in Ukraine and will also bolster its air defences to counter Finland’s accession to the NATO military alliance, a commander in Russia’s aerospace forces said. – Reuters

More than 200 Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have returned home in a prisoner swap, the warring countries said Monday. Russia’s Defense Ministry said 106 Russian soldiers were released from Ukrainian custody as part of an agreement with Ukraine. Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, said that Russia freed 100 Ukrainian prisoners. – Associated Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned a Russian missile strike that he said killed two people, including a child, in a Zaporizhzhia apartment building on Sunday. – The Hill

Editorial: Even as Kyiv’s forces have held fast in the face of Russia’s offensive in eastern Ukraine over the past two months, there is no secret about the West’s anxieties over its own ability, and its will, to continue resupplying Ukrainian troops in a war that looks likely to drag on for many more months or longer. In the Ukraine fight, Putin might plausibly regard his most potent weapon to be the conflict’s most open secret — that the longer the battles drag on, the more pressure will build on Ukraine’s allies to sue for peace, on any terms. No leaks are likely to change that calculus. – Washington Post

Editorial: There is nervousness in Washington that a lower cap would prod Russia to realise its threat of cutting exports. Western countries with big tanker fleets worry about losing business to rivals in non-sanctioning jurisdictions. So far, the objective of inflicting more pain on Russia than on the west, through the caps, appears to be working. But if western leaders want to continue squeezing Putin, they have to recognise that some risks are unavoidable. – Financial Times

David Ignatius writes: Ukraine is betting that a spring counteroffensive can reverse these trends. The administration backs that gamble, too. “Much will depend on the fighting in the spring as to how much longer the war lasts,” the administration official told me. “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies,” British Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously said in 1943. But the Ukraine intelligence documents appear to be largely accurate, and they tell a chilling story. – Washington Post

Vladimir Kara-Murza writes: I subscribe to every word that I have spoken and every word of which I have been accused by this court. I blame myself for only one thing: that over the years of my political activity I have not managed to convince enough of my compatriots and enough politicians in the democratic countries of the danger that the current regime in the Kremlin poses for Russia and for the world. Today this is obvious to everyone, but at a terrible price — the price of war. – Washington Post

Anthony Grant writes: Yet there is no getting around the fact that Europe is on edge. Once Mr. Biden completes his Irish odyssey, he might find it prudent to start doing things like taking Turkey to task over its sundry connivances with Moscow. He will assuredly return to a White House that is badly in need of a round of spring cleaning. – New York Sun

Tara D. Sonenshine writes: The patterns of Russian behavior suggest that Putin may never leave Ukraine fully alone to manage 100 percent of its country without fear, intimidation and territorial confusion. None of this suggests the United States and its allies should cease assisting Ukraine, militarily, economically and through humanitarian aid. We must. But we also need to be clear-eyed about what a win in Ukraine may look like. – The Hill

Seth Cropsey writes: The U.S. and its allies must therefore modify their intellectual framework. Perhaps all wars must end in negotiation, but there is no use in preparing for negotiations with Russia unless one accepts, as a starting point, maximalist Russian ambition. It is an oversimplification that defending Ukraine deters China from assaulting Taiwan. Rather, it is that as Russia and China work to break the Eurasian security system, the U.S. must defend all aspects of that system or risk a complete unraveling. – The Hill

Alexander J. Motyl writes: Western policy should be attentive to questions of length for all the reasons that the RAND analysts correctly invoke. But far more important is the question of outcomes. Does the West want Ukraine to win, even if less than absolutely, and thereby contain the Putin regime, end its war mongering, and reassert the primacy of international law? Or does it want Russia to win by destroying itself, Ukraine, and a good part of the world? Seen in this light, the West’s foot-dragging on supplying Ukraine with all the weapons it needs today could produce the very outcome Charap and Priebe most fear — a long or longer war. – The Hill

Kevin Ryan writes: Putin sees the current war as existential, and epic in its scope. He has declared that Russia is fighting the entire West, with its nuclear states. His people have listened to his arguments and largely support him. And his military is ready and positioned to use nuclear weapons. What evidence do people have that makes them assign low odds to Putin’s using a nuclear weapon? – The Hill


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he was retaining his defense minister, two weeks after firing him in a decision that amplified widespread protests amid concerns that it would undermine the country’s ability to confront a challenging security environment. – Wall Street Journal

Thousands of Israelis, including ministers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government, marched to an evacuated Jewish outpost in the West Bank on Monday in support of settlements viewed as illegal under international law. – Reuters

Israel signed a 1.44 billion shekel ($400 million) deal to sell Spike anti-tank missiles to Greece, Israel’s Defence Ministry said on Monday, just days after reaching a similar-sized deal to provide air defences to newly-inducted NATO member Finland. – Reuters

The mother of two Israeli sisters who were killed last week in a shooting attack in the occupied West Bank has died of her wounds, hospital officials said on Monday. – Reuters

A growing wave of unrest between Israelis and Palestinians claimed two more lives on Monday, after a poll showed plummeting support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party amid a divisive plan to rein in the Supreme Court’s powers. – Reuters

Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) landed in the United States on Monday in a bid to help repair the fraying ties between the two countries, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party fell to a dramatic third place in Channel 13 poll with only 20 seats. – Jerusalem Post

Welcome to the Passover and Ramadan that Hamas planned all along. Every year, without fail, the Gaza-based terror group finds a way to incite violence among impressionable Palestinians and turn Ramadan into a violent blood bath. And every year, without fail, the media and international community find a way to misrepresent the situation. – Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Washington before the end of the month, senior US officials told Sky News Arabia on Monday. – Arutz Sheva

Nadim Koteich writes: The battle to safeguard Israeli democracy and the rule of law will doubtless continue for some time. As we in the Middle East observe this unfolding drama, we can glean valuable insights that, if employed wisely, could improve the region’s well-being and security for years to come. – Wall Street Journal

Amos Harel writes: And who knows, maybe it was the tension or some other reason, but there was no shred of truth in Netanyahu’s claim that Israel attacked Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in response to the rockets. The idea was indeed discussed last week, but was rejected by Netanyahu himself, following the recommendation of the IDF. Last night Netanyahu managed to disrupt the agenda of the evening broadcasts, but it’s doubtful whether his appearance bought him more supporters. Perhaps on the contrary: he seems confused and upset, a leader who’s less and less in control of the situation. – Haaretz

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: As long as the IDF fears a larger conflict to could be significant enough to better deter its adversaries from firing rockets; carrying out pinpoint and calibrated terror attacks that avoid mass casualties; and launching multi-front “limited” challenges, Israel’s adversaries will have a substantial impact on the timing, pace and rules of any conflict or war. – Jerusalem Post


The U.N. food agency said Monday it urgently needs $800 million for the next six months to help Afghanistan, which is at the highest risk of famine in a quarter of a century. – Associated Press

The Taliban have banned families and women from restaurants with gardens or green spaces in Afghanistan’s northwestern Herat province, an official said Monday. The moves followed complaints from religious scholars and members of the public about mixing of genders in such places, he said. – Associated Press

Harlan Ullman writes: The crucial lesson that America refuses to learn is that when force is to be used, it must be done with enough knowledge and understanding of the circumstances to enable it to succeed. We did not learn that after the Vietnam War or before attacking Iraq in 2003 over weapons it did not possess. And we risk making a similar mistake with China, provoking a crisis for the wrong reasons. Herein is the conundrum and cause for alarm. If Joe Biden, with 36 years in the Senate and eight as vice president, could not get Afghanistan right, in the future, who will or can deal with the next real foreign policy crisis? Americans must seriously answer this question. – The Hill

Marc Polymeropoulos writes: This debacle matters for Afghan lives as well as American ones. We must not forget our Afghan allies, many thousands of whom were left behind. This reality tortures very many U.S. military and intelligence personnel. We are alive today because of our Afghan partners’ long service of bravery alongside us. The chaos of those final days, so viscerally underlined by the images out of Kabul airport, testifies to a catastrophic ethical failure by the U.S. government. I’m sorry, but one cannot simply gloss this over. The failure in long-term planning for the evacuation of our Afghan allies, despite veterans groups and nongovernmental organizations pleading for months with the administration to do more, cannot and should not be erased from memory. – Washington Examiner


But the cherished pastime of truffle hunting has become a perilous gamble to make money during desperate economic times. At least 84 people have been killed so far this year hunting truffles in the country’s central and eastern desert, according to two groups that monitor Syria’s war. Some were killed by land mines, others shot by gunmen or kidnapped and killed later. – New York Times 

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia, Iran and Syria may hold consultations in early May as part of Russia’s attempt to help broker a rapprochement between the Turkish and Syrian governments, Turkey’ foreign minister said on Monday. – Reuters

A single rocket targeted coalition forces in northeast Syria on Monday, U.S. Central Command said. – The Hill


Turkey launched its first amphibious assault ship on Monday, aiming to extend its drone capabilities from land-based to naval operations amid increased regional tensions as war rages in Ukraine on the other side of the Black Sea. – Reuters

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is likely to visit Turkey again this week, the government in Ankara said on Monday, adding that progress could be made towards reinstatement of envoys after relations ended a decade ago. – Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used a ceremony showcasing a military carrier to burnish his defense credentials ahead of close-run general elections next month. – Bloomberg

Michael Rubin writes: Simultaneously, the U.S. should convene an emergency meeting of the anti-Islamic State coalition without inviting Turkey. Successful counterterrorism requires cleaning house and brokering no Trojan horse. Finally, it is time to enhance military partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces, providing them with anti-aircraft weaponry as well as their own drones. They are simply a better ally. To ignore the Turkish strike is to normalize it. That Turkey missed and no Americans came home in body bags is not a mitigating factor. Biden’s top responsibility is to protect Americans, not turn his back as adversaries declare open season on Americans. – Washington Examiner

Joshua Levkowitz writes: Since he initially struck the deal, Erdogan has also threatened to leave the agreement and open the gates for Syrians to go West, a longstanding point of leverage that has led to a litany of inhumane practices on both sides of the border. If the opposition wins, however, it could work with the Europeans to shift away from the current zero-sum approach to migration. Rather, dialogue could improve Turkish-European relations, increasing the financial incentives for Turkey to host migrant communities but also investing in pull factors to eventually make Syria a safer, more secure place for Syrians to return to. – Washington Institute

Arabian Peninsula

After eight years of crushing civil war in Yemen, where hundreds of thousands of people have died of violence and hunger, a new round of talks this week has raised a glimmer of hope for a breakthrough in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. – New York Times

U.S. spies caught Russian intelligence officers boasting that they had convinced the oil-rich United Arab Emirates “to work together against US and UK intelligence agencies,” according to a purported American document posted online as part of a major U.S. intelligence breach. – Associated Press 

State oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) will supply full crude contract volumes loading in May to several North Asian buyers despite its pledge to cut output by 500,000 barrels per day, several sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday. – Reuters

Ahmed Bin Sulayem writes: This is just the beginning and we will be exploring new areas of collaboration as we continue to scale our contribution not only to each other but in support of the region playing a greater role as a global center for connectivity, technology, trade and innovation. As you say in Hebrew, may the UAE-Israel relationship continue to go from strength to strength. I wish you a Pesach Sameach, Happy Easter and Ramadan Kareem. – Jerusalem Post

Hadeel Oueis writes: It is time for the US to discuss the war in Yemen as a Yemeni matter and listen to the Yemeni parties more than the regional powers. Ignoring the eternal stakeholders’ goals and vision for Yemen’s future will extend the war, increase human suffering and jeopardize the region’s peace and the mission of combating Al-Qaeda in Yemen, one of the most violent Al-Qaeda branches in the world. – Jerusalem Post

Korean Peninsula

A South Korean official said the government was investigating the circumstances around a leak of highly classified U.S. documents that appeared to show intelligence based on intercepted communications of U.S. allies, including discussions among Seoul officials about concerns over selling ammunition to the U.S. that could end up in Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for “practical and offensive” war capabilities as his state issued a fresh warning to the US and cut communications links with South Korea used to reduce tensions on their heavily armed border. – Bloomberg

North Korea appears to be purposefully cutting a communication link with South Korea as it ratchets up tensions by testing new weapons and denouncing its neighbor as a “puppet traitor” for holding military drills with the US. – Bloomberg

David Albright writes: The three main arsenals that are considered—simple fission weapons only, composite core weapons only, and a combination of thermonuclear weapons and simple fission weapons and/or composite core weapons—are not the only arsenals possible. However, many of the other possible arsenals will fall near or within the range of numbers of nuclear weapons created by the traditional and composite core-only arsenals, where the former represents the upper bound of weapons, and the latter captures the lower bound. This allows for averaging the three distributions, giving a result that may better reflect our current state of knowledge about North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, as we await more information that will afford a more accurate picture of this increasingly dangerous arsenal. – Institute for Science and International Security


The US is not seeking to decouple its economy from China or limit the country’s growth, the Treasury’s top international official said on Monday. – Bloomberg

China has hit back at a report that India confronted Myanmar in recent months with intelligence showing that Beijing is providing help building a surveillance post on a remote island in the Bay of Bengal. – Bloomberg

Australia suspended a complaint to the World Trade Organization in a bid to reopen the Chinese market to Australian barley for the first time in three years in the new government’s latest step toward repairing relations with Beijing. – Associated Press 

Michael Mazza and Shay Khatiri write: China’s operations have clearly become global in scope. Washington cannot adhere to a limited geographic framing of its rivalry with the Communist regime. Beijing’s control over Middle Eastern energy will increase China’s leverage over America’s Indo-Pacific and European allies and partners. Chinese hegemony in the region, moreover, could breed even far greater instability, with global implications. Continued, deep American engagement in the Middle East is a prerequisite to counter an increasingly assertive and aggressive People’s Republic of China. – New York Post

South Asia

Amid escalating conflict between the Indian government and followers of the Sikh religion, some supporters of a separatist movement are using automated Twitter accounts to promote acts of vandalism and at times violence around the world. – Washington Post

Four people were killed and 15 injured in a bombing targeting a police vehicle in a marketplace in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on Monday, a hospital official said. – Reuters

India’s powerful home minister on Monday visited a Himalayan frontier state that China claims as part of its territory to launch a 48 billion rupee ($585 million) development scheme he said would add to the security of the unmarked border. – Reuters

Trade talks between India and Britain have not been suspended and will continue this year, three officials said on Monday, responding to a British newspaper report that said India had “disengaged” from the talks after London failed to condemn Sikh separatists. – Reuters

India seeks to be more involved in world supply chains and serve as an alternative to China through output-incentive plans and the growth of its domestic consumer market, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. – Bloomberg

Ukraine wants India to play a bigger role in resolving the war triggered by Russia’s attack on its territory, Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova told CNBC TV18 in an interview on the first day of her four-day visit to the South Asian country. – Bloomberg


China’s military wrapped up three days of exercises around Taiwan, including a swarm of jet fighters launched from one of its aircraft carriers, saying it gained experience coordinating its different forces as it encircled the self-ruled island. – Wall Street Journal

A possible intelligence leak by the United States was a “serious” incident, Angus Campbell, the chief of Australia’s Defence Force, said on Tuesday, adding that the U.S. was engaging with its partners to understand the consequences. – Reuters

Japan announced on Tuesday it will hold trilateral defence talks with the United States and South Korea on Friday in Washington to discuss regional issues including North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. – Reuters

Indonesia will propose a free trade agreement for some minerals shipped to the United States so that companies in the electric vehicle battery supply chain operating in the country can benefit from U.S. tax credits, a senior minister said on Monday. – Reuters

A top financial official from Hong Kong is set to visit Britain in April in the first ministerial-level visit by an official of the Chinese-ruled territory in more than three years, the government said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has condemned China’s military drills in the Taiwan Strait, saying Tuesday that China did not demonstrate the “responsible” behavior of a major Asian nation. – Associated Press

American and Filipino forces on Tuesday launched their largest combat exercises in decades to be highlighted by a ship-sinking rocket barrage in waters across the disputed South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, where Washington has repeatedly warned China over its increasingly aggressive actions. – Associated Press

The U.S. Navy sailed a destroyer ship in the South China Sea near the contested Spratly Islands on Monday, angering Chinese officials who claim the archipelago as its own after constructing man-made islands. – The Hill

French lawmakers are planning a visit to Taipei amid increasing tensions with China, according to Taiwan’s foreign minister. – Bloomberg

Japan expressed deep concern about increased Chinese military activity around its shores, including in coordination with Russia, at a bilateral meeting of senior officials from Beijing and Tokyo on oceanic matters. – Bloomberg

Australia is set to host its first visit by a senior Chinese official in six years, a sign that ties between the nations are warming despite Canberra signing up to the Aukus submarine deal. – Bloomberg

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the four new sites that the US can access under an expanded defense agreement are intended to bolster the Southeast Asian nation’s capability to defend its territory, and not for any offensive moves. – Bloomberg

Gideon Rachman writes: Taiwan’s chip factories survived but fell under Chinese control, the economic implications would be huge. Control of the world’s most advanced semiconductors would give Beijing a chokehold over the world economy. As the US has already discovered, replicating Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is much harder than it sounds. – Financial Times

Michael Rubin writes: Australian officials may say they are committed to peace, but prioritizing progressive propaganda over ground reality will be a disaster for the entire region. The current unrest is a last gasp by reactionaries and rejectionists to reverse the forward progress of the Abraham Accords. For Australia to act now would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and throw the region into disarray. Washington should not be caught off-guard. If Biden and Blinken truly wish to head off Middle East chaos they should intercede with Canberra before it is too late. – Washington Examiner


French President Emmanuel Macron faced criticism on both sides of the Atlantic over comments he made during a recent trip to China, where he called on Europe to develop a stance independent of the U.S. in navigating tensions between Beijing and Taiwan. – Wall Street Journal

Moldovan President Maia Sandu called for closer integration with Europe and urged supporters to take part in a mass action to signal that Europe is the path they have chosen, rejecting the Kremlin’s attempts to pull the tiny ex-Soviet nation back into its orbit. – Wall Street Journal

Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, told Russia’s defence minister on Monday that he wanted guarantees that Moscow would defend his country if it was attacked, the state-owned BelTA news agency reported. – Reuters

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki flew Tuesday to the United States for meetings aimed at strengthening the economic and defense cooperation of the two nations. – Associated Press

French President Emmanuel Macron begins a state visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday featuring a speech on Europe that will be keenly watched after his controversial remarks on its ties with the US and China. – Agence France-Presse

Anthony Grant writes: One need not forsake one’s roots, nor be a full-throttled Anglophile, to be a mensch. It may take a new Oval Office occupant to put Mr. Churchill back in his place and start fixing the damage — because this is all getting to be rather embarrassing. – New York Sun

Mark Toth and Jonathan Sweet write: If France is to remain relevant in the Western world, Macron must recognize his role is that of an equal partner, not that of a modern-day Napoleon. For now, however, Macron is lost in the fog of the war in Ukraine, not dissimilar to the night fog that overtakes the Tyrone house at the end of O’Neill’s play. Macron cannot see past the dysfunction of his actions, and consequently, the French president’s long day’s journey back from Beijing is leaving France’s future lost yet again in the fog of a Parisian night. – The Hill


A plan by the Ethiopian government to disarm regional forces has sparked protests and a deadly clash in the northern Amhara region after some residents said they feared disarmament might force them to give up territory that Amhara now controls or leave them vulnerable to ethnic attacks. – Washington Post

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will push this week for urgent resolution of requests by Zambia and Ghana for restructuring of their sovereign debts, and moves to conclude a debt treatment for Sri Lanka, Treasury said on Monday. – Reuters

Two Catholic Relief Services (CRS) workers were shot and killed on Sunday in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, the charity said, amid violent anti-government protests triggered by a federal government decision to disband regional special forces units. – Reuters

The Americas

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday he would invite his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to Brazil, speaking on the eve of his departure the Asian country in a bid to tighten relations between the two countries. – Reuters

Mexico manufactures the synthetic drugs that its cartels smuggle across the border. Communist China produces the narcotics’ precursors. Now, the leaders of both countries are uniting in indignant protest, denying any responsibility for America’s deadly fentanyl crisis. – New York Sun

Members of Mexico’s security cabinet will be in the United States this week to meet with U.S. officials about the trafficking of synthetic opioid fentanyl, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday. – Reuters

Canada on Monday said it will continue to work with its Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, and declined to confirm or deny any information from U.S. intelligence documents leaked on social media. – Reuters

Brian Lee Crowley writes: Canada is one of America’s closest allies, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. If a significant part of the leaked intelligence briefings turns out to be founded, Ottawa’s reaction reveals a country whose institutions and elites have been so compromised that they can’t protect Canada’s national interests or those of its democratic allies. – Wall Street Journal

United States

The Pentagon is conducting an internal investigation of how purported secret documents detailing Ukraine war plans and intelligence on U.S. allies surfaced online in recent weeks, as the U.S. sought to soothe foreign governments whose countries were mentioned in the files. – Wall Street Journal

Former President Trump’s legal team is appealing a sealed order requiring limited testimony from former Vice President Pence after a judge determined he must answer questions from the Justice Department about some aspects of Trump’s attempts to stay in power. – The Hill

A former Green Beret who was part of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was found guilty of multiple weapon charges, including illegal possession of fragmentation grenades. – Military.com

Editorial: That dereliction may now have serious battlefield consequences. After the leak, the U.S. has an even greater obligation to speed up deliveries of Western air defenses and advanced fighter jets such as F-16s that can defend the skies if Russia unleashes its fighters. Meanwhile, let’s hope the intelligence leak is a one-time episode. If the leakers have stolen more documents, and this becomes a deluge, more than Ukraine will be in trouble. – Wall Street Journal

Walter Russell Mead writes: Mr. Obama’s real error was to base his foreign policy around a rules-based international order that he lacked the skill and will to defend. He couldn’t bring about the world he wanted, or prepare the country for life after the death of the dream. […]This is a sobering legacy. We must hope that President Biden and his advisers think carefully about how they wish to be remembered. – Wall Street Journal


A federal investigation into a major leak of highly classified U.S. documents has cast a spotlight on a social-media outlet popularized by videogame enthusiasts. – Wall Street Journal

Australian consumer finance firm Latitude Group Holdings Ltd (LFS.AX) will not pay a ransom to those behind a cyber attack last month, saying it will be detrimental to customers and cause harm to the broader community by encouraging further attacks. – Reuters

The FBI is warning people to not use public phone charging stations, which have become increasingly popular in places like airports and shopping malls. – The Hill

Progressive lawmakers are emerging as the fiercest defenders of TikTok on Capitol Hill as the push to ban the popular video-sharing app heats up in Washington. – The Hill

China plans to require a security review of generative AI services before they’re allowed to operate, casting uncertainty over ChatGPT-like bots unveiled by the country’s largest tech companies including Baidu Inc. – Bloomberg

A US Commerce Department agency is opening an inquiry into how companies and regulators can ensure that artificial intelligence systems are trustworthy, legal and ethical. – Bloomberg

Ciaran Martin writes: Officials sought to counter these concerns with an impressive paper from GCHQ experts about how the technology works and interacts with platforms. But the government did not then go on to set out how client-side scanning would work in law without compromising security. The possibility of being forced to introduce this function prompted WhatsApp’s warning that it will let itself be blocked in the UK. Signal will certainly leave if asked to do so. – Financial Times


Retired Navy Commander Kirk Lippold called on the Biden administration to project strength after China’s latest military exercises near Taiwan were interpreted as a show of force. – Fox News

The U.S. Space Force’s acquisition plan for its next phase of National Security Space Launch contracts will make it easier for the Space Development Agency to buy and schedule launch missions, according to the organization’s director. – Defense News

Improving readiness has been the centerpiece of Adm. Mike Gilday’s work as CNO. Since 2020, he’s advocated for spending U.S. Navy dollars first on readiness, then on increasing lethality and then buying more capacity as budgets allow. […]However, lawmakers see the size of the fleet as a way to measure deterrence. They also want to create the jobs generated through stable shipbuilding programs.  – Defense News

When Cmdr. Amanda Browning joined the Navy, she learned how to drive and operate a ship from a set of CD-ROMs on a computer aboard Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53). Twenty years ago, new surface warfare officers learned on the job after a cost-saving decision to trim upfront training, and the results were far from consistent. – USNI News

The United States no longer has the capacity to quickly produce needed wartime assets, like 155 mm artillery shells, or to repair vital sophisticated systems, like radar, rapidly in theater, a panel of expert logisticians said last week. – USNI News

Long War

A string of Islamic State Khorasan province attacks in recent months has brought renewed attention to the lack of U.S. ability to run counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan since the full military withdrawal in 2021, experts said. – Fox News

In reality, Hajj Camp in Borno State is a centre for processing tens of thousands of jihadists, their families and those who lived under their control. In exchange for freedom, the government persuaded them to turn themselves in — a move aimed at ending an insurgency by Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group that has killed thousands and displaced over two million more since 2009. – Agence France-Presse

Five Palestinians who were planning to carry out a terrorist attack in the coming hours were arrested by the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Border Police in Jenin on Tuesday morning. – Jerusalem Post

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem on Monday downplayed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech, which focused on deterrent messages towards terrorist organizations and hostile Arab countries. – Arutz Sheva