Fdd's overnight brief

April 11, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

Israeli airstrikes killed three adult sons of the head of Hamas’s political leadership on Wednesday, the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr, in an attack that could complicate a U.S.-led plan for a cease-fire in the six-month-old conflict in Gaza. – Wall Street Journal

This weekend, Israel’s war in Gaza turned six months old. It’s already left at least 33,000 people dead in Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants but says the majority of the dead are women and children. Israel continues to mourn not only for the 1,200 people estimated killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, but also for the 250-plus soldiers killed in Gaza since the war began. – Washington Post

A senior Hamas official said on Wednesday that Hamas did not have 40 living hostages in Gaza who met the criteria for an exchange under a proposed cease-fire agreement with Israel being negotiated. – New York Times

Israeli authorities have improved aid delivery to Gaza but still “need to do more,” President Biden said on Wednesday, offering a measured assessment of how well Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was living up to promises he made last week. – New York Times

The Palestinian Authority is pushing for global recognition of a Palestinian state by asking the U.N. Security Council to reconsider its application for full membership. “We sincerely hope after 12 years since we changed our status to an observer state, that the Security Council will elevate itself to implementing the global consensus on the two-state solution by admitting the state of Palestine for full membership,” Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, told reporters Monday. – Washington Post

In Israel, the war is shaking a young generation that, until the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas last year, had been largely spared the violence and existential fears their parents and grandparents lived through. – Wall Street Journal

Switzerland is imposing financial sanctions and travel restrictions against six individuals which are involved in financing Hamas and the organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the government said in a statement on Wednesday. – Bloomberg

Israel has accused the United Nations of undercounting aid entering Gaza, saying on Wednesday the U.N. was using a flawed approach meant to conceal its own distribution difficulties, amid growing pressure on Israel to let in more relief supplies. – Reuters

Israel will open a new land crossing into the Gaza Strip designed mainly to facilitate deliveries to Palestinians of aid from overseas or neighbouring Jordan, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Israel has agreed in Gaza war ceasefire talks in Egypt to concessions about the return of Palestinians to the north of the enclave, but believes Islamist group Hamas does not want to strike a deal, Israeli officials said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Aid shipments to Gaza are expected to resume soon from Cyprus, officials said on Wednesday, after the project was brought to a halt last week following Israel’s killing of seven aid workers. – Reuters

France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday there was no immediate plan to impose sanctions on Israel to force it to allow more humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, toning down his stance after tougher remarks made earlier this week. – Reuters

Various weapons and combat equipment were discovered and confiscated, and two suspects were arrested in Eizariya near Jerusalem during a Wednesday night Israel police operation, the Police Spokesperson Unit reported on Thursday. – Jerusalem Post

Talks for building a marine pier in Gaza, which would enable swift and efficient transport of large-scale humanitarian aid, are progressing. What is contributing to that are the threats by U.S. President Joe Biden that he’ll change his policy if the Israel Defense Forces doesn’t increase humanitarian assistance to Gaza. What added to the urgency was the killing of the seven employees of the World Central Kitchen in Gaza, as a result of serious IDF negligence. Biden announced the pier initiative in his State of the Union address about a month ago. – Haaretz

The senior US military commander in charge of the Middle East is expected to go to Israel Thursday to coordinate around a possible attack on Israel by Iran and its proxies, two Israeli officials told Barak Ravid of Axios on Wednesday. – Arutz Sheva

Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, is on the way to diplomatic relations with Israel, Yedioth Aharonot reported this morning (Thursday). – Arutz Sheva

The IDF estimates that Hezbollah has begun to gather intelligence on its activities in the border area with Syria, in preparation for planning attacks against Israel from there. As part of this, Hezbollah is moving its operatives to the border area, and is trying to get closer to the fence. – News Wallia

Benny Morris writes: A hundred or so years of conflict with Arab nations and of terrorism, culminating in the Hamas brutality of Oct. 7, have demonstrated that Israel, certainly for the moment, can be considered the least safe place on earth for Jews. Invading Rafah is vital to eliminating Hamas and restoring that safety. You don’t have to like Benjamin Netanyahu to see that. – New York Times

Aharon Friedman writes: Fabricating new legal obligations and judicial jurisdiction against law-abiding countries such as Israel harms humanitarian objectives by creating a perverse advantage for terrorists and rogue regimes that encourages them to initiate barbaric attacks. America’s adversaries are watching and planning accordingly. – Washington Examiner

Joe Buccino writes: This is how Netanyahu is seeking to shore up his domestic support and maintain his grip on power, even as he risks further isolating Israel on the international stage. Whether this strategy ultimately succeeds remains to be seen. – The Hill

David Horovitz writes: Israel is in the midst of multiple crises — with a stalled war in the south; a potentially far worse conflict in the north, acute tensions in the West Bank, Iran’s multiple machinations, international hostility, no remotely competent public diplomacy, dysfunctional governance that continues to fail the citizenry at the most basic level, and an electorate riven over the Haredi community’s exclusion from national service and much more besides. Directly responsible for some, Netanyahu undermines Israel’s capacity to tackle all these crises. – Times of Israel

Iran

U.S. intelligence reports show that an attack on Israeli assets by Iran or its proxies could be imminent, U.S. officials said Wednesday, as the top American military commander for the Middle East headed to Israel to coordinate a response. – Wall Street Journal

For the past 15 years, the most important clues about Iran’s nuclear program have lain deep underground, in a factory built inside a mountain on the edge of Iran’s Great Salt Desert. The facility, known as Fordow, is the heavily protected inner sanctum of Iran’s nuclear complex and a frequent destination for international inspectors whose visits are meant to ensure against any secret effort by Iran to make nuclear bombs. – Washington Post

Israel’s Foreign Minister threatened Wednesday that his country’s forces would strike Iran directly if the Islamic Republic launched an attack from its territory against Israel. – Associated Press

German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), said on Wednesday it had suspended flights to Tehran due to the situation in the Middle East, which is on alert for possible Iranian retaliation for a suspected Israeli air strike on Iran’s embassy in Syria. – Reuters

Farhad Razei writes: In 1985, Ayatollah Khomeini was forced to end the war with Iraq to avoid a collapse of the regime. He described the decision as “drinking a chalice of poison.” It looks like his successors may have to drink from that same chalice to avoid total ruination. – Jerusalem Post

Russia & Ukraine

The top U.S. general overseeing military operations in Europe warned lawmakers Wednesday that the war in Ukraine has reached a decisive moment, with Russia expected to hold a 10-1 advantage on artillery shells “within weeks” unless the United States approves additional military support for the government in Kyiv. – Washington Post

Ukraine’s reluctance to lower the age still further reflects the lingering impact of history. The causes of the current demographic problem stretch back more than a century – New York Times

Five days after Alexei Navalny died in a Russian prison, another critic of President Vladimir Putin appeared in a grainy video link from his Siberian jail, dressed in a black prison uniform against the stark white walls of his cell. – Wall Street Journal

Russian businessman Mikhail Fridman won a legal challenge over the European Union’s decision to sanction him—the highest profile defeat so far for the bloc’s sanctions regime against Russia in response to its war in Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

A Russian attack struck a grocery store and a pharmacy in a Ukrainian village close to the border with Russia on Wednesday, killing three people including a 14-year-old girl, authorities said, as the Kremlin’s forces kept up a relentless bombardment. – Associated Press

Russian authorities have put more Kremlin critics on a wanted list as its crackdown against dissent reaches unprecedented levels since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine more than two years ago. – Associated Press

Ukrainian authorities reported blasts in the country’s northeastern, southern and western regions on Thursday morning, during a fresh wave of Russian missile strikes which Kyiv said damaged its power grid facilities. – Reuters

Russia will embark on a third attempt on Thursday to proceed with a test launch of its Angara-A5 space rocket after technical glitches prompted officials to abort missions at the very last minute for two days in a row. – Reuters

Russian forces launched deadly attacks on Wednesday on frequent targets in the south and north of Ukraine, in Kharkiv and Odesa regions, killing seven people and injuring many more, officials said. – Reuters

President Vladimir Putin’s stated goal of retaining the Ukrainian territory occupied by Russian forces is being met with grudging bipartisan acquiescence in the United States, even among lawmakers who want to send more weapons to Ukraine. – Washington Examiner

Russia’s armed forces have grown larger and not dwindled during its war in Ukraine, a top US general said on Wednesday. – Business Insider

Grigory Vaypan writes: If Kara-Murza is keeping the flame of hope alive in his prison cell, we can do no less. The US and its allies should focus on additional measures to impose in the event of his demise and communicate these to the Kremlin. It is vital for Russia that a man of this extraordinary caliber survives to see the day when he can lead the reckoning with the country’s terrible past. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Turkey

Turkey on Tuesday hit out at Greece’s plans to set aside some of the waters between the two countries for ecological sustainability, as Ankara is contesting the sovereignty of some of the maritime territory involved. – Politico

Zvi Bar’el writes: The Turkish sanctions will be economically damaging and there’s no point in asking who will be damaged more, because the answer won’t reduce the blow. But Israel’s foreign relations were fatally hurt before Turkey imposed sanctions, and will continue to threaten its status even if Turkey revokes the sanctions. – Haaretz

David Rosenberg writes: Erdogan’s move puts the leaders of these three Arab countries in an embarrassing position. He is fighting the good fight while they do nothing, a common theme of protestors in the Arab world. As a result, one or more of them may be pushed into making some empty gesture, such as a ban on exports to Israel that don’t really exist. But it is likely Turkey will be the only one to make a real sacrifice for the sake of Gaza. – Haaretz

Arabian Peninsula

Yemen’s Houthis said on Wednesday they targeted four vessels, including what they described as a U.S. warship, with drones and naval missiles in the Gulf of Aden, part of their stated campaign of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. – Reuters

The shipping industry’s pledge to limit its carbon footprint may suffer a setback as the current Red Sea crisis prompts it to use more vessels and take longer routes to ensure the smooth sailing of global maritime trade. – Reuters

One of the best places to view the Gulf states’ unfolding rivalry over artificial intelligence is inside an unmarked building in an industrial park near a golf course on the outskirts of Dubai. The windowless facility is cool and extraordinarily clean. Upon entering, guests step onto sticky blue floor mats designed to prevent stray sand particles from making their way inside. Like the scorching heat outside, any speck of desert dust could be hazardous to the multimillion-dollar equipment stored within. – Bloomberg

Middle East & North Africa

Russia’s foreign ministry told citizens on Thursday that they should refrain from travelling to the Middle East, especially to Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. – Reuters

The U.S. Middle East envoy called the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Iraq to ask them to deliver a message to Iran urging it to lower tensions with Israel following a suspected Israeli air strike on Iran’s embassy in Syria, a source with knowledge of the situation said. – Reuters

A Lebanese man sanctioned by the U.S. for his alleged links with the Palestinian group Hamas was found dead Wednesday after he went missing for a week, Lebanese state media and judicial officials said. – Associated Press

The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday it had intercepted a rocket fired from Lebanon at the northern border city of Kiryat Shmona, as United Nations peacekeepers stationed along border warned that the ongoing violence between Israel and terror group Hezbollah could dangerously escalate. – Times of Israel

Ben Cahill and Raad Alkadiri write: This trajectory is not inevitable. Ultimately, the fundamentals win. It is quite possible that supply risks—especially the most apocalyptic—will not materialize, and the current bullishness will fade. But market psychology has shifted significantly, and it tends to take on a momentum of its own in the absence of clear evidence to the contrary. At a minimum, prices are likely to stay at their current level, and, as long as the conflict in the Middle East continues, volatility seems likely to return. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Korean Peninsula

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s ruling conservatives stumbled badly in legislative elections held Wednesday, an outcome that spawns new foreign-policy questions for allies and foes. – Wall Street Journal

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said unstable geopolitical situations surrounding his country mean now is the time to be more prepared for war than ever, as he inspected the country’s main military university, KCNA news agency said on Thursday. – Reuters

The electoral disaster suffered by President Yoon’s “ruling” conservative party in South Korea’s national assembly elections Wednesday will raise questions about the future of what had seemed like much-improved ties with both Washington and Tokyo. – New York Sun

China

Xi Jinping welcomed former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou to Beijing on Wednesday, underscoring the Chinese leader’s preoccupation with Taiwan as Washington hosts a summit with the two Asian allies most likely to be pulled into a conflict around the island. – Wall Street Journal

The conclusions in the top-secret intelligence briefing were stark: China “clandestinely and deceptively” interfered in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 federal elections, seeking to support candidates favorable to Beijing’s strategic interests. – Washington Post

A representative for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) was detained and deported from Hong Kong, the press freedom advocacy group said on Wednesday, describing it as a “new decline” in press freedoms in the Chinese-controlled territory. – Reuters

Subsidy investigations started by the European Union interfere with the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Europe, and China resolutely opposes them, a Chinese commerce ministry official said. – Reuters

South Asia

In a Pashtu-language book, the Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP) sheds light on the 1992 destruction by extremist Hindus of the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the Indian town of Ayodhya. The book discusses the destruction of the mosque and the Afghan Taliban’s diplomatic relations with the rightwing Hindu government in India. – Memri

Sadanand Dhume writes: Afghanistan’s return to barbarism also reveals the inability or unwillingness of rising Asian powers like China and India to fill the vacuum left behind by a receding U.S. Despite what many leftists believe, a diminished U.S. would be a disaster for many nations of the so-called Global South. Ask the women of Afghanistan. – Wall Street Journal

Michael Kugelman writes: There may be a precedent for external meddling in Nepal’s politics: China, which aims to deepen its footprint in Nepal, has reportedly sought to unite different leftist parties in Nepal and—unsuccessfully—to pressure Nepali lawmakers not to ratify a U.S. infrastructure grant. – Foreign Policy

Asia

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will head to Capitol Hill on Thursday for an address to U.S. lawmakers meant to underscore the importance of keeping a strong partnership between the two countries at a time of tension in the Asia-Pacific and skepticism in Congress about U.S. involvement abroad. – Associated Press

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he is considering a request from Australia to drop the decade-long U.S. push to prosecute Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for publishing a trove of American classified documents. – Associated Press

The Philippines is eyeing around $100 billion in investment deals in the next five to 10 years from the country’s trilateral summit with the United States and Japan, the presidential office said in a statement, quoting its ambassador to Washington. – Reuters

On the eve of a trilateral summit between the United States, Japan and the Philippines, two prominent U.S. senators on Wednesday introduced a bipartisan bill to provide Manila with $2.5 billion to boost its defenses against Chinese pressure – Reuters

Google will invest $1 billion to improve digital connectivity between the U.S. and Japan through two new subsea cables, the Alphabet-owned (GOOGL.O), firm said on Wednesday amid a visit by the Japanese prime minister to boost ties between the countries.- Reuters

There’s no reason for China to “overreact” to the joint maritime patrol by the US, Japan, Australia and the Philippines in the disputed South China Sea, a White House advisor said. – Bloomberg

An escalating diplomatic row and recent maritime run-ins between China and the Philippines, a U.S. treaty ally, have made the highly strategic South China Sea a potential flashpoint between Washington and Beijing. – Reuters

Some 200 Myanmar military personnel withdrew to a bridge connecting the border town of Myawaddy to Thailand on Thursday following a days-long assault in the area by anti-junta rebels, according to an ethnic armed group spokesman and local media. – Reuters

Apple (AAPL.O), was pressed on Thursday to take action on Vietnam’s detention of climate experts, with activist organizations saying it should weigh in given that the country has become a key manufacturing hub for the iPhone maker. – Reuters

Britain will hold regular joint military exercises in the Indo-Pacific with the United States and Japan from 2025, seeking to boost security in the region, the British Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Thailand’s military tightened security on Wednesday along a western border town adjoining Myanmar, where anti-junta rebels continued to clash with a weakened military that has suffered a string of defeats in frontier areas. – Reuters

The leaders of America and Japan unveiled a lengthy list of defense agreements Wednesday in what U.S. President Joe Biden called “the most significant upgrade in our alliance since it was first established.” – Defense News 

Editorial: The enduring US-Japan relationship is testament to the two countries’ shared democratic values and ability to overcome past enmity. Strengthening that alliance is critical to promoting stability and building a more peaceful world. – Bloomberg

Emil Avdaliani writes: Anyone imagining that Georgia’s government might seek a better relationship with the West following its green light from the European Union (EU) on candidate status will need to re-think. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Kenneth Weinstein writes: For far too long, Japan spoke softly but failed to carry a big stick. Now, by speaking softly, it has enhanced American diplomacy. By starting to carry its own sticks, Japan is both enhancing the U.S.-Japan alliance and making a significant contribution to Indo-Pacific security. We would expect nothing less from our most important ally. – Hudson Institute

Europe

The Swiss government will host a two-day high-level conference in June aimed at achieving peace in Ukraine, it said on Wednesday, although Russia has made clear it will not take part in the initiative. – Reuters

Ukraine and Britain have signed a framework agreement to cooperate in the defence and arms production sector, officials said in Kyiv, part of a wartime effort to build up Ukraine’s domestic weapons industry by working with allies. – Reuters

The leader of Moldova’s minority Gagauzia region, at odds with the ex-Soviet state’s central authorities over her pro-Moscow sympathies, returned on Wednesday from her second trip to Russia in a month with promises of Kremlin assistance. – Reuters

The Nordic and Baltic nations support an increased role for NATO in providing assistance to Ukraine in its war with Russia, and support the country’s ambition to join the EU, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom told a press conference on Wednesday. – Reuters

European Union lawmakers approved Wednesday a major revamp of the bloc’s migration laws, hoping to end years of division over how to manage the entry of thousands of people without authorization and deprive the far right of a vote-winning campaign issue ahead of June elections. – Associated Press

The French navy is shifting its training away from a focus on policing operations to gird for war against foes who want “to destroy us,” says Rear Admiral Jacques Mallard, the commander of France’s carrier battle group. – Politico

Italy’s plans to buy an undersea drone derived from an Israeli firm Elta Systems platform have been abruptly put on hold, defeated by ambitions to give the order to Italian industry and by increased sensitivity over buying arms from Israel. – Defense News

Shay Khatiri writes: Choosing Mr. Rutte for secretary general would signal to the Kremlin that NATO wishes to return to the status quo ante once the war in Ukraine is over. Americans will also get the message: Despite all the administration’s rhetoric about greater reliance on allies, Mr. Biden will nonetheless overlook NATO members in good standing in favor of the more difficult allies in Western Europe. By doing so, Mr. Biden feeds into Mr. Trump’s anti-NATO rhetoric. – Wall Street Journal

Julie Burchill writes: The London rallies are about tormenting the Jews — one of the oldest, most successful, and peaceful of immigrant communities in Britain. They are about envy more than indignation, blood-lust more than a desire for peace. Aldous Huxley wrote, “The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.” – New York Sun

Africa

Ethiopia’s state-appointed rights commission on Wednesday called for an investigation into the killing of a prominent opposition figure recently released from prison. – Associated Press

Mali’s junta has issued a decree halting political party activities, government spokesperson Abdoulaye Maiga announced in a statement read on state television on Wednesday evening. – Reuters

The U.S. will make a push of more than a hundred million in additional funding to respond to the conflict in Sudan as Washington seeks to spur international response at a donor conference on the humanitarian crisis this month, the U.S. Special Envoy to the North African country said on Wednesday. – Reuters

In the rolling grasslands of the Amboseli wildlife park, conservationists fret about an emerging threat to Kenyan elephants that are crucial to its tourism business: licensed hunters across the border in Tanzania. The two East African neighbours manage elephant herds differently. – Reuters

Justice Malala writes: In his nine years in power, Zuma ran the equivalent of a corrupt Mafia state. Global companies were forced into cozy relationships with his benefactors […] A South Africa with Zuma anywhere near the levers of power would be a return to the country’s worst-ever days since democracy dawned 30 years ago. – Bloomberg

Latin America

Peru will not require Mexican visitors to secure a visa to visit the South American nation, officials said on Wednesday, in a reversal after insisting last week it would match Mexico’s newly-approved visa requirement for Peruvian visitors. – Reuters

Social media platform X has received an inquiry from the U.S. House of Representatives “regarding actions taken in Brazil that were in violation of Brazilian law,” Elon Musk said on Wednesday in a post on X. – Reuters

The Port of Paranagua, one of Brazil’s busiest for sugar and grain exports, said on Wednesday one conveyor belt at its so-called export corridor remains inoperative after labor authorities idled it over a “risk of explosion.” – Reuters

Colombian negotiators will travel to Venezuela’s capital Caracas to hold an extraordinary round of peace talks with leftist rebel group the National Liberation Army (ELN), the government said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Brazil’s government extended exemptions to tourist visa requirements for citizens of the U.S., Australia and Canada until April 2025, extending a program aimed at boosting tourism that had been scheduled to end Wednesday. – Fox News

Ana Leca writes: Senators Rubio, Cardin, and Cassidy are right. And unfortunately, for the Venezuelan people, time is running out. The free world must stop Maduro’s red smoke screen from blocking out the hope of democracy in Venezuela — before it is too late. – Fox News

Cybersecurity

Apple Inc (AAPL.O), has warned its users in India and ninety-one other countries that they were possible victims of a “mercenary spyware attack”, according to a threat notification email that was sent to targeted users. – Reuters

The United States is adding four Chinese companies to an export blacklist for seeking to acquire AI chips for China’s military, a U.S. official said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), Orange (ORAN.PA), Airbus (AIR.PA), and 15 other EU companies have criticised a proposal that would allow Amazon (AMZN.O), opens new tab, Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O), Google and Microsoft (MSFT.O), to bid for highly sensitive EU cloud computing contracts. – Reuters

Billionaire and early OpenAI backer Vinod Khosla says he supports the forced divestiture of the social media platform TikTok from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. – Business Insider

T&T on Wednesday began the process of notifying more than 51 million people that their personal information, including social security numbers, were part of a massive dataset shared publicly last month, according to a filing with the Office of the Maine Attorney General. – CyberScoop

U.S. Cyber Command expanded the use of its elite digital warfighting corps in 2023, deploying the team nearly two dozen times around the globe to uncover malicious software and bolster the defenses of allies, the command’s chief said on Wednesday. – The Record

Defense

The Army has ordered an aviation “safety stand up,” with additional aviation training across the force following a dozen mishaps that have resulted in 10 fatalities in only the first six months of the fiscal year. – Defense News

The U.S. Navy is using its effort to strengthen the weapons-industrial base as something of a test run for larger spending in the shipbuilding and submarine sectors, a top acquisition official said. – Defense News

Demand for information warfare capabilities is growing and will stake a larger presence among the undersea community in the near future, according to one U.S. Navy commander. – Defense News

A space-focused program spreading hundreds of small satellites in low orbit aims to bring clearer communications and faster data transfer in the field to military units, a key to Marine Corps war-fighting needs. – Defense News

The Space Force’s long-awaited commercial space strategy offers near-term action steps to improve the way it procures private-sector space capabilities, though it lacks detail on how the service plans to pay for them. – Defense News

Late delivery of steam turbines for the under-construction District of Columbia (SSBN-826) is one of the main obstacles the Navy faces in delivering the nuclear ballistic missile submarine on time, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro told a House panel on Wednesday. – USNI News

In the age of hypersonic weapons, commanders will have milli-seconds to act on information gathered from the data flooding in during combat, a former director of command, control, communications and cyber for the Joint Staff said this week. – USNI News

Jack Detsch writes: But China, on the other hand, might not want to run a marathon against the United States or other Western powers. On both sides of the Atlantic, officials and experts are also thinking about mobilization in deterrence terms now. NATO officials characterize the option of bringing two U.S. divisions across the Atlantic Ocean to help out in an Article 5 contingency as one of their chief deterrents against Russia—anywhere between 45,000 and 90,000 troops. – Foreign Policy

Long War

Russia launched a “counter-terrorist operation” in parts of the city of Nalchik and in the Cherek district of its southern Kabardino-Balkaria region on Thursday, the RIA news agency cited local authorities as saying. – Reuters

Two Iraqi citizens have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, as well as membership in terrorist group Islamic State (IS). The detention of the married couple follows a resolution by the German parliament last year that recognizes crimes committed by IS against the Yazidi religious minority in Iraq as genocide. – Politico

Colin P. Clarke writes: Many of the partnerships, lessons learned, and best practices from the global war on terror should not be jettisoned simply because the focus of ISIS and its affiliates is currently elsewhere. Western security services and intelligence agencies need to remain vigilant, but even more important, there needs to be a consistent and steady stream of resources—money, manpower, and counterterrorism tools—dedicated to the fight. – Foreign Policy