Fdd's overnight brief

April 18, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Israel was mere moments away from an airstrike on April 1 that killed several senior Iranian commanders at Iran’s embassy complex in Syria when it told the United States what was about to happen. – New York Times

Gazans released from Israeli detention described graphic scenes of physical abuse in testimonies gathered by United Nations workers, according to a report released on Tuesday by UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees. – New York Times

For days, Israel’s closest Western allies have pleaded with the country’s wartime government not to risk igniting a wider war by responding too strongly to Iran’s barrage of missiles and drones last weekend. And on Wednesday, the top diplomats from Germany and Britain delivered that message in person to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. – New York Times

When an Israeli shell struck Gaza’s largest fertility clinic in December, the explosion blasted the lids off five liquid nitrogen tanks stored in a corner of the embryology unit. – Reuters

Qatar is re-evaluating its role as mediator in ceasefire talks between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, citing concerns that its efforts are being undermined by politicians seeking to score points, its prime minister said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote Friday on a Palestinian request for full U.N. membership, said diplomats, a move that Israel ally the United States is expected to block because it would effectively recognize a Palestinian state. – Reuters 

Israel’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a five-year, 19-billion-shekel ($5 billion) plan to rebuild and strengthen communities near the Gaza border after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said. – Reuters

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she made clear during talks in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others that the Middle East must not be allowed to slide into a situation whose outcome is completely unpredictable. – Reuters

A man-made famine is “tightening its grip” across the Gaza Strip, the head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA warned on Wednesday as he accused Israel of blocking aid deliveries and seeking to end UNRWA’s activities in the enclave. – Reuters

IDF soldiers destroyed the homes of terrorists who carried out the combined attack in Ra’anana in mid-January, in which 70-year-old Edna Bluestein was murdered, and 20 other civilians were wounded to various degrees. – Jerusalem Post

The US has approved a potential Israeli Rafah operation in exchange for the Jewish state not conducting counterstrikes on Iran, according to a Thursday report from the Qatari newspaper The New Arab. – Jerusalem Post

The United States and 47 other countries at the United Nations issued a statement Wednesday unequivocally condemning attacks on Israel by Iran “and its militant partners.” – Times of Israel

The Israel Defense Forces said that humanitarian aid for Gazans that arrived through the Ashdod port on the Mediterranean coast entered the Strip for the first time on Wednesday. – Times of Israel

The government has approved the framework of a five-year plan to rehabilitate the Tekuma region near the border with Gaza following Hamas’s October 7 onslaught. – Times of Israel

This week, following operational information gathered by the Southern Command, an IAF aircraft struck and eliminated the terrorist Yussef Rafik Ahmed Shabat, responsible for investigations in Hamas’ Internal Security Department in Beit Hanoun. – Arutz Sheva

A satellite image taken on Sunday morning shows the damage caused by a ballistic missile that hit a strategic air base in Israel’s south after Iran launched its first-ever direct assault on the country, which also included drones and cruise missiles. – Haaretz

Foreign influence operations and psychological warfare efforts against Israelis have escalated, and agents, likely Iranian, have started making personal threats against public figures, retired defense officials, and journalists. – Haaretz

Gabriel Scheinmann writes: If the liberal world truly cares about all human suffering, the least it could do is seek to aid the captives as well as their captors. The next American airdrop should include enough matzo for the hostages to eat until they’re released. That provision would be of special significance—matzo, or unleavened bread, sustained the ancient Israelites in their hurried departure out of Egypt. Jews each year eat it during Passover and avoid leavened food, recalling how their ancestors didn’t have time to wait for their bread to rise. – Wall Street Journal

Joe Biden writes: I’ve been clear about my concerns over the safety of civilians in Gaza amid the war with Hamas, but this aid package is focused on Israel’s long-term defensive needs to ensure it can maintain its military edge against Iran or any other adversary. Importantly, this bill has funding that will allow us to continue delivering urgent humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza as well as others who have felt the impact of conflicts around the world. – Wall Street Journal

Andreas Kluth writes: Biden has so far tolerated Israel when it crosses his “red lines,” and he keeps supplying weapons without conditions. But he dictates that Ukraine never use American arms to strike targets inside Russia proper, and withholds some types of ordnance just to make sure. One answer, of course, is that Biden fears escalation in the conflict between Russia and the West even more, because Putin has nukes and wantonly threatens to use them, whereas Iran doesn’t have nukes (yet) while Israel does. Still, it’s getting harder to make all this sound coherent. – Bloomberg

Douglas Bloomfield writes: As Israel weighs its response, its friends are reminding it that the October 7 Hamas attack brought great sympathy – which was soon squandered by the retaliation that produced massive civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis, as well as great damage to Israel’s international stature and support. Will that lesson be learned? – Jerusalem Post

Cookie Schwaeber-Issan writes: Of course, Israel welcomes and values the help that we received because, together, we have prevented a potential disaster of seismic proportions, not to mention collectively sending a strong and unequivocal message to a taunting enemy that has, for years, called for the death of Israel and America and would, undoubtedly, soon add other civilized nations as well. So, the truth came out, and with that truth, acts of self-preservation in order to make sure that we all lived to see another day. Israel, in a flash, went from being the bad guy to being the underdog that everyone wanted to save. – Jerusalem Post

Ron Jager writes: Should Iran order Hezbollah to move her forces in their entirety north of the Litani River and order the remaining forces of Hamas including its entire leadership to exit the Gaza Strip through Egypt, Israel would be spared the necessity of attacking Iran directly. This scenario can be implemented without firing a bullet while leaving the Iranians in the dark concerning Israel’s defensive and offensive superiority in the future. – Artuz Sheva

Amy Mackinnon writes: Iran’s attack, and the quiet display of unity among Israel, the United States, and several key Arab states, could present the Biden administration with a diplomatic pivot point amid a lull in fighting in Gaza, said David Makovsky, who served as a senior advisor for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during the Obama administration. “I don’t want to appear as if to say the Gaza crisis is over,” he said. But “I wouldn’t be surprised if the administration would like to explore with MBS [Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince]: ‘OK, we’ve just had a mega-moment in the Middle East—what about pivoting now?’” – Foreign Policy


Iran said Wednesday it was readying its air force for strikes and its navy would begin escorting commercial Iranian ships in the Red Sea. Tehran also has begun evacuating personnel from sites in Syria where its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has a large presence, Syrian and Iranian officials and advisers said. – Wall Street Journal

The 25 crew members of the MSC Aries, which was seized by Iran on April 13, are safe, shipping firm MSC said on Wednesday, adding that discussions with Iranian authorities are in progress to secure their earliest release. – Reuters

The German-Iranian chamber of commerce spoke out against new sanctions against the Islamic Republic in response to its attack on Israel, according to a letter sent to members and friends of the organization seen by Reuters on Wednesday. – Reuters

Israel and its allies won plaudits for mostly fending off Iran’s unprecedented attack on Saturday night. But the operation, lasting no more than several hours, came with a steep price tag, and points to the sheer expense of air defense as nations such as Iran improve their drone and missile capabilities. – Bloomberg

Users across social networks are participating in a spontaneous campaign, using the hashtag “war against women,” to document their experiences and observations regarding the government’s crackdown on opponents of the mandatory hijab. – Iranwire

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: Iran’s attack ended the shadow war. The old rules no longer apply. Israel has said it will respond, and it must if it hopes to restore deterrence. But if the response is too light, Israel risks inviting future waves of drones and ballistic missiles. Then again, if Israel attacks too aggressively, it risks greater retaliation from both Iran and Hezbollah. To date Hezbollah has used up only around 3,000 rockets and missiles out of an estimated arsenal of 150,000. – Wall Street Journal 

Daniel Henninger writes: Mr. Biden deserves credit for helping Israel repel Iran’s missiles and drones. It’s clear, though, that the world has entered a new era of state-sponsored missile attacks—first Russia into Ukraine and now Iran’s swarmed assault on Israel. To meet that threat, Mr. Biden would have to admit Reagan was right. That isn’t going to happen. – Wall Street Journal

Ethan Bronner writes: Iran’s decision to launch 350 missiles and drones at Israel last weekend was the first time since then that a sovereign nation carried out such an assault on the Jewish state. Another hardline Likud party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, is prime minister and an equally frantic set of calls and visitors is urging him not to react while cabinet meetings focus on the need to do something. But while offering many parallels, the latest events are different from 1991 in at least one significant way: Israel’s powerful Western allies aren’t offering to do the fighting for it. – Bloomberg

Jonathan Ruhe and Ari Cicurel write: The scale and severity of the Iranian regime’s attack, and the impressive defenses against it, should spur Congress to pass its long-stalled bill funding vital military assistance for Israel. The administration should expedite the overdue transfer of key aerial platforms and munitions to Israel, like those that just helped prevent disaster. It should ensure Israel has adequate stocks of air defense interceptors that are co-produced with the United States, and it should replenish and upgrade America’s prepositioned weapons depot in Israel.  – The Hill

Russia & Ukraine

At least 17 people were killed and more than 60 wounded in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on Wednesday when Russian missiles struck the downtown area during morning rush hour — an attack officials said could have been stopped if Ukraine had adequate air defenses. – Washington Post

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has been drawing up plans to try to weaken its Western adversaries, including the United States, and leverage the Ukraine war to forge a global order free from what it sees as American dominance, according to a secret Foreign Ministry document. – Washington Post

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday that the Ukrainian military had attacked a large Russian airfield in occupied Crimea and thanked his top military commander for staging the strike. – Reuters

Germany has appealed to European Union and NATO member states to bolster Ukraine’s air defences as quickly as possible as Russian missiles pounded Ukrainian cities on Wednesday and its president repeated urgent calls for support. – Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be invited to the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in June, the French organisers said, although some Russian representatives would be welcome in recognition of the country’s war-time sacrifice. – Reuters

Ukraine faces “dire” battlefield conditions as delays to US military aid drag on, the top American military officer warned Wednesday. – Bloomberg

Russia and Iran are using Ukraine and Israel as “battlefield laboratories” to probe at Western military vulnerabilities, experts told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee Wednesday. – The Hill

David Ignatius writes: My visit to the Island was a reminder that Ukraine survives in part on mythic, galvanizing personalities such as Budanov and President Volodymyr Zelensky. Last year, Budanov’s fans posted what became known as the “silent video,” which showed him sitting wordlessly for 33 seconds in his office, glaring at the camera. At the end of this half-minute of unspoken defiance, the screen displayed the words: “To be continued.” – Washington Post

Oz Katerji writes: Much of the Ukrainian blood being spilled here is on the hands of the Western politicians who block military aid in the service of domestic political games. Ukrainians are paying with their lives for every day that ammunition is left gathering dust in Western stockpiles. Before I left, I asked Vladislav if he had a message for Ukraine’s allies. He said, simply, “We can stop this disease here, but only if you provide us with the shells.” – Foreign Policy


The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a cross-border drone and missile attack in northern Israel on Wednesday that the Israeli military said had injured 14 soldiers, six of them severely. – New York Times

Lebanon’s interior minister alleged Wednesday that the mysterious abduction and killing of a Hezbollah-linked Lebanese currency exchanger in a villa on the edge of a quiet mountain resort town earlier this month was likely the work of Israeli operatives. – Associated Press

Overnight into early Thursday, Israeli fighter jets targeted terror targets of the Hezbollah terrorist organization in the Khiam area of southern Lebanon, the IDF reported. – Jerusalem Post


Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, will travel to Turkey at the weekend to hold talks with President Tayyip Erdogan, while Ankara’s top diplomat met the Hamas leader during a visit to Doha on Wednesday. – Reuters

Turkey will take steps to strengthen its medium-term economic programme and the three main priorities are to increase public savings, prioritise investments and accelerate structural reforms, President Tayyip Erdogan said. – Reuters

Turkish authorities on Tuesday detained 36 people linked to the 2016 failed coup attempt, during a series of police raids across Izmir, according to local media. The operations, aimed at capturing 45 suspects, were reported by the state-run Anadolu agency. – Jerusalem Post

Arabian Peninsula

The United Arab Emirates and Costa Rica have signed an agreement that will help improve bilateral trade and investment ties, UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said on Thursday.  – Reuters

Abu Dhabi’s largest Islamic bank is in talks to buy a minority stake valued at around $1.1 billion in Indonesia’s top Islamic lender, Bank Syariah Indonesia, two sources told Reuters, with an aim to tap into a fast-growing market in Southeast Asia. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates called for maximum “self-restraint” in the Middle East to spare the region “from the dangers of war and its dire consequences,” in an unusually frank joint statement Wednesday. – Bloomberg

Middle East & North Africa

Iraqi and U.S. companies signed a series of agreements on Wednesday to capture natural gas traditionally flared from Iraq’s oilfields and use it to produce domestic power while reducing dependence on neighboring Iran for energy. – Reuters

A civilian contractor sent to work as an interrogator at Iraq’s infamous Abu Ghraib prison resigned within two weeks of his arrival and told his corporate bosses that mistreatment of detainees was likely to continue. – Associated Press

Amnesty International said Wednesday it has documented widespread abuses, including torture and deprivation of medical care, in detention facilities holding thousands of suspected Islamic State members and their relatives in northeast Syria. – Associated Press

The head of Italy’s right-wing government acknowledged Wednesday that Tunisia cannot serve as a dumping ground for migrants, days after Tunisia’s president reaffirmed his unwillingness to let Europe outsource migration problems by sending those not welcome there to his country. – Associated Press

Korean Peninsula

South Korea’s financial watchdog chief said on Thursday companies should pay more attention to shareholder voices, as the government seeks to boost the domestic stock market by bringing in reforms to encourage higher shareholder returns. – Reuters

America stands with Japan until all the Japanese abducted by North Korea decades ago return home to end their painful separation, United States ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Thursday in Tokyo. – Associated Press

Bruce Klingner writes: With U.N. action hindered, the United States should take the lead in creating a coalition of likeminded nations to monitor compliance with U.N. resolutions and international law, and then target all entities violating those authorities. […]While the U.S. has the greatest intelligence resources as well as the most encompassing financial system, other nations will need to increase their efforts to coordinate and take punitive action against North Korea, including its growing cybercrimes, which the regime is increasingly using to evade sanctions and fund its military programs. – Heritage Foundation


China’s central bank reiterated its commitment to a stable yuan, joining the chorus of Asian officials concerned about weakening regional currencies. The People’s Bank of China said it is steadfast in its aim of keeping the yuan steady at a reasonable and balanced level, according to a post on its account on social-media platform WeChat on Thursday. – Wall Street Journal 

Beijing said it opposes a U.S. probe into China’s shipbuilding industry, calling the investigation a politically driven move full of “false accusations” and threatening to take further action. – Wall Street Journal

China has been trying to find ways to gain access to critical infrastructure in the United States so that it can threaten those systems in the event of a conflict, the National Security Agency director said on Wednesday. – New York Times

President Biden on Wednesday will call on his trade representative to more than triple some tariffs on steel and aluminum products from China, as part of a series of moves meant to help cushion American manufacturers from a surge of low-cost imports. – New York Times

China is fueling the fentanyl crisis in the U.S. by directly subsidizing the manufacturing of materials that are used by traffickers to make the drug outside the country, according to a report released Tuesday by a special House committee focused on countering the Chinese government. – Associated Press

Karishma Vaswani writes: The US and China could use this opportunity to work together to defuse tensions. This month, defense ministers on both sides spoke for the first time in nearly 18 months, while President Joe Biden and Xi had a phone call after their face-to-face meeting in November. This is promising, and could be used as a model for closer cooperation in other areas, like the Israel-Iran conflict. Beijing has had ample opportunity to change the status quo. It’s time it started doing that. – Bloomberg

South Asia

Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been moved by the military junta to an unknown location from a prison in the capital, Naypyidaw, raising questions about her safety. – New York Times

For a glimpse of where artificial intelligence is headed in election campaigns, look to India, the world’s largest democracy, as it starts heading to the polls on Friday. – New York Times

Pakistan’s interior ministry said on Wednesday it had blocked access to social media platform X around the time of February’s election on national security concerns, confirming a long-suspected shutdown. – Reuters

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stands ready to support Sri Lanka’s discussions with international bondholders and will provide a formal assessment after the parties reach a tentative agreement-in-principle, an IMF spokesperson said on Thursday. – Reuters

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi will visit Pakistan “very soon”, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Wednesday, as the Muslim neighbours look to mend ties after January’s tit-for-tat missile strikes at what they said were militant targets. – Reuters

The Taliban have suspended the activities of two TV stations in Afghanistan, alleging they failed to “consider national and Islamic values.” – Associated Press

India’s national vote kicks off on Friday and Modi is widely expected to win a historic third term after a potential billion ballots are cast. Yet in southern India, victory is far from assured. For years, the governing Bharatiya Janata Party has struggled to make inroads in one of India’s richest and most developed regions. – Bloomberg

Siddhartha Deb writes: But the truth is harder to hide than ever. Mr. Modi and his party are giving India the Hindu utopia they promised, and in the clear light of day, it amounts to little more than a shiny, garish temple that is a monument to majoritarian violence, surrounded by waterlogged streets, emaciated cattle and a people impoverished in every way. – New York Times


Georgia’s Parliament voted Wednesday to advance deeply contentious legislation aimed at cracking down on “foreign agents” — an echo of a similar law in Russia that has been used to crush political dissent. – Washington Post

China’s foreign minister is expected to sign an economic cooperation deal on a visit to Papua New Guinea on Saturday, just days before Australia’s prime minister arrives to mark historical defence ties by walking a famous World War Two trail. – Reuters 

The Philippines’ decision to ramp up ties with Japan and the United States at a recent summit was a “sovereign choice” for the country, its foreign ministry said on Thursday in response to China’s comments opposing the trilateral meeting. – Reuters

An editorial in a Chinese state-controlled newspaper on Thursday admonished “two-faced” Japan for inaccurately portraying it as a regional security threat while chasing more stable bilateral ties, warning of Chinese measures if Tokyo acted recklessly. – Reuters

The Chinese and Indonesian foreign ministers called for an immediate and lasting cease-fire in Gaza after a meeting in Jakarta on Thursday, condemning the humanitarian costs of the ongoing war that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians. – Associated Press

Russia is pulling out troops deployed as peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, more than six months after the region’s Armenian population fled in the wake of a lightning military attack by Azerbaijan. – Bloomberg


Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken arrived in Italy on Wednesday for a gathering of foreign ministers from the Group of 7 nations at which the Middle East turmoil and the fate of Ukraine will be central topics. – New York Times

Britain’s Conservative government hoped to pass the Safety of Rwanda Bill on Wednesday, after a prolonged back and forth through the two houses of Parliament in which the legislation has come under sustained criticism. But the showdown over the bill continued. – New York Times

European Union leaders will hear on Thursday how the bloc could act to catch up to the United States, China and other rivals in a global race in new green and digital technologies. Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, tasked by leaders with assessing the shortfalls of the EU single market, warned they could not consign a 147-page report he will present to them to a drawer and hope for the best. – Reuters

Belgium and the Czech Republic have called for new European Union sanctions to counter Russian influence in the upcoming European elections after several countries discovered early interference, an open letter to the EU leadership showed. – Reuters

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the EU needs to turbo-charge defence-industrial capacity in the next five years amid rising global threats. – Reuters

Croatia ‘s governing conservatives convincingly won a highly contested parliamentary election Wednesday, but will still need support from far-right groups to stay in power, according to the official vote count. – Associated Press

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Wednesday urged voters to reject mainstream political parties in upcoming European Union elections for their failure of leadership and said Ukraine must never be allowed to join the bloc or NATO. – Associated Press

The Belarusian parliament on Wednesday voted to suspend the country’s participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty that once was a key security doctrine for the continent, a 1990 agreement that was abandoned last year by Russia. – Associated Press

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced this week that Poland will join the German-led European Sky Shield Initiative, a continent-wide effort to coordinate nations’ air defense-related purchases and procedures. – Defense News

Paul Hockenos writes: “Slovakia’s nationalists and autocrats found that you can win more voters with the hate figure favorites of the Orban regime—such as Brussels, the U.S., and immigrants—than with traditional ethnic nationalism,” she told Foreign Policy. “The Slovak populists see Orban and Fidesz Hungary as a role model.” And, as for Orban’s about-face, “he needs partners,” Mihockova said. Now, with Slovakia’s populist president and government in place, he has one more partner in his crusade to flip the European Parliament and abandon Europe’s defense of Ukraine. – Foreign Policy


A senior U.S. Air Force leader deployed in Niger is raising an alarm over the Biden administration’s reluctance to heed an eviction notice from the military junta that last year overthrew the West African nation’s democratically elected government. – Washington Post

The United States has barred four former officials of the Malawi government from entry because of their involvement in significant corruption, the State Department said on Wednesday. – Reuters

The world is forgetting the escalating violence in eastern Congo as conflicts continue in places like Ukraine and Gaza, the U.N. human rights chief said Wednesday while visiting the region and calling for peace and support for millions repeatedly displaced. – Associated Press

Editorial: Some within the ANC are sanguine about the party losing its majority, calling it the natural evolution of a vibrant democracy. If South Africa’s leaders cultivate this sort of perspective, the country is likely to weather the uncertainty, emerge stronger and — once again — serve as a democratic model for others to emulate. – Washington Post 

The Americas

The Biden administration will reimpose oil and gas sanctions on Venezuela after President Nicolás Maduro failed to comply with a U.S.-backed agreement to allow opposition candidates and parties to run in July elections, the State Department said in a statement Wednesday. – Washington Post

Venezuela’s loss of a key U.S. license that allowed it to export oil to markets around the world and secure investment is expected to hit the volume and quality of its crude and fuel sales while prompting a flurry of requests for individual U.S deal authorizations. – Reuters

Colombia’s top finance official said that cutting the high cost of fuel subsidies is a more pressing concern than renegotiating an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. – Bloomberg

Editorial:  “The opposition has a massive opportunity here to make it clear Maduro isn’t wanted,” Phil Gunson, a Caracas-based researcher with the International Crisis Group, told me. Next year’s elections for national lawmakers, governors and mayors hold out more hope, since Mr. Maduro will not be on the ballot. When change finally does come to Venezuela, it will be because of the perseverance, courage and resourcefulness of Venezuelan people, not U.S. oil sanctions. – New York Times

United States

Microsoft said on Wednesday that Russian online campaigns to influence the upcoming U.S. presidential election kicked into gear over the past 45 days, but at a slower pace than in past elections. – Reuters

The U.S. House of Representatives will have its long-awaited vote on aid for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific as soon as Saturday, Republican Speaker Mike Johnson said on Wednesday, paving the way for its possible passage despite fierce objections from the right wing of his conference. – Reuters

President Joe Biden’s administration will help 50 countries identify and respond to infectious diseases, with the goal of preventing pandemics like the COVID-19 outbreak that suddenly halted normal life around the globe in 2020. – Associated Press

Former President Donald Trump met Wednesday in New York with Polish President Andrzej Duda, the latest in a series of meetings with foreign leaders as Europe braces for the possibility of a second Trump term. – Associated Press

Editorial: Mr. Biden, for his part, has an obligation to bring along Democrats on the aid bill, and his op-ed in these pages is welcome, albeit late in shaping the debate. Amid all the political infighting on Capitol Hill, Republicans have a binary choice between helping America’s friends in Kyiv or abandoning them to Mr. Putin’s empire. The latter would be a disaster for the United States, and the GOP will own it as thoroughly as Democrats owned the collapse of Saigon in 1975. – Wall Street Journal

Daniel Sonnenfeld writes: To send a clear message that states cannot employ the tactics of criminal terror organizations with impunity, the US must act decisively as well. It should do so for the sake of its own interests in the region and worldwide, no less than for the sake of its long-term allies. Americans can choose to continue to pursue their Chamberlain-esque policy for a while longer, but what lies at the end of that path is known to us all. – Jerusalem Post


About 20% of employed adults said they have used OpenAI’s ChatGPT for work as of February 2024, up from 8% a year ago, according to Pew Research Center. The most popular uses for AI at work are research and brainstorming, writing first-draft emails and creating visuals and presentations, according to an Adobe survey. – Wall Street Journal

The Biden administration has reached an agreement to provide $6.1 billion in government support for Micron Technology to produce advanced memory computer chips in New York and Idaho. – Associated Press

As the U.S. military deepens its technology development and sharing partnerships with international allies, a dearth of government standards for components and interfaces threatens to impede cooperation, according to the Space Force. – Defense News

The House passed the “Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act” on Wednesday, buoying the spirits of digital privacy advocates at the same time the Senate is gearing up for a fight over a broader extension of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. – CyberScoop

Kremlin-controlled Sandworm hackers remain the most substantial threat to Ukrainian cyberspace while also eyeing targets abroad, according to new research. – The Record

Cyberattacks and misinformation campaigns have increased dramatically in the Philippines as geopolitical tensions escalate in the region, according to a new report. – The Record

Olivia Reingold and Eli Lake write: “Donald Trump has no greater friend than the Free Palestine movement, which seems intent on undermining Joe Biden by any means necessary,” Torres told The Free Press. “It’s shocking to see self-proclaimed Democrats declare war on the sitting president.” – The Free Press


The size of the U.S. Navy’s fleet and the debate over how to increase it took center stage at a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing Tuesday. – Defense News

The US Navy (USN) has commenced operations of its Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime System (BAMS) in the European theatre, with the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) departing Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella in Sicily for its first sortie on 17 April. – Janes

The Navy is set to miss its recruiting goals by 6,700, the sea service’s top personnel officer testified before the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee. – USNI News

The Navy revealed that one of the ships it deployed to support the mission of building a pier to deliver aid to starving residents in Gaza was forced to turn back last week after it suffered a fire in its engine room. – Military.com

Kyle Balzer writes: However, the Biden administration’s failure lies less with its diplomatic program and more with its lackluster investment in missile defense. For instance, the White House’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget request called for just 12 Standard Missile-3s (SM-3), the Navy’s exo-atmospheric interceptor that reportedly destroyed several Iranian ballistic missiles. […]Notwithstanding the administration’s laxity, the Navy’s ongoing campaign against the Houthis may be depleting the SM-6 stockpile. The Biden administration must ramp up interceptor procurement to demonstrate greater magazine depth and, in this way, enhance its regional credibility. – American Enterprise Institute