Fdd's overnight brief

April 15, 2022

In The News


The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the warship Moskva, sank Thursday from damage suffered from a fire following what the Ukrainian military said was a cruise missile strike targeting the vessel. – Wall Street Journal  

As Ukraine prepares to resist a new Russian military assault in the east, it likely will be doing so with weapons and equipment the U.S. once considered too risky to provide to Kyiv, highlighting how the line between offensive and defensive assistance has blurred in recent weeks. – Wall Street Journal  

President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that Western sanctions have stymied Russia’s energy industry, the country’s economic engine, and that it will need to reorient oil and gas sales from markets in Europe to Asia. – Wall Street Journal 

Russia this week sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that U.S. and NATO shipments of the “most sensitive” weapons systems to Ukraine were “adding fuel” to the conflict there and could bring “unpredictable consequences.” – Washington Post 

Ukrainian officials have run more than 8,600 facial recognition searches on dead or captured Russian soldiers in the 50 days since the war began, using the scans to identify bodies and contact hundreds of their families in what may be one of the most gruesome applications of the technology to date. – Washington Post 

Russia warned Finland and Sweden on Thursday that if they join NATO, Moscow will reinforce the Baltic Sea region, including with nuclear weapons. – Washington Post 

As President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia vows to fight the war to its “full completion” and his forces regroup for an expected push in Ukraine’s east, NATO countries, including the United States, are scrambling to keep the weapons flowing and bulk up the country’s defenses. – New York Times 

State television programs in Russia have not shied away from showing images of death and destruction in Ukraine. […]But the images are accompanied by rhetoric that blames Ukraine or the West for the attacks, or accuses the Ukrainian government of falsification. The word “fake” is thrown around constantly — in some cases printed in bright red letters across gruesome videos and photos. – New York Times 

Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova glances at her cell phone. The stark numbers and bare-bones accounts that unreel in her hand are just the start; her staff will catalog them, investigate them — and try to bring the Russian perpetrators of war crimes to justice. This is her purpose: To make Vladimir Putin and his forces pay for what they have done. While courts around the world are working to hold Russia accountable, the bulk of the investigation – and the largest number of prosecutions – will likely be done by Ukraine itself. – Associated Press

The head of the International Monetary Fund warned Thursday that Russia’s war against Ukraine was weakening the economic prospects for most of the world’s countries and called high inflation “a clear and present danger” to the global economy. – Associated Press 

The threat of Russia potentially using tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons in Ukraine cannot be taken lightly, but the CIA has not seen a lot of practical evidence reinforcing that concern, CIA Director William Burns said on Thursday. – Reuters  

The Ukrainian parliament announced on Thursday that it adopted a declaration that recognized actions committed by Russia’s military as “acts of genocide.” – The Hill  

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday acknowledged that Western sanctions have already begun to upset Russia’s energy industry and warned that further global disruption to the country’s oil sector could have “extremely painful” consequences for those aiming to stymie Russia’s economy. – Business Insider  

Donbas, a sprawling and beleaguered heartland region that blankets much of eastern Ukraine, has been the front line of the country’s conflict with Russia since 2014. – CNN 

The US has a “long playbook” of further sanctions planned against Russia and sees little scope for lifting existing ones, according to a senior state department official. – Financial Times  

The New York-based Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Ukrainian authorities to investigate the deaths of journalists Roman Nezhyborets and Zoreslav Zamoyskiy during Russia’s invasion to determine if they were targeted for their work, and to bring those responsible to justice. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

A former adviser to the Russian government has warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin could risk losing power if he escalates the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. – Newsweek 

Federal prosecutors have charged a high-ranking Russian legislator and his staff for allegedly conspiring to secretly lobby U.S. officials to advance Moscow’s interests. – Newsweek

President Joe Biden has called Russia’s war on Ukraine a genocide and accused Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes. But his administration has struggled with how much intelligence it is willing to give the Ukrainian forces that are trying to stop the Russian leader. – Associated Press 

Editorial: Mr. Putin could still succeed in swallowing parts of Ukraine, and he’ll use his gains to keep threatening the country’s existence. The fastest end to the human suffering is to confront the Russian dictator with the gradual destruction of his military if he continues this war of conquest. Mr. Putin cares more about that than he does moral denunciations. – Wall Street Journal 

John Bolton writes: Choosing the right judicial decision-maker isn’t an arcane jurisdictional issue, nor is it deferrable to the vague future. American leadership can significantly enhance Ukraine’s principled national sovereignty and remind Russians that their ultimate place in history is in their hands, not in a distant international court. – Wall Street Journal  

Fareed Zakaria writes: The United States has dedicated about $16 billion in aid to Ukraine since the invasion. Meanwhile, the world is expected to pay $320 billion to Russia this year for its energy. Economic sanctions will not force Putin to end the war as long as this gaping loophole exists. The only pressure that will force Russia to the negotiating table is military defeat — in the south. Putin’s Plan A failed, but we cannot let his Plan B succeed. – Washington Post 

Sebastian Mallaby writes: The next test for the West will involve Russia’s energy exports. […]Of course, Germany in particular fears that a ban on Russian energy imports would puncture its economy. But there are tricks short of an outright ban — a stiff tariff that discourages consumption and pressures Russia to discount prices would be a step in the right direction. Ultimately a ban is the right choice. Even if Germany has to experience a recession, its sacrifice will be nothing compared to the suffering in Ukraine, nor to the stresses in the front-line nations that are filling up with refugees. – Washington Post 

Laurence H. Tribe and Jeremy Lewin write: Mr. Putin’s Russia knows no rule of law — only brute force. He views our legal protections as “obsolete” sources of weakness, part of his broader boast that free societies cannot stand up to him and other despots around the world. He’s wrong. […]By deploying the powers our legal system affords, we have the tools we need to help the courageous people of Ukraine survive and defeat him. It will be poetic justice under law for us to do so by turning his own treasure against him. – New York Times 

John Thornhill writes: Outrage about the war in Ukraine is justified. The political outlook for Russia under Putin is also dire. And the opposition remains perilously weak in spite of the courageous defiance of the imprisoned Alexei Navalny. But there remain both good economic and political reasons for engaging, rather than rebuffing, these latest Russian exiles. – Financial Times 

Lorenzo Kamel writes: In the real world, or the one that is taking shape, coherence and “whataboutism” are not the same. In other words, the problem is not those who firmly condemn all spheres of influence and all forms of aggression, but those who use clear and harsh terms only when spheres of influence, geopolitical orders, and wars touch their interests, while selectively cherry-picking what outrages them. – The National Interest  


The United Nations atomic watchdog said Thursday it installed surveillance cameras to monitor a new centrifuge workshop at Iran’s underground Natanz site after a request from Tehran, even as diplomatic efforts to restore Iran’s tattered nuclear deal appear stalled. – Associated Press 

Iran’s head of the IRGC Quds Force Esmail Qaani gave a recent speech in which he praised the late Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi, a key IRGC figure; and slammed Israel. – Jerusalem Post 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned neighboring Iraq on Thursday not to allow its soil to be used for activities that disrupt the Islamic Republic’s security, his office said. – Agence France-Presse 

An advocacy group dedicated to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons called on the US administration to consider a new government report on human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic while it conducts talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. – Algemeiner 

A conservative legal group is threatening to smack the Biden administration with a lawsuit intended to thwart the implementation of a new Iran nuclear deal. – The Washington Free Beacon 

Jason M. Brodsky writes: The Iranian request for the IRGC’s delisting as an FTO is not insignificant. Acquiescing would come at a significant cost to the United States and hand the Iranian regime a significant win. The wiser strategy would be to recognize the importance of the FTO designation and leverage that as a means of securing significant additional concessions, including first and foremost tangible changes in behavior. Anything else would be a capitulation. – The Hill  

Raphael BenLevi writes: However, these material factors alone are insufficient to explain why America has shifted back and forth from coercive measures — including sanctions, threat of force, and covert sabotage — with a bottom line that rejects Iran retaining any enrichment capabilities, to conciliatory diplomatic measures — such as lowering sanctions at the outset of negotiations and playing down the threat of force — with a bottom line that concedes to Iran retaining vast nuclear capabilities. – Texas National Security Review


Child marriage has long been prevalent in many Afghan communities. But the Taliban takeover, the subsequent plunge of the economy and banking system, and other stresses have “exacerbated the problem,” Williams said. The age of girls sold into marriage is dropping, a trend that could persist as long as the Taliban prevents girls from secondary school education in most areas. – Washington Post 

An Afghan man was convicted by a Dutch court on Thursday of war crimes and torture for abusing political opponents at Kabul’s Pul-e-Charkhi prison in the 1980s and was sentenced to 12 years in jail. – Reuters 

Mirwais Balkhi writes: Furthermore, in contrast to the Taliban’s ostensibly flexible policy during their initial months in power, they are now firmly anchored in their pursuit of severe policies and repression of anyone who disagrees with them. As a result, optimism, and shallow analyses, which do not account for how the Taliban are dissimilar to previous rulers, create significant and irreversible harm to the people of Afghanistan, the region, and the world. – The National Interest  


Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in confrontations late Wednesday and early Thursday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The deaths came on the fifth day of a sweeping Israeli military campaign across the occupied West Bank and after the deadliest string of terrorist attacks to occur in Israel in years. – Washington Post 

Israeli police clashed with masked, stone-throwing Palestinians near al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem when violence erupted after Friday’s Ramadan morning prayers. – Reuters  

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris condemned attacks in Israel that have killed 14 people and said U.S. support for Israel’s security was unwavering in a call with Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Thursday, the White House said. – Reuters  

Israelis describe their new laser-based defense system as a “game changer” that will transform the future battlefield. For the time being, it will at least change the costs of air and missile defenses. – New York Sun  

A Palestinian associated with ISIS has been arrested for three murders and one attempted murder. Two murders occurred in 2019, but were only recently solved, the police announced on Thursday. – Jerusalem Post 

The Palestinian who allegedly killed an elderly Jerusalem couple in 2019, and who police named as the culprit on Thursday, has reportedly sketched out the attack and his motivation to investigators. – Times of Israel 

A senior Biden administration official on Thursday called the family of an unarmed Palestinian woman who was shot dead by Israeli troops earlier this week to offer his condolences. – Times of Israel 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba criticized the Israeli response to the Russian invasion of his country in an interview with Haaretz, saying that mediation efforts are no substitute for aid and that Israelis have “forgotten that [they] too were once rejected,” in a critique of the country’s refugee policy. – Haaretz 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Thursday that as one of the major shareholders in Twitter he rejected a takeover bid by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. – Reuters 

Editorial: Mr. Kushner’s dealings are, to be sure, similar in kind to the influence-peddling in Ukraine and China of President Biden’s son, Hunter. […]We look forward, though not with bated breath, to Republican outrage over the Saudi-Kushner connection being at least equal to that being vented over Hunter Biden. There should be nothing partisan about ridding U.S. foreign policy of even the appearance of self-interest by those who conduct it. – Washington Post 

Ali Al-Ahmed writes: Failing to scrutinize the deal will further erode trust in U.S. democracy, at home and abroad. This week, 30 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking him to review Saudi-U.S. relations and chart a new path that addresses human rights concerns long ignored by the United States. More pressure such as this is needed to get the Biden administration to move forward with an actual policy change — a long, overdue departure from unconditional support for the Saudi monarchy. Washington Post 

Middle East & North Africa

In the Russian invasion’s wake, President Biden and other world leaders are warning of food shortages, especially in the politically fragile nations of the Middle East and North Africa. – Washington Post 

Israeli jets carried out airstrikes near the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday night for the second time in under a week, Syrian state media said. – Times of Israel 

Turkey will provide cheaper loans for export and tourism sector investments that earn foreign revenues, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, adding that “exorbitant” price rises are due mostly to energy and commodity markets and currency instability. – Reuters 

U.S. backed Kurdish-led forces tightened the siege on neighborhoods under the control of the Syrian government in two Kurdish-controlled cities in northeast Syria, officials from both sides said on Thursday. – Reuters  

David Ignatius writes: Iran and its proxies remain a threat. So does the Islamic State. As much as we would like to imagine otherwise, wars in the Middle East aren’t over even when they’re over. – Washington Post 

Peter Pham and Samuel B. Millner write: As record numbers of Israeli Jews flock to Morocco this year, it’s important to remember that the stakes go beyond rich cultural syncretism. The Abraham Accords show the potential for new forms of Israel-Arab defense cooperation, but the full realization of this sea change will require continued U.S. strategic focus to crystallize relationships between the new partners. Supporting the ancient bond between Morocco and the Jewish people represents a powerful opportunity for the United States to deepen Arab-Israeli security coordination and cultural ties at a time when the United States needs its allies to work together more than ever. – The National Interest

Korean Peninsula

South Korea in recent years has been a passive player on the global stage even as its economic and cultural influence ballooned, remaining wary of aggressive neighbors North Korea and China. The country’s incoming conservative president vows to change that. South Korea must step up its foreign policy commensurate with its economic and cultural status and become a stronger ally to the United States, he told The Washington Post in his first interview as president-elect. – Washington Post

North Korea is marking a key state anniversary Friday with calls for stronger loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un, but there was no word on an expected military parade to display new weapons amid heightened animosities with the United States. – Associated Press 

Mayumi Fukushima writes: In the early 2000s, President George W. Bush made strategic decisions to accommodate nuclear-armed India and Pakistan in the international community when America needed their help in combating larger security threats from al-Qaeda and then from China. In the face of Beijing’s relentless challenges to U.S. interests today, why does America put off negotiations with the North all together, while letting the North’s missile program grow in the meantime to such an extent that it would distract the United States and its allies from confronting the larger Chinese threat? – War on the Rocks  


China said it conducted military drills around Taiwan on Friday, as a U.S. Congressional delegation visited the island, in a move the People’s Liberation Army said was intended to target the “wrong signals” sent by the United States. – Reuters  

China on Thursday said it would reject “any pressure or coercion” over its relationship with Russia, in response to a call from U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for Beijing to use its “special relationship with Russia” to persuade Moscow to end the war in Ukraine. – Associated Press 

China said on Friday the livestreaming of unauthorised video games was banned, signalling stricter enforcement of rules as part of its broad crackdown on the gaming industry aimed at purging content the government does not approve of. – Reuters 

China’s J-20 stealth fighters have started to patrol the East and South China Seas as part of routine training missions, state-owned media reported. – Janes 

Josh Rogin writes: Russia is an urgent threat, but China is the more serious long-term competitor, only too happy to exploit our distraction. Xi has global ambitions, which means we must confront his aggression in many places at once. If the Pacific Islands become China’s outposts, the region and the world will be a much more dangerous place. – Washington Post

South Asia

Sadanand Dhume writes: Mr. Khan often laments Pakistan’s poverty. (On his watch per capita income declined from $1,500 to $1,300, according to World Bank figures.) But here again, the fault isn’t America’s. East Asian countries like South Korea, Taiwan and Japan used their relationships with the U.S. to modernize their economies. Pakistan’s leaders chose outsize military budgets and increased religiosity over growth. Imran Khan’s grievances may play well with his supporters, but they are poison for Pakistan. They should disqualify him from holding high office again. – Wall Street Journal  

Aqil Shah writes: Even though the army has signaled its intent to stay out of politics, old habits die hard. For now, the military is likely to take a back seat and let the civilian government tackle the economic crisis. It will help normalize Pakistan’s important bilateral relationships, including mending fences with the United States and assuaging Chinese concerns about disorder in Pakistan by reviving key economic projects that had stalled under Khan. But there should be little doubt that the generals will continue to dominate Pakistan’s domestic politics and foreign policy—and they will be ready to intervene if they determine that the politicians are not up to the task. – Foreign Affairs 

Dushni Weerakoon writes: The war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the pandemic, including a troubling surge in China, continue to threaten global economic stability—and the prospects of Sri Lanka’s recovery. The government is right to underwrite the country’s economic risks with an IMF program. In the best-case scenario, such a program will bring clarity and certainty to the country’s economic plan and help calm investors. […]But the risk of not embarking on such a program now is far greater: failing to address the gravity of the crisis could lead to further economic devastation and to the government’s undoing. – Foreign Affairs  


Japan and the United States are likely to hold a bilateral finance ministers’ meeting next week on the sidelines of the Group of 20 gathering to be held in Washington, Kyodo news agency reported on Friday. – Reuters  

Japan is preparing to attend a gathering of financial leaders from the Group of 20 economic powers next week, its finance minister said on Friday, as Western nations sought the expulsion of Russia from the forum and said they would skip sessions where Moscow is represented. – Reuters 

U.S. lawmakers visiting Taiwan on Friday made a pointed and public declaration of their support for the self-governing island democracy while also issuing a warning to China. – Associated Press 

A Taiwanese pro-democracy activist who served five years in China returned to Taiwan on Friday morning, the island’s Central News Agency reported. – Associated Press 

Singapore’s finance minister Lawrence Wong has been made prime ministerial heir apparent, as the ruling People’s Action party seeks to recover public support and bolster the city-state’s status as an international financial hub. – Financial Times 

Pandemic-related acquisition issues have sparked a backlog in the U.S. delivering $14.2 billion worth of military equipment to Taiwan that the island has purchased since 2019. – Defense News 

Andy Cichon writes: Before Russia invaded Ukraine, U.S. security assurances to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan were mostly unchallenged. Additionally, China could afford to assume no responsibility and feign disinterest in non-proliferation, relying on the United States to keep Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan from acquiring nuclear weapons. […]China must either assume more responsibility in promoting nuclear non-proliferation in the Indo-Pacific or accept the elevated risks associated with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan pursuing nuclear deterrence. – The National Interest  


Western leaders seeking to build a global coalition to isolate Russia over its war on Ukraine are facing pushback from the world’s largest developing nations, including the democracies of India, Brazil and South Africa. – Wall Street Journal  

As Berlin confronts calls from Ukrainian and domestic voices to escalate its response to Putin’s aggression, the situation in Saxony shows competing pressures on the German government. Many in Saxony, where Putin cut his teeth as an intelligence officer in the 1980s and returned in 2009 to accept the “Order of Saxon Gratitude,” are reluctant to pick sides in a new version of the Cold War. – Washington Post  

Germans should start saving energy now to become more independent from Russian fossil fuels, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said, as Europe’s top economy looks for ways to cut gas and oil imports from Moscow in response to the war in Ukraine. – Reuters

Britain on Thursday sanctioned two close associates of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying the men had been subjected to the largest asset freeze ever imposed by the government. – Reuters  

France will “very soon” move back its embassy in Ukraine to the capital Kyiv from the western city of Lviv, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in a phone call. – Reuters  

The head of the U.N. World Food Program said people are being “starved to death” in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, and he predicted the country’s humanitarian crisis is likely to worsen as Russia intensifies its assault in the coming weeks. – Associated Press 

Italy is planning to turn to Egyptian gas to help reduce its dependence on Russian supplies. Eni, the Italian oil and gas giant, signed a framework agreement with state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) on Wednesday, which it said would help maximize gas production and exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). – Business Insider  

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney visited Kyiv on April 14 to discuss his country’s support for Ukraine.- Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

The U.S. Commerce Department has identified seven Boeing 737 Planes operated by Belarusian national carrier Belavia that are in apparent violation of U.S. export controls. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has signed a deal under which the country’s military will get a short-range, air-defense system using MBDA’s Common Anti-air Modular Missile, or CAMM, this year. – Defense News 

Daniel Yergin and Carlos Pascual write: U.S. and European governments need to collaborate with companies on a daily basis, sharing information, to coordinate the complex logistics and supply chains of a nearly 100 million barrel per day oil market. This is wartime, and that means reaching back to the government-industry collaboration of World War II and the “voluntary agreements” of the Korean War and “emergency committees” of the 1956 Suez Crisis, which at the time included temporary antitrust exemptions to permit critical information flow among government and companies. – Washington Post 

Philip Lindskog writes: When I think about how we’re now so close to see a full-scale war between Russia and NATO, I don’t know whether to cry or to remind myself that this was going to happened eventually. What also scares me is the fact that Sweden will not be able to hide behind its neutrality anymore. – Newsweek 


More than 300 people have been killed in floods in South Africa and officials warned that disruptions at the regional transport hub of Durban will likely continue for some time, with outbound shipping still suspended. – Wall Street Journal  

Most of the soldiers who killed civilians were Malian, they said. But dozens of white men in army fatigues who spoke what the residents believed was Russian, were actively involved, they said. French is widely spoken in Mali, but the government soldiers and the white men communicated in sign language as they did not speak the same language. – Reuters  

Somalia on Thursday inaugurated 290 new lawmakers, bringing the country a step closer to completing a prolonged electoral process marred by alleged corruption and irregularities. – Associated Press 

The U.S. State Department has cleared the sale of 12 AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria worth nearly $1 billion, apparently after U.S. lawmakers lifted objections over human rights concerns. – Defense News

Latin America

Chilean President Gabriel Boric faces an economic slowdown and high inflation, which conflicts with his goal to expand social programs, and could increase pressure for more financial stimulus, according to a Bank of America report released on Thursday. – Reuters 

Russia has asked Brazil for support in the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the G20 group of top economies to help it counter crippling sanctions imposed by the West since it invaded Ukraine, according to a letter seen by Reuters. – Reuters  

The board of directors of Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras elected on Thursday José Mauro Coelho as its new president – the third to take the lead of the state-run company in a little more than three years. – Associated Press 

United States

Nearly eight years after the Islamic State published horrifying videos of an American journalist being beheaded in the Syrian desert, a British militant was found guilty of taking part in the group’s spree of kidnapping, torture and murder. – Washington Post 

In his first public speech as director of the CIA, William J. Burns on Thursday called the killings of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha “crimes” and said Russia had “inflicted massive material and reputational damage on itself” following the invasion ordered by President Vladimir Putin seven weeks ago. – Washington Post 

President Joe Biden said on Thursday that top U.S. officials are deciding soon whether to send a senior official to Kyiv in a show of support for Ukraine. – Reuters  

Jonathan Sweet writes: The U.S. government needs an alternative, non-kinetic method to disrupt Putin’s plan — something to mobilize the Russian population into action. President Biden may say he wasn’t advocating for regime change in Russia when he stated “this man [Putin] cannot remain in power,” but that’s really the only outcome the world can accept given the crimes committed by Putin and his military in Ukraine. There is no return to normal. – The Hill  


Elon Musk went full-on corporate raider a week into his rolling clash with Twitter Inc., offering a $43 billion bid for the company and warning he might sell his stake in the service if rebuffed. – Wall Street Journal  

The United States has linked North Korean hackers to the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency tied to the popular online game Axie Infinity, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday. – Reuters  

An espionage campaign from North Korea’s Lazarus Group that was previously uncovered by Google researchers has now turned its attention to chemical sector organizations in South Korea, according to a report from cybersecurity company Symantec. The Record 

The state-run Oil India Limited (OIL) has been hit by a major cyberattack that has compromised some of the servers of the company. The ransomware attack has hit the company’s headquarters in Assam. – Business Insider  

The Department of Energy and U.S. intelligence agencies issued a joint alert on Wednesday warning energy firms about the discovery of malicious cybertools that they said were capable of gaining “full system access” to the systems that control electricity and natural gas in the United States. – Washington Examiner  

Editorial: Mr. Musk’s attempt at a market solution is far more promising. He could make a great social contribution if his takeover succeeds and he can find the right balance between free speech and sensible moderation. – Wall Street Journal   

Erica D. Lonergan writes: For too long, policymakers have drawn the wrong lessons from cyber-operations. The absence of escalation across decades of strategic interaction in cyberspace—a record that has only been reinforced in the conflict in Ukraine—should cause policymakers to reevaluate long-standing assumptions about the cyber-domain. […]But in a world in which armed conflict continues to destroy entire cities and wreak terrible human costs, both civilian and military, cyber-operations should be regarded less as another form of hard power than as a way for states to pursue strategic goals by other means. – Foreign Affairs  


The United States would not be concerned that an expansion of a defense alliance would do anything other than promote stability in Europe, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday. – Reuters 

Former Senate staffer Erik Raven was sworn in as the Navy’s number two civilian on Wednesday, the service announced. – USNI News  

Jessica Dawson and Brandon Pugh write: The United States should act now to better protect our service members and their families, veterans and national security overall. As the tragic situation in Ukraine demonstrates, the threats present in the information warfare space will only expand. – Defense News