Fdd's overnight brief

April 19, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Israel retaliated overnight against Iran’s massive drone and missile attack on its territory, people familiar with the matter said—with what appeared to be a limited strike aimed at avoiding an escalatory cycle that could push the countries closer toward war. – Wall Street Journal

The United States blocked the U.N. Security Council on Thursday from moving forward on a Palestinian bid to be recognized as a full member state at the United Nations, quashing an effort by Palestinian allies to get the world body to back the effort. – New York Times

The Israelis had badly miscalculated, thinking that Iran would not react strongly, according to multiple American officials who were involved in high-level discussions after the attack, a view shared by a senior Israeli official. – New York Times

Negotiations for a cease-fire and the release of Israeli hostages have stalled because Hamas rejected the latest proposal put forth by Israel, Qatar and Egypt, the C.I.A. director said Thursday, putting the blame for a lack of progress in talks squarely on the group that led the Oct. 7 attack on Israel. – New York Times

Israel carried out a missile strike targeting an air defense unit in southern Syria, causing material damage, state-run SANA news agency quoted a military statement as saying Friday. – Associated Press

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to discuss Iran’s actions in the Middle East, other regional threats and aid into Gaza, the Pentagon said in a statement. – Reuters

Australia on Friday told its citizens to leave Israel and the Palestinian territories if possible, citing a “high threat of military reprisals and terrorist attacks,” as the United States embassy implored its employees and their families to restrict their movements after reports that Israel conducted a strike inside Iran. – Agence France-Presse

Israel and the United States wrapped up their second virtual meeting on a potential IDF ground offensive in Rafah still at odds on Thursday, with the Biden administration unconvinced that Israel can safely evacuate and provide for the humanitarian needs of the more than one million Palestinians currently sheltering in the southernmost Gaza city. – Times of Israel

The International Criminal Court may be considering issuing international arrest warrants in the relatively near future against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials for alleged war crimes, N12 reported Thursday night. – Jerusalem Post

Security officials in Israel have been preparing for the arrival of the first ships from the so-called Freedom Flotilla Coalition, which is expected to depart Turkey in the coming days in an attempt to reach the shores of Gaza and disrupt maritime trade amid Israel’s war with Hamas. – Times of Israel

Editorial: How exactly will diverting attention and resources to a war with Iran further the goals of the war against Hamas? How will Israel ensure that Hezbollah stays out of the picture? And how will it do all this while, in the background, a dangerous deterioration is occurring in the West Bank? Once again, Israel is behaving irresponsibly. – Haaretz

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: This was a very nuanced middle-of-the-road attack, designed to threaten optimally for the future but also reduce the likelihood of another Iranian counter-strike following the Islamic Republic’s launching around 350 aerial threats at the Jewish state last weekend. – Jerusalem Post

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: This would seem to suggest that Israel intentionally used lowering the home front warning status – knowing that Iran closely follows Israeli media – in order to get the ayatollahs to lower their guard and then carry out a surprise attack. – Jerusalem Post


A senior Iranian official warned Thursday that Iran could work on building nuclear weapons if Israel attacks its nuclear facilities, the latest escalation in threats issued by the two sides amid heightened tensions in the Middle East. – Wall Street Journal

The United States and European allies joined together on Thursday to impose new sanctions on Iranian military leaders and weapon makers, seeking to punish Iran for its missile and drone attack on Israel last weekend, while imploring Israel not to retaliate so strongly as to risk a wider war. – New York Times

The U.S. is further restricting Iran’s access to “low-level technology,” in response to Iran’s April 13 attack on Israel and its military support for Russia, according to a posting Thursday by the U.S. Department of Commerce. – Reuters

Iranian media and officials described a small number of explosions, which they said resulted from Iran’s air defences hitting three drones over the city of Isfahan. Notably, they referred to the incident as an attack by “infiltrators”, rather than by Israel, obviating the need for retaliation. An Iranian official told Reuters there were no plans to respond against Israel for the incident. – Reuters

Iran is now enriching uranium to up to 60% purity and has enough material enriched to that level, if enriched further, for two nuclear weapons, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s theoretical definition. That means Iran’s so-called “breakout time” – the time it would need to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb – is close to zero, likely a matter of weeks or days. – Reuters

Iran eased flight restrictions at some airports after a strike that US officials attributed to Israel forced commercial airlines to reroute for the second time in less than a week. – Bloomberg

The United States received advance notice of Israel’s reported strike on Iran but did not endorse the operation or play any part in its execution, US media quoted officials as saying. – Agence France-Presse

The Iranian regime is using the cover of strikes against Israel and the wider war at Gaza to “renew its war against women,” a prominent Iranian dissident and activist, Masih Alinejad, tells the Sun. – New York Sun

The sister of Nika Shakarmi, a victim of the Women, Life, Freedom movement protests, has been detained by Tehran’s morality police for failing to adhere to the Iran’s mandatory hijab law. Aida Shakarmi, a university student, was arrested in the Iranian capital on April 17 and remains in custody, her father said on Instagram. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

The G7 must respond to Iran’s attack on Israel, Germany’s foreign minister said on April 18, adding that measures were being discussed with her counterparts at a meeting in Italy. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

As tensions continue to rise between Israel and Iran following the Islamic Republic’s attack on Israel and threats from Israel to counterattack, a number of Iranian athletes expressed support for Israel, despite the risk involved. Mobina Rostami, who plays on the Iranian women’s volleyball team, came out against the attack, expressed support for Israel and was arrested by the authorities. Now, no one knows where she is. – Ynet

Ben Dubow writes: There is also some risk that Russia might become directly embroiled in the conflict. Should Israel retaliate, a likely target would be Iran’s nuclear facilities in Busher. An attack that destroyed the Russian-built (and possibly Russian-operated) plant would demand a Kremlin response. But with Moscow’s forces still bogged down in Ukraine, anything beyond condemnations and sanctions would stretch the Kremlin’s capabilities. As with most conflicts where Russia was once a key power, the message is clear: a security guarantee from the Kremlin is no longer of very much use. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Lucas Winter, Jemima Baar, and Jason Warner write: If Moscow were to take Iran’s side and advocate for formalized military engagement among all three nations, it would represent a significant step in this direction, as together, the two states may be able to soften China’s position. Should Beijing, likely the most resistant partner, indicate its interest in the idea, a formalized military alliance could be imminent. Until then, observers should realize that for now, the axis is indeed off-kilter. – War on the Rocks

Frederick W. Kagan, Nicholas Carl, Annika Ganzeveld, Ashka Jhaveri, and George Barros write: The notion that the United States should allow Russia to win in Ukraine in order to resist Iran in the Middle East is thus indefensible. Americans must internalize the unpleasant reality that the Russo-Iranian military bloc is a real and vibrant thing, that Moscow will support Tehran against us and our allies as best it can, and that Russia’s victory is Iran’s victory. Russia’s loss, contrariwise, is Iran’s loss. Those wishing to contain Iran therefore must also support helping Ukraine against Russia. – American Enterprise Institute

Russia & Ukraine

An eminent Russian physicist who worked to develop the country’s hypersonic capabilities was convicted of treason and sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday, the latest in a string of top Russian scientists to be accused of crimes against the state as the Kremlin becomes increasingly paranoid about its sensitive programs. – Wall Street Journal

Russia has ramped up military production by replenishing stocks of standard weapons and ammunition and probably can sustain its onslaught in Ukraine for at least the next two years, analysts say — a sobering assessment for Kyiv, which is short on weapons and soldiers and losing ground on the battlefield. – Washington Post

Russia is making overseas travel harder for some officials due to fears that foreign powers may try to gain access to state secrets during the worst crisis in relations with the West for more than 60 years, nine sources told Reuters. – Reuters

A major Russian missile attack on the central Dnipropetrovsk region killed at least eight people, injured over 25 more and damaged critical infrastructure facilities, local officials reported on Friday morning. – Reuters

Russia is pressing ahead with construction of two new transport corridors linking Asia and Europe, seeking to weaken sanctions over its war in Ukraine at the same time as Middle East turmoil is disrupting global trade. – Bloomberg

The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog said on Thursday that officials at Ukraine’s Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had reported a new attempted drone attack on the facility’s training centre — less than two weeks after other similar incidents. – Reuters

A Ukrainian attack on a military airfield in Russian-occupied Crimea on Wednesday seriously damaged four missile launchers, three radar stations and other equipment, Ukraine’s military spy agency said on Thursday. – Reuters

Russia is making overseas travel harder for some officials due to fears that foreign powers may try to gain access to state secrets during the worst crisis in relations with the West for more than 60 years, nine sources told Reuters. – Reuters

Seth G. Jones writes: But the clock is ticking. Without a clear U.S. strategy and a sustained supply of Western weapons, intelligence and training, Mr. Putin could prevail. A dangerous world would suddenly become a lot more so. – Wall Street Journal

Alexander J. Motyl write: That may be true, but it’s also irrelevant. The moral is simple: Perceptions and values can trump objective realities, even in the impeccably rational, post-religious and highly enlightened West, which pretends otherwise. Western policymakers would do well to remember this when they encourage Ukrainians to negotiate with the man who has made no secret of his desire to annihilate them. – The Hill


The Iranian attack on Israel over the weekend has refocused attention on the border with Lebanon where Iran’s ally, Hezbollah, has long been fighting a muted war that could be the target of an Israeli retaliation. – Washington Post

French President Emmanuel Macron said he will meet Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the country’s army chief Joseph Aoun in Paris on Friday to discuss ways to stabilise the country given the current Middle East crisis. – Reuters

Israeli aircraft killed at least two Hezbollah operatives in an airstrike in southern Lebanon early Thursday, and the terror group continued attacks on northern Israel throughout the day. – Times of Israel

Editorial: Patience is running thin in Israel, and Wednesday’s attack only emphasizes the need for Hezbollah to be stopped. If our allies only provide lip service, as usual, it will be up to the IDF to once again do the dirty work, with or without their help. – Jerusalem Post

Arabian Peninsula

The Biden administration is pushing for a long-shot diplomatic deal in coming months that presses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a new commitment to Palestinian statehood in exchange for diplomatic recognition by Riyadh, U.S. and Saudi officials said. – Wall Street Journal

With talks for another deal dragging on, Qatar is still the main facilitator for negotiations. […]Here’s what to know about Qatar’s role as a regional mediator. – Washington Post

An Iranian ship that’s been linked to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea is returning home, removing a prominent asset in the area as the Islamic Republic braces for a potential Israeli attack. – Bloomberg

The mining investment arm of Abu Dhabi’s most valuable company has offered to buy a majority stake in Vedanta Resources’ Zambian copper assets, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, in its drive to build an African copper mining empire. – Reuters

Rains are rare in the UAE and elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, which is typically known for its dry desert climate. Summer air temperatures can soar above 50 degrees Celsius. Following Tuesday’s events, questions were raised whether cloud seeding, a process that the UAE frequently conducts, could have caused the heavy rains. But climate experts blame global warming for such extreme weather events. – Reuters

Middle East & North Africa

Oil prices jumped on Friday as reports that Israel had attacked Iran roiled markets and sparked concerns that Middle East oil supply could be disrupted. – Reuters

If anyone thought Jordan’s part in intercepting drones Iran launched at Israel on the weekend marked a turning point in the Hashemite Kingdom’s relations with the Jewish state, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi immediately tried to dispel that notion, insisting in media interviews that Israel was still the real problem. […]But the Iranian assault, with projectiles flying over Jordanian territory, marked a point where Amman was working in its own interest, which overlapped with Jerusalem’s, rather than Jordan jumping to Israel’s rescue, experts said. – Jewish Insider

Michael Lucchese writes: The Iranian attacks are some of the most naked acts of aggression in the regime’s entire history. As if more proof were somehow needed, it lay bare the extent to which the Islamic Republic has been viewing the entire Middle East as its own playground. Regional leaders, Arab and Israeli alike, empowered by American support, need to take these attacks seriously and put a stop to Iran’s insane ambition. – Washington Examiner

Noam Bedein writes: The success of diplomatic efforts like the Abraham Accords highlights the potent impact of cooperative strategies and underscores the critical need to engage communities and nations in dialogues about mutual interests and shared destinies. This comprehensive approach will not only counter the destructive ideologies of Iran and its proxies but also pave the way for a sustainable and peaceful future for all involved. – Jerusalem Post

Steven A. Cook writes: Last weekend, there was a lot of commentary on social media and elsewhere expressing amazement at a new Middle East in which countries of the region coordinated an effort to thwart Iran’s attack on Israel. There is something to be said for that. But what’s more amazing when one takes a step back is that war has not actually changed the region that much. Regional governments still hate and fear Iran, harbor no particular commitment to Palestinian justice, want good relations with Israel, and desire American leadership. – Foreign Policy

Korean Peninsula

Kim Jong Un’s expressions of wrath toward South Korea now extend to streetlights. In recent weeks, the Kim regime removed dozens of roadside lights that had lined two rare inter-Korean roads built during more harmonious times, according to Seoul officials. – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Friday that she hoped to find a new way to ensure sanctions enforcement on North Korea by next month after Russia and China thwarted the renewal of monitoring activities. – Reuters

North Korea has released a new song praising leader Kim Jong Un for being a “friendly father” and a “great leader”, in a move that appears to be part of a propaganda drive to enhance his standing in the reclusive state. – Reuters

North Korean officials met with a visiting Belarusian delegation and vowed deeper cooperation, as Pyongyang criticized the U.S. for trying to increase “lawless” sanctions pressure. – Reuters

A South Korean company will build four ships for the Peruvian Navy under a $463 million contract signed this week. The vessels are part of Peru’s ambitious program to modernize its naval surface fleet, which may involve the construction of 23 ships of different types, an effort potentially worth more than $3 billion. – Defense News

Bruce E. Bechtol writes: North Korea has sold systems to Iran since the 1980s. This has not stopped, nor is it likely to change. Without sharp, decisive action against North Korean support to Iran and its proxies, we are likely to see more examples of North Korean proliferation to Iran in the future. – The National Interest


China is moving to make it more expensive for U.S. shipments of a key industrial chemical to enter the Chinese market, shortly after Washington called for higher tariffs on Chinese steel. – Wall Street Journal

China’s epic property bust has saddled its steelmakers with a glut of unsold metal. They are now shipping it overseas at knockdown prices—and the U.S. isn’t the only country pushing back. – Wall Street Journal

Jacob Dreyer writes: Much like how the United States showed up late for World War II, China’s clean-tech companies are latecomers, piggybacking on technology developed elsewhere. But history rewards not necessarily who was there first but who was there last — when a problem was solved. Mr. Xi seems to discern the climate chaos on the horizon. Winning the race for solutions means winning the world that comes next. – New York Times

South Asia

An Indian woman who was a crew member on the MSC Aries container vessel seized by Iran on April 13 has returned to the country, India’s foreign ministry said on Thursday. The ministry said that its mission in Tehran is in touch with 16 other Indian crew members still aboard the vessel which was seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz. – Reuters

Five Japanese nationals survived a suicide bomb attack on their vehicle on Friday, as police in Pakistan’s city of Karachi shot down a gunman accompanying the bomber, a police spokesperson said, but two passers-by were injured. Islamist militants seeking to overthrow the government and set up their own strict brand of Islamic rule have launched some of Pakistan’s bloodiest attacks during the last few years, with some separatist groups targeting foreigners, including Chinese. – Reuters

Pakistan hopes to agree the contours of a new International Monetary Fund loan in May, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb told Reuters, and has kicked off talks with ratings agencies to lay the groundwork for a return to international debt markets. – Reuters

Fighting between Myanmar’s rebel forces and the ruling junta has delayed India’s effort to send home undocumented refugees from its neighbour who entered the northeastern border state of Manipur, Indian security officials said. – Reuters

Unidentified gunmen ambushed a vehicle carrying officials from the customs department in troubled northwest Pakistan on Thursday evening, killing four of them before fleeing the scene, police said. – Associated Press

Mihir Sharma writes: Mainstream parties may face a debacle in Europe and Biden might lose in the fall. Meanwhile Modi, despite sky-high youth unemployment and declining real wages, is being rewarded for keeping prices predictable. The lesson of India’s polls should reverberate well beyond its borders: Elections are won through stability, not subsidies. – Bloomberg


Daniel Suidani, a prominent Solomon Islands critic of China who was former Malaita province premier, has been reelected to the provincial assembly, as counting continues on Friday in the key Pacific island nation’s election. – Reuters

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said on Friday he looked forward to visits by China’s foreign minister and Australia’s prime minister in the coming days that demonstrated strong ties with countries accounting for more than 70% of its trade. – Reuters

Southeast Asian foreign ministers on Thursday urged an immediate cessation of violence in border areas of Myanmar, expressing concern for the wellbeing of civilians and a necessity to pursue dialogue. – Reuters

The Philippines and New Zealand will elevate relations to a “comprehensive partnership” in 2026, New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said on Thursday. – Reuters


Germany detained two dual German-Russian nationals on suspicion of spying for Moscow and seeking to disrupt Western military aid to Ukraine in the latest espionage affair to shake the country. – Wall Street Journal

A Polish man has been arrested on allegations of being ready to spy on behalf of Russia’s military intelligence in an alleged plot to assassinate Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Polish prosecutors said Thursday. – Associated Press

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner rejected on Thursday Brazil’s proposal to tax the super-rich, indicating a challenging path for it to gain widespread G20 support. – Reuters

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will soon host the British prime minister in Poland, Tusk told reporters Thursday evening as European countries eye initiatives to improve their air defences. – Reuters

The European Union will consider Poland’s defense spending, the highest in NATO in terms of economic output, as the bloc pushes for member states to clamp down on excessive deficit levels, the country’s Finance Minister Andrzej Domanski told Reuters. – Reuters

European Union leaders agreed to reforms on nine fronts on Thursday to revitalise the bloc’s economy and help it catch the United States and China in the global tech race, but still exposed differences on freeing up the money required to do so. – Reuters

Europe wants two things from China: First, a shift in its relatively pro-Russia position on the war in Ukraine. Second, a reduction in the trade imbalance — Chinese goods exports to the EU exceeded its imports from the 27-nation bloc by 291 billion euros ($310 billion) last year. It’s not clear if it will get very far on either front. – Associated Press

Georgia’s government is attempting to force through a controversial “foreign agent” law, despite international condemnation and huge protests from its citizens. The bill is seen as a test of whether the nation, a former Soviet state, will forge closer ties with Europe and the United States, or remain within Russia’s orbit. – CNN


But now, like her neighbors, she is sleeping through storms in a new brick house with an iron roof. The constellation of new homes is the product of a pioneering program that is Africa’s largest cash giveaway as measured by amount per person. It is part of a project that aims to revolutionize the way that aid is given to the poor: in a lump sum of cash with no strings attached. – Washington Post

An estimated 20 million people in southern Africa are facing what the United Nations calls “acute hunger” as one of the worst droughts in more than four decades shrivels crops, decimates livestock and, after years of rising food prices brought on by pandemic and war, spikes the price of corn, the region’s staple crop. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe have all declared national emergencies. – New York Times

The French foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday it regretted Burkina Faso’s decision to expel French diplomats and staff, some of whom were assigned to the French embassy in Burkina Faso. – Reuters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development will distribute $1 billion in U.S. commodities to countries with high hunger rates, the agencies said on Thursday. The countries that will receive the aid – including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, South Sudan, Sudan, and Haiti – are among the most stricken by hunger, according to the United Nations’ World Food Programme. – Reuters

Latin America

The day after the United States announced it would reimpose costly limits on Venezuela’s oil sector, the South American nation braced for the consequences and its president warned that the “grave error” would also hit U.S. interests. – Reuters

The United Arab Emirates signed with Colombia a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said on Thursday. – Reuters

France should repay billions of dollars in reparations to Haiti to cover a debt formerly enslaved people were forced to pay in return for recognising the island’s independence, a coalition of civil society groups said on Thursday. – Reuters

Eight years after 11 million leaked secret financial documents revealed how some of the world’s richest people hide their wealth, more than two dozen defendants are on trial in Panama for their alleged roles. – Associated Press

Argentina formally requested on Thursday to join NATO as a global partner, a status that would clear the way for greater political and security cooperation at a time when the right-wing government of President Javier Milei aims to boost ties with Western powers and attract investment. – Associated Press

Argentina’s President Javier Milei has extended an olive branch to Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whom he has repeatedly called a “communist,” by proposing an encounter to thaw high-level relations between the neighboring countries. – Bloomberg

Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa ordered businesses and government offices to shut down Thursday and Friday amid a crippling lack of electrical power ahead of a key national referendum scheduled for Sunday. – Bloomberg

United States

Long-stalled aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan is on track to pass Congress as House Democrats lined up to back Speaker Mike Johnson’s plan and provide the votes to overcome a planned blockade attempt by GOP conservatives. – Bloomberg

U.S. gun manufacturers on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court hear their challenge to Mexico’s $10 billion lawsuit seeking to hold them responsible for facilitating the trafficking of firearms to violent drug cartels across the U.S.-Mexico border. – Reuters

Jonathan Sweet and Mark Toth write: Iran, like its Russian ally, only understands a punch in the face. The U.S. can no longer seek refuge behind a strategy of react, defend and contain. It must support Israel to prevent further attacks. Now is not the time to cut and run. Allowing Iran time and space to reset and prepare its next attack must not be an option. – The Hill

Suzanne Maloney writes: None of these steps will conclusively eliminate the threat posed by the Iranian regime to its neighbors, including Israel, and to the world. Ultimately, the fate of that regime remains in the hands of the Iranian people. But Washington can help deter Tehran and address the instability that gives the Islamic Republic such dangerous opportunities. Even a cold-blooded cost-benefit analysis justifies an investment, once again, of American blood, treasure, and leadership attention. Like Beijing and Moscow (and often in concert with them), Tehran is seeking to reshape the regional order to its advantage. Only the United States can lead an effort to ensure that it does not prevail. – Foreign Affairs


China ordered Apple to remove some of the world’s most popular chat messaging apps from its app store in the country, the latest example of censorship demands on the iPhone seller in the company’s second-biggest market. – Wall Street Journal

Chinese government-linked hackers have burrowed into U.S. critical infrastructure and are waiting “for just the right moment to deal a devastating blow,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Thursday. – Reuters

Chinese spies have targeted the Dutch semiconductor, aerospace and maritime industries to try to strengthen China’s armed forces, the Dutch military intelligence agency MIVD said in its annual report published on Thursday. – Reuters

The UK is spearheading a drive to expand intelligence-sharing on electoral interference beyond its Group of Seven allies, as a large swath of the globe heads to the polls in national elections this year, people familiar with the matter said. – Bloomberg

A group known as Cyberpartisans says it hacked into the computers and security systems of a major Belarusian state-run producer of nitrogen compounds and fertilizers and is demanding the release of workers who were arrested during protests against the disputed 2020 presidential election. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

A large volume of United Nations Development Programme data related to staffers and other internal operations was stolen and posted to a ransomware website in late March, the agency announced this week. – CyberScoop

A Russian court has sentenced a former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer to nine years in prison for taking a $1.7 million bribe from hackers and promising to shield them from prosecution. – The Record

NATO will establish a new cyber center at its military headquarters in Mons, Belgium, a senior official confirmed to Recorded Future News on Wednesday. – The Record


When Space Force leaders talk about resilience, they often point to proliferation — distributing capabilities across large constellations of small satellites — as central to their approach to making it harder for adversaries to disrupt U.S. operations. – Defense News

The U.S. Army plans to complete its multidomain task force structure by fiscal 2028, according to an internal service document obtained by Defense News. – Defense News

Though the submarine portion of the AUKUS trilateral alliance will take decades to fully come to fruition, development of the advanced technology under the agreement is in full swing, as Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. seek quick wins for their fleets, officials said. – Defense News

Navy and Marine Corps officials told House lawmakers that a prospective multi-ship buy of three San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks and one America-class amphibious assault ship could net the service around $900 million in savings. – Breaking Defense

Elizabeth Hoffman, Audrey Aldisert, Cynthia Cook, Gregory Sanders, and Shivani Vakharia write: As Congress considers another supplemental spending bill for Ukraine, this analysis reveals that this infusion of cash is just as valuable, if not more so, to U.S. readiness and deterrence as it is to sustaining Ukraine on the battlefield. Walking away from Ukraine will not only put NATO and the United States at risk but also undermine bipartisan efforts to make the necessary investments in the DIB creating further challenges for any future fight. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Long War

America, once eager to help, these days takes little note. Africa’s most populous nation is in its 15th year of war with Boko Haram and an Islamic State offshoot, which continue to grab children at gunpoint while the country also battles criminal gangs who raise money ransoming children as young as a few weeks old. Most of its 228 million people are too young to remember when the fighting began. It is one of the world’s forgotten conflicts, eclipsed by Israel’s war in Gaza and Russia’s in Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

In the past year, jihadists from Tajikistan have been involved in an unusually high number of terrorist attacks or foiled plots linked to the Islamic State. […]They point to three main reasons Tajiks are vulnerable to recruitment. – New York Times

Police charged a 16-year-old boy with a terrorism offence on Thursday for the alleged stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at a church on Monday. Footage from the scene showed the boy restrained by the congregation and shouting at Emmanuel for insulting Islam. – Reuters

Troops from Russia and Tajikistan on Thursday completed several days of joint exercises in the Central Asian country to rehearse scenarios for cross-border incursions by militants or illegal armed groups. – Reuters

Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware write: Our final recommendation is an ambitious one: as the international community is increasingly challenged by these ideologies and the violence they inspire, it should create a more formal multi-lateral framework to coordinate responses to these trans-national manifestations of domestic political violence. – Foreign Policy